Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Carnell, Rachel

Subject Headings

Manley, Mrs, More, Thomas, Saint, 1478-1535. Utopia, Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. New Atlantis, Atlantis (Legendary place) in literature -- Humor, Utopias in literature -- History and criticism, Atlantis satire secret history Delarivier Manley Francis Bacon Thomas More Plato utopia dystopia 18th century literature


In the modern critical environment, there has been a renewed interest in the role that proto-feminist and feminist satires have played in the development of cultural commentary and the modern novel. Lesser-studied works have seen several new approaches applied by critics such as Rachel Carnell, Rebecca Bullard, and Ruth Herman, who have focused on the role of the genre of "secret history" in the popular growth of the novel as a form for political dissent. Secret history, which can offer revelatory glimpses into the contemporary scandals and governance of the female authors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, is a field that, properly contextualized, can provide a new focus for previously under-appreciated works, themes, and literary strategies. In this study, these critics' contributions are applied to an interpretation of the works of Delarivier Manley (c. 1663-1724), and specifically to the proto-novel Secret Memoirs and Manners of Several Persons of Quality, of Both Sexes. From the New Atalantis, vols. 1 and 2 (1709) as a turning point in the development of modern tropes and the utilization of utopian and dystopian spaces, especially those based upon or resembling the mythical lost nation of Atlantis. Extending Manley's semi-biographical secret history from the elements of cultural and political satire present in Sir Thomas More's Utopia (1516) and Sir Francis Bacon's New Atlantis (1624), the study aims to demonstrate that Manley's text has dramatically influenced the modern interpretation of Atlantis specifically, and dystopias generally, in diverse cultural media including film, literature, comic books, and mythology.Examining the cataclysmic motifs of Atlantean utopias, anti-utopias, and dystopias, the study attempts to note the ways in which Manley's The New Atalantis has permanently revised the accepted causes and motivations for the destruction of the Atlantean continent and the rhetorical commentary that these cataclysmic representations provide the modern reader as well as the creat