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Writers

The details on this page are largely biographical, not directly about their works.

Groups

John Osborne, Kingsley Amis, John Braine, Alan Sillitoe, Colin Wilson – 1950s Click to show or hide the answer
Led by (Giles) Lytton Strachey; included Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Bertrand Russell at al (from 1906) Click to show or hide the answer
Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs et al – 1950s Click to show or hide the answer
Robert Herrick, Thomas Carew, John Suckling, Richard Lovelace et al – court of Charles II Click to show or hide the answer
William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey Click to show or hide the answer
Imaginary English country gentleman written about by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele in The Spectator Click to show or hide the answer

Early pen names of the Brontë sisters:

Anne Click to show or hide the answer
Charlotte Click to show or hide the answer
Emily Click to show or hide the answer

Individuals

The Little Mermaid (statue in Copenhagen harbour) is a memorial to Click to show or hide the answer
Son of a famous schoolmaster and historian (Thomas), first used the term 'philistine' as a condemnation of middle class values Click to show or hide the answer
US sci–fi author, defined the so–called Three Laws of Robotics; used the pen name Paul French for some works (the Lucky Starr Series) early in his career Click to show or hide the answer
Much of what we know about her life comes from her letters to her older sister Cassandra – who also drew the only surviving portrait of her Click to show or hide the answer
Philosopher and essayist; became Lord Chancellor and Baron Verulam 1618, Viscount St. Albans 1621 Click to show or hide the answer
Once played a girlfriend of Ken Barlow in Coronation Street Click to show or hide the answer
Scottish novelist: added the middle initial M to his name when writing science fiction (died in 2013, aged 59) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Eloped with Robert Browning in 1846, after he wrote to tell her how much he loved her poetry (she was 40, he was 34; her father, a wealthy sugar planter, objected to any of his children marrying) and lived with him thereafter in Italy; died in Florence in 1861, aged 55 Click to show or hide the answer
The only Nobel laureate to appear in Wisden Cricketer's Almanack (played for Dublin University in two games against Northamptonshire, in the 1920s) Click to show or hide the answer
English writer and caricaturist, lived at Rapallo in Italy from 1910 until his death in 1956 Click to show or hide the answer
The first female professional author in English (according to Virginia Woolf); also worked as a spy against the Dutch for Charles II Click to show or hide the answer
Born near Paris in 1870, to an English mother and a French father; his mother's great grandfather was Joseph Priestley; grew up in England, naturalised in 1902 Click to show or hide the answer
Refused an honorary degree from Oxford because the university had accepted a £3 million donation from "bully" Rupert Murdoch Click to show or hide the answer
Wrote about the 'Five Towns' of the Potteries (Stoke–on–Trent, Staffordshire) Click to show or hide the answer
Gave his name to an omelette containing smoked haddock, hollandaise sauce and cheese, which was perfected to his taste by chefs at the Savoy Hotel, London, while he was staying there to write a novel in the 1920s
Popular English novelist, 1875–1956; invented and gave his name to a an irregular form of humorous biographical verse Click to show or hide the answer
Died in 1984 with his teddy bear Archibald Ormsby–Gore in his arms, along with his toy elephant Jumbo Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Compiler of The Devil's Dictionary; also wrote the short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge; disappeared in 1913, aged 71, while travelling with rebel troops in Mexico Click to show or hide the answer
The first Children's Laureate (1999): author of many books, but probably best known as the illustrator of those of Roald Dahl Click to show or hide the answer
Published two books (Three Boys and a Circus and Children of Kidillin) in 1940, and four more in 1943, under the pen name Mary Pollock (her middle name and her first married surname); second married name was Mrs. Darrell Waters Click to show or hide the answer
Dr. Johnson's biographer (born Edinburgh 1740; died London 1795) Click to show or hide the answer
