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Agatha Christie

Writer

Dame Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was an English author famed for writing detective novels, short stories, plays and poems. Some of her well-known works include Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, The Murder at the Vicarage, Partners In Crime, and The Mousetrap which featured the celebrated detectives, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Christie was awarded a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1971.

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Antony Trollope

Novelist

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) was an English novelist, short story writer and playwright; he was one of the most prolific writers of the Victorian era writing fourty-seven novels. Some of Trollope’s notable works were The Way We Live Now, The Macdermots of Ballycloran and The Warden, as well as The Chronicles of Barsetshire which comprised of six novels based on this imaginary county. He was also the creator of pillar boxes!

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Arthur Conan Doyle

Writer

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a writer best known for the creation of arguably the most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. Scottish-born Doyle wrote four novels and more than fifty short stories featuring Detective Holmes, as well as exploring the genres of fantasy and science fiction, humorous stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels in books like The Lost World, showing just what a prolific writer he was.  

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Beatrix Potter

Writer

The writer and illustrator, Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), was best known for her famous children's book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She wrote thirty books in total, twenty-three of them being children's tales. Even today, more than two million Beatrix Potter books are sold across the world every year, showing just how influential her writing has been.

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Bram Stoker

Writer

Abraham Stoker, widely known as Bram Stoker (1847-1912), was an Irish writer. He was also a manager and personal assistant of the actor, Sir Henry Irving. One of Stoker’s most popular works is the Gothic horror novel, Dracula and whilst he wrote twelve novels in total, none of them could match the success of Dracula. He was also friends with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Butler Yeats and Oscar Wilde, the latter friendship being significant due to the fight between the two men over Florence Balcome, Stoker’s wife.

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Charles Darwin

Naturalist

The much-acclaimed English naturalist, geologist and biologist, Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882), was best known for his scientific theory of evolution by natural selection. His notable works were The Voyage of the Beagle, On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man

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Charles Dickens

Writer

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was an English novelist and, ultimately, one of the most distinguished authors of the Victorian era. He wrote over fifteen novels and short stories, including A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, A Christmas Carol, The Pickwick Papers, Little Dorrit and Great Expectations.

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Daniel Defoe

Trader

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was an English trader and writer. Defoe is best known for writing Robinson Crusoe; this book is so popular that it is the second most translated book (after the Bible). His other important works were Memoirs of a Cavalier, A Journal of the Plague Year, Colonel Jack, Moll Flanders and Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress. 

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Daphne du Maurier

Author

Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) was an English author and playwright whose most famous novels include Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and 

Frenchman's Creek. Moreover, both her short story, The Birds, and her novel, Rebecca, were made into films directed by Alfred Hitchcock. 

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D. H. Lawrence

Writer

The English writer and poet, David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930), was a very influential and prolific writer of his time. He wrote novels, short stories, poetry, plays and literary criticism. Some of his best-known works include Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love, John Thomas and Lady Jane and Lady Chatterley's Lover

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Dorothy L. Sayers

Writer

As well as translating Dante’s 14th century narrative poem, Divine Comedy, the English writer and poet, Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), was best regarded for her crime novels and poetry. Her most acclaimed works include, The Nine Tailors, Murder Must Advertise, Strong Poison, Have His Carcase and Gaudy Night.

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Douglas Adams

Writer

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) was an English author famed for the pentalogy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which sold more than fifteen million copies as a novel (although it was originally broadcast as a radio show). Some of his other well-known works were Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (which was made into a Netflix Series), The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul and Last Chance to See.  

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Dylan Thomas

Poet

Although he died young at the age of thirty-nine, the Welsh poet, writer and reporter, Dylan Marlais Thomas (1914-1953), was a very successful poet. Some of his best works include And Death Shall Have No Dominion, A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night. The last of these was narrated throughout Chris Nolan’s blockbuster film, Interstellar, showing the power evoked in Thomas’ work.

