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Manley, Delarivier

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(?1663-1724) UK playwright and author who has come to be ranked along with Aphra Behn and Eliza Haywood for the strength and wit of her work as an independent female writer (see Feminism). Her New Atalantis "scandal fiction" sequence [for a tentative indication of its complicated publishing history see Checklist] is an extended anti-Whig Satire of contemporary life, cursorily disguising her many targets through a narrative purporting to record an exploratory visit by Astraea the Goddess of Justice to New Atalantis, a defective Utopia located on an Island on Earth, and can be described as Proto SF; the second volume of the text edges towards a description of Utopia. The accuracy of her assaults on contemporary figures was much resented, and in 1709 she spent a week in jail before being bailed; her 1710 trial for seditious libel resulted in her discharge. The earlier Secret History of Queen Zarah and the Zarazians [for subtitle see Checklist] (1705) is similar to the New Atalantis. [JC]

Delarivier Manley

born Jersey: 7 April 1663 [circa 1670 has also been given]

died London: 11 July 1724



New Atalantis

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about the author


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