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How a Pie Fight Satirizes Whig-Tory Conflict in Delarivier Manley's The New Atalantis

From: Eighteenth-Century Studies
Volume 44, Number 4, Summer 2011
pp. 515-533 | 10.1353/ecs.2011.0027



A scene in Delarivier Manley's 1709 Tory political satire, The New Atalantis, depicts poet Sarah Fyge Egerton hitting her priest husband in the face with a hot apple pie, followed by butter "to cool him again." Scholars have debated whether it is biographical gossip about the unsuccessful Egerton divorce petition, but this study identifies it as satire of Whig-Tory political battles and High Church controversy. Its burlesque derives from John Dryden, Elizabethan ballads, opera, and caricatura, and the food metaphor echoes Tory William King. Manley's scene prefigures the political cartoon, containing recognizable works to protect her from libel charges.

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