Mary Masters entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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Mary Masters was a self-taught poet, probably born at the end of the seventeenth century, who wrote from inclination and published because she needed the money. Her 'feminist' opinions (expressed mainly in letters) are those current in Queen Anne's reign, though not published till a generation later. She has historically attracted attention almost exclusively because she enjoyed the friendship and patronage of Samuel Johnson.
Probably 1694 MM was born—according to Mary Scott—in Yorkshire, at Otley near Leeds. Bibliographic Citation link.
April 1733 MM published by subscription her Poems on Several Occasions: the first volume of poems in English by a woman to be issued this way. Her surviving letters show that she put a lot of effort into gathering subscribers. She placed her name on the title-page and quoted there from Pope's Essay on Criticism. Bibliographic Citation link.
April 1771 It appears certain that MM died in this month, although a date of a dozen years earlier used to be given. Bibliographic Citation link.
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