The ‘Scorpion Haywood’: The Breaking of the Hillarian Circle, 1723-1725
This chapter discusses the breaking of the Hillarian Circle from 1723 to 1725. The relationship between Aaron Hill and Martha Fowke, with the literary name ‘Clio’, developed in 1721. Their relationship was initiated by, and conducted through, acts of letter writing. It was a real-life epistolary intimacy inspired by a semi-fictional epistolary intimacy. Hill fell in love with ‘Clio’ as a literary voice before seeing her in the flesh. Hill and Fowke maintained a passionate epistolary correspondence throughout 1721 and 1722. By the time Clio was written in October 1723, the relationship was at an end. Eliza Haywood, a hardworking professional author, dismissed Fowke as a literary dilletante who had to bribe booksellers to publish her work. Members of Hill's circle were united in their condemnation of Haywood.
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