The Adventures of Rivella
  • Publication Date: February 26, 1999
  • ISBN: 9781551111216 / 1551111217
  • 178 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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The Adventures of Rivella

  • Publication Date: February 26, 1999
  • ISBN: 9781551111216 / 1551111217
  • 178 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Delarivier Manley is increasingly coming to the fore as a prominent figure in early eighteenth-century fiction, and The Adventures of Rivella in particular has been attracting attention not only as an important example of amatory fiction, but also as an early autobiographical novel. At one level, Sir Charles Lovemore tells the story of Rivella’s life to his friend, the Chevalier d’Aumont; at another, Manley uses the male persona to portray herself as an unrivalled literary goddess of love, repudiating conventional equations of woman, writer, and whore, and refusing to confuse chastity with moral integrity.


The Adventures of Rivella is important not only as fiction, as a proto-novel, but also as veiled autobiography and is especially valuable for the light it throws on a woman author’s relations with publishers and other writers, both male and female. This edition makes this overlooked early eighteenth-century text widely available; furthermore, Zelinsky’s thorough, judicious editorial apparatus allows the reader to understand the book’s complex and fascinating contexts.” —Bruce Stovel, University of Alberta

Delarivier Manley: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

The Adventures of Rivella

Appendix A: Edmund Curll’s Preface and Key to the Fourth (1725) Edition of Rivella

  1. Preface
  2. Key

Appendix B: Excerpts from New Atlantis

Appendix C: Delarivier Manley and Richard Steele

  1. The Lady’s Paquet Broke Open
  2. New Atlantis
  3. Memoirs of Europe
  4. Lucius, the First Christian King of Britain

Appendix D: Delarivier Manley and Jonathan Swift

  1. Journal to Stella
  2. Corinna

Appendix E: Delarivier Manley and John Barber

  1. The Life … and Character of John Barber
  2. An Impartial History of the Life of Mr. John Barber

Appendix F: Delarivier Manley’s Will

Appendix G: Delarivier Manley and her Female Literary Contemporaries

  1. Manley’s Poem “To the Author of Agnes de Castro
  2. “To Mrs. Manley, by the Author of Agnes de Castro
  3. “To Mrs. Manley, upon her tragedy called The Royal Mischeif
  4. The Lover’s Week

Appendix H: Delarivier Manley’s Female Literary Precursors

  1. Margaret Cavendish
  2. Aphra Behn

Works Cited/Recommended Reading

Katherine Zelinsky currently teaches English at The University of Calgary and has published in the area of eighteenth-century fiction.