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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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Dame Cicily Isabel Andrews [Rebecca West] (1892–1983) by Wyndham Lewis, 1932 © Estate of Mrs G. A. Wyndham Lewis / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Thomas Arnold (1823–1900) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arnold, Thomas (1823–1900), literary scholar and teacher, was born on 30 November 1823 at Laleham, Middlesex, the third of the nine surviving children of Dr Thomas Arnold (1795–1842), schoolmaster and clergyman, and his wife, Mary, née Penrose (1791–1873), youngest daughter of the Revd John Penrose...

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Atkyns, Richard (1615–1677), army officer and writer on printing, was the only child of Richard Atkyns (1584–1636/7) of Tuffley, Gloucestershire, and his wife, Mary, second daughter of Sir Edwin Sandys, of Latimer, Buckinghamshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Sandys, of The Vyne, Hampshire...

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W. P. Courtney

revised by Antonia Forster

Badcock, Samuel (1747–1788), theologian and writer on literature, was born at South Molton, Devon, on 23 February 1747, the son of a butcher. His mother's maiden name was Plake. His parents were dissenters and he was educated at a dissenting academy at Ottery St Mary...

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Algernon Cecil

revised by Annette Peach

Bailey, John Cann (1864–1931), writer on literature, the third son of Elijah Crosier Bailey, solicitor and clerk of the peace for Norwich, and his wife, Jane Sarah, daughter of William Robert Cann, of Cavick House, Wymondham, Norfolk, was born at Cavick House on 10 January 1864. He was educated at ...

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Barker, Edmund Henry (1788–1839), classical scholar and editor, was born at Hollym vicarage, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, on 22 December 1788, the eldest son of Robert Barker (1750–1816), vicar of Hollym-with-Withernsea, and his wife, Ann, née Atkinson (d. 1829). After receiving his schooling at ...

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Bell, Sir (Harold) Idris (1879–1967), papyrologist and scholar of Welsh literature, was born on 2 October 1879 at Epworth, Lincolnshire, the son of Charles Christopher Bell (b. 1845), chemist, and his wife, Rachel Hughes (d. 1880). His father's family had been yeoman farmers in the north midlands and had marked literary leanings, his father not least; but the Welsh inheritance from his mother meant more to ...

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Sir (Harold) Idris Bell (1879–1967) by Walter Stoneman, 1955 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bennett, Jack Arthur Walter (1911–1981), literary scholar, was born on 28 February 1911 at Auckland, New Zealand, the eldest son of Ernest Bennett, foreman shoemaker, and his wife, Alexandra Corrall. Both parents were born in Leicester in the 1880s: Ernest worked in shoe manufacturing, and emigrated to ...

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Jack Arthur Walter Bennett (1911–1981) by unknown photographer photograph reproduced by courtesy of The British Academy

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Benson, William (bap. 1682, d. 1754), politician, architect, and literary critic, was baptized on 17 March 1682 at St Leonard's Church, Bromley by Bow, Middlesex; he was the eldest of fourteen children of William Benson (1640/41–1712), a wealthy iron merchant of Bromley by Bow...

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Berkeley [née Frinsham], Eliza (1734–1800), literary editor, was born at the vicarage of White Waltham in Windsor Forest, the eldest daughter of the Revd Henry Frinsham (d. 1745) and Elizabeth (d. 1754), youngest daughter of Francis Cherry, of Shottesbrooke House, Berkshire...

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Blunden, Edmund Charles (1896–1974), poet and university teacher, was born on 1 November 1896 at 54A Tottenham Court Road, London, the eldest of the nine children (five sons and four daughters) of Charles Edmund Blunden (1871–1951) and his wife, Georgina Margaret (1868–1967), daughter of ...

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Edmund Charles Blunden (1896–1974) by Ralph Hodgson, 1921 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Henry Bradley

revised by John D. Haigh

Bosworth, Joseph (1787/8–1876), Old English scholar, the third son of Thomas Bosworth of Etwall, Derbyshire, was born at Etwall and was baptized there on 1 June 1788. He was educated at Repton grammar school, and then at the University of Aberdeen, where at an early age he took the degree of MA, and subsequently that of LLD. He later became a member of ...

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Bowdler, Henrietta Maria [Harriet] (1750–1830), writer and literary editor, was born in Conington, Huntingdonshire, the daughter of Thomas Bowdler (bap. 1719, d. 1785), and his wife, Elizabeth Stuart Bowdler, née Cotton (d. 1797). She was one of six children, all of whom were raised in ...

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Bowdler, Thomas (1754–1825), writer and literary editor, was born on 11 July 1754 at Ashley, near Bath, the younger son of Thomas Bowdler (bap. 1719, d. 1785) and his wife, Elizabeth Stuart Bowdler, née Cotton (d. 1797). His father, a gentleman of independent fortune, was descended from an ancient family originally settled at ...

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Bowle, John (1725–1788), literary editor, was born on 15 October 1725 at Idmiston, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, the eldest of the four children of John Bowle (c.1700–1743), gentleman, and his wife, Sarah (1700–1785), daughter of the Revd Thomas Westley, rector of Brockley, Somerset...