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Auld, William [Bill, Viljo] (1924–2006), Esperanto poet and writer, was born on 6 November 1924 at Hainault, Lesney Park Road, Erith, Kent, the son of George Auld, a draughtsman and structural engineer, who composed and recited comic verse, and his wife, Williamina Rose (Minnie), ...

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Bevington [married name Guggenberger], Louisa Sarah (1845–1895), poet and anarchist, was born on 14 May 1845 in St John's Hill, Battersea, Surrey, to Louisa and Alexander Bevington. The eldest of eight children (seven of whom were girls), she was brought up a Quaker. An early enthusiasm for science was fostered by her father. Later, interested by evolutionism, she became a friend of ...

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Billington, William (1825–1884), poet, was born at Samlesbury in the Ribble valley, Lancashire, on 3 April 1825, when his unemployed hand-loom weaver parents, Benedict and Ann, née Bolton, were working as road navvies. He was baptized at St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in ...

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Coppard, Alfred Edgar (1878–1957), short-story writer and poet, was born on 4 January 1878 at 35 St John's Street, Folkestone, Kent, the eldest child and only son of the four children of George Coppard (d. 1887?), a journeyman tailor, and Emily Alma Southwell...

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Dover, Cedric Cyril (1904–1961), entomologist, anthropologist, and poet, was born on 11 April 1904 in Calcutta to Eurasian parents, Percy and Sophy Dover. He was a descendant of Colonel James Skinner, the founder of what became Skinner's Horse, himself born to a Scottish father and a ...

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Sir William Empson (1906–1984) by Rupert Shephard, c. 1944 © Estate of Rupert Shephard; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Empson, Sir William (1906–1984), poet and literary critic, was born at Yokefleet Hall, Howden, near Goole, Yorkshire, on 27 September 1906, the youngest of five children of Arthur Reginald Empson (1853–1916), landowner, squire, and magistrate, of Yokefleet Hall, and his wife, Laura Micklethwait (1865–1944)...

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Ewart, Gavin Buchanan (1916–1995), poet, was born on 4 February 1916 at 25 Norfolk Crescent, London, the first of three children of George Arthur Ewart (1886–1942), gynaecologist, and his wife, Dorothy Hannah, née Turner (1889–1979). George Ewart was the son of James Cossar Ewart FRS (1851–1933)...

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Robert von Ranke Graves (1895–1985) by John Aldridge, 1968 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Graves, Robert von Ranke (1895–1985), poet and novelist, was born on 24 July 1895 at Red Branch House, Lauriston Road, Wimbledon, Surrey, the third of the five children of Alfred Perceval Graves (1846–1931), poet and educationist, and his second wife, Amalie Elizabeth Sophie (Amy; 1857–1951)...

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Christopher Murray Grieve [Hugh MacDiarmid] (1892–1978) by Robert Heriot Westwater, 1962 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Grieve, Christopher Murray [pseud. Hugh MacDiarmid] (1892–1978), poet, writer, and cultural activist, was born on 11 August 1892 in Arkinholm Terrace at Langholm in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, the elder of two sons born to James Grieve (1863–1911), postman, the son of John Grieve...

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Elizabeth Lee

revised by Catherine Maxwell

Hamilton, Eugene Jacob Lee- (1845–1907), poet and novelist, was born in London on 6 January 1845, the son of Captain James Lee-Hamilton (d. 1852) and his wife, Matilda Abadam (1815–1896), the daughter of Edward Hamlin Adams. As a child Eugene lived with his widowed mother and her brother ...

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Henderson, Hamish Scott (1919–2002), poet, singer, and folklorist, was born James Scott Henderson on armistice day, 11 November 1919, at Ramleh, Perth Road, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, the son of Janet Jobson Henderson (d. 1933), a cook and housekeeper who had served as a nurse on the western front. His father was ...

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Hobsbaum, Philip Dennis (1932–2005), poet and literary scholar, was born on 29 June 1932 at 24 Underwood Street, Whitechapel, London, the son of Joseph Hobsbaum, telephone engineer, and his wife, Rachel, née Sapera. His parents were both first-generation eastern European Jewish immigrants. In 1939 his father's job took the family to ...

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Alfred Edward Housman (1859–1936) by Francis Dodd, 1926 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Housman, Alfred Edward (1859–1936), poet and classical scholar, was born on 26 March 1859 at Valley House, Fockbury, a hamlet near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, the first of the seven children (born within the space of ten years) of Edward Housman (1831–1894), solicitor, and his wife, ...

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Jones, William [pseud. Gwilym Cadfan] (bap. 1726, d. 1795), poet and radical, was baptized on 18 June 1726 at Llangadfan parish church, Montgomeryshire, the youngest of three sons born to William Siôn Dafydd (1666–1758), a farmer and stagecoach guard, and his second wife, ...

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MacCaig [McCaig], Norman Alexander (1910–1996), poet, was born at 53 East London Street, Edinburgh, on 14 November 1910, the only son and the fourth child of Robert McCaig (1880–1950?), a chemist, and his wife, Joan, née MacLeod (1879–1959). His father was a lowland Scot from ...

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Michie, James Crain (1927–2007), poet and publisher, was born on 24 June 1927 at South Lodge, March Road, Weybridge, Surrey, the second of the three sons (there were no daughters) of James Kilgour Michie (1887–1967), East India merchant and later banker (chairman of ...