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Mary Pix

(811 words)

Author(s): Andrea, Bernadette
Mary Griffith Date of Birth: About 1666 Place of Birth: Nettlebed, Oxfordshire Date of Death: 1709 Place of Death: London BiographyMary Pix (née Griffith) was born around 1666, probably in Nettlebed, Oxfordshire (Kelley, ‘Pix’, ODNB). Until her theatre debut in 1696, she led a conventional life as the daughter of a country vicar, the Reverend Roger Griffith, and wife of a merchant tailor, George Pix, who died around 1690. She probably had a child, who predeceased her. Her mother, Lucy (née Berriman), may have had more illustrious connections, but Pix did not make much of them. Associated w…

 The royal mischief. A tragedy

(1,226 words)

Author(s): Andrea, Bernadette
- Delariviere, Delarivière, De la Riviere, De la Rivière, Delia, Dela Date: 1696 Original Language: English DescriptionManley’s second play for the public stage and her first tragedy, The royal mischief, was performed in late April or early May 1696 at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, running for six nights (Van Lennep, London stage, p. 465). It was the third of five original plays by ‘the female wits’ to be staged during the 1695-6 season, preceded by Catharine Trotter’s Agnes de Castro (December 1695) and Manley’s sole comedy, The lost lover (March 1696), and followed by Mary Pix’s Ibrahim…

Delarivier Manley

(915 words)

Author(s): Andrea, Bernadette
Delariviere, Delarivière, De la Riviere, De la Rivière, Delia, Dela Date of Birth: Between 1667 and 1671 Place of Birth: Jersey, Channel Islands Date of Death: 11 July 1724 Place of Death: Lambeth Hill, London Biography Delarivier Manley’s birth date is uncertain, but has been narrowed to sometime between 1667 and 1671. Although no records are extant, literary sources state that she was born on the island of Jersey (Carnell, Political biography, pp. 52, 55). Her father, Sir Roger Manley (c. 1621-87), was a royalist army officer and her m…

 Almyna: or, The Arabian vow. A tragedy

(903 words)

Author(s): Andrea, Bernadette
- Delariviere, Delarivière, De la Riviere, De la Rivière, Delia, Dela Date: 1707 Original Language: English DescriptionManley returned to the stage after a ten-year hiatus with her sentimental drama Almyna: or, The Arabian vow (performed in December 1706 and published in 1707). This is arguably the earliest literary response to the first full English translation, via the French, of the Arabic classic Alf layla wa-layla ( 1001 nights, retitled The Arabian nights entertainments). Manley’s play is especially significant for emphasising the proto-feminist frame tale of …

 Ibrahim, the thirteenth emperour of the Turks. A tragedy

(1,608 words)

Author(s): Andrea, Bernadette
- Mary Griffith Date: 1696 Original Language: English DescriptionPix was the last of ‘the female wits’ to debut her plays in 1696: Ibrahim, the thirteenth emperour of the Turks. A tragedy, appeared in late May or early June at Drury Lane Theatre; The Spanish wives, a farce, followed in October 1696 at the Dorset Garden Theatre (Oney, ‘Women playwrights’, p. 77), marking the finale of this epochal season. As Constance Clark notes, ‘the original number of performances [of Ibrahim] is not known’; however, she surmises that ‘it was well-received’, since it saw several revivals ( Three August…

 The conquest of Spain

(1,156 words)

Author(s): Andrea, Bernadette
- Mary Griffith Date: 1705 Original Language: English Description The conquest of Spain, which was staged at the Queen’s Theatre (Haymarket) in early May 1705, was Pix’s second tragedy, after the Ottoman-themed Ibrahim. It was also her second-to-last play over a career that spanned ten years (1696-1706). Like her debut play, this one focuses on the Islamic world, although a millennium earlier, with the fall of Visigothic Spain to the North African Muslims in 711. It accordingly complements John Dryden’s The conquest of Granada (1670-1), which inaugurated the genre of heroic dr…