The Business of Pleasure: The Life Writings of Lady Vane and Madame de La Touche

  • Caroline Breashears


This chapter refines the literary history of how the “scandalous memoirs” crystallized in England in the mid-eighteenth century. Scholars have previously noted the innovations of Teresia Constantia Phillips’s Apology (1748–1749) and Laetitia Pilkington’s Memoirs (1748–1754). I highlight the contributions of two friends whose life writings preceded, intersected with, and departed from these memoirs. One was Madame de La Touche, whose short Apologie (1736) circulated in manuscript before its publication in English as the Appeal (1741); the other was Frances, Lady Vane, who shared an account of her husband’s abuse before publishing her memoirs in Tobias Smollett’s novel The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751). Together, their memoirs provided an alternative model for later memoirists in their shared themes, strategies, and objectives.


“Scandalous memoirs” Genre Innovations Lady Vane Madame de La Touche The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle Friendship 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Breashears
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishSt. Lawrence UniversityCantonUSA

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