Eliza Haywood (1693?-1756) was one of the first women in England to earn a living writing fiction. Her early tales of amorous intrigue, sometimes based on real people, were exceedingly popular though controversial. Haywood, along with her contemporary Daniel Defoe, did more than any other writer to create a market for fiction in the period just prior to the emergence of Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, and Tobias Smollett, the dominant novelists of the mid-eighteenth century.
The scheming, sexually predatory anti-heroine of The Injur'd Husband is a memorable villain who defies all expectations of a woman's conduct in marriage. The heroine of Lasselia is initially a model of virtue who bravely resists the advances of a king, only to be driven by her passion and desire into an illicit affair with a married man and ultimately into ruin. These two provocative narratives strikingly represent Haywood's extraordinary contribution to the development of the novel.
"Reveals considerable inventiveness in technique and preceptiveness in analysis of character and motive." -- Choice
"Will please anyone interested in the early novel and delight students of Haywood." -- East-Central Intelligencer
"Deserves to be studied and taught." -- Eighteenth-Century Fiction
"Provides a modern edition of two Haywood texts which 'have never before been edited.'" -- Eighteenth-Century Studies
" The Injur'd Husband and Lasselia impart more than critical insights into the novel's history and women's role in that history. They're plain fun to read -- something Haywood's contemporaries understood, and a pleasure we can now enjoy for ourselves." -- Jane Austen Society of North America News
"Haywood's two novellas are a sample document of the range of women's sexual and literary possibilities in the early century." -- Notes and Queries
"The juxtaposition of two of Haywood's novels in one volume is very welcome as it gives the reader a broader sense of Haywood's style and purpose." -- Review of English Studies