Patricia Beer

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Patricia Beer
Patricia Beer
Dry-point by George Adamson RE
Born4 November 1919
Died15 August 1999 (aged 79)
Upottery, Devon, England
Alma materUniversity of Exeter; University of Oxford
Occupation(s)Poet and critic
Spouse(s)P.N. Furbank; then Damien Parsons

Patricia Beer (4 November 1919 – 15 August 1999) was an English poet and critic.[1]


She was born in Exmouth, Devon into a family of Plymouth Brethren. Her mother died when she was fourteen and it affected her entire life and the way she saw death. Patricia Beer was strongly influenced by the Plymouth Brethren Church, a loosely structured, fundamentalist sect. She attended Exmouth Grammar School before reading English at Exeter University. Beer moved away from her religious background as a young adult, becoming a teacher and academic. She took her B.Litt at the University of Oxford following which she spent seven years in Italy where she taught English Literature at the University of Padua, the British Institute and the Ministero Aeronautica in Rome.[1]

She began to write poetry after World War II, while living in Italy; she is most often classified as a 'New Romantic' poet comparable to John Heath-Stubbs. On her own account, however, there is a discontinuity in her work. Devon is a major presence.[2] Beer returned to England in 1953 where she became Senior Lecturer in English at Goldsmiths' College at the University of London (1962-1968). From the later 1960s she wrote full-time. She edited several significant anthologies, broadcast, and contributed to literary reviews.[1]

She was married twice; first in 1960 to the writer P. N. Furbank, and then in 1964 to John Damien Parsons, an architect, settling in Upottery, near Honiton, England.


  • Loss of the Magyar, and other poems (1959)
  • The Survivors (1963) poems
  • Just Like the Resurrection (1967) poems
  • Mrs. Beer's House (1968) autobiography
  • The Estuary (1971) poems
  • An Introduction to the Metaphysical Poets (1972)
  • Reader: I Married Him (1974) criticism
  • Driving West (1975)
  • Moon's Ottery (1978)
  • Selected Poems (1979)
  • The Lie of the Land (1983)
  • Collected Poems (1988) poems
  • Friend of Heraclitus (1993)
  • Autumn (1997) poems
  • Abbey Tomb (date unknown)
  • The Lost Woman (1983)


  1. ^ a b c Powell, Neil (26 August 1999). "Obituary: Patricia Beer". The Independent. London, UK: Independent News & Media plc. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  2. ^ "Patricia Beer - 1924-1999". The Poetry Archive. Gloucestershire, UK. Archived from the original on 18 February 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2009.

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