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Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001), writer, was born on 11 March 1952 at the maternity hospital in Cambridge, the son of Christopher Douglas Adams (d. 1985) and his wife, Janet Dora Sydney, née Donovan.

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Ainsworth, William Harrison (1805–1882), novelist, was born on 4 February 1805 at 21 King Street, Manchester, the elder of two sons of Thomas Ainsworth (1778–1824), a solicitor, and his wife, Ann (1778–1842), daughter of the Revd Ralph Harrison (1748–1810), a nonconformist minister and tutor of languages and literature at the ...

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Alexander, William (1826–1894), novelist and journalist, was born on 12 June 1826 at the farm of Westerhouses, Rescivet, in the parish of Chapel of Garioch, Aberdeenshire. He was the eldest son of the ten children of James Alexander (1789–1856), blacksmith and tenant farmer, and his wife, ...

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Allen, (Charles) Grant Blairfindie (1848–1899), writer on science and novelist, was born at Alwington, near Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on 24 February 1848, the second but only surviving son of Joseph Antisell Allen (1814–1900), a clergyman of the Church of Ireland who had emigrated to ...

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Anand, Mulk Raj (1905–2004), author, was born in the city of Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, India, on 12 December 1905, a kshatriya (warrior) by caste. His immediate ancestors were coppersmiths and silversmiths, though his father, Lal Chand, had broken away to become a clerk in the ...

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Ashford [married name Devlin], Margaret Mary Julia [Daisy] (1881–1972), child writer, was born on 7 April 1881 at Elm Lodge, Petersham, Surrey, the eldest of the three daughters of William Henry Roxburghe Ashford (1836–1912), a former official of the War Office, and his wife, ...

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Ashton, Winifred [pseud. Clemence Dane] (1888–1965), playwright and novelist, was born on 21 February 1888 at Westcombe, Westcombe Park Road, Greenwich, London, the daughter of Arthur Charles Ashton, commission agent, and his wife, Florence Bentley, who provided a home of late Victorian respectability against which ...

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Austen, Jane (1775–1817), novelist, was born on 16 December 1775 at the rectory in Steventon, near Basingstoke, Hampshire, the seventh child and younger daughter of George Austen (1731–1805), rector of Deane and Steventon and private tutor, and his wife, Cassandra (1739–1827), youngest daughter of the ...

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Bainbridge, Dame Beryl Margaret (1932–2010), actress, writer, and artist, was born on 21 November 1932 at 294 Menlove Avenue, Allerton, Liverpool, the younger child of Richard Bainbridge, commercial agent, and his wife, Winifred, née Baines. Her father was a self-made man who left school at ten, established himself successfully in business, but then went bankrupt as a result of the 1929 financial crash. His wife, who considered that her husband had married above himself, was disappointed and embittered by the family's reduced circumstances, and the young ...

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Ballard, James Graham (1930–2009), novelist and short story writer, was born on 15 November 1930 in Shanghai, China, the son of James Ballard (1901–1966), managing director of the China Printing and Finishing Company (a subsidiary of the Manchester-based Calico Printers Association), and his wife, ...

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Banks, Iain (1954–2013), author and composer, was born in Dunfermline, Fife, on 16 February 1954, the only surviving child (he had a sister who died at six weeks) of Thomas Menzies (Tom) Banks (1918–2009), an Admiralty officer at the Rosyth naval base, and his wife, ...

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Barrie, Sir James Matthew, baronet (1860–1937), playwright and novelist, was born in a small house in The Tenements, Brechin Road, Kirriemuir, Forfarshire, on 9 May 1860, the ninth child and third and youngest son of David Barrie (1814–1902), a handloom weaver in Kirriemuir...

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Barstow, Stanley [Stan] (1928–2011), novelist and short story writer, was born on 28 June 1928 at 17 Shepstye Road, Horbury, Yorkshire, the only child of Wilfred Barstow, coal miner, and his wife, Elsie, née Gosnay. After being educated at Ossett grammar school, he trained as a draughtsman and salesman for a local engineering firm. On 8 September 1951 he married ...

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Bayley, John Oliver (1925–2015), literary critic and novelist, was born in Lahore, India, on 27 March 1925, the son of Frederic John Bayley (1884–1961), a major in the Grenadier Guards, later a businessman, and his wife, Olivia Violet Beresford Hammersley, née...

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Bedford [née von Schoenebeck], Sybille (1911–2006), writer, was born on 16 March 1911 at Charlottenburg, on the outskirts of Berlin, Germany, the second daughter of Maximilian Josef von Schoenebeck (1863–1925) and only child of his second wife, Elizabeth, née Bernhardt. Her father was descended from a long line of bureaucrats and minor landed gentry; his father, ...

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Biggs, Caroline Ashurst (1840–1889), novelist and campaigner for women's suffrage, was born in St Margaret's, Leicester, on 23 August 1840, the second daughter of Matilda Ashurst Biggs (1816/17–1866) and Joseph Biggs (1809–1895) [see under Biggs, John (1801-1871)], hosiery manufacturer, of Leicester...

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Blackmore, Richard Doddridge (1825–1900), novelist and fruit farmer, was born on 7 June 1825, at the vicarage, Longworth, Berkshire, the third but second surviving son of the Revd John Blackmore (1794–1858) and his first wife, Anne Basset Knight (1794–1825). Anne was the eldest daughter of the ...

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Blackwood, Algernon Henry (1869–1951), writer of supernatural fiction, was born at Wood Lodge, Shooter's Hill, Kent, on 14 March 1869, the second son born to Sir (Stevenson) Arthur Blackwood (1832–1893), who became permanent secretary to the Post Office, and his wife, Harriet Sydney Montagu (1834–1907)...

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Blackwood, Lady Caroline Maureen Hamilton-Temple- [known as Caroline Blackwood] (1931–1996), novelist, was born on 16 July 1931, at 4 Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge, London, the eldest of three children of Basil Sheridan Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, fourth marquess of Dufferin and Ava (1909–1945), and his wife, ...

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Blair, Eric Arthur [pseud. George Orwell] (1903–1950), political writer and essayist, was born in Motihari, Bengal, India, on 25 June 1903, the only son of Richard Walmesley Blair (1857–1938), a sub-deputy opium agent in the government of Bengal, and his wife, Ida Mabel Limouzin (1875–1943)...