This important edition of plays by Delarivier Manley and Mary Pix brings a welcome gendered perspective on the representations of Islam on the late 17th century English stage. Bernadette Andrea is the scholar who has worked most extensively on this subject. The general introduction showcases her expertise, and serves as an excellent overview and context for the plays presented here. The introductions to Manley and Pix and to the individual plays provide a helpful history of scholarship and criticism; the supplementary texts included in the appendixes are well chosen and help to contextualize the works.
Delarivier Manley and Mary Pix were among the groundbreaking “female wits,” who debuted their original plays for the public stage in 1695–96. Two of these plays contain explicitly Islamicate themes. Manley’s The Royal Mischief expands on The Travels of Sir John Chardin into Persia (1686), and Pix’sIbrahim draws on Rycaut’s History of the Turkish Empire (1687). Continuing this interest, Manley’s Almyna (1706–7) responds to the newly translated Arabian Nights Entertainments (1704–17), and Pix’sThe Conquest of Spain (1705) engages the history of Islamic Spain recounted in The Life of the Most Illustrious Monarch Almanzor (1693). These plays have been modernized and annotated in this edition, most for the first time. This edition also includes appendices with excerpts from historical sources and a select bibliography.
BERNADETTE ANDREA is professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is author of Women and Islam in Early Modern English Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and co-editor of Early Modern England and Islamic Worlds (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
Iter and the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Victoria University in the University of Toronto, 2012
The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series 17
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