From Haywood’s Fantomina to Davys’s Coquet: Amatory Fiction; w/Clarification of Reading Log Post

  1. First of all, thanks for your patience this week. I’m still trying to figure out how to conduct an online grad seminar, and you are helping me do that.
  2. First of all, the reading for the weekend is Davys’s Reform’d Coquet: or, the Memoirs of Amoranda (1724) a year earlier than Haywood’s Fantomina (1725).
  3. You’ll see that they share a few characteristics: a “coquet” heroine who enjoys masculine attention a little too much; plenty of episodes of sexually coded “variety” and freedom permitting her to enjoy fantasy and identity changes (coded as theatrical or via masquerade); a suggestion of sexual danger or threatened rape perceptible to reader if not coquet, if “things go too far”; a conclusion that shuts down the fantasy and freedom and teaches a lesson, if not to the coquet than to her readers.
  4. Brief critical readings: Toni Bowers on sex, lies, invisibility in amatory fiction, Jane Spencer on the “reformed heroine” tradition:

5. Weekend Assignment: Read and process the Haywood, Davys, Bowers, and Spencer texts in your reading log however you feel best. Reread. Take a passage from one of these texts or your notes and try to explain it further. What makes it important? How and why does it resonate with you?

Just do it as a comment to this post.

See you Monday,