Friday, October 26, 2007

Delarivier Manley

Mary Delarivier Manley (1663-1724) was a novelist of amatory fiction, plays and political pamphlets, who, together with Aphra Behn and Eliza Haywood, formed part of "The Fair Triumvirate of Wit".
Manley was probably born in Jersey, the third of six children of Sir Roger Manley, a royalist army officer and historian, and a woman from the Spanish Netherlands, who died when Delarivier was young. The details of her early life are mostly known from autobiographical accounts which may be unreliable, yet it seems that she and her sister Cornelia moved with their father to his various army postings.
After their father's death in 1687, the girls became wards of their cousin, John Manley (1654-1713), a Tory MP. John Manley had married a Cornish heiress and, later, bigamously, married Delarivier. They had a son in 1691, also named John. In January 1694 Manley left her husband and went to live with Lady Castlemaine, at one time the mistress of Charles II. She remained there only six months, at which time she was expelled by the duchess for allegedly flirting with her son.During the period of 1694-1696 Manley travelled extensively in England, principally in the south-west. At this time she wrote her first play, a comedy, The Lost Lover, or, The Jealous Husband (1696). There is some indication that she may have been by then reconciled with her husband, for a time.Manley's satirical attacks on the Whigs at one point resulted in payment from the then Prime Minister Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer.


Primary Sources:
The Lost Lover - 1696
The Royal Mischief - 1696
The Secret History of Queen Zarah and the Zarazians - 1705
The Secret Memoirs ... of Several Persons of Quality - 1709
The New Atlantis - 1709
The Adventures of Rivella, or the History of the Author of Atlantis - 1714
Lucius - 1717
The Power of Love in Seven Novels � 1720
The Wife's Resentment - 1720
A Stage Coach Journey to Exeter - 1725

Sec0ndary Sources:

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