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Article

E. T. Cook

revised by David Wootton

Allen, George (1832–1907), engraver and publisher, was born on 26 March 1832 at Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, the son of John Allen, a publican, and his wife, Rebecca. He was educated at a private grammar school in Newark, and on his father's death in 1849 he was apprenticed for four years to an uncle (his mother's brother), a builder in ...

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Anson, Peter Frederick (1889–1975), monk, writer, and artist, was born Frederick Charles Anson on 22 August 1889 at 32 South Parade, Southsea, the son of Charles Eustace Anson (1858–1940), subsequently rear-admiral, and his wife, (Maria) Evelyn, née Ross (1863–1904). His father came from a family with strong connections to the ...

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Arnold [née Cohen], Eve Deborah (1912–2012), photojournalist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on 21 April 1912, one of nine children of William Cohen (formerly Velvel Sklarski), rabbi, and his wife, Bessie (or Bosya), née Laschiner. Her parents had emigrated from ...

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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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Barry, Sir Gerald Reid (1898–1968), journalist and Festival of Britain administrator, was born at Fairfax, Berrylands Road, Surbiton, Surrey, on 20 November 1898, the fourth child of George Duncan Barry (1864–1945), who was then curate of St Mark's, Surbiton, and his wife, Edith Geraldine Reid (1859–1898)...

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Baskerville, John (1706–1775), printer and typefounder, was born at Sion Hill, Wolverley, near Kidderminster, Worcestershire, the son of John Baskervile (d. 1738) and his wife, Sara or Sarah; he was baptized at Wolverley on 28 January 1707. It is likely that the family were landowners and farmers in a small way. In later life ...

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Beckford, William Thomas (1760–1844), writer and art collector, was born on 29 September 1760 at one of his father's houses, in Westminster or Fonthill, Wiltshire, and baptized at Fonthill on 6 January 1761, the only legitimate son of William Beckford (bap. 1709, d. 1770)...

Article

Bell, Andrew (1725/6–1809), engraver and publisher, was probably born in Edinburgh, the son of John Bell, a baker. He was apprenticed to Richard Cooper the elder and began his career modestly as an engraver of letters, names, and crests on plates and dog collars. One of his customers was the ...

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Bentinck, Margaret Cavendish [née Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley], duchess of Portland (1715–1785), collector of art and natural history specimens and patron of arts and sciences, was born on 11 February 1715 in London, the only surviving child of Edward Harley, later second earl of Oxford...

Article

Beresford, George Charles (1864–1938), photographer and memoirist, was born at 15 Lypiatt Terrace, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on 10 July 1864, the third son of Major Henry Marcus Beresford (1835–1895) of the 9th foot and his wife, Julia Ellen (d. 1923), daughter of the ...

Article

Kingsley Amis

revised by M. Clare Loughlin-Chow

Betjeman, Sir John (1906–1984), poet, writer, and broadcaster, was born on 28 August 1906 at 52 Parliament Hill Mansions, north London, the only child of Ernest Edward Betjemann (1872–1934), a furniture manufacturer, and his wife, Mabel Bessie Dawson (1879–1952). The family name, of Dutch or German origin, can be traced back to an immigration in the late eighteenth century. The poet adopted his style of it about the age of twenty-one....

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Binyon, (Robert) Laurence (1869–1943), poet and art historian, was born on 10 August 1869 at 1 High Street, Lancaster, the second of the nine children of Frederick Binyon (1838–1900), vicar of Burton in Lonsdale, Yorkshire, and his wife, Mary (1839–1919), daughter of Robert Benson Dockray (1811–1871)...

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Bird, (Cyril) Kenneth [pseud. Fougasse] (1887–1965), cartoonist and journal editor, was born on 17 December 1887 at 26 Westbourne Terrace Road, London, the younger son of Arthur Bird, a London merchant and a prominent cricketer and first-class shot, and his wife, Mary Wheen...

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Blake, William (1757–1827), engraver, artist, and poet, was born on 28 November 1757 at 28 Broad Street, Soho, London, the third son of James Blake (1723?–1784), a hosier, and his wife, Catherine, née Wright (1723–1792), the widow of Thomas Armitage. Blake had four brothers, ...

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Blow, Isabella [née Isabella Delves Broughton] (1958–2007), fashion journalist and stylist, was born on 19 November 1958 at the London Clinic, 20 Devonshire Place, Westminster, the eldest child in the family of three daughters and a son of Major Sir Evelyn Delves Broughton, ...

Article

Bown, Jane Hope (1925–2014), photographer, was born on 13 March 1925 in Bronsil House, Eastnor, Hereford. Her unorthodox upbringing—she was raised by a succession of aunts, all of whom, like her mother, had been given horticultural monikers (Primrose, Daisy (Jane’s mother), ...

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Boxer, (Charles) Mark Edward [pseud. Marc] (1931–1988), cartoonist and magazine editor, was born on 19 May 1931 in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, the only son and younger child of Lieutenant-Colonel (Harold) Stephen Boxer, garage owner and car salesman, and his wife, Isobel Victoria Hughlings Jackson...

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Boydell, John (1720–1804), engraver and printseller, the eldest of the seven children of Josiah Boydell (1691–1757?), surveyor and land steward, and his wife, Mary (1693/4–1777), was born at Dorrington in Shropshire on 19 January 1720. Like other men of his day he was disinclined to lose a year of his life to the change in calendar, and so always gave the year of his birth in old style, as 1719....

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Brontë, (Patrick) Branwell (1817–1848), writer and painter, was born on 26 June 1817 at Thornton in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the fourth of six children of the Revd Patrick Brontë (1777–1861), Church of England clergyman, and Maria Branwell (1783–1821), daughter of Thomas and Anne Branwell...

Article

Brookner [née Bruckner], Anita (1928–2016), art historian and novelist, was born at 55 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, south-east London, on 16 July 1928, the only child of Maude Bruckner (later Brookner), née Schishka (1894–1969), a singer prior to her marriage, and ...