Frances Brooke

Life
1724-1789 [née Moore; pseud. Mary Singleton]; prob. Irish; conducted weekly periodical called The Old Maid (1755); issued Virginia (1756), was turned down by Garrick in the year that she married the Rev. John Brooke, DD, rector of Colney in Norfolk, and moved with him to Quebec where he became the Garrison chaplain, 1756; also wrote The Siege of Sinope (Covent Gdn. 1781) and Rosina (1783), a popular musical entertainment as well several novels; contrib. as pseud. Mary Singleton to Old Maid, a paper which ran for 37 weeks - in spite of being slated by The Connoisseur - and was reprinted in 1764; in a later novel, Excursion (1777), she attacks him; her success with Rosina, music by [William] Shields, was followed by Marian in 1788; Rosina went into many editions, incl. a special Dublin printing, 1775; Rev. John Moore Brooke was her son. ODNB

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Criticism
See B. G. MacCarthy, The Female Pen, Women Writers and Novelists 1621-1818 (Cork UP 1994), where she is discussed with others under the chapter headings ‘The Oriental Novel’ (Chap. IX).

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Commentary
William Smith Clark, Irish Stage in County Towns 1720-1860 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965), cites Rosina as a popular comic opera in the late 18th century (p. 287).

J. O. Bartley, Teague, Shenkin and Sawney: Being an Historical Study of the Earliest Irish, Welsh and Scottish Characters in English Plays (Cork UP 1954), cites Rosina (1782), the most popular comic opera of its day, with two very short parts of Irish haymakers, played by Egan and [Robert] Mahon; their function, to save the heroine from being abducted, ‘Says I, Paddy, is that not the clever little crater that was gleaning in the field with us this morning? ... By St Patrick, says I, there’s enough of us to rescue her. With that we ran for the bare life, waded up to the knees, laid about us bravely with our shillelays, knocked them out of the skiff, and brought her back safe, and here she comes, my jewel.’ They do not make bulls. Bartley’s Appendix of Actors shows that the Irish parts were also played by Bates, Macready the Elder, [–] Painter, [–] Rees, [–] Swords, [–] Waddy.

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Quotations
Hiberno-English
: ‘God love your sweet face, my jewel, and all those that take your part. Bad luck to myself if I would not, with all the veins of my heart, split the dew before your feet in a morning’ (See Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, 1910, p.184; also Wells Microcards of English and American Plays).

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References
MLA International Bibliography of the Humanities
(1994; p.161) lists Francis Brooke as Canadian and ascribes to her a work of fiction called Early Monteyne (1769).

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