Mary Barber

Standard Name: Barber, Mary
Birth Name: Mary
Married Name: Mary Barber
Pseudonym: Sapphira
Pseudonym: M. B.
MB is a domestic, small-scale, early eighteenth-century poet of charm and intelligence (remembered particularly for her writing about her children), but also an incisive, often satirical commentator on social and gender issues. Her single collection of poems was preceded by a number of separately-published pieces, mostly anonymous, not all specifically mentioned here.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Constantia Grierson
Constantia Crawley (later CG ) became (through her own efforts, said Mary Barber ) proficient in Latin, Greek, history, theology, philosophy and mathematics. Laetitia Pilkington says she also knew Hebrew (which Mary Delany doubted), and...
Friends, Associates Mary Caesar
MC shared her husband's network of high-level connections in circles of Jacobites and Jacobite sympathisers. She was a friend of the writers Pope , Prior , Swift , and Mary Barber , and of the...
Friends, Associates Jonathan Swift
Swift helped and befriended a number of women writers. He was a patron of Mary Barber , Constantia Grierson , an unidentified Mrs Sican , Mary Davys , and Laetitia Pilkington , a colleague of...
Friends, Associates Mary Chandler
MC seems to have become the real friend of several women of higher rank than herself, some of whom moved from the position of her customers to that of her patrons: they included Lady Hertford
Friends, Associates Constantia Grierson
CG was a friend from their adolescence of the young women who became the poets Mary Barber and Laetitia Pilkington . Their shared friendship with Jonathan Swift has been an element in preserving some memory...
Intertextuality and Influence Laetitia Pilkington
LP was vividly aware of the literary handicap represented by her gender. But she was choosy about claiming influence. She decried Manley , Haywood , and Mary Barber (whose poems, she says, would have been...
Intertextuality and Influence Jane Collier
The commonplace-book throws light on Collier's other extant writings as well. A casual mention of what Sally calls the Turba proves definitively that at least one neologism in The Cry stemmed not from her but...
Literary responses Constantia Grierson
Mary Barber responded to the feeling expressed in this poem with a somewhat clumsy poetic attempt at comfort.
Barber, Mary et al. Poems on Several Occasions. C. Rivington.
politics Mary Caesar
She acted on her Jacobite principles in attending parliamentary debates, reading the memoirs of statesmen, and visiting Tory detainees in prison. Indeed, though she never questioned that men were intended to manage public affairs, she...
Publishing Constantia Grierson
The Gentleman's Magazine reprinted (two or three years after CG 's death) her To Mrs. Mary Barber, which had just appeared in Barber's Poems on Several Occasions.
Gentleman’s Magazine. Various publishers.
5 (August 1735): 492
Textual Features Martha Hale
The poems, though not mostly ambitious in mode, display remarkable skill and versatility for an amateur. MH addresses domestic themes (in love-poetry and family verse) with wit, ingenuity, and an unusual focus on the female...
Textual Features Mary Jones
MJ 's tone, whether in prose or verse, is generally non-deferential. One letter to a patron asks, Shall I pay my Adorations to your Rank, your Fortune, or the good Dinners you give me?
Jones, Mary. Miscellanies in Prose and Verse. Dodsley.
Textual Features Mary Jones
MJ 's letters cover the period from 1732 to 1748, from the writer's mid twenties till she was just over forty. Like her poems themselves they are full of the business of poetry and authorship...
Textual Features Dorothea Du Bois
After seven pages on grammar, she offers pattern letters: those in verse are in effect an anthology of epistolary poems by women, a patriotically generous selection of Irish writers (Mary Monck , Mary Barber
Textual Production Constantia Grierson
CG 's earliest poems were written to Laetitia Pilkington before either of them were married; compliments to Barber came later.
Elias, A. C. “A Manuscript of Constantia Grierson’s”. Swift Studies, Vol.
, pp. 33-56.
Lavoie, Chantel Michelle. Poems by Eminent Ladies: A Study of an Eighteenth-Century Anthology. University of Toronto.
217, 219


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Barber, Mary et al. Poems on Several Occasions. C. Rivington, 1734.