Amatory fiction is a literary genre that originated in Great Britain during the late 17th century. It became very popular, especially to women writers. It is considered by many to predate the novel and even paved the way for the romance novel. This type of fiction focused on romantic interests, sex, love, and emotions. It was mainly written by women and mostly read by women. Though due to its popularity it is likely that men also read these types of novels. Narrowly defined, amatory fiction is a formulaic genre which typically portrays an innocent, trusting woman who is mislead by a selfish, lustful man (

When considering amatory fiction, two major women writers come to mind. Aphra Behn and Eliza Haywood helped pave the way for women writers every and predated the novel. They’re styles of writing consist of lust and betrayal, and love for their leading ladies usually ends up in misery. Aphra Behn’s “The History of the Nun” is a perfect example of the genre, along with her novel “Oroonoko” which has many themes of amatory fiction within the story. Eliza Haywood’s novel “Love in Excess” is also a great example of amatory fiction due to its many relationships and lustful language.

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