The Female Spectator

Another take on An Ancient Scandal

The idle prentice betrayed by his whore and taken in a  night cellar with his accomplice-- an illustration to a proverb? --Hogarth, 1747

In order to be deceived as little as possible, I, for my own part, love to get as well acquainted as I can with an Author, before I run the risque of losing my Time in perusing his Work; and as I doubt not but most People are of this way of thinking, I shall, in imitation of my learned Brother of ever precious Memory, give some account of what I am, and those concerned with me in this Undertaking; and likewise of the chief Intent of the Lucubrations hereafter communicated that the Reader, on casting his eye over the first four or five Pages, may judge how far the Book may, or not be qualified to entertain him; and either accept, or throw it aside as he thinks proper: And here I promise, that in the Pictures I shall give of myself and Associates, I will draw no flattering Lines, assume no Perfection that we are not in reality possessed of, nor attempt to shadow over any Defect with an artificial Gloss.

As Proof of my Sincerity, I shall, in the first place, assure him that for my own Part I never was a Beauty, and am now very far from being young: (a Confession he will find few of my Sex ready to make:) I shall also acknowledge, that I have run through as many Scenes of Vanity and Folly as the greatest Coquet of them all— Dress, Equipage, and Flattery, were the Idols of my Heart.— I should have thought that Day lost which did not present me with some new Opportunity of shewing myself. —My Life, for some Years, was a continuous Round of what was then called Pleasure, and my whole Time engrossed by a hurry of promiscuous Diversions.

The Female Spectator (from Book One)

Not much is known about Eliza Haywood, The Female Spectator. She told so many conflicting lies about her life, and exists in so few records that it becomes impossible to sort it all out. She published her paper from 1744-46, and was as big of a liar as Swift, while covering her tracks even better. But, dear readers, you may recall my citation of Lanham’s concept that Western civilization is built on one golden rule: “Be sincere, whether you mean it or not!”

{as well as notice some serious literacy-fueled hypotaxis, goin’ on!}

1 thought on “The Female Spectator”

  1. Wow! Now that’s what I call an introduction! Makes me want to read the book. Maybe it’s time for me to up the “style” ante in my weblog.

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