Died of blood poisoning, caused by an insect bite, on a French hospital ship moored off the Greek island of Skyros, while sailing to the Dardanelles in 1915; buried on Skyros Click to show or hide the answer
Governor General of Canada, 1935–40; created 1st Baron Tweedsmuir after George V insisted that the post should be held by a peer Click to show or hide the answer
Popular English novelist, poet, playwright, and politician: coined the phrases "the great unwashed", "pursuit of the almighty dollar", "the pen is mightier than the sword", "dweller on the threshold", and the well–known opening line "It was a dark and stormy night" Click to show or hide the answer
Poet, born in 1692 at what is now the Old Wellington Inn, Manchester (then an office, with accommodation upstairs); invented a revolutionary sytstem of shorthand, and wrote the lyrics to Christians, Awake as a Christmas present for his daughter Dorothy (Dolly) Click to show or hide the answer
Suffered from a deformity of the foot, generally referred to as "club foot" (possibly as a result of polio ); coached as a boxer by 'Gentleman' Jackson, champion of England; kept a pet bear in his rooms at Trinity College, Cambridge (in protest at the rule that prevented him keeping his beloved dog Boatswain there); died of a fever at Missolonghi, after a soaking in an open boat, while sailing to fight for Greek independence (1824) Click to show or hide the answer
The first person to be honoured by a London 'blue plaque' (1867)
Algerian–born writer and philosopher; helped found the underground newspaper Combat, 1943; Nobel Prize for literature 1957; once played in goal for Algiers Click to show or hide the answer
Czech playwright, dramatist, essayist, publisher, literary reviewer, and art critic: best known for his satirical science fiction novel War with the Newts (1936) and the 1920 play R.U.R. (Rossums Universal Robots), which introduced the word 'robot'; his work was described by Arthur Miller as "prophetic assurance mixed with surrealistic humour and hard–edged social satire: a unique combination"; died on Christmas Day 1938, aged 47 Click to show or hide the answer
Music critic for The Guardian, 1927–40, and from 1951; Sydney Herald 1941–47; also a prolific writer on cricket; knighted in 1967 Click to show or hide the answer
Second to win the Booker Prize twice (Oscar and Lucinda 1988, True History of the Kelly Gang 2001) – see J. M. Coetzee Click to show or hide the answer
Lectured in Maths at Christ Church College, Oxford, 1852–78; invented the word ladder Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Author and diplomat under Napoleon (1768–1848) – said to be the founder of Romanticism in French literature – gave his name to a cut of steak (said to have been created by his chef) Click to show or hide the answer
English poet, committed suicide by taking arsenic, aged 17, 1770; his death was the subject of a famous 1856 painting by Henry Wallis (modelled by fellow poet George Meredith) Click to show or hide the answer
First person to be buried in Poets' Corner (Westminster Abbey) Click to show or hide the answer
Qualified as a doctor in 1884; supported his family with earnings from comic writing before becoming known for more serious works Click to show or hide the answer
Born in Torquay in 1890; worked as a hospital dispenser in WWI; disappeared in 1926, and was identified 11 days later, after an extensive police search, at the Swan Hotel, Harrogate Click to show or hide the answer
Wrote under her first married surname (her maiden name was Miller); her second marriage was to the archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan (she was Lady Mallowan); wrote romantic fiction under the pen–name Mary Westmacott
Named by Guinness World Records as the best–selling novelist of all time (approx. 2 billion copies)
English poet, 1793–1864, certified insane 1837; died in a Northampton asylum Click to show or hide the answer
British–born sci–fi writer, lived in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) from 1956 until his death in 2008 aged 90; predicted geostationary satellites and space elevators Click to show or hide the answer
First to win the Booker Prize twice (Life & Times of Michael K 1983, Disgrace 1999) – see also Peter Carey Click to show or hide the answer
Born Edinburgh 1859; qualified as a doctor, senior physician in a field hospital in the 2nd Boer War; said to have introduced steel helmets into the British Army; featured in Julian Barnes's 2005 novel Arthur & George (based on a true story) Click to show or hide the answer
