lineThe Novel

A courtier lately deceas'd,
The History of Prince Mirabel's Infancy, Rise and Disgrace (London: J. Baker, 1712).


THE| HISTORY| OF| Prince MIRABEL's| Infancy, Rise and Disgrace:| With the sudden Promotion of| NOVICUS.| IN WHICH| Are Intermix'd all the INTRIGUES| both AMOROUS and POLITICAL| relating to those Memorable ADVEN-|TURES: As also the CHARACTERS| of the Old and New FAVOURITES| of both SEXES of the COURT of| BRITOMARTIA.| [rule]| Collected from the MEMOIRS of a Cour-|tier lately Deceas'd.| LONDON:| Printed for J. Baker, at the Black-Boy in| Pater-Noster-Row. 1712. Price 1 s.


[3 pts. sep. pag.] 1: titlepage/ [8] pp. Introduction/ p.1-90/ 2: titlepage/ p.3-80/ 3: titlepage/ p.3-80/ 8.


{L: 1417.e.23} {L: 101.d.47} {L: G.14726 [pt. 1]}.

Bibliographical Reference

ESTC: t117519/ t057355/ t057356.

History of Publication

The History of Prince Mirabel's Infancy, Rise and Disgrace, A., provoked two refutations - B and C - which both imply that the irony with which Mirabel (Marlborough) was praised in the first attempt were hardly noted.

A. a this editionThe History of Prince Mirabel's Infancy, Rise and Disgrace (London: J. Baker, 1712).
  b [...] second edition (London: J. Baker, 1712).link


B. a The History of the Proceedings of the Mandarins and Proatins of the Britomartian Empire (London, 1712). [Publisher and date of publication, W. H. McBurney (1960): "Advertised as Sold by S. Parker, August 1, 1712".]link
  b [...] second edition (1713). [p.3-78 with identical type setting, the continuation includes latest events.]link
C. a The Perquisite Monger [...] London: Printed and sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster (1712).link
  b [Dublin reprint] [...] London: Printed and reprinted in Dublin (1712).link

Strangely panegyrical biography portraying Mirabel's/Marlborough's rise and fall. Aurantio/Charles II. is already on his way to become the king of a past period of sensual pleasures. With peculiar sexual arousal he observes the affair bettween Mirabel and his own mistress. Physical details are beginning to play an important role. Intensive metaphorical descriptions of bodies, and dark providential signs suit the genre. The Gods seem to protect Mirabel, he ultimately becomes the most eminent general and falls with extreme grace of character. All this is garnished with dry reports of the intrigues against Mirabel/Marlborough. Novicus/Harley acts as impudent upstart - yet the moral ballance is in danger as soon as the book is read by an audience which will reject the libertinage praised by the author. The refutations imply that the ironies were not realised by all the readers - a sucess. The piece of tory propaganda which pretended to be written by a stern whig managed to provoke the alienation intended.


J. J. Richetti (1969), p.140-142. - Olaf Simons (2001), p.225-230.