A. D. Hope A. D. Hope i(A16935 works by) (a.k.a. Alec Derwent Hope)
Born: Established: 21 Jul 1907 Cooma, Cooma area, Cooma - Snowy - Bombala area, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 13 Jul 2000 Canberra, Australian Capital Territory,
Gender: Male
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The son of a Presbyterian Minister, A. D. Hope was educated at home and at schools in Tasmania and New South Wales before matriculating to Sydney University where he studied English and philosophy. Hope won a scholarship to University College, Oxford, returning to Sydney in 1932 with a disappointing third-class degree. In Sydney he trained as a teacher, beginning his long career as an educator.

In 1937 Hope married Penelope Robinson with whom he had three children. Drawing from years of writing, Hope also published his first poems at this time. In 1938 he was appointed lecturer at the Sydney Teachers' College. During the 1940s Hope broadcast regularly on the Australian Broadcasting Commission's Children's Session. Using the pseudonym Anthony Inkwell, Hope conducted the literary section in the Argonaut's Club segment. His academic career was firmly established in 1945 when he was appointed professor of English at Canberra University College (later Australian National University). Here he continued to write his caustic reviews, the most notorious a review of Patrick White's Tree of Man. By 1955 Hope had built a reputation as a poet through publication in various periodicals, although the publication of The Wandering Islands in that year may have been delayed because of its erotic content. This volume won the Grace Leven Prize, initiating a series of awards and honours over the next forty-five years. Hope's significant output includes poetry, translations, critical editions and criticism, establishing him as a major voice in Australia's literary culture. Among his other publications was a 'purged and amended' edition of Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1982).

After retiring from teaching in 1967, Hope was made Professor Emeritus and travelled and lectured in Europe and America. His final volume of poetry appeared in 1992.

Hope's exploration of erotic themes, his affinity with eighteenth century verse and his dismissal of modern poetry hindered the appreciation of his poetry in the latter decades of the twentieth century. But, despite being considered old-fashioned by some critics and sexist by others, Hope's poetry continues to be anthologised and studied world-wide. His unapologetic preference for older forms has received praise by major critics, ensuring that his literary reputation remains strong. As well as Australian awards, Hope received the Levinson Prize for Poetry (Chicago) 1969 and the Ingram Merrill Award for Literature (New York) 1969.

A. D. Hope spent his final years in a Canberra nursing home. .

Most Referenced Works


  • Hooton's bibliography A. D. Hope (1978) states Hope won a number of awards for Collected Poems. However, there are two different works with that title and it is difficult to attribute the awards accurately. The awards are: Australian Arts Award at Henry Lawson Festival, Grenfell, 1966; RA Crouch Memorial Gold Medal, 1967; Sydney Myer Charity Trust Award for Australian Literature, 1967.

Last amended 8 Jan 2015 16:46:30
Influence on:
Variations on a Theme 1963 sequence poetry
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