Born 1867 in what is now Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire), into a noble and highly patriotic, but impoverished Polish family; orphaned at age 11, moved to Krakow to live with an uncle. Joined a British merchant ship aged 31 Click to show or hide the answer
Most borrowed author from public libraries in the UK, 1980–2004 Click to show or hide the answer
US crime writer, caused controversy in 2002 by claiming that the painter Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper Click to show or hide the answer
English crime writer, 1908–73, wrote over 600 novels under 28 pseudonyms including some westerns and romances (as Margaret Cooke). Created Gideon of the Yard, featured in the 1960s BBC series Gideon's Way Click to show or hide the answer
The Oxford Press published a dictionary in 2016, including several words that he made up (such as frobscottle, lickswishy and wondercrump) to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Click to show or hide the answer
Italian poet, met Beatrice (Portinari) when he was 9 and she was 8; his love for her survived both her marriage to another man, and her death, although he hardly knew her Click to show or hide the answer
Poet Laureate 1968–72; wrote detective stories under pseudonym Nicholas Blake; died in 1972 at the home of Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard, where he and his family were staying; buried at his request in the same graveyard as the heart of Thomas Hardy (Stinsford, near Dorchester) Click to show or hide the answer
French dramatist, swordsman and duellist (1619–55), whose life was greatly embellished by Edmond Rostand's 1897 play (he was actually quite proud of his large nose) Click to show or hide the answer
Soldier, merchant and government agent before becoming a novelist; fought in the Duke of Monmouth's army at Sedgemoor; spent three days in the pillory for seditious libel in 1703, but (according to legend) was pelted with nothing but flowers; described by Pope as "[standing] earless on high" (while in the pillory) – leading to a myth that he had no ears, or had them cut off Click to show or hide the answer
Born at 393 Old Commercial Road, Portsmouth, on 7 Feb 1812; married Catherine Hogarth; left her after 22 years of marriage after meeting Ellen Ternan, an actress 27 years his junior (the extent of their intimacy is not definitely known); bought Gads Hill Place, a large house in Higham, Kent, in 1856; he and Ternan were involved in the Staplehurst rail crash of 1865, when 10 people were killed; died at Gads Hill in 1870 (on the fifth anniversary of the crash) Click to show or hide the answer
US poet from Amherst, Massachusetts (1830–86): lived a reclusive life, often wrote about death and immortality, died of Bright's disease aged 55 Click to show or hide the answer
Poet who became Dean of St. Paul's in 1621 Click to show or hide the answer
Novelist who initiated the Bow Street Runners (when a magistrate at Bow Street) Click to show or hide the answer
Credited with coining the phrase The Jazz Age to describe 1920s America, as epitomised in his works Click to show or hide the answer
Grandson of the painter Ford Madox Brown, born Ford Madox Hueffer; founded the English Review and the Transatlantic Review Click to show or hide the answer
Served as private secretary to the Maharajah of Dewas, 1921; wrote the novel Maurice, about homosexual love, published posthumously 1971 (written almost 60 years earlier) and filmed 1987 Click to show or hide the answer
Jockey to the Queen Mother, 1953–7; rode her horse Devon Loch, which collapsed in the 1956 Grand National; after retirement and the success of his autobiography (The Sport of Queens, 1957) took to writing novels on a racing theme; wrote exactly one novel each year (1962–2000), except that in 1998 it was a short story collection; five more books 2006–10 in collaboration with his son Felix, who continued the series after his death (in 2010); became Britain's most popular author, in terms of number of books borrowed from public libraries (1996) Click to show or hide the answer
German Jewish teenager, kept a secret diary in WWII Click to show or hide the answer
Silence Dogood, Caelia (sic) Shortface, Martha Careful, Busy Body, Anthony Afterwit, Alice Addertongue, Richard Saunders, Polly Baker and Benevolus were pen names used at different times, and in different contexts, by Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Born London 1810; spent much of her childhood living with an aunt in Knutsford, Cheshire; wrote all of her novels except the first in a rented villa on Plymouth Grove, Manchester; also wrote a famous biography of Charlotte Bronte Click to show or hide the answer
