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370 EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FICTION 9:3 Utopias with their large populations flaunting strange customs. Finally, however , as Friday becomes (in Crusoe's opinion) a better Christian than Crusoe himself, and as their Utopian idyll is disrupted by the arrival of more cannibals , Friday's father, Spaniards, and more Englishmen, readers wind up noting Friday's role as interpreter and should conclude with Rees that "Friday's mediating role is central to the initial harmonising of relations among men of different races and cultures" (p. 93). Yet as Rees also shows, this truth will not do as an entire summing up of the complications that unfold as Crusoe heads towards England, sets out anew in the Farther Adventures to revisit what has become an island colony, and at last publishes Serious Reflections. Taking all this into account, and providing as well useful comparisons with Captain Misson's Libertalia in A General History of the Pyrates (whose disputed authorship is not for this study an issue in need of resolution), Rees superbly shows how Defoe drew upon available resources of the Utopian imagination to challenge and perhaps enlarge every reader's moral imagination. Paul Alkon University of Southern California Isobel Grundy, ed. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: Romance Writings. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1996. $86.00. xxviii + 276pp. ISBN 0-19-8183194 . Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: Romance Writings is the first appearance in print of six substantially complete prose narratives and two fragments which Isobel Grundy dates from the period of Lady Mary's European "exile." Despite the fact that Lady Mary left these texts in draft and untitled form, the reader easily traverses occasional chasms, drawn into the spell of an accomplished storyteller. The most intriguing hints and ellipses are located at the beginnings and ends of the tales, suggesting potential narrative frames, plot developments, and links between characters that would certainly have influenced reading. Preceding these works is a short epistolary romance written by an adolescent Lady Mary and circulated in manuscript form among her female friends; "Indamora to Lindamira: Her Life Writ in 5 Letters," edited by Grundy, was also published, in 1994, as a volume of the Juvenilia Press series. While the collection is with some justification held together by the romance designation, since all the pieces depend to some extent upon romance conventions , only the juvenile work adheres to these conventions without question. The later narratives are suffused with Lady Mary's characteristically worldly, even cynical vision. As Grundy says of the "Docile " stories, "Like Swift, Voltaire, and other writers in this tradition [of Menippean satire], Montagu here flits from genre to genre, and touches none that she does not parody" (p. xxii); not only the romance, but also the Oriental tale, the fairy tale, the conduct-book, and REVIEWS 371 the English sentimental novel are exploited for their potential at once to satirize and be satirized themselves. Lady Mary's broad and voracious reading is clearly reflected, for example, in her transposition of a Clarissa-like heroine, the impoverished but beautiful and accomplished Louisa, into the French court. The heroine's fatal choice of personal integrity over desire holds an unflattering mirror up to the sophisticated mores of a hypocritical Madam Maintenon and Louisa's nobly generous yet ultimately self-serving lover the Duke d'Enguien. At the same time, Louisa's self-sacrifice is denied the triumphant effects of Clarissa's death: her cruel husband arrives at her deathbed "too Late to say any thing to the Dying Louisa"; Madam Maintenon's reaction is unrecorded; and the Duke merely suffers rather longer than is usual in his amours. If this conclusion refuses readers the moral- satisfactions of a Richardson novel, the story of Princess Docile multiplies its satiric targets to produce the effect of unremitting moral bleakness. In an attack on prevailing theories of female education, Lady Mary causes her pathologically innocent heroine to act upon the purest principles of friendship, duty, and sexual virtue without ever gaining the least insight into the self-interest of those around her. A sentimental picara victimized by parents , tutors, friends, subjects, husband, and lover, Docile is distinguished from the sentimental novel's protagonist and even the heroes of more satiric...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-0243
Print ISSN
0840-6286
Pages
pp. 370-372
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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