Mary Manley (De La Riviere), an English authoress, born in Guernsey about 16.72, died in London, July 11, 1721. She was the daughter of Sir Roger Manley, governor of the island of Guernsey, who was author of "History of the late Wars of Denmark" (1670), and Commentariide Rebellione Anglicana(London, 1086). He carefully educated his daughter, and dying when she was young committed her to the care of his nephew, who, having already another wife, enticed her into a marriage with himself and abandoned her in London. The duchess of Cleveland, formerly a mistress of Charles II., then took her under her protection, but soon deserted her. In this emergency she a to write for the stage. Her "Royal Mischief," a tragedy represented at Lincoln's Inn Fields theatre in 1696, brought her into irre.it literary repute, and she almost immediately became the centre of a brilliant circle of men of fashion. Although engaged in numerous intrigues, she soon produced her "Memoirs of the New Atalantis" (4 vols., London, 1709) a romance describing with much freedom of language and under feigned names the jnnoura of several distinguished characters.
The work created so much scandal that a criminal prosecution was commenced against the printer and publisher, to screen whom from punishment she voluntarily declared herself in the court of king's bench the sole author. She was in consequence imprisoned for a time, but was subsequently released on bail. There were several later editions of the work, and it was translated into French. Upon the accession of the tories to power in 1710, she resumed her position as a leader of fashionable profligacy,: and employed her pen with effect in behalf of the ministry, under the direction, it is said, and with the approval of Swift. The "Vindica-tion of the Duke of Marlborough" and other political pamphlets testify to her industry; and she also conducted the "Examiner" for some time after it had been relinquished by Swift, and frequently finished pieces begun by him. Among her remaining works are: the comedy of "The Lost Lover, or the Jealous Husband " (169G); "Lucius, the First Christian King of Britain " (1717), a tragedy, for which Steele wrote the prologue and Prior the epilogue; and a variety of ephemeral novels, memoirs, dramas, and poems.
During the last few years of her life she lived with her printer, John Barber, an alderman of London.