Controversial French writer and activist, 1910–86; author of The Thief's Journal Click to show or hide the answer
Had a park in Moscow (opened 1928) named after him (which itself gave its name to a famous book and film); his second name is a nickname that means "bitter" Click to show or hide the answer
British journalist and historian: was the first journalist to enter Port Stanley during the Falklands War (1982); editor of the Daily Telegraph, 1986–95 Click to show or hide the answer
American author (1872–1939) of adventure stories, particularly Westerns; his best–selling novel was Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) Click to show or hide the answer
Born 1899; Nobel prize 1954; died in 1961 of a self–inflicted gunshot wound; his father, sister and brother also committed suicide; subject of Papa: a personal memoir (1976), whose author (son Gregory) underwent gender re–assignment surgery in 1995 aged 64, becoming Gloria Click to show or hide the answer
Name shared by a 20th century US novelist and one of the Cavalier Poets Click to show or hide the answer
English poet (1844–89): converted to Catholicism 1866, ordained as a Jesuit priest 1877, professor of Greek Literature at University College Dublin, 1884–9; work published posthumously through Robert Bridges Click to show or hide the answer
Funeral procession in 1885, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Panthéon, was attended by an estimated two million people Click to show or hide the answer
Born USA 1843; took British citizenship shortly before his death in 1916; brother William was an eminent psychologist and philosopher, a professor at Harvard; sister Alice was a famous diarist Click to show or hide the answer
Shared his house in Gough Square, London, with his negro servant Frank, housekeeper Anna Williams (a minor poet who was going blind) and his two cats, Hodge and Lily Click to show or hide the answer
Life and works commemorated by Bloomsday on June 16th each year; first coined the word "quark" (in Finnegan's Wake) Click to show or hide the answer
Studied surgery at Guy's Hospital, 1815; died in Rome of tuberculosis, 1821 Click to show or hide the answer
Wrote unauthorised biographies of Jacqueline Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Nancy Reagan, and the British royal family Click to show or hide the answer
Wiltshire–born clergyman, whose diaries of rural life in the 1870s (in the Welsh borders) were published in 1938 – 59 years after his death Click to show or hide the answer
Has also written under the pen name Richard Bachman – in order to publish more books and avoid "saturating" his market Click to show or hide the answer
Born in Bombay, in 1865; named after a lake in Staffordshire (a popular tourist resort, where his parents had met and courted); lived at Bateman's, (East) Sussex, for his last 30 years; wrote the first Christmas speech for broadcast, for George V, 1932; used red golf balls so he could play in the snow Click to show or hide the answer
Born in Budapest; member of the Graf Zeppelin Arctic Expedition; imprisoned by Franco; served in the French Foreign Legion and the British Pioneer Corps; awarded the CBE Click to show or hide the answer
Swedish journalist, author of Zlatan Ibrahimović's 2011 biography I am Zlatan Ibrahimović, and of The Girl in the Spider's Web (2015), the fourth book in the Millennium series, originally by Stieg Larsson Click to show or hide the answer
Only daughter of the 3rd Earl of Bessborough; married a future prime minister (Lord Melbourne – but she died, aged 42, before he inherited the title); famous for her infatuation with Lord Byron; published the novel Glenarvon anonymously Click to show or hide the answer
Worked as University Librarian at the University of Hull, from 1955 until his death (aged 63) in 1985; jazz critic of the Daily Telegraph, 1961–71 Click to show or hide the answer
Died at Vence, South of France, 1930; reburied in Mexico Click to show or hide the answer
Born 1812 in Holloway, London, the 21st child of a stockbroker; published a book of illustrations of parrots aged 19; settled in Sanremo, on the Italian Riviera, and died there aged 75 Click to show or hide the answer
Widely regarded as the best British travel writer of his generation, once once described as "a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene": born in London 1915, died in 2011; works include an unfinished trilogy describing his 1933–4 journey on foot from London to Constantinople: Vol.1 A Time of Gifts (1977), Vol. 2 Between the Woods and the Water (1986) Click to show or hide the answer