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Edgar Allan Poe

Writer

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American writer, poet and literary critic regarded highly for his Gothic – and often macabre – literature such as The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Fall of the House of Usher. As well as this, Poe’s short story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue was considered to be the first detective story.

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E. M. Forster

Novelist

Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970) was an English author whose works include A Room with a View, Howards End and A Passage to India. Forster was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature sixteen times but never actually won!

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Elizabeth Bowen

Novelist

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) was an Irish-British author and short story writer who was awarded a CBE for her work. She is best known for fiction about life in wartime London and her works include The Last September, The House in Paris, The Death of the Heart, The Heat of the Day and Eva Trout. 

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Elizabeth Gaskell

Novelist

Often referred to as just Mrs Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell 

(1810-1865) was an English novelist, short story writer and biographer.

As well as writing books such as Cranford, North and South, and Wives and Daughters, Gaskell contributed to Charles Dickens' periodical magazine, Household Words and was also friends with Charlotte Brontë (incidentally writing her biography, The Life of Charlotte Brontë). 

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Emile Zola

Novelist

Émile Zola (1840-1902) was a French novelist, playwright and journalist. He was a naturalist writer and arguably the most influential French novelist of the late 19th century. Zola was nominated for the first ever Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1901 and subsequently also in 1902, but he never won. Some of his best works were Les Rougon-Macquart, Thérèse Raquin, Germinal 

and Nana.

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Ezra Pound

Poet

Ezra Pound (1885-1972) was an American poet and critic and an important figure in the Modernist poetry movement. Some of his notable works were Ripostes, Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, The Cantos – which he never finished – and The Pisan Cantos, for which he was awarded the Bollingen Prize in poetry in 1949. 

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Gavin Maxwell

Poet

Gavin Maxwell (1914-1969) was a Scottish writer and naturalist. He is best known for his non-fiction writing on natural history, travel literature and otters! His notable work was Ring of Bright Water which sold more than a million copies and was made into a film in 1969. Some of Maxwell’s other works were Harpoon at a Venture, The Rocks Remain, God Protect Me from My Friends and The Pains of Death.

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Geoffrey Chaucer

Poet

Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400) was an English poet and writer widely acknowledged as the father of English literature; he was also the first poet buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Chaucer’s most celebrated work, The Canterbury Tales, which contains several different stories within the main plot (of pilgrims travelling to Canterbury) is considered one of the greatest poetic works in the English language.

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George Bernard Shaw

Playwright

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an Irish playwright, critic and political activist. After his novels were rejected by publishers, he started to write plays of which he wrote more than sixty. Some of his important works were Pygmalion, Saint Joan, Heartbreak House, Candida and Man and Superman. Bernard Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925 and also won an Academy Award for the Best Adapted Screenplay of his play, Pygmalion, in 1938.

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George Eliot

Novelist

Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880) – under the pen name of George Eliot – was an English novelist, poet and journalist. She was one of the most influential writers of the Victorian era. Her most important works were The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Romola, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda

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George Gissing

Novelist

George Robert Gissing (1857-1903) was an eminent figure in 19th century Naturalist literature, writing twenty-three novels. Some of Gissing’s

well-known works include The Nether World, New Grub Street, Born In Exile and The Odd Women

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George Orwell

Novelist

Under the pen name of George Orwell, Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950) was a hugely successful English novelist, political essayist and journalist, known for his left-wing, anti-totalitarian views. Orwell wrote six novels and most of them were semi-autobiographical. Some of his best-known works were Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Homage to Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London. 

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Henry James

Author

Henry James (1843-1916) was an American-British writer and an important figure in 20th century literary realism. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature three times and was also awarded the Order of Merit by King George V in 1916. Some of his notable works were The Portrait of a Lady, The Ambassadors, and The Wings of the Dove.

