Jane Barker


King, Barker, Exile

Kathryn R. King, Jane Barker, Exile: A Literary Career 1675-1725 (Oxford, 2000)

King, Documentary Record

Kathryn R. King, with Jeslyn Medoff, ‘Jane Barker and Her Life (1652-1732): The Documentary Record’, Eighteenth Century Life, 21, n.s., 3 (November 1997)

King, Poems

Kathryn R. King, The Poems of Jane Barker: The Magdalen Manuscript (Magdalen College, Oxford, 1998)

Kissing the Rod

Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women's Verse, ed. Germaine Greer, Susan Hastings, Jeslyn Medoff, and Melinda Sansone (New York, 1989)

Love Intrigues

Jane Barker, Love Intrigues: or, The History of the Amours of Bosvil and Galesia, as Related to Lucasia, in St. Germains Garden (London, 1713)

Patch-Work Screen (1723)

Jane Barker, A Patch-Work Screen for the Ladies; or, Love and Virtue Recommended (London, 1723)

Poetical Recreations (1688)

Poetical Recreations: Consisting of Original Poems, Songs, Odes, &c. With Several New Translations. In Two Parts (London, ‘1688’ [i.e. late 1687])


The Galesia Trilogy and Selected Poems of Jane Barker, ed. Carol Shiner Wilson (New York & Oxford, 1997)


Verse and Prose

Jane Barker is now generally acknowledged as ‘one of the most significant figures to emerge in the feminist recovery of early modern women writers’ (K. King). She is perhaps best known for her partly autobiographical novels, which were published between 1713 and 1725. These are supplemented, however, by a substantial body of verse. A number of early poems were published, together with a miscellany of verses largely by a coterie of Cambridge students to which she had access, in Poetical Recreations (London, ‘1688’: i.e. 1687). Even more substantial and distinctive, especially reflecting her character as a devout Catholic and ardent Jacobite, are two extant autograph, or partly autograph, manuscript collections of poems written by her when a voluntary exile in St-Germain-en-Laye between 1689 and 1704. They are now Magdalen College, Oxford, MS 343 and British Library, Add. MS 21621.


Barker's handwriting can be identified from a single remarkable autograph letter, written in her later years, in which she claims to have drawn a cancer from her breast through the healing power of James II's blood (*BarJ 98). One other letter by her was intercepted by the government Anti-Jacobite office and survives in the form of an abstract in French. (BarJ 99).


For other documentation relating to her life, in record offices and elsewhere, see King, Documentary Record (1997) and King, Barker, Exile (2000).

Peter Beal