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The Reform'd Coquet, Familiar Letters Betwixt a Gentleman and a Lady, and The Accomplish'd Rake

The Reform'd Coquet, Familiar Letters Betwixt a Gentleman and a Lady, and The Accomplish'd Rake

Mary Davys
Martha F. Bowden Editor
Copyright Date: 1999
Edition: 1
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    The Reform'd Coquet, Familiar Letters Betwixt a Gentleman and a Lady, and The Accomplish'd Rake
    Book Description:

    The Reform'd Coquette(1724) tells the story of Amoranda, a good but flighty young woman whose tendency toward careless behavior is finally tamed.Familiar Letters Betwixt a Gentleman and a Lady(1725), a satire of both political debate and women's place in society, portrays a Tory man and a Whig woman who find themselves discussing love, even though they have pledged to remain platonic friends.The Accomplish'd Rake(1727) follows the exploits of Sir John Galliard from youth to manhood, when he is forced to accept responsibility for his actions. Mary Davys (1674?-1732) was one of the earliest female novelists in Britain, and after the death of her husband she supported herself by writing and running a coffeehouse. Her writing sparkles, especially in its witty dialogue. Although these three short epistolary novels are framed in a clear moral universe in which virtue is rewarded and transgressions is punished, her works are not overtly religious and punishment is as likely to come from society as from providence.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4775-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. ix-xlvi)

    Mary Davys was born in about 1674, in either Ireland or England. Her parentage, family name, and origins are all lost to us and she herself was not particularly helpful in establishing when and where and to whom she was born. InThe Fugitive(1705) she suggests her origins may have been English: “when I was in the sixth year of my Age, I began my Ramble, being about that time carried by my Mother intoIreland,a place very much despised by those that know it not, and valu’d by them that do.”¹ Note that while the lines from...

  5. Chronology of Events in the Life of Mary Davys
    (pp. xlvii-xlviii)
  6. Note on the Texts
    (pp. xlix-l)
  7. The Reform’d Coquet; or Memoirs of Amoranda
    (pp. 1-84)

    At a time when the Town is so full of Masquerades, Opera’s, New Plays, Conjurers, Monsters, and feign’d Devils; how can I, Ladies, expect you to throw away an hour upon the less agreeable Amusements my Coquet can give you? But she who has assurance to write, has certainly the vanity to be read: All Authors see a Beauty in their own Compositions, which perhaps nobody else can find; as Mothers think their own Offspring amiable, how deficient soever Nature has been to them. Bur whatever my Faults may be, my Design is good, and hope youBritishLadies will...

  8. Familiar Letters Betwixt a Gentleman and a Lady
    (pp. 85-122)

    ’Tis now for sometime, that those Sort of Writings call’dNovelshave been a great deal out of Use and Fashion, and that the Ladies (for whose Service they were chiefly design’d) have been taken up with Amusements of more Use and Improvement; I mean History and Travels: with which the Relation of Probable Feign’d Stories can by no means stand in competition. However, these are not without their Advantages, and those considerable too; and it is very likely, the chief Reason that put them out of vogue, was the World’s being surfeited with such as were either flat and...

  9. The Accomplish’d Rake, or Modern Fine Gentleman
    (pp. 123-226)

    THERE is a certain Ingredient in the Compound of aDedication,call’d Adulation or Flattery, which is a Weed grown so rank by Age, that I am afraid it may offend your Nice Noses; and for that Reason, am resolved to pull it up by the Roots, tho’ it is very possible some of ye may believe there is no such thing, since to Men of so much Merit all is due that can be said: But as I am now in a Vein of Writing new to please ye, I intend to throw in a Scruple³ to the contrary...

  10. Appendix: From The Grub-street Journal NUMBER 80, Thursday, July 15, 1731.
    (pp. 227-230)
  11. Notes on the Novels
    (pp. 231-250)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 251-253)