Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Comparative Literature

First Advisor

Manushag N Powell

Committee Member 1

Nicole J Horejsi

Committee Member 2

Geraldine S Friedman

Committee Member 3

Christopher Lukasik


This project traces the emergence of the spy in the literature of the eighteenth century, arguing for spying's ideological transition within the cultural and literary imagination from a profession to a way of being. At stake in "The Secret History of the English Spy: 1674-1800" is the idea that surveillance, spying, and state secrecy inform and meaningfully intersect with eighteenth century narrative fiction. Through analysis of a variety of surveillance fictions, including spy narratives, financial tell-alls, periodicals, amatory secret histories, and domestic and Gothic fictions, I incorporate the idea of surveillance into eighteenth-century literary history in order to more thoroughly understand how the genre speaks back to eighteenth-century conceptions of gender, class, and selfhood.