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Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001), writer  

Nick Webb

Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001), writer, was born on 11 March 1952 at the maternity hospital in Cambridge, the son of Christopher Douglas Adams (d. 1985) and his wife, Janet Dora Sydney, née Donovan.

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Cover Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001)

Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001)  

Maker: Brian Griffin

In 

Douglas Noël Adams (1952–2001) by Brian Griffin, 1986 © Brian Griffin; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Adams, Francis William Lauderdale (1862–1893), writer  

Meg Tasker

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, ...

Article

Aldington, Edward Godfree [Richard] (1892–1962), writer  

Max Saunders

Aldington, Edward Godfree [Richard] (1892–1962), writer, was born on 8 July 1892 at 50 High Street, Portsmouth, the eldest among the two sons and two daughters of Albert Edward Aldington (1864–1921), bookseller and stationer, and later solicitor's clerk and amateur author, and Jessie May Godfree (1872–1954)...

Article

Ambler, Eric Clifford (1909–1998), writer  

Michael Barber

Ambler, Eric Clifford (1909–1998), writer, was born on 28 June 1909 at Wellington Road, Charlton, south-east London, the eldest child in the family of two sons and one daughter of Alfred Percy Ambler (1882–1929), an advertising executive and part-time entertainer whose family had moved to ...

Article

Arouet, François-Marie [known as Voltaire] (1694–1778), writer and philosopher  

David Williams

Arouet, François-Marie [known as Voltaire] (1694–1778), writer and philosopher, was born in Paris on 21 November 1694 according to the notice of baptism. He was the fifth of five surviving children born to François Arouet (1649–1722), lawyer and minor official, and his wife, ...

Article

Auld, William [Bill, Viljo] (1924–2006), Esperanto poet and writer  

Paul Gubbins

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), ...

Article

Banks, Iain (1954–2013), author and composer  

Val McDermid

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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Cover Banks, Iain (1954–2013)

Banks, Iain (1954–2013)  

Maker: Mark Gerson

In 

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

Article

Barfield, (Arthur) Owen (1898–1997), writer and philosopher  

Walter Hooper

Barfield, (Arthur) Owen (1898–1997), writer and philosopher, was born on 9 November 1898 at 6 Grosvenor Gardens, Muswell Hill, Middlesex, the youngest of the four children of Arthur Edward Barfield, a solicitor, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Shoults. It was a free-thinking family and so immune to all '...

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Cover Beckett, Samuel Barclay (1906–1989)

Beckett, Samuel Barclay (1906–1989)  

Maker: Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906–1989) by Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1964 © Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Beckett, Samuel Barclay (1906–1989), author  

James Knowlson

Beckett, Samuel Barclay (1906–1989), author, was born on 13 April 1906 at Cooldrinagh, Kerrymount Avenue, Foxrock, co. Dublin, the second of two children of William Frank Beckett (1871–1933), a quantity surveyor, and his wife, Maria, known as May (1871–1950), daughter of Samuel Roe...

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Cover Bell, Florence Eveleen Eleanore, Lady Bell (1851–1930)

Bell, Florence Eveleen Eleanore, Lady Bell (1851–1930)  

Maker: unknown photographer

In 

Florence Eveleen Eleanore Bell, Lady Bell (1851–1930) by unknown photographer courtesy of Middlesbrough Libraries & Information

Article

Bell [née Olliffe], Florence Eveleen Eleanore, Lady Bell (1851–1930), author, social investigator, and playwright  

Angela V. John

Bell [née Olliffe], Florence Eveleen Eleanore, Lady Bell (1851–1930), author, social investigator, and playwright, was born on 9 September 1851 at 2 rue St Florentin, Paris, the youngest of the four children of Sir Joseph Olliffe (1808–1869), physician to the British embassy in ...

Article

Blair, Eric Arthur [pseud. George Orwell] (1903–1950), political writer and essayist  

Bernard Crick

Blair, Eric Arthur [pseud. George Orwell] (1903–1950), political writer and essayist, was born in Motihari, Bengal, India, on 25 June 1903, the only son of Richard Walmesley Blair (1857–1938), a sub-deputy opium agent in the government of Bengal, and his wife, Ida Mabel Limouzin (1875–1943)...

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Cover Blair, Eric Arthur [George Orwell] (1903–1950)

Blair, Eric Arthur [George Orwell] (1903–1950)  

Maker: Felix H. Man

Eric Arthur Blair [George Orwell] (1903–1950) by Felix H. Man, c. 1947 © Estate of Felix H. Man / National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Brophy, Brigid Antonia [married name Brigid Antonia Levey, Lady Levey] (1929–1995), writer and campaigner  

Peter Parker

Brophy, Brigid Antonia [married name Brigid Antonia Levey, Lady Levey] (1929–1995), writer and campaigner, was born at 79 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, London, on 12 June 1929, the second child of John Brophy (1899–1965), a Liverpool-born writer and editor of Irish descent, and his wife, ...

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Cover Brophy, Brigid Antonia (1929–1995)
Brigid Antonia Brophy (1929–1995) by Mark Gerson, 1966 © Mark Gerson; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1821–1890), explorer and author  

Jason Thompson

Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1821–1890), explorer and author, was the son of Colonel Joseph Netterville Burton and Martha Beckwith, daughter and coheir of Richard Baker of Barham House, Hertfordshire. The eldest of three children, he was born on 19 March 1821 at Torquay...

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Cover Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1821–1890)

Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1821–1890)  

Maker: Frederic Leighton, Baron Leighton

In 

Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821–1890) by Frederic Leighton, Baron Leighton, c. 1872–5 © National Portrait Gallery, London