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Authorial Afterlives in Women’s Conduct: Eliza Haywood’s The Wife and Edward Bysshe’s Art of English Poetry

Erzsi Kukorelly

Pages 151 - 167



This publication is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0.

In her conduct book, The Wife (1756), Eliza Haywood uses numerous quotations in order to bring substance and authority to her advice for married women. Haywood’s quotations can be traced to Edward Bysshe’s Art of English Poetry (1702) and its companion piece, The British Parnassus (1714), works that commonplaced authors and texts that had enjoyed success in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth-century book trade. I argue that commonplace books helped to promote the authors whose works they contained and that Haywood used sententiae both to augment the authority of her pseudonym, Mira, as an author of advice literature and to align herself with (emerging) canonical authors, thereby promoting her own authorial legacy. I also suggest that the use of quotations in Haywood’s conduct book gave the lines and their authors multifarious afterlives in the lived existences of her readers.

Keywords: Eliza Haywood, Edward Bysshe, women’s conduct books, John Dryden, commonplace books.


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