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date: 22 October 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Like their imitators, Eliza Haywood and even Daniel Defoe have been called mercenaries who wrote to formula for low readers with limited intellects. Yet Love in Excess and Robinson Crusoe inaugurated a decade of lively, market-driven narrative experiment aimed at sophisticated gentry readers. When low scandal titillated, it originated in high life. Highly inventive, Jane Barker, Mary Davys, Penelope Aubin, and some authors of the many lives and surprising adventures in the Crusoe manner read their rivals with professional care. They adapted and contested as well as adopted Defoe’s distinctive fictional memoir, Haywood’s equally modern amatory sublime. So did Jonathan Swift when he parodied Robinson Crusoe’s strategies in Gulliver’s Travels, an anonymous narrative that matched its commercial triumph. Swift hastened the vogue’s end, but these novelists’ commercial and literary legacy endures.

Keywords: novel, print, Eliza Haywood, Daniel Defoe, Penelope Aubin, Jonathan Swift

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