Textual Reuse in the Eighteenth Century

Published on June 9, 2016

By Douglas Ernest Duhaime
Digital Humanities Quarterly, 2016, Volume 10 Number 1
University of Notre Dame

Being a writer today means creating original content and properly citing sources for borrowed content. But before the middle of the 18th century, authors often committed what most today would consider plagiarism – and doing so was the norm, even encouraged.

Without proper citation, detecting the original author of a work could be difficult. In the case of Eliza Haywood’s 1751 novel Betsy Thoughtless, Haywood straddles the fence between imitation and original content. Because of her vague citations, finding the sources of some of her writing has been challenging.  New developments in data mining have made it possible to uncover some of these mysteries.

Read Textual Reuse in the Eighteenth Century: Mining Eliza Haywood’s Quotations by Digital Humanities Quarterly to find out more about data mining and the original author of a work this passage.

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