Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Eliza Haywood's Fantomina (1725)

[the 1st edition (1725)]

Fantomina is one of Haywood's most interesting works and, as Aleksondra Hultquist comments, is coming to be one of her best known works. It was published three times in the eighteenth-century in the high-profile collection Secret Histories, Novels, and Poems (1724, 1732, 1742) and is presently available in many forms.

(Since I am giving a lecture about Haywood and Fantomina this week I went looking for a copy of the text to re-read. To my inexpressible joy I discovered that I had copies of all three eighteenth-century editions! This post is illustrated with a few pictures I took of these three books. Of course, Monash students have access to digital versions of these three eighteenth-century editions via ECCO here.)

Before 2004—when my Bibliography was published—Fantomina had been reprinted many times: in facsimile (once) in anthologies (four/five times), on CD-Rom (once) and online (three times: once to subscribers and twice open-access on the internet). The relevant entries in my Bibliography are:

[Be.3]. Masquerade Novels of Eliza Haywood. Introduction by Mary Anne Schofield (Delmar, New York: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 1986). Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, v.412. [ISBN: 0-8201-1412-X]. Reproduces ICN copy.

[Ba.2]. Popular Fiction by Women 1660–1730: An Anthology, edited by Paula R. Backscheider and John Richetti (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996). [ISBN: 0-19-871136-0].

[Ba.8]. Eliza Haywood, Fantomina and Other Works, edited by Alexander Pettit, Margaret Case Croskery and Anna C. Patchias (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004), 41–72 [partly available here]

[Bb.2]. "Fantomina: Or Love in a Maze," in The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Traditions in English, Second Edition, edited by Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1996), 206–24.

[Bb.3.1]. "Fantomina: Or, Love in a Maze," in British Literature, 1640–1789: An Anthology, edited by Robert DeMaria Jr (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996), 786–803.

[Bb.3.2]. "Fantomina: Or, Love in a Maze." in British Literature, 1640–1789: An Anthology, Second Edition, edited by Robert DeMaria, Jr (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001), 602–16.

[Bh.2]. Eighteenth Century Fiction: A Full-Text Database of English Prose Fiction from 1700 to 1780, edited by Doctors Judith Hawley, Tom Keymer and John Mullan (Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1996). One CD-ROM.

[Bi.1]. http://lion.chadwyck.com/. Access available to subscribers only.

[Bj.1]. http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Texts/fantomina.html. Edited by Jack Lynch. [available online here]

[Bj.2]. http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/haywood/fantomina.html. Edited by Laura Dziuban and Mary Mark Ockerbloom. [available online here]

* * * * *

[the 2nd edition (1732)—despite what the title-page says!]

Since 2004 Fantomina has appeared in more anthologies (twice) and freely on the internet (once). The relevant details are

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Volume 3: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, edited by Joseph Laurence Black (2006): 514–28 (partly available here and the 2011 edition here)

The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume 1C: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, edited by David Damrosch and Kevin J. H. Dettmar (2006): 3081–92 (details here).

The one new online edition, edited by Alok Yadav, is an annotated pdf version.

There have also been two translations of Fantomina (see pictures at the end of this post). The first is in a collection of three works translated into Spanish by Tamara Gil Somoza from the Backscheider and Richetti collection Popular Fiction by Women 1660–1730 (1996). The title of this collection is Mujeres de principios. Tres novelas cortas de autoras inglesas de los siglos XVII y XVIII (Madrid: Lengua de Trapo, 2008) [available from Amazon here].

The second translation is into Galician(!), along with The British Recluse. The details of this translation are: A dama solitaria e Fantomina de Eliza Haywood, translation by M. Fe Gonz├ílez Fern├índez (Santiago de Compostela: Sotelo Blanco y Xunta de Galicia, 2010). [NB, in the Wikipedia List of languages by number of native speakers Galacian is in position 147 of 152 languages, with 3–4 million speakers] The introduction to this edition is by the very generous Jorge Figueroa Dorrego, who very kindly sent me a copy when I contacted him about this translation.

(Of the print editions, Monash has Ba.2, Ba.8, Bb.2, Bb.3.1 and Bh.2—which is now part of Bi.1 i.e., online. What became of the CD-ROMs is anyone's guess.)

Only three of the print editions appear to be still available. For Amazon listings see here, here and here. But, because the text is online, it is also available as a print-on-demand "edition" from a number of printer-publishers.

* * * * *

In terms of online criticism, there is some interesting informal criticism, amateur and student comment on blogs here, here, here, here and here.

Only one of the twelve articles listed on Google Scholar is freely available online and it is Andrea K. Gill, "Objectifying Men: Gulliver’s Travels, Fantomina, and the Dildo in Eighteenth-Century Literature," Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee 2:1 (2011), Article 11, available here but there is also Juliette Merritt, "Peepers, Picts, and Female Masquerade: Performances of the Female Gaze in Fantomina; or, Love in a Maze, in Beyond Spectacle: Eliza Haywood's Female Spectators (2004), 45–72 (partly available here) and Melbourne's own Haywood expert, Aleksondra Hultquist, has a section on Fantomina too: "Fantomina and the Role, within the Role, within the Role" in Equal Ardor: Female Desire, Amatory Fiction, and the Recasting of the Novel, 1680–1760 (2008), 94–104. (partly available here).

