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Barnes, Peter Henry (1931–2004), playwright and screenwriter, was born on 10 January 1931 at 33 Devons Road, Bromley, London, the son of (James) Frederick Barnes, fairground caterer and café owner, and his wife, Martha, née Miller.

I grew up in a downmarket seaside resort on the east coast where my parents worked in amusement arcades on the pier and later owned two cafés on the seafront, along with the cockles and whelks stalls, the deckchairs, Punch and Judy booths, and artists who would draw, with a pointed stick, elegant pictures in the wet sand....

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Blowitz, Henri Georges Stephan Adolphe Opper de (1825–1903), journalist, was born at Blovice in the Plzeň district of Bohemia, on 28 December 1825, the elder son of Marc Opper or Oppert, a tradesman, and Anne Hartmann. The exact circumstances of his early life are uncertain; the account that he dictated for his posthumously published ...

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Blue, Lionel (1930–2016), rabbi, broadcaster, and author, was born on 6 February 1930 at the Mothers’ Hospital in Hackney, London, as Lionel Bluestein, the only child of Harris (Harry) Bluestein, later Harry Blue (1890–1965), tailor, and his wife Hetty, or Hettie, ...

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Bronowski, Jacob (1908–1974), mathematician, poet, and humanist, was born on 18 January 1908 in Łódź, Poland, the first of the three children of Abram Bronowski, haberdasher, and his wife, Celia Flatto. During the First World War the family lived in Germany, and in 1920 they moved to ...

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Coren, Alan (1938–2007), humorous writer, was born on 27 June 1938 at 2 Queensdown Road, Hackney, London, the son of Samuel Coren, builder and plumber, and his wife, Martha, née Coren, hairdresser. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Daiches, David (1912–2005), literary scholar, was born at 2 Salem Hill South, Sunderland, co. Durham, on 2 September 1912, the younger son of Salis Daiches (1880–1945), rabbi and author, and his wife, Flora, née Levin (1890–1983). He and his elder brother Lionel (1911–1999)...

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Deutsch, André (1917–2000), publisher, was born on 15 November 1917 in Budapest, Hungary, the only child of Bruno Deutsch, dental surgeon, and his wife, Maria, née Havas. His father was Jewish and his mother partly so. Deutsch was educated at various schools in ...

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Diski [née Simmonds], Jennifer Jane (Jenny) (1947–2016), novelist and author, was born on 8 July 1947 at the Welbeck Hospital, 27 Welbeck Street, Marylebone, London, the daughter of James Simmonds, formerly Israel Zimmerman (1908–1966), a small-scale entrepreneur, black marketeer, and con-man, and his wife, ...

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Disraeli, Benjamin, earl of Beaconsfield (1804–1881), prime minister and novelist, was born on 21 December 1804 at 6 King's Road, Bedford Row, London, the eldest son and second of five children of Isaac D'Israeli (1766–1848) and his wife, Maria (1775–1847), daughter of Naphtali...

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D'Israeli, Isaac (1766–1848), writer, was born on 11 May 1766 at 5 Great St Helen's, London, the only child of Benjamin D'Israeli (1730–1816), merchant, and his second wife, Sarah Syprut de Gabay Villa Real (1742/3–1825). D'Israeli's father was born at Cento, Ferrara, emigrated to ...

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Neville Sandelson

revised by Mark Pottle

Edelman, (Israel) Maurice (1911–1975), politician and novelist, was born on 2 March 1911 at Cardiff, the third of five children (two sons and three daughters, one of whom died in childhood) of Joshua Edelman and his wife, Esther Solomon, who had emigrated from ...

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Ellmann, Richard David (1918–1987), literary scholar and biographer, was born on 15 March 1918 in Highland Park, Detroit, Michigan, the second of the three sons (there were no daughters) of James Isaac Ellmann, lawyer, a Jewish Romanian immigrant, and his wife, Jeanette Barsook...

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Lewis Melville

revised by William Baker

Farjeon, Benjamin Leopold (1838–1903), novelist and playwright, second son of the five children of Jacob Farjeon (d. 1865), a poor second-hand clothes dealer, and his wife, Dinah Levy of Deal, Kent, was born in London on 12 May 1838. His parents were Orthodox Jews. Brought up in ...

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Feldman, Martin Alan [Marty] (1934–1982), comedian and scriptwriter, was born on 8 July 1934 at University College Hospital, London, the elder of the two children of Myer Feldman, a gown manufacturer of Islington, and his wife, Cecilia (Cissie), née Crook. He had a sister, ...

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Frankau [née Davis], Julia [pseud. Frank Danby] (1859–1916), novelist, was born in Dublin on 30 July 1859, the sixth of eight children of Hyman Davis (1824–1875), dentist and later portrait photographer, and his wife, Isabella (1824–1900). Both parents were Jewish (...

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Gollancz, Sir Victor (1893–1967), publisher and writer, was born on 9 April 1893 at 256 Elgin Avenue, Maida Vale, London, the youngest of the three children of Alexander Gollancz (1854–1933) and his wife, Helena Michaelson. His father, a jeweller of Polish descent, was the brother of ...

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Grindea, Miron [formerly Mondi-Miron Grimberg] (1909–1995), literary editor, was born on 31 January 1909 in Târgu Ocna, a shtetl, or small Jewish village, on the Trotuş River among the Carpathian mountains in Romania, the son of Yaakov (Jacob) Grimberg, who worked in a timber yard, and his wife, ...

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Guedalla, Philip (1889–1944), historian and essayist, was born on 12 March 1889 in Elgin Avenue, Maida Vale, London, the only son of David Guedalla, an almond broker in Mincing Lane, who came from a Spanish-Jewish family, and his wife, Louise Soman. Guedalla's talents developed early, and at ...

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Gunsberg, Isidor Arthur (1854–1930), chess player and journalist, was born in Pest, Hungary, the eldest son of Abraham Gunsberg and his wife, Katharine, née Tapart. Records kept by Hungarian rabbis suggest that Isidor was born on 1 November 1854, but he himself believed his birthday was 2 November. ...

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Haldane [née Franken], Charlotte (1894–1969), writer, was born on 27 April 1894 in Sydenham, south London, the elder daughter of German Jewish immigrants Joseph Franken (d. c.1935) and his wife, Mathilde (c.1873–c.1955), whose father, Julius Saarbach...