In the course of Edgeworth’s 1801 novel Belinda, the fashionable Lady Delacour suffers from sexual, physical and mental health problems caused, in part, by her dissipated London lifestyle. First, she becomes entangled in the pseudo-feminist Harriet Freke’s homoerotic desires and cross-dressing; political campaigns; and a duel with her female rival, Mrs Luttridge, which results in a self-inflicted wound to her breast. Because she disguises this wound and consults a trendy quack doctor, Lady Delacour’s health declines throughout the novel almost to the point of death. Poorly prepared for her seemingly imminent demise, Lady Delacour turns in desperation to Methodism, which causes delusions exploited by her one-time friend, Freke.