In 1761, Frances Sheridan published her novel The Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph, which became a popular and widely praised example of the sentimental novel. The Conclusions, that novel's sequel, is set eight years later, after Sidney Bidulph's marriage and motherhood. Psychologically subtle and emotionally immediate, the novel is told almost entirely in the form of letters. Many of the letters are between the scheming Sophy and Edward Audley, who are trying to trick Sidney's daughter into marriage with Edward; these letters provide a startlingly realistic portrayal of villainy, anticipating such later works as Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The historical appendices include documents on the education of young adults in the eighteenth century and contemporary reviews of the novel.
Frances Sheridan (1724-1766) was an Irish novelist and playwright.Heidi Hutner is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA. Her research focuses on feminist studies, ecocriticism, and eighteenth-century literature. Nicole Garret is a PhD candidate in English at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA.