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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Reading the Pamela controversy through Eliza Haywood’s still frequently overlooked Anti-Pamela (1741), this chapter demonstrates the failure and undesirability of Samuel Richardson’s efforts to supplant the satirical mode with the sentimental in his first novel. Much of the critical conversation about satire and sentiment in the mid-to-late eighteenth century has, with notable exceptions, positioned these as antagonistic modes. Moreover, the (exaggerated) demise of satire in the face of the tidal wave of sentiment has been often heralded as opening up new possibilities for the articulation of female subjectivity. Anti-Pamela, this chapter argues, undermines such claims. In a satirical novel that would mark a turning point in her career as a sceptical writer of sentimental fiction, Haywood revealed that ‘true’ satire, as opposed to the ‘scurrilous’ satire of which she accused her fellow interlocutor Henry Fielding, was the best antidote to the cultural fictions of gender promoted by the novel.

Keywords: Eliza Haywood, Anti-Pamela, Samuel Richardson, Pamela, Henry Fielding, satire, sentiment, the novel, gender

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