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My research helped uncover a long-lost right-wing provocateur – but then I turned away from her work

By Carole Sargent, Literary Historian; Founding Director of the Office of Scholarly Publications, Georgetown University
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Years ago I discovered a shocking early English political satirist when a professor urged me not study her. Dismissing what I assumed was his liberal bias, I claimed bipartisan curiosity and dove in anyway. You could say I fell for the clickbait.

What I found went beyond politics. To explain why I later stopped studying her, I said she sounded like “the Ann Coulter of 1709,” after the modern right-wing commentator. The satirist, London playwright Delarivier Manley, wrote and flourished between 1690 and 1720. In 1709 she anonymously published “The New Atalantis,” two bestselling books…

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