Memoirs of Emma Courtney

Novel by Mary Hays


Memoirs of Emma Courtney is an epistolary novel by Mary Hays, first published in 1796. The novel is partly autobiographical and based on the author's own unrequited love for William Frend. Mary Hay's relationship with William Godwin is reflected through her eponymous heroine's philosophical correspondence with Mr Francis. Contemporary moralists were scandalised at the novel's treatment of female passion, but Hays has more recently been called a "feminist pioneer". Contemporary critics wrote of the apparently contrived ending that it was fantastical and unbelievable.

First Published


Member Reviews Write your own review

Be the first person to review

Log in to comment