The mid-eighteenth century drive towards greater didacticism in the novel has been viewed as one of the reasons for the dismissal and erasure of amatory fiction from the history of the English novel. Haywood, who wrote one of the most popular novels in the earlier eighteenth century, has been one of the greatest sufferers under this changing taste. Overwritten as it was, however, amatory fiction has not been totally suppressed. It has survived in various novelistic and cultural forms and has penetrated deeply into the more "elevated" novels of Richardson and Fielding and their followers. But the reverse also holds true; it can be claimed that many characteristics of the domestic novel could already be found in the earlier novels so much so that the domestic novel of sentiment, when it came into being in the mid-century, contained in fact very little that was entirely novel. I argue that the two widely divergent traditions in the English novel, amatory fiction and the domestic novel, thus stand much closer together than is usually assumed. I have taken Haywood`s Love in Excess as the central text in my discussion because it is a novel in which these two divergent traditions co-exist in uneasy tension. The novel begins as an amatory fiction but ends as a domestic novel; it is a story of seduction and betrayal which inverts itself to become a story of conjugal happiness. These contradictions produce ambivalences within the text which becomes a space in which such competing ideas as the transgressive and socially sanctioned, the disclosed and hidden, public and private, masculine and feminine, libertinism and domesticity are fought out. I discuss how these competing view points and contradictions are worked out and how in the process Love in Excess comes to undermine its own generic standing.