Mary Leapor’s Verse and Genre

Bill Overton, Loughborough University
Vol. 34, No. 1 (Spring 2015), 19-32

This article contends that a more substantial treatment of Mary Leapor’s extensive and varied oeuvre is necessary to advance the understanding of her work. It argues that issues of genre have been insufficiently attended to in studies of Leapor’s works. The essay attempts to outline how these gaps in scholarly knowledge might be filled by offering a quantitative analysis of Leapor’s formal variety across her entire—if brief—literary career and a discussion of some of the genres with which she worked. The discussion shows Leapor to have been a frequent, skilled, and imaginative generic innovator in ways that challenge received notions about Leapor’s literary career and that suggest intriguing new directions for future studies on Leapor’s poetics.

Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]