Note to self: explore Aphra Behn.
It seems that (his)tories of the novel I’ve read completely ignore her. She wrote an epistolary novel fifty years before Richardson. She wrote in a first person narrative voice long before Defoe, and may deserve a great deal of attention in the development of the novel. Learn something new every day (if you pay attention).
Oh, and one more thing— calling women “broads” may come from a game? From Rictor Norton:
In a supposedly predominant form of lesbian intercourse, one woman lies at full stretch on top of another, and they mutually rub their ‘flat’ pudenda together for stimulation. In 19th-century lesbian slang this was called a ‘flat-fuck’. All of this is supposedly analogous to card games involvingthe taking of tricks, in which one playing card (or ‘flat’) is laid on top of another. The reference is to horizontal planes that don’t require vertical instruments.
The playing-card derivation, however, does depend on how early playing cards were called ‘flats’. I see that the earliest citation in the OED is dated 1812, when ‘flats’ is called a cant term for cards. No doubt the term arose earlier (e.g. ‘broads’ is cited for 1789), but how much earlier? John O’Neil’s 1698/1699 citation for “a New Game Call’d Flats with a Swinging Clitoris” is a great deal earlier than any citation describing playing cards as ‘flats’. But it clearly draws upon some sort of game, perhaps a betting game using flat games counters or broad-pieces.