Headington history: People

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Elizabeth Jennings (1926–2001)

Elizabeth Jennings (1926–2001) was born in Boston, Lincolnshire on 18 July 1926, the younger daughter of Henry Cecil Jennings, medical officer of health for the county.

The family moved to Oxford when she was six. Being a Roman Catholic, she was first sent to Rye St Antony School in Headington, but later moved on to Oxford High School. She went on to read English at St Anne’s College in Oxford from 1944 to 1947.

After working in advertising, Jennings became an assistant at Oxford City Library, where she remained until 1958. Her first collection of poems was published in 1953.

Jennings spent her later years living in a bedsit at Unity House, 8 St Andrew’s Lane. When not writing there, she took the bus down to Oxford and sat in cafés and pubs reading most of the day.

Jennings died on 26 October 2001 at a care home in Bampton and is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery.

Elizabeth Jennings Way which runs from the Woodstock Road westwards and crosses the canal is named after this poet


Secret poets revealed” (Oxford Mail, 18 June 1998)

Note that there is a much fuller entry on Elizabeth Jennings
in the online Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Wikipedia: Elizabeth Jennings

© Stephanie Jenkins

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