Eliza Haywood's The Fortunate Foundlings: A Jacobite Novel

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Signs of Eliza Haywood’s Jacobite sympathies are scattered throughout her work, becoming pronounced in The Fortunate Foundlings (1744), a novel written on the eve of the ’45 Rebellion. There is a positive representation of the Stuart court in exile, an emphasis on loyalty, and unusual pro-French sentiment; Jacobite themes of exile and lost love are also present. Haywood glorifies the victories and conquests of Charles XII of Sweden, who was a Jacobite hero, and who acts as a surrogate for Charles Edward Stuart in the novel. In that part of the novel concerned with love and amorous intrigue, Haywood draws on the French salon romances that placed women in a position of power and influence. This aristocratic bias was friendly to Royalism. Jacobitism offered a home to women writers with an unconventional view of sexual morality and the politics of gender. Acknowledging the politics at the heart of Haywood’s work should advance recognition of the author as a figure worthy of serious and sustained interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-71
Number of pages21
JournalEighteenth-Century Life
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • women
  • fiction
  • eighteenth century
  • Jacobites
  • Foundlings
  • Charles XII
  • France
  • constancy

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