The Masqueraders, or Fatal Curiosity, and The Surprize, or Constancy Rewarded

By Eliza Haywood
Edited by Tiffany Potter

© 2015

The most important female English novelist of the 1720s, Eliza Haywood is famous for writing scandalous fiction about London society. Fast-moving, controversial, and sometimes disturbing, Haywood’s short novels The Masqueraders and The Surprize are valuable sources for the study of eighteenth-century gender and identity, the social history of masquerade, the dangers of courtship and seduction, and conceptions of elite and popular cultures.

Despite their common theme of masquerade and seduction, the two short novels are a study in contrasts. The Masqueraders features the whirl of London life, with a libertine anti-hero and his serial seductions of women who believe that they can manipulate the social conventions that are expected to limit them. The Surprize, on the other hand, is an uncharacteristically sentimental story in which a similarly salacious plot ends in rewards for the good and virtuous.

Well suited to the teaching of these two texts, this volume contains annotated scholarly editions of both novels, an extensive introduction, and useful appendices that discuss the masquerade’s role in eighteenth-century debates on gender, morality, and identity.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 208 pages
  • Illustrations: 9
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED OCT 2015

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Quick Overview

This volume contains annotated scholarly editions of both novels, an extensive introduction, and useful appendices that discuss the masquerade’s role in eighteenth-century debates on gender, morality, and identity.

The Masqueraders, or Fatal Curiosity, and The Surprize, or Constancy Rewarded

By Eliza Haywood
Edited by Tiffany Potter

© 2015

The most important female English novelist of the 1720s, Eliza Haywood is famous for writing scandalous fiction about London society. Fast-moving, controversial, and sometimes disturbing, Haywood’s short novels The Masqueraders and The Surprize are valuable sources for the study of eighteenth-century gender and identity, the social history of masquerade, the dangers of courtship and seduction, and conceptions of elite and popular cultures.

Despite their common theme of masquerade and seduction, the two short novels are a study in contrasts. The Masqueraders features the whirl of London life, with a libertine anti-hero and his serial seductions of women who believe that they can manipulate the social conventions that are expected to limit them. The Surprize, on the other hand, is an uncharacteristically sentimental story in which a similarly salacious plot ends in rewards for the good and virtuous.

Well suited to the teaching of these two texts, this volume contains annotated scholarly editions of both novels, an extensive introduction, and useful appendices that discuss the masquerade’s role in eighteenth-century debates on gender, morality, and identity.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 208 pages
  • Illustrations: 9
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.6in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘Highly recommended.’ 
    Choice Magazine vol 53:08:2016

    ‘Potter’s engaging new edition of The Masqueraders is a worthy addition to the classroom syllabus and to the scholar’s bookshelf.’


    Earla Wilputte
    Eighteenth Century Fiction vol 29:02:2016

    “This is a splendid edition, eminently suitable for the classroom and also useful to critics with an interest in Haywood, the eighteenth-century novel, and eighteenth-century literature and culture more generally.”


    Kathryn R. King, Department of English, University of Montevallo, and author of 'A Political Biography of Eliza Haywood'

    “An edition of The Masqueraders and The Surprize is long overdue. Potter’s introduction and editorial work is careful and precise, and her discussion of Haywood and popular culture is fascinating.”


    Kirsten Saxton, Department of English, Mills College, and author of 'The Passionate Fictions of Eliza Haywood'

    “Potter’s annotations of contemporary vocabulary, customs, literary conventions, and allusions to other texts are full and thoughtful, informed by her experience teaching these novels.”


    David Oakleaf, Department of English, University of Calgary, and editor of Eliza Haywood's 'Love in Excess'
  • Author Information

    Eliza Haywood (1693?–1756) was a novelist, bookseller, playwright, editor of periodicals, and occasional actress.



    Tiffany Potter teaches eighteenth-century British and American literature at the University of British Columbia. Her most recent book is the edited collection Women, Popular Culture, and the Eighteenth Century.

  • Table of contents

    A Note on the Text and Publication History

    Editions of Haywood’s Novels Compared for this Edition

    Introduction: Life in Excess: Eliza Haywood and Popular Culture in The Masqueraders and The Surprize

    The Masqueraders, or Fatal Curiosity

    Part One

    Part Two

    The Surprize, or Constancy Rewarded

    Appendix A: Contemporary Comments on Eliza Haywood

    Appendix B: Documents from the Masquerade Debate

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