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Angadi, Ayana Deva (1903–1993), journalist and arts promoter, was born on 12 March 1903 in the village of Jakanur, in the south Indian state of Mysore, the son of Veerayya Angadi and his wife, Kotawa. Mysore, ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, was a progressive princely state where education was highly valued. ...

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Niladri Ranjan Chatterjee

Chaudhuri, Nirad Chandra (1897–1999), writer, was born on 23 November 1897 in Kishoregunj, in the district of Mymensingh, East Bengal, India (now in Bangladesh), the second of eight children of Upendra Narayan Chaudhuri (1867–1934), a lawyer, and his wife, Sushila Sundarani Chaudhurani...

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Chauhan [née Singh], Subhadra Kumari (1904–1948), poet, short-story writer, and political activist in India, was born on 16 August 1904 in Nihalpur, near Allahabad, United Provinces, India, the third of four daughters and sixth of seven children of Ramnath Singh, building contractor, and his wife, ...

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Cousins, James Henry Sproull (1873–1956), writer and educationist, was born on 22 July 1873 at 29 Cavour Street, Belfast, the son of James Cousins (d. 1920), a sailor, and his wife, Susan Davis (d. 1915). His parents were both Wesleyan Methodists; his father retired from a sailing career to work for the ...

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Das [née Sarbadhikari], Krishnabhabini (1864–1919), author and social activist, was born in 1864 in a traditional Hindu zamindari household in Chowa, Murshidabad district, Bengal, the only child of Joynarayan Sarbadhikari. It was not usual to educate girls in the village and Krishnabhabini's...

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Desani, Govindas Vishnoodas (1909–2000), journalist and author, was born on 8 July 1909 in Nairobi, Kenya, the son of Vishnoodas Manghirmal and his wife, Rukmani Chabria Desani. In 1913 his father, an Indian merchant who had migrated to Kenya in the late nineteenth century, decided to repatriate the family to their ancestral home in ...

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Dutt, Michael Madhusudan (1824–1873), poet and playwright, was born Madhusudan Dutta, or Dutt, on 25 January 1824 in Sagardari, a village in the district of Jessore, east Bengal, the son of Rajnarayan Dutta, or Dutt, a successful upper caste Kayasth Bengali lawyer, and his wife, ...

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Dutt, Toru (1856–1877), Indian poet, translator, and novelist, was born at 12 Maniktollah Street, Rambagan, Calcutta, India, on 4 March 1856, the youngest daughter in the family of three children of Govin Chunder Dutt and his wife, Kshetramoni, née Mitter. Apart from a year (...

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Toru Dutt (1856–1877), by unknown artist

© Classic Vision/age fotostock

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Dwivedi, Mahavir Prasad (1864–1938), writer and editor in India, was born on 5 May 1864 in Daulatpur, a village in the Rai Bareilly district of Oudh, India, the only son of Ram Sahay Dwivedi (d. 1896) and his wife (d. 1910), both ...

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Ghose, Manmohan (1869–1924), poet and university teacher, was born on 19 January 1869 at Bhagalpur, Bihar, India, the second son of Krishna Dhan Ghose (1844–1892/3), a civil medical officer in Bengal, and his wife, Swarnalata Basu (b. 1852), the eldest daughter of ...

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Harishchandra [known as Bharatendu Harishchandra] (1850–1885), Hindi poet, playwright, and literary editor, was born in Benares, India, on 9 September 1850, into a fabulously wealthy merchant family. The family of his mother, Parvati (d. 1855), had been diwans, or finance ministers, at the Mogul court at ...

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Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894–1963) by Man Ray, 1934 © Man Ray Trust / ADAGP, Paris, and DACS, London 2010; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Huxley, Aldous Leonard (1894–1963), writer, was born at Laleham, a house near Godalming, Surrey, on 26 July 1894, the third son of Leonard Huxley (1860–1933), an assistant master at Charterhouse School and subsequently editor of the Cornhill Magazine, and his first wife, Julia Frances Huxley (...

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Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood (1904–1986) by Humphrey Spender, 1935 © Humphrey Spender 1935 / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Isherwood, Christopher William Bradshaw (1904–1986), writer, was born on 26 August 1904 at Wyberslegh Hall, High Lane, Cheshire, the elder son (there were no daughters) of Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Edward Bradshaw-Isherwood (1869–1915), professional soldier in the York and Lancaster regiment, of Marple, Cheshire, and his wife, ...

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Maker: unknown photographer

Sarojini Naidu (1879–1949) by unknown photographer, 1930 [Left to right] Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) and , during the salt march] Getty Images

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Naidu [née Chattopadhyay], Sarojini (1879–1949), politician and poet, born on 13 February 1879 in Hyderabad, was the second child and eldest daughter of Aghornath Chattopadhyay (Chatterji; 1851–1915) and his wife, Baradasundari, otherwise Varada Devi. Her younger brother, Virendranath (Chatto) Chattopadhyaya...

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Naipaul, Shivadhar Srinivasa [Shiva] (1945–1985), writer, was born on 25 February 1945 at a kinsman's house in Woodbrook, a quarter of Port of Spain, Trinidad, but was soon taken to Nepaul Street in the neighbouring quarter of St James, where he grew up. He was the sixth of the seven children, two of them sons, of ...

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Narayanswami, Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer [pseud. R. K. Narayan] (1906–2001), author, was born in Madras, India, on 10 October 1906, the third of eight children of Brahmin parents, R. V. Krishnaswami Iyer, schoolteacher, and his wife, Gnanambal. His formative years were spent not so much with his parents and siblings as in the house of his maternal grandmother in ...