March 2018 Update

The March 2018 update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford DNB) adds new biographies of 216 men and women who died in the year 2014. Click on the portraits to read a selection of new lives.

Below you’ll find biographies of politician Tony Benn, cook and television presenter Clarissa Dickson-Wright, geneticist Mary Lyon, the chatelaine and author Deborah Cavendish, glaciologist and polar scientist Charles Swithinbank, author and public servant Lady Mary Soames, Formula One racing driver Jack Brabham, film mogul Sir Run Run Shaw, Olympic fencer Mary Haig, human rights advocate and psychotherapist Helen Bamber, SNP politician Margo MacDonald, the actor, director, and film producer Richard Attenborough, opera administrator Sir George Christie, novelist and playwright Sue Townsend, author, theatre producer, and television executive Michael Kustow, the trade unionist Bob Crow, children’s author Josephine Pullein-Thompson, businesswoman Mandy Rice Davies, the crime novelist and public servant P. D. James, cyclist Billie Fleming, the royal milliner Philip Somerville, comedian and actor Rik Mayall, photographer Jane Bown, and the actor Bob Hoskins.

Benn Clarissa Dickson-Wright Mary Lyon Deborah Cavendish
 Charles Swithinbank Mary Soames John Brabham Run Run Shaw
Mary Haig Bamber Margo MacDonald Richard Attenborough 
George Christie Sue Townsend Michael Kustow Bob Crow 
Josephine Pullein-Thompson Mandy Rice Davies P. D. James  Billie Fleming 
Philip Somerville Rik Mayall Jane Bown Bob Hoskins


Online access to all 216 new biographies, together with the Oxford DNB’s existing entries, is freely available—anywhere, anytime—via nearly all UK public libraries as well as university and college libraries worldwide.

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