Eliza Haywood (c. 1693 – 25 February 1756), born Elizabeth Fowler, was an English writer, actress and publisher. An increase in interest and recognition of Haywood’s literary works began in the 1980s. Described as “prolific even by the standards of a prolific age,” Haywood wrote and published over seventy works during her lifetime including fiction, drama, translations, poetry, conduct literature and periodicals. Haywood is a significant figure of the 18th century as one of the important founders of the novel in English. Today she is studied primarily as a novelist.
The early life of Eliza Haywood is somewhat of a mystery to scholars. While Haywood was born “Eliza Fowler,” the exact date of Haywood’s birth is unknown due to the lack of surviving records. Although, scholars believe that she was most likely born near Shropshire or London, England in 1693. This birth date is extrapolated from a combination of her death date and her stated age at the time of her death (as Haywood died on 25 February 1756 and obituaries notices list her age as sixty years old)
Eliza Haywood was active in politics during her entire career, although she had a party change around the time of the reconciliation of George II with Robert Walpole. She wrote a series of parallel histories, beginning with 1724’s Memoirs of a Certain Island, Adjacent to Utopia, and then The Secret History of the Present Intrigues of the Court of Caramania in 1727. She published Memoirs of an Unfortunate Young Nobleman in 1743. In 1746 she started another journal, The Parrot, which got her questioned by the government for political statements about Charles Edward Stuart, as she was writing just after the Jacobite rising of 1745. This would happen again with the publication of A Letter from H—- G—-g, Esq. in 1750. She grew more directly political with The Invisible Spy in 1755 and The Wife in 1756.
Haywood published eight translations of popular continental romances. They include: Letters from a Lady of Quality (1721) (translation of Edme Boursault’s play); The Lady’s Philosopher’s Stone (1723) (translation of Louis Adrien Duperron de Castera’s historical novel); La Belle Assemblée (1724–34) (translation of Madame de Gomez’s novella); Love in its Variety (1727) (translation of Matteo Bandello’s stories); The Disguis’d Prince (1728) (translation of Madame de Villedieu’s 1679 novel); The Virtuous Villager (1742) (translation of Charles de Fieux’s work); and (with William Hatchett) The Sopha (1743) (translation of Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon’s novel).
You must agree that this woman was very modern for her time and could have been a very important figure in today’s life and literature..