Anna Beer

Visiting Fellow

Faculty of English

MA Oxford, MA PhD Reading

Anna Beer is a cross-disciplinary author and researcher, working in the fields of literature, history and, most recently, music and creative writing.

Between 2003 and 2010, she was University Lecturer in Literature at the Department for Continuing Education. Involved in many aspects of adult learning, she was one of the Directors of the Foundation Certificate in English Language and Literature (a part-time course equivalent to the first year of Oxford’s undergraduate English degree). Alongside her teaching for Continuing Education, Anna was closely engaged with the M.St. in Women’s Studies, as graduate supervisor and tutor, and as Chair (2007-09). She was appointed a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar (2009-2010), and took up a fellowship at the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in January 2010. Anna, currently a Visiting Fellow, was elected to the Governing Body of Kellogg College in 2003, and has held the posts of Chamberlain 2005-09; Joint Dean of Degrees 2005-07; Joint Secretary to Governing Body 2006-08; and Chamberlain 2009-2010.

Anna Beer is committed to public scholarship.  She is the author of two biographies, written for a readership beyond academia, but drawing on the latest research in the field. Bess: The Life of Lady Ralegh, Wife to Sir Walter, the first biography of this important early-modern figure, was published early in 2004 by Constable.  In 2008 John Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer and Patriot (Bloomsbury) appeared.

Anna has just published Sounds and Sweet Airs: the Forgotten Women of Classical Music (Oneworld Publications, 2016,, a celebration and exploration of the achievements of female composers through the centuries, again written for the non-specialist, and which has attracted extensive media coverage. You can find out more about the book at in Anna’s blog,

Recent academic and educational publications include a re-assessment of Sir Walter Ralegh’s poetry (Literary Ralegh, Manchester University Press, 2013); an article on the gendering of commercial biography (in Lifewriting, 2012) to be republished in the Blackwell Companion to Literary Biography (forthcoming); and study guides on Andrew Marvell’s poetry, Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II, and Wycherley’s The Country Wife (all for Oxford University Press). She is just starting her third stint as Acting Director of the Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford, a programme for which she also teaches.