Wikipedia has reasonable entries for Haywood and Fantomina. For links to online criticism of Haywood's work and discussion of her works, contemporary biographical accounts etc, see all the links I collect on my main Haywood page here.

* * * * *

[the 3rd edition (1742)]

Probably because Fantomina was not separately published in the eighteenth-century, there is practically no mention of the work in print before 1915 when modern Haywood criticism begins. A search of Google Books produces nothing.

ECCO searches produce a few references to copies listed in circulating library catalogues (it is in the Crane-Court Circulating Library catalogue of 1748, Palmer and Merrick's Circulating Library catalogue of 1795 and Earle's Circulating Library catalogue of 1799).

There are also four copies listed in auction catalogues. A few of these auction catalogue name collectors, but they are a fairly unreliable guide to actual ownership since booksellers combined collections and salted named collections with their own stock. With this warning in mind, it is still interesting to see copies of Haywood's Secret Histories, Novels, and Poems and, therefore, of Fantomina in the following catalogues:

Bibliotheca Elegans: A Catalogue of the Large and Valuable libraries of Horsemandon Turner … Peter Dobree … and of the Rev. Mr. White (1754), 112 (no. 3297) [1742 ed.]

A Catalogue of a Large Collection of Useful and Valuable Books … with several other Libraries and Parcels of Books, All Lately Purchased (1762), 87 (no. 2380) [1725 ed.]

A Catalogue of above seven thousand volumes … including the libraries of her Grace the Dutchess of Dorset (1769), 58 (no. 1418) [1725 ed.]

A Catalogue of the Magnificent and Celebrated Library of Maffei Pinelli, Late of Venice (1789), 22 (no. 630) [1725 ed.].

* * * * *

[from left to right: my copies of the 1742, 1725 and 1732 editions
of Secret Histories, Novels, and Poems, vol. 3]

About a dozen copies of each of the eighteenth-century editions of Secret Histories, Novels, and Poems survive, a few less of the 1732 edition and a few more of the 1742 edition. So, until the 70s there were few places you could read this text. In 1970 an edition of Secret Histories, Novels, and Poems appeared in The Library of English Literature microfilm collection (film no. 21503–504)—but very few libraries had it, and none of them in Australia. In 1978 this collection appeared on microfilm again, in Early British Fiction: Pre-1750 (No. 274)—which a few libraries did buy, including only Monash and The University of WA in Australia. So, access was not considerably widened since the number of libraries that had a microfilm was not many more than those that had an eighteenth-century copy!

By the mid-80s this had changed somewhat. The Eighteenth Century microfilm series began in 1982—and Secret Histories, Novels, and Poems appeared almost immediately (on film 232). Much more important, considering how irksome it is to read anything on microfilm, was the Scholars’ Press facsimiles reprint of 1986. Like the Early British Fiction and Eighteenth Century microfilm editions, these facsimiles were bought by only a small number of institutions (two in Australia, Melbourne and Sydney Universities), but unlike the microfilms, they were easily obtained on inter-library loan and photocopied.


So it is not really a coincidence that a series of ground-breaking studies of women's writing began to appear in the mid-80s, just as it became possible for more than a tiny number of privileged scholars to read works like Fantomina. After a decade of increased access and growing interest a number of editors were prompted to include this work in collections of texts aimed at university students: three appeared in 1996 alone and—in the same year—the first digital version of the text was published. Since then there has been a fairly steady stream of new editions, print and digital and it is probably safe to say that from 1996—certainly for the last decade—there has been no significant barrier to obtaining a copy of the text. With increased awareness of, and exposure to, the text, there has been more discussion of it in scholarly journals, which has made it easier to teach, further multiplying readers, interest etc. The recent spate of blog entries and online discussion can only fuel further interest.

Of course, this development is very pleasing to feminist literary scholars. But the scholarship on Haywood's works is still in its infancy. Only a very small number of her works have attracted the sort of editorial and critical attention Fantomina has received. The vast majority of her works have not been edited at all and are not available in student editions—some are not available in any form—monographs on Haywood can still be carried in one hand, and there has not been a biography for almost a century.

But how can it be otherwise? It can take two or three years for each editorial and research project to be completed and for criticism to appear. (Or, as in my case almost a decade!) This means that the scholarly wheels have only turned three or four times since 1996. Still, it seems likely, as Haywood scholarship continues to mature and diversify, that Fantomina will still continue to attract a large share of the attention and that it will remain one of her best known works.

[A Spanish translation of Fantomina published in 1996]


[A Galician translation of Fantomina published in 2010]

[UPDATE: 2 July 2016: After all my pictures disappeared again I decided to give up on external hosts for large versions (1000px) of my image files and, for now on, will stick with the smaller images (500px), which Blogger is prepared to host.]

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