Jan Struther

Jan Struther Biography

Jan Struther was the pen name of Joyce Anstruther, later Joyce Maxtone Graham and finally Joyce Placzek (June 6, 1901 – July 20, 1953), an English writer remembered for her character Mrs. Miniver and a number of hymns, such as "Lord of All Hopefulness".
She was the daughter of Henry Torrens Anstruther and Eva Anstruther and spent her childhood in Whitchurch in Buckinghamshire, England.
In 1923 she married Anthony Maxtone Graham, a broker at Lloyd's, with whom she had three children. In the 1930s she started to write for Punch magazine, and this brought her to the attention of The Times newspaper, where Peter Fleming asked her to write a series of columns for the paper, about "an ordinary sort of woman who leads an ordinary sort of life - rather like yourself". The character she created, ...

Jan Struther Comments

Jennifer Beattie 07 December 2018

'Aconite, '...what a lovely refreshing little poem. Once got first at a festival after speaking that poem, many years ago.

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Jennifer Beattie 07 December 2018

'Aconite, ' what a lovely refreshing little poem. Once got first speaking that poem at a festival, many years ago.Interesting to read about the poet, Jan Struther.

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The Best Poem Of Jan Struther


THE raw materials of love are yours-
Fond hearts, and lusty blood, and minds in tune;
And so, dear innocents! you think yourselves
Lovers full-blown.

Am I, because I own
Chisel, mallet and stone,
A sculptor? And must he
Who hears a skylark and can hold a pen
A poet be?
If neither's so, why then
You're not yet lovers. But in time to come
(If senses grow not dulled nor spirit dum
By constant exercise of skill and wit,
By patient toil and judgment exquisite
Of body, mind and heart,
You may, my innocents, fashion
This tenderness, this liking and this passion
Into a work of art.

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