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Rivall Friendship, by Bridget Manningham

The manuscript for Rivall Friendship was first acquired by the Newberry Library in 1937. At the time of the acquisition, the author of this seventeenth-century romance was anonymous. Scholar Jean R. Brink now suggests, based on dating of the manuscript and her analysis of its feminist themes, that the author was a woman. Specifically, Brink attributes the text to Bridget Manningham, who was the older sister of Thomas Manningham, a Jacobean and Caroline bishop, and the granddaughter of John Manningham, a diarist who recorded performances of Shakespeare’s plays. 

Rivall Friendship is a post–English Civil War romance that examines proto-feminist issues, such as patriarchal dominance in the family and marriage. Manningham is scrupulous about maintaining verisimilitude, and unlike more fantastical romances of the period that feature monsters, giants, and magic, this text aspires to a level of probability in its historical and geographical details. The text of Rivall Friendship is accessible to most modern readers, particularly to students and scholars accustomed to working with seventeenth-century texts.

672 pages | 6 x 9

Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies

History: British and Irish History

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

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Table of Contents

Rivall Friendship, Part 1
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
Book 5
Book 6
Book 7
Book 8
Rivall Friendship, Part 2
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4

Appendix 1: Corrections of the third hand
Appendix 2: Ellis family
Appendix 3 List of Characters
Appendix 4: List of Historical Figures

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