English Women Staging Islam Cover

Delarivier Manley and Mary Pix were among the groundbreaking “female wits” who debuted their original plays for the public stage in 1695–1696. 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’s Ibrahim draws on Rycaut’s History of the Turkish Empire (1687). Continuing this interest, Manley’s Almyna (1706–1707) responds to the newly translated Arabian Nights Entertainments (1704-1717) and Pix’s The 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. The edition also includes appendices with excerpts from historical sources and a select bibliography.

“This important edition of plays by Delarivier Manley and Mary Pix brings a welcome gendered perspective on the representations of Islam on the late seventeenth-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 appendices are well chosen and help to contextualize the works.” — Mihoko Suzuki, Professor of English and Director of the Centre for the Humanities, University of Miami.


Citation Information

  • Full Title: English Women Staging Islam, 1696–1707
  • City of Publication: Toronto
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press
  • Publication Date: 2012