Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 586 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARY DE LA RIVIERE MANLEY (c. 1663-1724), English writer, daughter of Sir Roger Manley, governor of the Channel Islands, was born on the 7th of April 1663 in Jersey. She wrote her own biography under the title of The Adventures of Rivella, or the History of the Author of the Atalantis by " Sir Charles Lovemore " (1714). According to her own account she was left an orphan at the age of sixteen, and beguiled into a mock marriage with a kinsman who deserted her basely three years afterwards. She was patronized for a short time by the duchess of Cleveland, and wrote an unsuccessful comedy, The Lost Lover (1696); in freedom of speech she equalled the most licentious writers of comedy in that generation. Her tragedy, The Royal Mischief (1696) was more successful. From 1696 Mrs Manley was a favourite member of witty and fashionable society. In 1705 appeared The Secret History of Queen Zarah and the Zarazians, a satire on Sarah, duchess of Marlborough, in the guise of romance. This was probably by Mrs Manley, who, four years later, achieved her principal triumph as a writer by her Secret Memoirs . . . . of Several Persons of Quality (1709), a scandalous chronicle " from the New Atalantis, an island in the Mediterranean." She was arrested in the autumn of 1709 as the author of a libellous publication, but was discharged by the court of queen's bench on the 13th of February 1710. Mrs Manley sought in this scandalous narrative to expose the private vices of the ministers whom Swift, Bolingbroke and Harley combined to drive from office. During the keen political campaign in 1711 she wrote several pamphlets, and many numbers of the Examiner, criticizing persons and policy with equal vivacity. Later were published her tragedy Lucius (1717); The Power of Love, in Seven Novels (1720), and A Stage Coach Journey to Exeter (1725).
End of Article: MARY DE LA RIVIERE MANLEY (c. 1663-1724)

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