National Portrait Gallery

Eliza Haywood

(c. 1693 - 1756)

Born in London around 1690, Eliza Haywood left her middle-aged husband to join the stage, debuting in 1715 in an adaptation of Timon of Athens. She wrote more than seventy works, including Memoirs of a Certain Island Adjacent to Utopia, a controversial satire based on society scandals. In 1744 she founded The Female Spectator, the first periodical written by a woman.

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