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James Beattie (1735–1803) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1773 [The Triumph of Truth, with the Portrait of a Gentleman] University of Aberdeen

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Beattie, James (1735–1803), poet and philosopher, was baptized at Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, on 25 October 1735, the youngest of six children of James Beattie (d. c.1742), tenant farmer and village shopkeeper, and Jean Watson (c.1692–1772). His father, who died when ...

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Thomas Brown (1778–1820) by Henry Cousins, pubd 1845 (after George Watson, 1806) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brown, Thomas (1778–1820), philosopher and poet, was born on 9 January 1778 at the manse of Kirkmabreck, Kirkcudbrightshire, the youngest of thirteen children of the Revd Samuel Brown (1724–1779), minister of Kirkmabreck and Kirkdale, and of Margaret Smith (1735–1817), daughter of John Smith...

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Maker: Peter Vandyke

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) by Peter Vandyke, 1795 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772–1834), poet, critic, and philosopher, was born on 21 October 1772 at Ottery St Mary, Devon, and baptized there on 30 December, the youngest of ten children born to John Coleridge (bap. 1719, d. 1781), vicar of the town and master of the grammar school, and his second wife, ...

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Cyples, William (1831–1882), philosopher and poet, was born on 31 August 1831 at Longton in Staffordshire. He was the second child of George Cyples and his wife, Ann, née Steward. Both parents worked in the potteries. He was largely self-educated but he owed his initial education to his mother, a strong-minded woman. He became a journalist, edited several provincial newspapers, and contributed to many leading periodicals, as well as publishing some anonymous novels, a book of verse—...

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Thomas Ernest Hulme (1883–1917) by unknown photographer, 1914 Getty Images

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Hulme, Thomas Ernest (1883–1917), philosopher and poet, was born on 16 September 1883 at Gratton, Horton, Staffordshire, the eldest of two sons and one daughter of Thomas Hulme (1853–1933), a gentleman farmer who later went into the ceramic transfer business, and his wife, ...

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H. A. R. Gibb

revised by Francis Robinson

Iqbal, Sir Muhammad (1877–1938), philosopher and poet, was born at Sialkot in the Punjab on 9 November 1877. He was the younger son of Sheikh Nuruddin Muhammad, whose forebears were Hindu converts to Islam originally from Kashmir, and Imam Bibi, a devout woman of working-class background. He was educated at the ...

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Henry More (1614–1687) by William Faithorne the elder, pubd 1675 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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More, Henry (1614–1687), philosopher, poet, and theologian, was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, on 12 October 1614, the youngest of the seven sons of Alexander More, sometime alderman and mayor (1617) of Grantham, and his wife, Anne (née Lacy). He attended Grantham grammar school...

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Constance Caroline Woodhill Naden (1858–1889) by George J. Stodart, pubd 1890 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Naden, Constance Caroline Woodhill (1858–1889), poet and philosopher, born on 24 January 1858 at 15 Francis Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, was the only child of Thomas Naden, afterwards president of the Birmingham Architectural Association, and his wife, Caroline Anne, daughter of J. C. Woodhill...

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Tagore, Dwijendranath (1840–1926), poet and philosopher, was born in Calcutta, India, on 11 March 1840, the eldest son of Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905) [see under Tagore family] and his wife, Sarada Devi (1826?–1875). His grandfather ‘Prince’ Dwarkanath Tagore was one of the most successful independent Indian merchants of the early nineteenth century. The ...

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Vinsauf, Geoffrey of [called Galfridus Anglicus] (fl. 1208–1213), poet and teacher of grammar and rhetoric, also called Anglicus, is best-known as the author of the Poetria nova ('The new poetics'), the single most successful textbook on rhetorical composition written during the middle ages. It is not known what his name means. What little is known about his life comes chiefly from the ...