Constructing Scandalous Virtue: <i>The Adventures of Rivella</i> and Two <i>Perjur'd Beauties</i>

Toni Bowers

in Force or Fraud

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592135
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725340 | DOI:
Constructing Scandalous Virtue: The Adventures of Rivella and Two Perjur'd Beauties

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This chapter further examines Manley's seduction fiction as partisan and ideological satire that works to consolidate new‐tory sensibility at a time of political change, in the context of Queen Anne's death and George I's accession. The Adventures of Rivella (1714) personifies tory sensibility in its protagonist, whose story makes clear the paradoxes and necessities of compromised virtue. Manley's indebtedness to Behn (both in her articulation of tory sensibility and in her use of seduction fiction paradigms) is clearly delineated in an extended comparison of Behn's The Nun, Or The Perjur'd Beauty (1697) and Manley's The Perjur'd Beauty (1720). Behn proposes a heterodox connection between virtue and vow‐breaking in her tale of a sexually fallen nun whose compromises are embedded in a society saturated by practices of seduction and collusion. Manley considers related themes, revised for a later historical moment, in her tale of a heroine who can virtuously break her vows because she was compelled to make them initially.

Keywords: Delarivier Manley, The Adventures of Rivella (1714); new‐tory sensibilities; the 1710s; Aphra Behn, The Nun, Or The Perjur'd Beauty (1697); Delarivier Manley, The Perjur'd Beauty (1720); vow‐breaking; paradoxes of compromised virtue; death of Queen Anne; accession of George I; distinguishing “tory” from “Jacobite”

Chapter.  15217 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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