Alice Werner

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Alice Werner
Born (1859-06-26)26 June 1859
Trieste, Italy
Died 9 June 1935(1935-06-09) (aged 75)
London, England
Language English
Nationality German
Notable works "Bannerman of Dandenong"

Alice Werner (26 June 1859 - 9 June 1935) was one of seven children in the family of Reinhardt Joseph Werner of Mainz, teacher of languages, and his wife, Harriett. Werner was a writer, poet and teacher of the Bantu language.[1]

Werner's father travelled extensively during the first fifteen years of her life, and she lived in New Zealand, Mexico, America and throughout Europe, until the family settled in Tonbridge, England, in 1874.

After visiting Nyasaland in 1893 and Natal in 1894, her writings were focused on African themes.

In 1917 she joined the School of Oriental Studies, moving up from lecturer to reader to professor of Swahili and Bantu languages, and retiring in 1929-1930. She was awarded a D.Litt in 1928 from London University as a result of her specialised teaching and research. Following her retirement, she received the title of Emeritus Professor from the same University. In 1931 she was awarded the Silver Medal of the African Society, of which she was Vice-President.[1]

Although not known as a major poet her poem "Bannerman of Dandenong" has appeared in a number of important Australian poetry anthologies.[1]


A photo in The natives of British Central Africa (1906)
  • A Time and Times (poems) (1886)
  • O'Driscoll's Weird (1892)
  • The Humour of Italy (1892)
  • The Humour of Holland (1893)
  • The Captain of the Locusts (1899)
  • Chapinga's While Man (1901)
  • Native Races of British Central Africa (1906)
  • "Introduction" to Jamaican Song and Story: Annancy Stories, Digging Sings, Ring Tunes, and Dancing Tunes, ed. Walter Jekyll (1906)
  • The Language Families of Africa (1915)
  • A Swahili History of Pate (1915)
  • Introductory Sketch of the Bantu Languages (1919)
  • The Swahili Saga of Liongo Fumo (1926)
  • Swahili Tales (1929)
  • Structure and Relationship of African Languages (1930)
  • The Story of Miqdad and Mayasa (1932)
  • Myths and Legends of the Bantu (1933)



External links[edit]

Media related to Alice Werner at Wikimedia Commons