Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Frances Brooke

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Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Frances Brooke
b. 1723, Claypole, Lincolnshire, England; d. 1789, Sleaford, England

Frances Brooke, a novelist, playwright, essayist, translator, and poet, was a literary presence in London's cultural circles, but her best-known work, The History of Emily Montague (1769), was written while she lived in Quebec City, where her husband was a military chaplain in a British Army garrison. The book, which follows three couples through the complexities of courtship and marriage, is often considered the first Canadian novel. Other novels, such as The History of Julia Mandeville (1763) and The Excursion (1777), were also favorably received. The immensely popular comic opera Rosina established Brooke as a playwright; first produced at London's Covent Garden on December 3, 1782, it would be produced more than 200 times before the end of the century.

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