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Fantomina, or Love in a Maze


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18th Century London.

A young woman in a London playhouse, intrigued by the men at the theater, decides to pretend she is a prostitute.

She enjoys talking with one Beauplaisir and he, believing her favors to be for sale, asks to meet her.

She demurs and puts him off until the next evening. In preparation, she rents lodgings and then meets him at the theater the following night. They go to the house and she realizes that Beauplaisir wants to have sex and resists him, but he does not listen to her protests and rapes her.

Afterwards, she is despondent and rejects his money, which confuses Beauplaisir, who did not believe her protestations.

Worried about her reputation, she gives her name as "Fantomina".

Soon, however, Beauplaisir tires of her and leaves for Bath.

She follows him.

Dressed as a country girl, she obtains employment at the inn where he is staying, as a maid.

Will he recognize her?

Can she regain his love?

FANTOMINA is a classic eighteenth century novella, written by witty and satirical author, Eliza Haywood.

Eliza Haywood (c. 1693 - 25 February 1756), born Elizabeth Fowler, was an English writer, actress and publisher. An increase in interest and recognition of Haywood's literary works began in the 1980s. Described as "prolific even by the standards of a prolific age", Haywood wrote and published over seventy works during her lifetime including fiction, drama, translations, poetry, conduct literature and periodicals (Blouch 7). Haywood is a significant figure of the 18th century as one of the important founders of the novel in English. Today she is studied primarily as a novelist.

OROONOKO PRESS is committed to making classic texts by pre-twentieth century authors available for a contemporary audience.

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