In a puff for Frances Burney’s historical tragedy Hubert de Vere, the Oracle announced that ‘Miss Burney’s pen will retrieve the Stage, degraded beyond bearing by the tricking trash which our Harlequin Writers have forced upon the Public.’1 In the latter part of her life, Hannah More justified her earlier work as a playwright by the desire to convert ‘the Stage […] into a school of virtue.’2 In 1826, the Theatrical Examiner wrote of Mary Russell Mitford ‘that this lady has in some measure rescued the stage from these moving nuisances, those puning [sic] pirates who infest the purlieus of the theatres, under the assumed name of authors.’3 And about Mitford’s later play, Rienzi (1828), the ubiquitous D.—G. wrote, ‘The reception of this tragedy is a proof that, though the public have been wont to feed on garbage, they have no disinclination to wholesome food.’4


Family Business Gender Ideology Woman Writer Daily Telegraph Theatrical Family 
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© Katherine Newey 2005

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  • Katherine Newey

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