Alicia D'Anvers

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Alicia D'Anvers [née Clarke] (baptised 1668 – 1725) was an English poet.


Born in Oxford, her father was superior beadle of civil law and first architypographus, or director of printing, for Oxford University. She married barrister Knightley D'Anvers (c.1670–1740), son of physician Daniel D'Anvers, in 1688.

D'Anvers is known to have published two poems with a third generally attributed to her: the first was dedicated to Queen Mary; it is a poetic dialogue between Britannia and Belgia which addresses criticisms that King William III had divided loyalties between the Netherlands, the country of his birth, and Britain. According to Germaine Greer et al., it is "as dull as might be expected."[1] The second and third poems satirise elements of academic life at Oxford University. These latter were part of a long satiric tradition not usually practiced by women; D'Anvers would seem to have been quite familiar with college politics. Both poems target the alleged sexual antics of Oxford students, though The Oxford-Act is particularly bawdy. Academia, or, The Humours of the University of Oxford was D'Anvers most popular poem; told from the perspective of a town servant, it lampoons the current state of the university through the eyes of a visiting country bumpkin, one John Blunder, and consists of 1,411 lines of "robust colloquial iambic tetrameters, called hudibrastics."[2]



  1. ^ Greer et al. 376
  2. ^ Greer et al. 377


  • Blain, Virginia, et al., eds. "D'Anvers , Alicia." The Feminist Companion to Literature in English. New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1990. 264. ISBN 0-300-04854-8
  • D'Anvers, Alicia. A Poem Upon His Sacred Majesty, His Voyage for Holland; Academia - or, the Humours of the University of Oxford in Burlesque Verse; and The Oxford-Act: A Poem. Ashgate, 2003. ISBN 0-7546-3094-3
  • Greer, Germaine, et al., eds. Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women's Verse. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1988. 376-382. ISBN 0-374-18160-8
  • Nelson, Holly Faith. “D'Anvers , Alicia (bap. 1668, d. 1725).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. 30 Dec. 2006.

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