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William Alexander (1826–1894) by Sir George Reid Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Alexander, William (1826–1894), novelist and journalist, was born on 12 June 1826 at the farm of Westerhouses, Rescivet, in the parish of Chapel of Garioch, Aberdeenshire. He was the eldest son of the ten children of James Alexander (1789–1856), blacksmith and tenant farmer, and his wife, ...

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Bellerby [née Parker], (Mary Eirene) Frances (1899–1975), poet and novelist, was born on 29 August 1899 at St Aidan's House, Summerhill Road, St George, Bristol, the younger of the two children of Frederick Talbot Parker (d. 1954), Anglo-Catholic clergyman, and his wife, ...

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Eames, (Gwladys) Marion (1921–2007), novelist and radio producer, was born on 5 February 1921 at 86 Raffles Road, Tranmere, Birkenhead, Cheshire, the second of the three daughters of William Griffith Eames (1885–1959), greengrocer and later proprietor of a general store, and his wife, ...

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Marshall [née Martin], Emma (1828–1899), novelist, was born on 29 September 1828 at Northrepps Hill House, near Cromer, Norfolk, the youngest of the eight children of Simon Martin (1774–1839) and his wife, Hannah Ransome, a Quaker. Although a partner in Gurney & Co....

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Opie [née Alderson], Amelia (1769–1853), novelist and poet, was born on 12 November 1769 in the parish of St George, Norwich. She was the only child of James Alderson (d. 1825), physician—son of James Alderson, dissenting minister of Lowestoft—and his wife, ...

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Amelia Opie (1769–1853) by John Opie, 1798 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Shorthouse, Joseph Henry (1834–1903), novelist, was born in Great Charles Street, Birmingham, on 9 September 1834, the eldest of the three sons of Joseph Shorthouse (1797–1880) and his wife, Mary Ann, née Hawker. He grew up in Calthorpe Street, Edgbaston. His father had inherited the family chemical works, and manufactured vitriol, and his mother similarly came from a manufacturing family: her father founded the first glasshouse in ...

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Joseph Henry Shorthouse (1834–1903) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London