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H. G. Wells

Writer

Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was an English author and an early pioneer of the science fiction genre. Wells wrote copiously throughout his life: he wrote more than 100 books in many genres such as novels, short stories, satire, history, biography and autobiography. Some of his well-known fictional novels were The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, The Island of Doctor Moreau and The First Men in the Moon. 

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Herman Melville

Novelist

Herman Melville (1819-1891) was an American novelist, short story writer and poet and is best known for his novels about the sea life. Melville wrote fifteen books, the most notable of which is the American classic, Moby Dick. Some of his other works include Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, Omoo, and Billy Budd; the last in the list was published posthumously

thirty-three years after Melville’s death.

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Ian Fleming

Author

Ian Fleming (1908-1964) was an English suspense-fiction novelist and journalist, most eulogised as the author of James Bond; he wrote twelve James Bond novels as well as collections of short stories. In addition to these revered works – many of which have been turned in to successful films such as Dr No, Goldfinger and Thunderball – Fleming was also the author of well-known children's story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. The Times ranked Ian Fleming 14th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers”. 

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Italo Svevo

Writer

Actually the pen name of Aron Ettore Schmitz (1861-1928), Svevo was an Italian writer, novelist, playwright and short story writer; he was renowned throughout Italy for his psychological novels such as A Life, Zeno’s Conscience, A Perfect Hoax and The Nice Old Man and the Pretty Girl. Svevo was also a close friend of the famous Irish author, James Joyce.

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James Joyce

Novelist

James Joyce (1882-1941) – as well as speaking seventeen languages – was an Irish author, short story writer, and poet. He was a hugely salient writer in the 20th century, particularly as his style of writing was experimental and Modernist: he pioneered the stream of consciousness as a literary technique, for example. Joyce was also a drinking partner of Ernest Hemingway. Some of his well-known works include Ulysses, Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Finnegans Wake

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J. M. Barrie

Novelist

Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937) was a Scottish novelist and playwright. He was the creator of the timeless play and then novel, Peter Pan. Upon his death, J.M. Barrie gave his copyrights of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital – a children's hospital in London. Some of his other notable works were The Little White Bird and The Admirable Crichton

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Jane Austen

Novelist

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English novelist who wrote six completed novels: Sense and Sensibility; Pride and Prejudice; Mansfield Park; Emma; Northanger Abbey; and Persuasion. Austen’s final two novels were published posthumously. She wrote about ordinary middle-class people in everyday England and used a modern and realistic approach in her writing (as well as occasional comedy), making her work accessible and relatable for many readers.

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Jean Rhys

Novelist

Jean Rhys (1890-1979), also known as Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams, was a West-Indian novelist, short story writer and essayist. Her most notable works were Good Morning, Midnight, Voyage in the Dark and Wide Sargasso Sea. As well as winning the 1967 WH Smith Literary Award with her novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, Rhys was awarded a CBE in 1978. 

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John Betjeman

Poet

The English poet, writer and broadcaster, Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984), was the UK’s Poet Laureate from 1972 until his death twelve years later. Some of his most notable works were Mount Zion, Collected Poems, High and Low, A Nip in the Air and Uncollected Poems. He also helped to save

St. Pancras Station from demolition.

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John Keats

Poet

John Keats (1795-1821) was a Romantic English poet; although he only published fifty-four poems (dying prematurely at age 25), he is one of the most well-known poets in English Literature. As well as giving up his career in medicine to become a poet, Keats was not even appreciated in his own time. Fortunately, his popularity has grown significantly since his passing. Some of his notable poems were Ode to a Nightingale, To Autumn, Ode on a Grecian Urn and On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer.

