The New Atalantis  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The New Atalantis (full title: Secret Memoirs and Manners of Several Persons of Quality, of both Sexes, From The New Atalantis) is a political satire by Delarivier Manley first published in 1709, the first volume in May and the second in October. The novel was initially suppressed on the grounds of its scandalous nature and Manley was arrested and tried, but it was immediately popular and went into seven editions.

The story concerns the return to earth of the goddess of Justice, Astrea, to gather information about private and public behaviour on the island of Atalantis. She and her mother, Virtue, are guided around the island by Intelligence. Delarivier Manley drew on her own experiences as well as observation of her milieu to produce this scandalous narrative of the private lives of prominent Whig politicians.

Manley's The Memoirs of Europe two volumes published in 1710 are (in the early 18th century) often referred to as volumes thrr and four of the Atalantis, though they do not share the fictional setting.

The author's personal appeared integrated in the Atalantic world with the story of "Delia" in Volume two, so Manley in her autobiographical Adventures of Rivella (1714).


  • Anderson, Paul Bunyan, "Delariviere Manley's Prose Fiction", Philological Quarterley, 13 (1934), p.168-88.
  • Anderson, Paul Bunyan, "Mistress Delarivière Manley's Biography", Modern Philology, 33 (1936), p.261-78.
  • Needham, Gwendolyn, "Mary de la Rivière Manley, Tory Defender", Huntington Library Quarterley, 12 (1948/49), p.255-89.
  • Needham, Gwendolyn, "Mrs Manley. An Eighteenth-Century Wife of Bath", Huntington Library Quarterley, 14 (1950/51), p.259-85.
  • Köster, Patricia, "Delariviere Manley and the DNB. A Cautionary Tale about Following Black Sheep with a Challenge to Cataloguers", Eighteenth-Century Live, 3 (1977), p.106-11.
  • Morgan, Fidelis, A Woman of No Character. An Autobiography of Mrs. Manley (London, 1986).
  • Todd, Janet, "Life after Sex: The Fictional Autobiography of Delarivier Manley", Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 15 (1988), p.43-55.
  • Todd, Janet (ed.), "Manley, Delarivier." British Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide. London: Routledge, 1989. 436-440.
  • Gallagher, Catharine, "Political Crimes and Fictional Alibis. The Case of Delarivier Manley", Eighteenth Century Studies, 23 (1990), p.502-21.
  • Ballaster, Rosalind, "Introduction" to: Manley, Delariviere, New Atalantis, ed. R. Ballaster (London, 1992), p.v-xxi.
  • Simons, Olaf, Marteaus Europa oder Der Roman, bevor er Literatur wurde (Amsterdam/ Atlanta: Rodopi, 2001), p.173-179 on contemporary reviews, p.218-246 on her Atalantis.

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