Beer, Patricia

Beer, Patricia
(1919-1999)
   She was born in Exmouth, Devon (her birth date varies with the anthology); her father was a railways clerk and her mother a schoolteacher, both of whom belonged to Plymouth Brethren. She describes her strict upbringing in her memoir of childhood, Mrs. Beer's House (1968). She graduated with a first-class degree in English from Exeter University and a B.Litt. from St. Hugh's College, Oxford. She taught English literature in Italy and at Goldsmith's College, London, then left teaching in 1968 to become a full-time writer living with her husband, John Damien Parsons, at Up Ottery, near Honiton in Devon, where she died. Devon is a major presence in her poetry. She edited several significant anthologies, broadcast, and contributed to literary reviews. Her historical novel Moon's Ottery (1978) is set in Elizabethan times. Some of her other poetry publications: The Survivors, 1963. Just Like the Resurrection, 1967. The Estuary, 1971. Driving West, 1975. Selected Poems, 1979. Collected Poems, 1988. Some of her poems: "Ballad of the Underpass," "Jane Austen," "Lion Hunts," "The Christmas Tree," "Victorian Trains," "Waterloo."
   Sources: Carcanet Press (http://www.carcanet.co.uk). Peace and War: A Collection of Poems. Michael Harrison, and Christopher Stuart-Clark, ed. Oxford University Press, 1989. Poet with a Wry Line on Dissenters and Devon. Obituary by John Mullan, Thursday, August 19, 1999. The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,269137,00.html). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Faber Book of English History in Verse. Kenneth Baker, ed. Faber and Faber, 1988. The Harvill Book of Twentieth-Century Poetry in English. Michael Schmidt, ed. The Harvill Press, 1999. The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). The Oxford Book of Christmas Poems. Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark, eds. Oxford University Press, 1983. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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