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John Polidori

Writer

As well as a physician, John William Polidori (1795-1821) was an English author and poet. Some of his notable works were The Vampyre, Ernestus Berchtold; or, The Modern Oedipus and The Fall of the Angels: A Sacred Poem. His short story, The Vampyre, was the first published modern vampire story and he has seen by some as the creator of this offshoot of fantasy fiction. This book came about as a result of a contest between 

Polidori, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and Percy Shelley held in The Villa Diodati in 1816. Another significant product of this contest was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

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Joseph Conrad

Writer

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) was a Modernist, Polish-British writer who wrote novels as well as short stories. Although it wasn’t his first language, Conrad was nonetheless an eminent English writer. Some of his important novels were Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and the short story, Heart of Darkness. The latter was also the inspiration and the basis for Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film, Apocalypse Now.

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Karl Marx

Philosopher

Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883) was a German revolutionary, author and philosopher. Marx was one of the most important political theorists of the 19th century best known for his ideas about communism and capitalism. Because of his political views and publications, Marx had to live in exile with his family in London until his death in 1883. Some of his notable works were his 1848 Pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto, and the three-volume critique of capitalism, Das Kapital

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Katherine Mansfield

Short Story Writer

Kathleen Mansfield Murry (1888-1923) was a short story writer and poet. She was born in New Zealand and moved to England at the age of nineteen. Mansfield made friends with D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf and although her literary career was very short (as she sadly died at thirty-four owing to tuberculosis), she is seen as one of the best short story writers of all time. Some of her best-known works were The Garden Party, A Dill Pickle, Mr and Mrs Dove, and The Fly.

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Leonard Woolf

Author

As well as being the husband of Virginia Woolf, Leonard Sidney Woolf (1880-1969) was a publisher, author and political theorist; together they founded Hogarth Press in 1917. Some of Virginia Woolf's novels and also T.S. Eliot's Modernist poem, The Waste Land, were published by Hogarth Press. Some of Leonard Woolf's own notable works were The Village in the Jungle, The Wise Virgins and Essays on Literature, History, Politics

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Lord Byron

Poet, politician

George Gordon Byron (1788-1824) – widely known as Lord Byron – was an English poet and politician. He was considered as a leading figure in Romanticism and one of the greatest poets in English literature. Some of his best-known works were Don Juan, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Oriental Tales, The Corsair, and She Walks in Beauty.

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Madame d'Arblay

Novelist

Frances Burney (1752-1840), also known as Fanny Burney, was an English satirical novelist and playwright (who also wrote some journals and letters). D’Arblay was one of the most popular writers of the 18th century. Her notable works include Journals, Evelina; or, A Young Lady's Entrance into the World, Cecilia, Camilla, The Wanderer and her play, The Witlings

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Mark Twain

Writer

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 -1910) – widely known as Mark Twain – was an American author, humourist and also inventor. He was seen as the father of American literature; in fact, Ernest Hemingway said, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn." His most notable works – as well as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, of course – are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

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Mary Shelley

Novelist

Not only was Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) married to famous poet Percy Shelley, but she was hugely successful in her own right: for a woman to write a book as popular as Frankenstein in the 19th century was shocking (which is shown by the fact that many believed her husband, Percy, had written the book as it was published anonymously). Frankenstein proved the importance of women in literature and change people's beliefs; Mary Shelley put her name in the second edition which was published in 1823. Some of her other notable works include

 Valperga, The Last Man, Lodore and The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck.  

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Mary Wollstonecraft

Writer

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was Mary Shelley’s mother – hence the similar name – who devoted herself to women’s rights and equality; she had a great influence and contribution to the feminist movement. 

Wollstonecraft is best known for her work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Sadly, she died after giving birth to her daughter.

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Nathaniel Hawthorne

Novelist

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was an American novelist and short story writer. He had a great influence and contribution to the transcendentalist movement as well as an important role in the developing of American literature overall. Morality, religion and history were the main focuses in his writings. Some of his best works were 

Twice-Told Tales, The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables

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Natsume Sōseki

Writer

Natsume Sōseki (夏目 漱石) (1867-1916) was a Japanese novelist who wrote both short stories and poetry. The relationship between Japanese and Western cultures was the main subject in much of his writing. Some of his best-known works were Kokoro, Botchan, I Am a Cat and (the uncompleted) Light and Darkness. His portrait was on the front of the Japanese 1000 yen note for 20 years. 

