1755 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Mary Leapor

George Coleman and Bonnell Thornton, Poems by Eminent Ladies (1755) 2:16.



Mrs. MARY LEAPOR was born at Marston St. Lawrence, in Northamptonshire, in the year 1722; whence she removed with her father, a gardener, to Brackley in the same county, where she resided the remainder of her life.

Mrs. Leapor from her childhood delighted in reading, and particularly Poetry, but had few opportunities of procuring any books of that kind: her whole library consisted of sixteen or seventeen odd volumes, among which were part of the works of Mr. Pope, her greatest favourite, Dryden's fables, some volumes of plays, &c.

Her person was indeed plain, but the reader must not form an idea of it from the poem call'd Mira's Picture, for though she has there made very free with herself, yet her appearance was by no means disagreeable. The poem was occasioned by her hearing that a gentleman, who had seen some of her verses, desired to know what her person was.

The reader will be still more surprised at the excellence of her writings, when he is informed that her death, which was occasioned by the measles, happened so early as her 24th year.