Mary Pix, when she is remembered at all, Is usually
recalled as a playwright who specialized in intrigue comedy like this play,
but this partial picture obscures many of Pix's actual accomplishment.
Along with six comedies, she wrote six tragedies, a novel, and a verse
translation of one of the tales of The Decameron, as well as a few
poems. All in a brief 10 year literary career! While not a
literary giant- her blank verse is feeble, her plots often borrowed- she
was a master of stagecraft. She was a friend of the writers William
Congreve, Catherine Trotter, Susmina Centlivre and close to the most famous
actress of the day, Elizabeth Barry.
Not much is known about Pix's life. The daughter of a clergymlan, she was bom sometimes between 1665 and 1667, and by 1684, the year of her marriage to George Pix, a London merchant, she was living in the City, but we still don't even know the date of her death, but it was sometimes around 1706. She had one daughter who died in 1960.
Pix was a private woman, and not a crusader for woman's rights, but she did do much for women. In the theatre, she created female characters who were independent, funny, sometimes bawdy, and often powerful. At a time when a play might have 2 to 4 roles for women, she wrote plays with roles for 8 to 9 actresses. And they were often fun roles. I hope you enjoy some of them.