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Seductive FormsWomen's Amatory Fiction from 1684 to 1740$
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Ros Ballaster

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184775.001.0001

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The Decline of Amatory Fiction: Re(de)fining the Female Form

(p.196) Conclusion
Seductive Forms

Ros Ballaster

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a brief account of the critical fate of the prose fiction of Behn, Manley, and Haywood in the mid- to late 18th century. These early amatory fictions were persistently ‘written out’ of the novel tradition in this period in an attempt to make it respectable. The novel, identified at every stage as a ‘female form’, was, in this period, refined by purging it of its disreputable associations with female sexuality and the subversive power of female ‘wit’, or artifice. Women writers would gain status and more in the newly respectable form of the novel by denying any association with the infamous Behn, Manley, and Haywood.

Keywords:   Aphra Behn, Delarivier Manley, Eliza Haywood, female sexuality, women novelists

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