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Adams [née Grundy; other married name de Courcy Laffan], Bertha Jane Leith (1837–1912), novelist, was born on 24 August 1837 at Moss-side, Lancashire, the eldest daughter of Frederick Grundy, solicitor, and Jane, née Beardoe. She married an army surgeon, Andrew Leith Adams (1827–1882)...

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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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Douglas Noël Adams (1952–2001) by Brian Griffin, 1986 © Brian Griffin; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aguilar, Grace (1816–1847), writer on Jewish history and religion and novelist, was born on 2 June 1816 in Hackney, Middlesex, the eldest of the three children of Emanuel Aguilar (1787–1845), merchant, and his wife, Sarah (d. 1854), daughter of Jacob Dias Fernandez...

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Aidé, (Charles) Hamilton (1826–1906), novelist and poet, born in the rue St Honoré, Paris, on 4 November 1826, was the younger son of George Aïdá (d. 1830), a diplomatist and the son of an Armenian merchant settled in Constantinople, and his wife, ...

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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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William Harrison Ainsworth (1805–1882) by Daniel Maclise, c. 1834 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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William Alexander (1826–1894) by Sir George Reid Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Allan, Eliza MacNaughton Luke [Dot] (1886–1964), novelist, was born on 13 May 1886 at Headswood House, Denny, Stirlingshire, the only child of Alexander Allan, iron merchant, and his wife, Jean, daughter of John Luke, founder of the Vale paper works in Denny. She was educated privately and attended classes at ...