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Oscar Wilde

Poet

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was a famous Irish writer, poet and playwright best known for his contribution to the aesthetic movement in the 19th century. Wilde was imprisoned because of his homosexuality, and this “punishment” ultimately led to his death in 1900. He only wrote one novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, but his other notable works include The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Ballad of Reading Gaol and De Profundis. 

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P. L. Travers

Writer

Pamela Lyndon Travers (1899-1996) was an Australian-English writer, actress and journalist. Her most successful work was the children’s book series, Mary Poppins, which comprised of eight books by the time it was finished. After resisting for twenty years, Travers sold the film rights of Mary Poppins to Walt Disney. She was also friends with famous Irish poet, William Butler Yeats. 

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Percy Shelley

Poet

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was an English Romantic poet, dramatist, essayist and novelist; his theories of economics and morality influenced Karl Marx and many others. Some of his notable works were 

Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, Music, When Soft Voices Die, The Cloud, The Cenci, Queen Mab, Alastor, Adonaïs, Prometheus Unbound and Hellas: A Lyrical Drama. Shelley’s wife – Mary – was also a hugely successful author in her own right (writing lauded works such as Frankenstein).

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Rose Macaulay

Writer

Dame Emilie Rose Macaulay (1881-1958) was an English writer and novelist. She was a prolific writer who produced twenty-three novels in addition to other works including criticism, travel, history and poetry. She was awarded by the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for her novel, The Towers of Trebizond. Some of her other notable works include They Were Defeated, The World My Wilderness and Going Abroad. She was made a Dame 

Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1958 and was also notably friends with Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster and Elizabeth Bowen.

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Rudyard Kipling

Journalist

Best known for writing The Jungle Book – later to become a hugely successful Disney film – Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He is also acclaimed as the pioneer of the art of short story. Kipling was born in India and the inspiration he drew from that culture is evidenced in many of his works. Kipling wrote several other successful stories, such as Just So Stories, Kim, The Man Who Would Be King, Mandalay, Gunga DinThe Gods of the Copybook Headings, The White Man's Burden and If—. In 1907, Kipling was also the first English writer awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Samuel Beckett

Novelist

Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906-1989) was an Irish writer, playwright and dramatist; he wrote his works in both English and French. He is best known for his absurd play, Waiting for Godot, but he produced many others such as Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape, Happy Days, Molloy, Malone

Dies and The Unnamable. As well as being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969, he was presented with the French War Cross for his resistance work in World War Two.

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Samuel Johnson

Writer

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), also known as Dr Johnson, was an English writer, poet, playwright, lexicographer and literary critic. He had a distinguished impact on modern English by writing A Dictionary of the English Language in 1755. His other more conventional works include A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia and Lives of the Poets.

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Samuel Pepys

Member of Parliament

Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) was an English diarist, MP and Chief Secretary to the Admiral. He is most famous for the diary he kept from 1660 to 1669: it includes invaluable insights into 17th century England, as well as reporting on exceptional historical events such as The Great Plague, The Great Fire of London, and the Second Dutch War.

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Sigmund Freud

Neurologist

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian neurologist, physiologist and the developer of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory. Freud is one of the most influential thinkers of 20th century and although he was nominated twelve times for a Nobel Prize in Medicine, and once for literature, he was never the ultimate winner. Nonetheless, Freud was awarded the Goethe Prize in literature in 1930. Some of his well-known works were The Interpretation of Dreams, Leonardo da Vinci, A Memory of His Childhood, The Ego and the Id and An Outline of Psycho-Analysis.  

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Sylvia Plath

Poet

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. She was one of the most gifted poets of the 20th century and was deservingly awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for her works, The Collected Poems. Some of her other notable works were The Colossus and Other Poems, Lady Lazarus, The Bell Jar and Ariel. However, as expressed in much of her work, she experienced severe mental health problems and she sadly committed suicide and died young at the age of thirty.

