The Group. 1779

The Group. 1779

The Group. 1779

The Group. 1779

Excerpt

Mercy Otis Warren, the author of The Group, was a sister of James Otis and the wife of James Warren. She was also a member of that band of patriots who fanned the spark of revolution into the American Revolutionary War. Mercy Warren, being an eighteenth century lady, would not speak out at public meetings, nor join riots, nor fight in the lines. However, she could write --and write she did, with a pen that endeared her to John Adams, Joseph Warren, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and the rest of their coterie.

"Madam Mercy Warren, the historical, philosophical, poetical, and satirical consort of . . . General James Warren of Plymouth," as John Adams identified her, chose the dramatic form for her political satires. Her first play was The Adulateur: A Tragedy, as it is now Acted in Upper Servia . . . (1773). A copy of the first edition may be seen in the Clements Library. The chief victim of Mrs. Warren's jibes was Thomas Hutchinson, royal governor of Massachusetts, who was pictured as an unscrupulous traitor whipped by ambition. In five acts of unrhymed verse, the play treated various episodes from the time shortly before the Boston "massacre" to an unspecified day in 1773.

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