Author Biography

Megan Cole is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She researches gender, sexuality, and religion in literature from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Her dissertation analyzes literary convents as sites of asexuality and celibate pleasures for women.


Eliza Haywood is an increasingly popular author to assign in eighteenth-century literature courses. But Haywood is also a prime figure to represent the eighteenth century in courses with a broader scope. This essay proposes teaching The Adventures of Eovaai in a fantasy-focused, introductory-level survey of British Literature. Identifying Eovaai as part of the fantasy tradition leverages students’ prior knowledge and facilitates teaching this complex novel to first-year students. Eovaai provides a wealth of topics for class discussions and activities, including the development of the novel as a genre, identity and othering in fantasy literature, and the use of fantasy conventions like world-building and speculative technology. Moreover, considering Haywood as both representative of the eighteenth century and a pioneer of fantasy literature encourages students to broaden their conceptualizations of the early modern period, women writers, and generic conventions.


Eliza Haywood, pedagogy, Adventures of Eovaai, Fantasy Literature, women writers, eighteenth-century