Russian novelist, poet and painter – best known for the short novel A Hero of Our Time – killed in 1841, aged 26, in a duel with a fellow army officer who took offence at one of his jokes Click to show or hide the answer
Spanish poet and dramatist, killed (shot) by Falange militia at the start of the Spanish Civil War (August 1936) Click to show or hide the answer
US sci–fi writer, 1890–1937, developed a cult following for his "Cthulhu Mythos" Click to show or hide the answer
Cavalier Poet, twice jailed for his Royalist activities – author of the Lucasta collection and To Althea, from prison (Stone walls do not a prison make …) Click to show or hide the answer
English dramatist and poet of the Elizabethan period, noted for his blank verse; often alleged to have worked as a government spy; fatally stabbed above the eye by Ingram Frizer at Eleanor Bull's tavern in Deptford, east London, in an argument over a bill (1593, aged 29); the inquest ruled self defence, but conspiracy theories persist that he was assassinated in connection with a charge of blasphemy for which he had appeared before the Privy Council ten days earlier Click to show or hide the answer
Columbian Nobel laureate and 'champagne socialist'; now exiled in Mexico Click to show or hide the answer
Poet, represented Hull in parliament from 1659 until his death in 1678 Click to show or hide the answer
Born in Paris, in 1874; studied medicine in London; worked in Russia for the British intelligence service during WWI Click to show or hide the answer
Said to have coined the word "ecdysiast", (from a technical term for moulting) in response to a striptease artist who wanted a more dignified name for her occupation Click to show or hide the answer
English comic–book writer, born 1953 in Northampton, best known for his work in Watchmen (1986–7), V for Vendetta (1988–9) and From Hell (1989–96); often described as "the best graphic novel writer in history" Click to show or hide the answer
2013 autobiography controversially first published (reportedly at the author's insistence) as a Penguin Classic; 2015 debut novel List of the Lost described in a Times review as "the worst novel I remember reading", and won the Literary Review's Bad Sex Award Click to show or hide the answer
Defence lawyer in obscenity trials involving Last Exit to Brooklyn, Oz magazine, Gay News, and Virgin Records (over the title of the Sex Pistols' first LP) – but not (according to his biographer) Lady Chatterley's Lover Click to show or hide the answer
Lectured on Philosophy at Oxford, 1948–62 Click to show or hide the answer
American novelist who was also a lepidopterist Click to show or hide the answer
Chilean Communist poet, exiled to Italy 1948–52, Nobel laureate 1971; portrayed in the 1994 film Il Postino Click to show or hide the answer
Born Dublin 1965, with cerebral palsy; typed with a pointer attached to his forehead; Dam Burst of Dreams, a collection of poetry, published 1981; 1987 autobiography Under the Eye of the Clock (written in the third person) won the Whitbread Prize; attended the same school as members of U2 (starting just as they were leaving) – their song Miracle Drug (on the album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, 2004) was about him; died 2009 Click to show or hide the answer
Disowned his daughter Oona in 1943, for marrying Charlie Chaplin, when she was 18 and he was 54; died in 1953, and never saw her again Click to show or hide the answer
English playwright murdered by his lover Kenneth Halliwell, 1967 Click to show or hide the answer
Wrote an article (first published in the London Evening Standard, 1946) describing his ideal pub, which he named The Moon Under Water Click to show or hide the answer
Lived intermittently in a remote farmhouse on the Scottish island of Jura, from 1946 until his death in 1950, aged 46, from a pulmonary embolism; wrote what was arguably his most famous book (Nineteen Eighty–Four) there
Diagnosed with shell shock in 1917; met Siegfried Sassoon while recuperating at Edinburgh; returned to the front following the (non–fatal) shooting of Sassoon, seeing it as his duty to tell of the horrors of the war; killed in 1918, during the crossing of the Sambre–Oise Canal, exactly one week before the signing of the Armistice; his mother received news of his death on Armistice Day; posthumously awarded the Military Cross; greatly influenced by Sassoon, who promoted and edited his works after his death (Sassoon is nevertheless considered to be an inferior poet); poems featured in Britten's War Requiem Click to show or hide the answer
Records, in the work for which he's best remembered, how he began it after breakfasting on the remains of a turkey Click to show or hide the answer
