Mary Latter

ML , a mid-eighteenth-century woman living in the provinces, made no secret of writing for money. She is obsessive and wordy in style, interesting mainly for her dogged and persistent struggle to succeed. Her characteristic indignation springs partly from the influence of the Augustan satirists, partly from circumstances of her own life. She wrote and published in many genres: tragedy, translation and adaptation (now lost), satirical dialogue, essays and letters (both personal, critical, and political), and spoofs of all kinds, often burlesquing the very style she is writing. Though she mentions discrimination against her as a woman, she inclines towards anti-feminism herself.


12 January 1722
ML was baptised at Frilsham in Berkshire.
Many reference sources have her born in 1725, probably on the basis of a statement in her first-published volume, 1759, that she was seventeen years old seventeen years before this.
“FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service”. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
By January 1764
ML published anonymously, at Reading and London, Liberty and Interest. A Burlesque Poem on the Present Times.
English Short Title Catalogue.
Critical Review. W. Simpkin and R. Marshall.
17 (1764): 76
By September 1771
ML issued with her name, at Reading and London, Pro & Con; or, The Opinionists: An Ancient Fragment. Published for the Amusement of the Curious in Antiquity.
English Short Title Catalogue.
Critical Review. W. Simpkin and R. Marshall.
32 (1771): 240
28 March 1777
ML died at Reading in Berkshire at only a little past fifty.
Baker, David Erskine. Biographia Dramatica. AMS Press, 1966.
1: 446


ML writes both as Mrs Latter and Mrs Mary Latter; the prefix Mrs still did not at this date imply a married woman.

Birth and Family