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

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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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(Robert) Bruce Montgomery [Edmund Crispin] (1921–1978) by Lida Moser, 1953 courtesy Vincent Cianni Photographs / Lida Moser

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Montgomery, (Robert) Bruce [pseud. Edmund Crispin] (1921–1978), composer and detective novelist, was born on 2 October 1921 at Blackwood, Bois Lane, Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire, the fourth child and only son of Robert Ernest Montgomery (1878–1962), sometime secretary to the high commissioner for ...

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Oakman, John (c. 1748–1793), engraver and writer of songs and novels, was born at Hendon, Middlesex. He received a grammar-school education and was apprenticed to the map engraver Emanuel Bowen. He left before completing his indenture, having proved troublesome to his master; furthermore, he seduced ...

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Voynich [née Boole], Ethel Lilian [Lily] [E. L. V.] (1864–1960), novelist, translator, and musician, was born on 11 May 1864 at Lichfield Cottage, Blackrock, Ballintemple, near Cork, the youngest daughter of the mathematician and logician George Boole (1815–1864) and his wife, Mary Boole, ...