Yorkshire schools inspector, best known for his semi–autobiographical novels about life in the Yorkshire Dales (The Other Side of the Dales, etc.) Click to show or hide the answer
Victoria Lucas was a pen–name of Click to show or hide the answer
Inventor of detective fiction (Murders in the Rue Morgue, 1841) Click to show or hide the answer
"I am His Majesty's dog at Kew. Pray tell me sir, whose dog are you?" – inscription on the collar of a dog given to Charles II by Click to show or hide the answer
Indicted for treason by the US government for his pro–Fascist broadcasts during WWII; committed to a mental hospital until 1958 Click to show or hide the answer
The UK's best–selling author of the 1990s; knighted in 2009; his 2011 novel was at the time of its release the third–fastest–selling hardback adult–readership novel since records began in the UK, (55,000 copies in the first three days); diagnosed with early–onset Alzheimer's disease in 2007; died in 2015, a few weeks before his 67th birthday Click to show or hide the answer
Born in Bradford in 1894; his left–wing beliefs brought him into conflict with the government, and influenced the birth of the Welfare State; broadcast a series of short propaganda radio shows that were credited with strengthening civilian morale during the Battle of Britain (1940), but which were eventually cancelled by the BBC for being too critical of the Government; died in Stratford–on–Avon in 1984 Click to show or hide the answer
Double–barrelled surname of the twins Christine and Diana, and their elder sister Josephine, who between them wrote over 160 'pony' books (many had the word 'pony' in their titles; Diana alone wrote approximately 100) – most popular in the 1950s and 60s; also wrote a joint autobiography, entitled Fair Girls and Grey Horses (1996) Click to show or hide the answer
Russian poet, novelist and dramatist, born 1799, killed in a duel 1837 Click to show or hide the answer
Second wife was Trotsky's secretary, whom he met while working in Russia Click to show or hide the answer
Best known as a crime novelist, has published thrillers under the pen name Barbara Vine Click to show or hide the answer
French "decadent" poet, born 1854, described by Victor Hugo as "an infant Shakespeare", but gave up writing before the age of 20; travelled widely, and died of cancer aged 37 Click to show or hide the answer
The Man who Invented Sex: 2007 biography of Click to show or hide the answer
Won the Smarties Book Prize three years running (1997–9); withdrew her later books from contention to give others a chance Click to show or hide the answer
Put under police protection by the British government after a fatwā calling for his assassination was issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on 14 February 1989; knighted in 2007 Click to show or hide the answer
English writer and critic, 1819–1900: an early champion of Turner and the Pre–Raphaelites; see also Whistler in Artists; long associated with Oxford University, where he was appointed the first Slade Professor of Fine Art in 1869 and established a school of drawing in 1871; a college founded in Oxford in 1899 to provide higher education for people of limited means (not part of the University) was and is named after him; lived at Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water; died there in 1900; commemorated by a monument on Friar's Crag, Derwentwater Click to show or hide the answer
Poet and novelist, inspired Virginia Woolf's androgynous hero Orlando Click to show or hide the answer
French writer, real name Amandine Dupin, had extra–marital affairs with Chopin and others after leaving her husband of nine years Click to show or hide the answer
Lived at Witham, Essex, from 1929 until her death in 1957 Click to show or hide the answer
Commemorated by a famous monument, just over 200ft (61m) high, in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh – completed 1844, 8 years after his death Click to show or hide the answer
Married Anne Hathaway; left his second–best bed to her in his will. (Consensus is that this was not such a slight as might appear: it was common to leave the bulk of one's property to one's children, and Shakespeare is known to have left most of his property to his daughter Susannah, having disinherited his other daughter, Judith, because he disapproved of her marriage. His son, Judith's twin brother Hamnet, died of the plague 20 years earlier. The best bed would have been reserved for guests, so the second–best one was probably their marital bed; it was probably quite valuable anyway) Click to show or hide the answer
