Haywood’s novel is the story of the beautiful Princess Eovaai. Groomed for the throne by her father, who teaches her Lockean notions of liberty, she is overthrown, enmeshed in civil war, and then magically transported to a foreign land by an evil man. Part magician, part politician, he plots to marry her for political reasons. The fascinating reflexive structure of The Adventures of Eovaai incorporates argumentative intrusions (by the Translator, an Historian, etc.), interweaves political and amatory storylines, and blends a wild mix of genres.
“The Adventures of Eovaai is the most important prose satire of English politics and the administration of Sir Robert Walpole between Gulliver’s Travels and Jonathan Wild. It is more, too—an intriguing narrative experiment, a provocative exploration of the power relations between genders, and a terrific story full of fantasy and suspense. Earla Wilputte has provided just what is needed to make this neglected but appealing work fully accessible to modern readers: an authoritative historical and critical introduction, helpful explanatory notes to the text, and appendices that add essential contextual background. This is a fine new edition, and as the first since 1741 it is certain to be welcomed enthusiastically by the growing circle of Haywood’s admirers.” — Jerry C. Beasley, University of Delaware
“What a delight to see Eliza Haywood’s satiric fantasy Adventures of Eovaai—one of my own favorite eighteenth-century fictions—at last in an edited and accessible paperback! Earla Wilputte supplies a useful Introduction and notes clarifying literary background and political allusions. The fresh appearance of Haywood’s ‘Pre Adamitical History’ is sure to generate renewed interest in this remarkable and daring work.” — Margaret Anne Doody, Vanderbilt University