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Cunning Authors and Bad Readers: Gendered Authorship in "Love in Excess"

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abstract
Although the works of eighteenth-century novelist Eliza Haywood have attracted scholarly attention in the past several decades, the number of thorough analyses of her individual works remains low. This thesis aims to help fill this gap by providing a close reading of Haywood’s first novel, Love in Excess (1719). Exploring the concept of narrative production (specifically of erotic intrigue), the novel reveals connections between discourses of authorship and gender. Male and female characters, along with the narrative voice, employ the same strategies to author texts that engage the reader’s desires. Variations in these strategies are linked to but not determine by the author’s gender. I argue that the masculine prerogative of property rights inhibits the male authors’ ability to effectively read and author texts. In contrast, women authors are more adept at manipulating texts (including that of their bodies) to attract readers and achieve their desires. Drawing attention to the process of authorial production forces the reader to examine his role in the production of discourse that inherently victimizes women. I conclude by describing how Haywood’s first work connects to her later novels and what implications these connections have for eighteenth-century novel studies as a whole.
subject
Authorship
Gender
Haywood
contributor
Bruening, Megan Elizabeth (author)
Richard, Jessica (committee chair)
Hogan, Sarah (committee member)
date
2015-06-23T08:35:56Z (accessioned)
2015-06-23T08:35:56Z (available)
2015 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/57162 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Cunning Authors and Bad Readers: Gendered Authorship in "Love in Excess"
type
Thesis

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