Memoirs of Miss Sidney Biddulph by Frances Sheridan
"Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph" (1761) is at the centre of many important currents in the 18th-century novel. It is a cult-of-distress and sentimental classic, a love story of great moral complexity, and also a probing example of conduct-book fiction. Sidney's engagement to Orlando Faulkland becomes complicated when his previous affair with the pregnant Miss Burchell comes to light. Renouncing Faulkland, Sidney marries a second suitor. But neither the passionate and devoted Faulkland nor the ardently inflamed Miss Burchell disappears from her life. Sidney's story takes the cult of female distress into the conjugal relationship, showing the tortures that the virtuous mid-eighteenth century woman suffers when she tries to live her life according to the period's laws of good conduct.