Title

Mrs. Delany's Natural History and Zoological Activities: "A Beautiful Mixture of Pretty Objects"

Document Type

Contribution to Books

Publication Date

9-24-2009

Abstract

In Mrs. Delany's unpublished novella, Marianna, the title character experiences trials and tribulations befitting an eighteenth-century heroine. After venturing too far down the garden path she becomes lost and eventually finds herself in a cave by the sea. She is captured by pirates and taken aboard their ship, where she meets a mysterious but handsome stranger. Although all ends well for Marianna--she enters into a good marriage arranged by a wise and kindly aunt-like older friend--the message of the romance is clear: Marianna's troubles are the direct result of disobedience. She was allowed to pick flowers in the garden but expressly forbidden by her parents to venture beyond the stile at the end of the lawn.