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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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Adams, Richard George (1920–2016), author, was born on 10 May 1920 at Oakdene, Andover Road, Newbury, Berkshire, the youngest child of Evelyn George Beadon Adams (1870–1946), doctor, and his wife Lilian Rosa, née Button (1881–1957). Adams had three elder siblings: a sister, ...

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Addison, Joseph (1672–1719), writer and politician, was born on 1 May 1672 at the rectory, Milston, a hamlet north of Amesbury in Wiltshire, the son of Lancelot Addison (1632–1703) and his wife, Jane, née Gulston (c.1635?–1684). His father was at that time vicar of ...

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Aickman, Robert Fordyce (1914–1981), writer and campaigner for inland waterways, was born on 27 June 1914 at 77 Fellows Road, Hampstead, London, the only child of William Arthur Aickman (1858-1941), an architect, and his wife, Mabel Violet (1890–1943), daughter of ...

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Ainger, Alfred [pseud. Doubleday] (1837–1904), writer and Church of England clergyman, born at 10 Doughty Street, London, on 9 February 1837, was the youngest of the four children of Alfred Ainger (1797–1859) and his first wife, Marianne Jagger (d. 1839) of ...

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Alexander, Alexander (b. 1781/2), soldier and writer, was born in Dundonald, Ayrshire, the illegitimate son of a wealthy Scottish merchant. Almost everything known about him comes from his remarkable autobiography, published in Edinburgh in 1830. After what he recalled as an unhappy childhood marred by physical violence, at the age of eighteen he was sent to work as an overseer on slave plantations in ...

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Allingham, Margery Louise (1904–1966), writer, was born on 20 May 1904 in Ealing, London. She was the eldest of three children of the journalist and writer Herbert John Allingham (1867–1936), editor of the London Journal, and his wife, Emily Jane, née Hughes (1879–1960)...

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Amis, Sir Kingsley William (1922–1995), writer, was born on 16 April 1922 at 102 South Side on the edge of Clapham Common in south London, the only child of William Robert Amis (1889–1963), a senior clerk in the London office of J. J. Colman & Co....

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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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Andrews, Charles Freer (1871–1940), author and campaigner for Indian independence, was born at Newcastle upon Tyne on 12 February 1871, the second son of John Edwin Andrews, minister in the Catholic Apostolic (or Irvingite) church, and his second wife, Mary Charlotte Cartwright (1840–1914)...

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Andrews [née Fairfield], Dame Cicily Isabel [pseud. Rebecca West] (1892–1983), writer, critic, and journalist, was born on 21 December 1892 at 28 Burlington Road, Westbourne Park, London, the youngest of three children (all daughters) of Charles Fairfield (1843–1906) and his wife, ...

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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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Arlott, (Leslie Thomas) John (1914–1991), writer and broadcaster, was born at Cemetery Lodge, Chapel Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, on 25 February 1914, the only son of William John Arlott (1883–1959), cemetery registrar, and his wife, Ellen (Nellie) Jenvey-Clarke (c.1884–1975). He was educated at ...

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Armitt, Mary Louisa (1851–1911), author and founder of the Armitt Library, Ambleside, was born at 19 Melbourne Terrace, Salford, Lancashire, on 24 September 1851. She was the youngest of three daughters of William Armitt (1815–1867), an impecunious assistant overseer who valued learning, and his wife, ...

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Asquith [née Charteris], Lady Cynthia Mary Evelyn (1887–1960), writer, was born on 27 September 1887 at her family's estate, Clouds, near East Knoyle, Wiltshire. She was the third of seven children of Hugo Charteris (1857–1937), styled Lord Elcho until his succession as ...

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Auden, Wystan Hugh (1907–1973), poet and writer, was born at 54 Bootham, York, on 21 February 1907, the youngest of three children (all sons) of George Augustus Auden (1872–1957), general practitioner, and his wife, Constance Rosalie, née Bicknell (1869–1941). His parents were devout high Anglicans, especially his mother, who had trained as a missionary nurse before meeting ...

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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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Ballantyne, Robert Michael (1825–1894), author, was born on 24 April 1825 at 25 Ann Street, Edinburgh, the ninth of ten children of Alexander Thomson Ballantyne (1776–1847), newspaper editor and printer, and his wife, Anne, known by her second name, Randall (c.1786–1855)...

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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, ...