Tucker, Bernard. ‘Our Chief Poetess: Mary Barber and Swifts Circle.’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 7 (1992), Pp 43-56.
Until recently, according to Bernard Tucker, scant attention has been paid to Irish women poets of the first half of the eighteenth-century. Despite the success of her collection titled Poems on Several Occasions shortly after its publication in 1734, and Swifts description of her as our chief poetess and a poetical genius, Mary Barber is one of the few Irish women poets of her time remembered today. Tucker discusses Barber a member of the Swift circle of poets, Swifts efforts to get her published, Barbers ambitions to be published and her possible forgery of Swifts signature, her arrest in England in 1734 for importing Swifts scurrilous works, and her poor health which led to her death in 1757. Tucker also examines prevalent themes in Barbers poetry: women and work, education, and friendships, her son, and Britains treatment of Ireland. He also compares Barbers poetic style with that of Swift and concludes that Mary Barber deserves to be remembered in her own right.