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Abbott, George (1604–1649), writer and politician, was born in 1604 and baptized on 13 March at St Mary Bishophill Junior, York, the son of George Abbott (d. 1607) of York and Joan, the daughter of Aleyn Penkeston. Both Abbott's father and grandfather ...

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Acton, Marion Jean Catherine [Jeanie] Adams- [formerly Jeanie Hering] (1846–1928), writer, was born Marion Hamilton on 21 June 1846, in Brodick, Isle of Arran, Scotland, the daughter of Edith Hamilton and an unidentified Scottish nobleman. Before the age of four she was adopted by ...

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Adam [née King], Ruth Augusta (1907–1977), writer and feminist, was born on 14 December 1907 at the vicarage in Arnold, a mining parish in Nottinghamshire, the second of the four children of the Revd Rupert William King (1874–1955), a Church of England...

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Adams, Francis William Lauderdale (1862–1893), writer, was born on 27 September 1862 at Valletta in Malta. The grandson of the Scottish classicist and medical scholar Francis Adams (1796–1861), he was the first of two sons born to Andrew Leith Adams (1827–1882), army surgeon and natural historian, and his wife, ...

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Joseph Addison (1672–1719) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, c. 1703–12 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Addison, Joseph (1672–1719), writer and politician, was born on 1 May 1672 at the rectory, Milston, a hamlet north of Amesbury in Wiltshire, the son of Lancelot Addison (1632–1703) and his wife, Jane, née Gulston (c.1635?–1684). His father was at that time vicar of ...

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Ainger, Alfred [pseud. Doubleday] (1837–1904), writer and Church of England clergyman, was born at 10 Doughty Street, London, on 9 February 1837, the youngest of the four children of Alfred Ainger (1798–1859) and his first wife, Marianne Jagger (1799–1839...

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Maker: George Du Maurier

Alfred Ainger (1837–1904) by George Du Maurier, c. 1881 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Albert, Harold [formerly Harold Albert Kemp; pseud. Helen Cathcart] (1909–1997), author and journalist, was born on 15 April 1909 at 48 Marsala Road, Lewisham, the son of Albert William Kemp, builder, and his wife, Mabel, the daughter of Frederick Read, dramatic reciter. He was educated at ...

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Alcock [née Cumberland], Mary (1741?–1798), writer, was the youngest of four children of Bishop Denison Cumberland (1705/6–1774) and Joanna Bentley (1704/5–1775), daughter of Dr Richard Bentley, classical scholar and master of Trinity College, Cambridge. The third of three daughters, and the sister of ...

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Allfrey, Phyllis Byam Shand (1908–1986), author and politician, was born in Roseau, Dominica, British West Indies, on 24 October 1908, the second daughter of Francis Byam Shand (b. 1879), a lawyer who had come to Dominica from England in the early 1900s, and ...

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Charles Freer Andrews (1871–1940) by Howard Coster, 1935 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Andrews, Charles Freer (1871–1940), author and campaigner for Indian independence, was born at Newcastle upon Tyne on 12 February 1871, the second son of John Edwin Andrews, minister in the Catholic Apostolic (or Irvingite) church, and his second wife, Mary Charlotte Cartwright (1840–1914)...

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Dame Cicily Isabel Andrews [Rebecca West] (1892–1983) by Wyndham Lewis, 1932 © Estate of Mrs G. A. Wyndham Lewis / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Andrews [née Fairfield], Dame Cicily Isabel [pseud. Rebecca West] (1892–1983), writer, critic, and journalist, was born on 21 December 1892 at 28 Burlington Road, Westbourne Park, London, the youngest of three children (all daughters) of Charles Fairfield (1843–1906) and his wife, ...

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Peter Frederick Anson (1889–1975) by Howard Coster, 1933 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anson, Peter Frederick (1889–1975), monk, writer, and artist, was born Frederick Charles Anson on 22 August 1889 at 32 South Parade, Southsea, the son of Charles Eustace Anson (1858–1940), subsequently rear-admiral, and his wife, (Maria) Evelyn, née Ross (1863–1904). His father came from a family with strong connections to the ...

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(Leslie Thomas) John Arlott (1914–1991) by unknown photographer, 1955 © Empics

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Arlott, (Leslie Thomas) John (1914–1991), writer and broadcaster, was born at Cemetery Lodge, Chapel Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, on 25 February 1914, the only son of William John Arlott (1883–1959), cemetery registrar, and his wife, Ellen (Nellie) Jenvey-Clarke (c.1884–1975). He was educated at ...

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Mary Louisa Armitt (1851–1911) by Sophia Armitt The Armitt Trust Collection