Biography of Dora Wilcox
Mary Theodora Joyce Wilcox poet and playwright, was born on 24 November 1873 at Christchurch, New Zealand, daughter of William Henry Wilcox, saddler, and his wife Mary Elizabeth, née Washbourne.
Educated privately and at Canterbury College, she contributed to the Bulletin and taught for several years at Armidale, New South Wales, before travelling to England where she published Verses from Maoriland (1905) and Rata and Mistletoe (1911). Dora Wilcox married Jean Paul Hamelius, professor of English at Liège University, Belgium, in London on 14 October 1909 and served with the Voluntary Aid Detachment in London in 1915-18.
After her marriage to Moore she devoted much time to helping him to research The Story of Australian Art. She published Seven Poems (1924) and in 1927 won the Sydney Morning Herald's prize for an ode commemorating the opening of the Commonwealth parliament. In 1931 she won a prize for a one-act play, The Raid, while another, The Fourposter, was included in Best Australian One-Act Plays. A contributor to Australian, English and European periodicals, Dora Wilcox also published Samuel Butler in Canterbury, New Zealand (1934), a lecture given to the Sydney branch of the English Association of which she was a patron.
She died, childless, in Sydney on 14 December 1953.
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When I look out on London's teeming streets,
On grim grey houses, and on leaden skies,
My courage fails me, and my heart grows sick,
And I remember that fair heritage
Barter'd by me for what your London gives.
This is not Nature's city: I am kin
To whatsoever is of free and wild,
And here I pine between these narrow walls,
And London's smoke hides all the stars from me,