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Haywood bibliography wins modern language award

29 November 2006

Dr Patrick Spedding has been given an award by the Modern Language Association of America for his work on English writer Eliza Haywood

Dr Patrick Spedding, from Monash University's Department of English, has been awarded the 2004-05 Modern Language Association of America Prize for a Distinguished Bibliography.

Dr Spedding was given the award for his A Bibliography of Eliza Haywood -- originally a Monash PhD dissertation.

Haywood is one of England's earliest professional writers; and a woman famous for her novels and scandalous histories.

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is not only the principal professional association for American and international scholars of literature and literary criticism, but is also one of the oldest such associations -- it has been going since 1883.

Criteria for the award includes evidence of analytical rigor, meticulous scholarship, intellectual creativity, and subject range and depth.

Dr Spedding will be presented with his award at the MLA's 122nd annual conference in Philadelphia on 28 December.

Dr Spedding has received many scholarly tributes for his work.

Professor Norma Clarke of Kingston University, London, describes his Bibliography as: "riveting ... without question, the most important development in Haywood scholarship of our time".

Professor Kevin L. Cope of Louisiana State University, said it may "be among the most accurate and comprehensive records of any author, let alone of (Haywood)".

As well as his MLA award, Dr Spedding was recently awarded an Australian Research Council post-doctoral fellowship to work at Monash on clandestine literature of the 17th and 18th centuries in England.

"My research will explore how erotic material was written, printed, published, distributed, sold, read and -- usually -- destroyed," Dr Spedding said.