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Theodor Fontane

Novelist

Theodor Fontane (1819-1898) was a German writer, journalist, novelist and poet. Although he published his first novel at the age of fifty-eight, he still became one of the most important German writers in the 19th century: Fontane was a pioneer of modern realistic fiction in Germany and some of his successful works include A Summer in London, Men and Heroes and Before the Storm. 

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Thomas Carlyle

Scottish philosopher

The Scottish author, philosopher, essayist, mathematician and also historian, Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), is an important figure in Victorian Literature, not least because his book, The French Revolution, inspired Dickens to write A Tale of Two CitiesCarlyle also produced several other well-known works such as Sartor Resartus, On Heroes, Hero Worship, 

and The Heroic in History. 

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Thomas De Quincey

Essayist

Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) was an English author, essayist and journalist. One of his best-known and most amusing, works was The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater; it was an autobiographical work about his laudanum addiction. Some of his other works were Lake Reminiscences and On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth.

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Thomas More

Saint

Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) was an English lawyer, philosopher, statesman, and an author who wrote the fictional book, Utopia, which is about the social and political system of a fictional island. He argued against Henry VIII's divorce with Catherine of Aragon and his new marriage with Anne Boleyn; More was accused of treason because of refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy and executed in the Tower of London as a result of this. His last words were: "I die the King's good servant, but God's first". The Catholic Church declared him as a patron saint in year 2000. 

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T. S. Eliot

Poet

Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) was an American-born British essayist, playwright, critic and poet known best as a pioneer of the Modernist movement in poetry. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 for his contribution to modern poetry and was also awarded the British Honour, Order of Merit. Some of Eliot’s notable works were The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, Four Quartets and Murder in the Cathedral.

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Virginia Woolf

Writer

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was an English author, essayist, publisher and critic. She is recognised as one of the most important Modernist and feminist figures in the 20th century. Woolf was a prolific writer who explored many different forms of writing and often used new techniques such as stream of consciousness. Some of her notable works were Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Voyage Out, Jacob’s Room, Orlando, The Waves and A Room of One’s Own. 

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Voltaire

Writer

Francois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778) – under the pen name of Voltaire – was a French writer, philosopher, satirist and playwright. Some of his notable works were his tragic play, Zaïre, the historical study, The Age of Louis XIV, and the satirical novella, Candide. He wrote in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works as well as writing more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. 

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Wilkie Collins

Novelist

A pioneer of detective fiction, William Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), was an English author, short story writer and playwright. Collins is best known for his novel, The Moonstone: it is often regarded as the first true mystery novel. He was also a close friend of Charles Dickens and wrote for his periodicals, Household Words. Some of his other notable works were The Woman in White, Antonina; Or, the Fall of Rome, Basil, No Name and Armadale.

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W. B. Yeats

Poet

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet, writer and dramatist and an influential figure in 20th century literature. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for his inspirational poetry. Some of his important works were The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems, The Countless Kathleen, Deirdre, The Tower, Words for Music Perhaps and Other Poems. Yeats was also a founder of the Abbey Theatre – the national theatre of Ireland.

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William Caxton

Merchant

William Caxton (1422-1491) was an English merchant, diplomat, translator, writer and – in 1476 – the first person to introduce a printing press to England. His translation of The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye was the first book printed in the English language and other notable prints include Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Caxton also made the first translation of Aesop’s Fables. Some of his own important works were 

Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres and Brut Chronicles. He now rests in St Margaret’s Church.

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William Shakespeare

Poet

The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare (1564-1616), was an English poet, playwright and actor, commonly dubbed the greatest English writer in world literature; he is considered to be England's national poet.  Shakespeare wrote around thirty-eight plays, two poems and 154 sonnets. Some of his well-known works include Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Two Gentleman of Verona.

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