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Abrahams, Doris Caroline [pseud. Caryl Brahms] (1901–1982), writer and songwriter, was born at 28 Morland Road, Croydon, Surrey, on 8 December 1901, the only child of Henry Clarence Abrahams, a wholesale jeweller, and his wife, Pearl, one of the twenty-one children of ...

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See Vorticists

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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, ...

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Iain Banks (1954–2013) by Mark Gerson, 1985 © Mark Gerson / Bridgeman Art Library

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Wilson, John Burgess [pseud. Anthony Burgess] (1917–1993), writer and composer, was born on 25 February 1917 at Carisbrook Street, Harpurhey, Manchester, the only son of Joseph Wilson (1883–1938) and his wife, Elisabeth Burgess (d. 1919). Joe Wilson was a bookkeeper who played the piano in picture houses and pubs; his wife was ...

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John Burgess Wilson [Anthony Burgess] (1917–1993) by Denis Waugh, 1980 © Denis Waugh / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Corrigan, Kathleen [name in religion Felicitas Corrigan] (1908–2003), nun, writer, and church musician, was born on 6 March 1908 at 16 Gurnall Street, Everton, Liverpool, the second of eight surviving children of Joseph Corrigan, a 'private coachman' or taxi driver of Irish extraction, and his wife, ...

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Gould, Sabine Baring- (1834–1924), Church of England clergyman, author, and folksong collector, born at Dix's Field, Exeter, on 28 January 1834, was the eldest of the three sons and a daughter of Edward Baring-Gould, a captain in the armed forces of the East India Company...

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Sabine Baring- Gould (1834–1924) by W. & D. Downey, pubd 1893 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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L. M. Middleton

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Harvey, Edmund George (1828–1884), author and composer, was born on 20 February 1828 at Penzance, the eldest son of William Woodis Harvey (1798–1864) and his first wife. The father was born in Alverton Vean, Penzance, on 15 June 1798. He was educated at a school in ...

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Hay [née Sheridan], Helen Selina, countess of Gifford [other married name Helen Selina Blackwood, Lady Dufferin and Claneboye] (1807–1867), author and song writer, was the eldest daughter of Thomas Sheridan (1775–1817), colonial administrator (younger son of Richard Brinsley Sheridan), and his wife, ...

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Helen Selina Hay, countess of Gifford (1807–1867) by Camille Silvy, c. 1860 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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See Marshall, Julian

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Melly, (Alan) George Heywood (1926–2007), writer and singer, was born on 17 August 1926 at The Grange, St Michael's Hamlet, Toxteth, Liverpool, the elder son and eldest of three children of Francis Heywood Melly (1900–1961), wool broker, and his wife, Edith Maud (Maudie), ...

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(Alan) George Heywood Melly (1926–2007) by Maggi Hambling, 1998 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Potter, John (b. 1734?, d. after 1813?), writer and composer, born in London, was probably the son of the John Potter from Kent who was vicar of Cloford, Somerset, and author of works on mathematics and theology. He was probably also related to the family of ...

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Ray, Sukumar (1887–1923), writer, illustrator, and song composer, was born in Calcutta on 30 October 1887, the son of Upendrakishore Ray, otherwise Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury (1863–1915), a well-known Bengali writer, illustrator, song composer, publisher, and printer, and his wife, Bidhumukhi Devi. His father was a prominent figure in the western-influenced Hindu reform movement known as Brahmoism, which flourished in ...

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Thicknesse [née Ford], Ann (1737–1824), writer and musician, was born on 22 February 1737 near the Temple, London, the only child of Thomas Ford (d. 1768), clerk of the arraigns, and his wife, formerly Miss Champion. Her father made sure that she had an unusually extensive education, which he claimed had cost him at least ...

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Ann Thicknesse (1737–1824) by Thomas Gainsborough, 1760 Cincinnati Art Museum, Bequest of Mary M. Emery

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Wood, Henry Harvey (1903–1977), writer and a founder of the Edinburgh international festival, was born on 5 September 1903 in Edinburgh, the second of the three children of Henry Wood (d. 1934), paper maker, and his wife, Anne Cassidy. He was educated at the ...