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Eric Arthur Blair [George Orwell] (1903–1950) by Felix H. Man, c. 1947 © Estate of Felix H. Man / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Blair, Eric Arthur [pseud. George Orwell] (1903–1950), political writer and essayist, was born in Motihari, Bengal, India, on 25 June 1903, the only son of Richard Walmesley Blair (1857–1938), a sub-deputy opium agent in the government of Bengal, and his wife, Ida Mabel Limouzin (1875–1943)...

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Crick, Sir Bernard Rowland (1929–2008), political scientist and biographer, was born on 16 December 1929 at 77 Circle Gardens, Merton, London, the son of Harry Edgar Crick (d. 1968), insurance official, and his wife, Florence Clara, née Cook (1890–1986). He attended Whitgift School, Croydon...

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Sir Bernard Rowland Crick (1929–2008) by Colin McPherson, 2003 © Colin McPherson / Corbis

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Donne, William Bodham (1807–1882), essayist and examiner of plays, was born on 29 July 1807 at Mattishall, near East Dereham, Norfolk, the only child of Edward Charles Donne (1777–1819), physician, and his cousin Anne Vertue Donne (1781–1859). His grandfather William Donne was an eminent ...

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O'Brien, Conor Cruise (1917–2008), diplomatist, politician, and author, was born Donal Conor David Dermod Donat Cruise O'Brien at 44 Leinster Road, Dublin, on 3 November 1917, the son of Francis Cruise O'Brien (d. 1927), journalist, and his wife, Kathleen (Katherine), née Sheehy (...

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Conor Cruise O'Brien (1917–2008) by unknown photographer, 1968 Getty Images

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Charles Hubert Sisson (1914–2003) by Christopher Barker, 1986 © Christopher Barker

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Sisson, Charles Hubert (1914–2003), poet, essayist, and civil servant, was born on 22 April 1914 at 468 Stapleton Road, Bristol, the third of four children of Richard Percy Sisson and his wife, Ellen Minnie, née Worlock. His father, who came from Kendal in ...