The first person to win a Nobel Prize (Literature, 1925) and an Oscar (for the screenplay of Pygmalion) (Bob Dylan was the second); lived at Ayot St. Lawrence, Herts; died 1950, aged 94, after falling from an apple tree; represented his university as a boxer (middleweight); left part of his fortune to found a phonetic alphabet; wrote music reviews for the Pall Mall Gazette under the pseudonym Corno di Bassetto (Italian for basset horn) from 1885, before he was famous Click to show or hide the answer
Creator of the television shows The Patty Duke Show (1963–6), I Dream of Jeannie (1965–70) and Hart to Hart (1979–84); published his first novel The Naked Face in 1970, and went on to write 17 more novels before his death in 2007 – becoming the seventh best–selling fiction writer of all time (between Georges Simenon and Enid Blyton) Click to show or hide the answer
Sent down from Oxford in 1811 for publishing a pamphlet entitled The necessity of Atheism; drowned while sailing near La Spezia (Italy), 1822; buried in Rome Click to show or hide the answer
English chemist, novelist and civil servant (1905–80): delivered a famous and influential lecture in 1959, entitled The Two Cultures, about the breakdown in communication between scientists and "literary intellectuals" in the 20th century Click to show or hide the answer
Deported from the Soviet Union, 1974; Soviet citizenship restored 1990, returned to Russia 1994 Click to show or hide the answer
Novelist who had a pet poodle called Charley Click to show or hide the answer
First editor of the Dictionary of National Biography; father of Virginia Woolf Click to show or hide the answer
Original drummer of Genesis (before they were famous); in later life became a successful author of "good life abroad" books Click to show or hide the answer
Settled in Samoa, 1888, in search of a healthier climate; died there 1894 and is buried there Click to show or hide the answer
Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, from 1714 until his death in 1745; the proceeds from the first performance of Handel's Messiah (1742) were donated, at his request, to local charities and hospitals for the mentally ill; left the bulk of his fortune (£12,000) to found a mental hospital Click to show or hide the answer
Elizabethan courtier and poet, one of the most prominent figures of his time and author of the hugely influential Defence of Poesy (a.k.a. An Apology for Poetry) Click to show or hide the answer
Born in Worcester, 1973: writes chick–lit using her first name, and psychological thrillers using her initials Click to show or hide the answer
The first writer to receive a peerage Click to show or hide the answer
Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo–Saxon at Oxford, 1925–45; Merton Professor of English Language and Literature, 1945–59 (also at Oxford) Click to show or hide the answer
Invented the pillar box (while working in the Civil Service) Click to show or hide the answer
Born just after Halley's Comet appeared in 1835; predicted in 1909 that he would "go out" with it in 1910; died of a heart attack on the day after it appeared at its brightest in 1910 Click to show or hide the answer
First of three volumes of autobiography published 2010 – 100 years after his death, according to his wishes (parts were published in his lifetime and have been republished many times since)
Worked as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, and took his pen name from the leadsman&'39;s cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms (12 feet), which was safe water for a steamboat (the leadsman was the sailor who sounded the depth)
English writer, 1717–97: son of a prime minister (often said to be Britain's first) Click to show or hide the answer
Coined the word "serendipity"
Author of The Castle of Otranto (1764) – generally regarded as the first gothic novel
Stood as Labour candidate for Parliament, twice, in the 1920s Click to show or hide the answer
Fled to Paris on release from jail, under the pseudonym Sebastian Melmoth; also used his prison number C33 (C three three) as a pseudonym Click to show or hide the answer
Daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen; founded the Hogarth Press, 1917 Click to show or hide the answer
Major figure in the Irish Literary Revival ("Celtic Twilight"); co–founder of the Abbey Theatre; Nobel Prize for Literature 1923; appointed to the first Irish Senate 1922, reappointed 1925 Click to show or hide the answer
Wrote J'accuse – an open Letter to the French government over the Dreyfus affair Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2018