Biography, Women's History

Women’s History Month: Jane Barker

On the 19 March 1718, poet and novelist Jane Barker, in her capacity as an active Jacobite, wrote advising the exiled Duke of Ormond (in code) regarding a suitable time for a Jacobite invasion of Britain. Barker was a Roman Catholic (by conversion) who had herself gone into exile for some years with the ousted James II, who had his court at St Germain near Paris. It was at St Germain that she was to die in 1732. Meanwhile she had returned to England in 1704 and was running the family estate at Wilsthorpe in Lincolnshire with the help of a niece. Barker’s poems and several of her novels (including the best-known, A Patch-Work Screen for the Ladies, 1723) are available in recent editions, as is Kathryn R. King’s biography, 2000.

This information is provided by Dr Isobel Grundy, University of Alberta, and comes from Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present, Cambridge University Press, by subscription. For more information go here.

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