Tiffany Potter

Research & Publications

Academic Books

The Rival Widows, or Fair Libertine (1735)
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Elizabeth Cooper. The Rival Widows, or Fair Libertine (1735). Ed. Tiffany Potter. Ashgate Press, 2007. Rpt. University of Toronto Press 2013.

In its first printing since 1735, this play follows the adventures of Lady Bellair, a “glowing, joyous young widow” intriguing to force wit and edge into the emotional man of sentiment whom she loves. Illuminated by an authoritative introduction and important historical appendices, Cooper’s energetic, witty comedy regenders standard expectations about desire, marriage, libertinism and sentiment.
Women, Popular Culture and the Eighteenth Century
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Women, Popular Culture and the Eighteenth Century. Ed. Tiffany Potter. University of Toronto Press, 2012.

In modern popular culture, the pursuits regarded as the most frivolous—fashion, celebrity, romance narratives—are typically understood to be feminine in nature. This collection illustrates how eighteenth-century ideas of the popular and the feminine were also assumed to be naturally intertwined, and investigates the way in which that association facilitates the ongoing trivialization of both. Seventeen top scholars assess the significance of the parallel devaluation s of women's culture and popular culture by looking at theatres and actresses; novels, magazines and cookbooks; and populist politics and fashion. They also examine the ways in with 18th-century women have been re-imaged in modern popular media, from award-winning novelists Beryl Bainbridge and Emma Donoghue to Austenmania and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Ponteach
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Robert Rogers. Ponteach, or the Savages of America: A Tragedy (1766). Ed. Tiffany Potter. University of Toronto Press, 2010.

Ponteach was the Ottawa sachem who fought the British in what became known as Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763-66). One of the earliest accounts of Pontiac is this 1766 play, by famed frontier solider Robert Rogers of the Rangers. Ponteach is one of the only early dramatic works composed by an author with personal knowledge of the Indigenous nations of North America. Important both as a literary work and as a historical document, the play interrogated eighteenth-century Europe's widespread ideological construction of Indigenous peoples as either innocent and noble savages, or monstrous and violent Others. Ponteach take on questions of nationalism, religion, race, cultural identity, gender and sexuality.
Honest Sins
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Honest Sins: Georgian Libertinism and the Plays and Novels of Henry Fielding. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999.

Originally cruel, manipulative, and self-serving, during the eighteenth century the Restoration rake evolved into a more cheerful sinner: the good-natured Geogian libertine. While Tom Jones was Henry Fielding’s most complete embodiment of this new ideal, Honest Sins shows that the revised Georgian libertinism informs and illuminates much of his work.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Historicizing the Popular and the Feminine: The Rape of the Lock and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.Women, Popular Culture and the Eighteenth Century. Ed.Tiffany Potter. University of Toronto Press, 2012. 5-24.
  • “Staging Savagery and Fictionalizing Colonialism in Robert Rogers’ Ponteach.Robert Rogers’ Ponteach, or the Savages of America: A Tragedy (1766). Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010. 1-54.
  • “Glory in the Triumph: The Female Libertine 1660-1730.” TransAtlantic Crossings II: Essays in Eighteenth-Century Sexuality & Textuality. Ed. Donald Nichol. St. John’s: Memorial UP, 2006. 94-106.
  • “Circular Taxonomies: Regulating European and American Women through Representations of North American Indian Women.” Early American Literature 41.2 (July 2006): 183-211.
  • “Reciprocal Regulation: Trans-Atlantic Implications of Colonial Accounts of North American Indian Women and Menstruation.” British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 29.1 (Spring 2006): 97-113.
  • “Writing Indigenous Femininity: Mary Rowlandson’s 1682 Narrative of Captivity.” Eighteenth- Century Studies 36.2 (Winter 2003): 153-167.
  • “Genre and Cultural Disruption: Libertinism and the Early English Novel.” English Studies in Canada 29.1/2 (June 2003): 171-196.
  • “The Language of Sexualised Femininity: Gendered Voice in Eliza Haywood’s Love in Excess and Fantomina.Women’s Writing 10.1 (January 2003): 167-84.
  • “The Female Libertine of Sensibility: Elizabeth Cooper’s The Rival Widows.Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research 17.2 (Winter 2002).
  • “‘A God-like Sublimity of Passion’: Eliza Haywood’s Libertine Consistency.” The Eighteenth- Century Novel 1 (2001): 95-126.
  • “Decorous Disruption: The Cultural Voice of Mary Davys.” Eighteenth-Century Women: Studies in their Lives, Work, and Culture 1 (2001): 63-93.
  • “A Colonial Source for Cannibalistic Breeding in Swift’s A Modest Proposal.Notes and Queries 244:3 (September 1999): 347-8.
  • “‘A Certain Sign that He is One of Us’: Clarissa’s Other Libertines.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 11.4 (July 1999): 403-20.
  • “Strategies of Assimilation and Resistance in Witi Ihimaera’s Dear Miss Mansfield.” WLWE: World Literature Written in English 33/34 (September 1995): 58-74.
  • “‘A low but very feeling tone’: The Lesbian Continuum and Power Relations in Jane Austen’s Emma.” English Studies in Canada 20.2 (June 1994): 187-203.
  • “Honest Sins: Henry Fielding’s The Old Debauchees as Libertine Moralist Drama.” Text and Presentation 14 (1994): 75-80.