Philobiblon: Mary Pix, dramatist

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Mary Pix, dramatist

Scribbling Woman directed me to an interesting Monash University
catalogue from a rare book exhibition.

A rough count finds 12 of the 104 exhibits are by women (including appearances in anthologies) - more than 10 per cent, and if the very early (pre-1500) authors are excluded, rather more. (No.s 32, 39, 56-58, 59, 62, 77-79, 91 and 91.) It is not of course a scientific sample, but still an interestingly high number.

A lot of the women are the "usual suspects" - Fanny Burney, Lady Montagu and "the fair Orinda" - but there is a dramatist whose name I have not previously heard: Mary Pix. Having been the wife of a merchant tailor, she seems to fit into that "middling sort", professional writer, class.

A neat biog can be found here, which notes that her supposed date of death, 1709, "is supported by evidence from the Post Boy, 26-28 May, and the Daily Courant of 25 May 1709, which both contain advertisements for a benefit performance of Susanna Centlivre's play The Busie-Body, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the proceeds of which would go to Pix's estate". Interesting that it was another woman playwright whose work was chosen.

Her work is in Eighteenth-century Women Dramatists (Oxford World's Classics) and there's a portrait of her in the National Portrait Gallery. Also her husband.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home