Monday 20th March 2017 to Sunday 4th June 2017

Venue: Chawton House

20 March – 4 June

Naming, Shaming, Reclaiming: The ‘Incomparable’ Eliza Haywood


This exhibition, curated by Dr. Kim Simpson (Chawton House Library Postdoctoral Fellow) introduces one of the most infamous writers of the early eighteenth century. As actress, playwright, novelist, periodical writer, mother, translator, publisher, and agony aunt, Eliza Haywood had many different guises of her own making. She also had to contend with the guises that others created for her: hack writer, prostitute, ‘cow-like’ scribbler, and ‘great arbitress of passion,’ and she often wrote about women’s ability to make and remake themselves.

Using rare editions of Haywood’s work currently held at Chawton House Library, the exhibition presents the many faces of Eliza Haywood, reconstructing her immensely productive career, illuminating the networks to which she belonged, and considering her reputation and her legacy, both within the eighteenth century and today.



Access to this exhibition is included in the price of visitor admission.