For Love or Money: The Economics of Illicit Sexuality in English Eighteenth-Century Legal Sources and Prose Narratives
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The eighteenth-century novel repeatedly explores the challenges of self-discovery and matrimonial happiness. In Henry Fielding's canonical work Tom Jones, we are introduced to an honest and generous protagonist who must experience life's complexities before he is allowed to marry Sophia and possess the "wisdom" of human knowledge. One of the most important lessons he learns from his adventures is to balance his natural goodness with an external representation of that quality. The narrator explains: Goodness of heart, and openness of temper, tho' these may give them great comfort within, and administer to an honest pride in their own minds, will by no means, alas! do their business in the world. Prudence and circumspection are necessary even to the best of men. They are indeed as it were a guard to Virtue, without which she can never be safe. It is not enough that your designs, nay that your actions, are intrinsically good, you must take care that they shall appear so. If your inside be never so beautiful, you must preserve a fair outside also. This must be constantly looked to, or malice and envy will take care to blacken it so, that the sagacity and goodness of an Allworthy will not be able to see thro' it, and to discern the beauties within (141- 142) ...