Mary Davys: The Fugitive

(2353 words)
  • Martha F. Bowden

The Fugitive and its revised version, The Merry Wanderer, by Mary Davys (1674 [?] -1732) are difficult to pin down generically. They follow a picaresque heroine around the English countryside where she sees human nature displayed in all its amusing diversity. Because each episode encapsulates a moral lesson about greed, hypocrisy, parsimony, extravagance and so on, they bear a strong resemblance to the fables that were popular in England in the period; a resemblance that is emphasized in the earlier version by its use of poetic tags to point the tales. This resemblance is not accidental; there is a reference in both versions to Aesop's fable of the Dog and his Shadow. The stories possess a universal quality and …

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Bowden, Martha F.. "The Fugitive". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2006
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]