The Quaker, Mary Leadbeater, was a prolific chronicler of late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century life in rural Ireland. Her literary career spanned thirty-four years (1790-1824) during which time she produced a formidable body of work — didactic tales, sketches and dialogues, secular and religious poetry, and biography — as well as maintaining an extensive correspondence with her Irish and English contemporaries.

Born Mary Shackleton in December 1758, she was the second child of Richard Shackleton (1726-1792) and his second wife, Elizabeth Carleton (1726-1766), prominent members of the Quaker community of Ballitore, Co. Kildare. Mary’s grandfather, Abraham Shackleton, founded the school in Ballitore where …

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Buchanan, Averill. "Mary Leadbeater". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2007
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]