Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
Douglas Noël Adams was born in Cambridge in 1952, where he later studied English. There he met the Monty Pythons member Graham Chapman, with whom he worked on skits. His most famous work is the science fiction-style book series “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, the first volume of which was published in 1979. Film adaptations of it contributed to the worldwide fame of the writer. Adams died in 2001 in Santa Barbara, USA.
Kingsley Amis (1922-1995)
Kingsley Amis was born in London in 1922, studied at Oxford and taught English at both Cambridge and Swansea University. As a friend and admirer of the James Bond inventor Ian Fleming, he was commissioned to continue the secret agent series after his death. In 1968 “James Bond on the Greek Trail” was released. Ami’s work also includes various science fiction series. He died in London in 1995.
Martin Amis (born 1949)
Martin Louis Amis was born in Oxford in 1949. He studied at Exeter College and became famous for his 1974 novel “The Rachel Papers”, which was published in Germany under the title “Er? Will! Sie nicht?” appeared as a film. His father was the well-known 007 author Kingsley Amis, who passed away in 1995.
WH Auden (1907-1973)
Anglo-American poet. Wystan Hugh Auden was born in York in 1907 to a doctor. During his school days in Surrey he made the acquaintance of the later famous author Christopher Isherwood. Together they went to America in 1939. His most famous work was created in 1947 and is called “The Age of Fear”. For the post-war verse epic he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1948. Auden died in Vienna in 1973.
Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Jane Austen was born in Steventon in 1775 to a clergyman and had seven siblings. She became one of the most famous British writers of her time, also known as the Regency period. Austen lived for a long time in the south-east of England, where she wrote her best-known and often filmed novels “Feeling and Understanding” (1811), “Pride and Prejudice” (1813) and “Emma” (1816) and many others. The main feature of her work is the romantic love story. Austen died in Winchester in 1817 and had a decisive influence on subsequent generations of writers.
William Blake (1757-1827)
poet, painter, mystic. William Blake was born in 1757 in London to a hosiery manufacturer. Angel apparitions and other mystical events that he had already experienced in childhood, Blake described in his poems and paintings. The poet was particularly fond of biblical motifs. His “Songs of Experience” (1793-1794) are among Blake’s most famous works. Poets, directors, bands – Blake’s influence continues today. He died in his hometown in 1827.
The Yorkshire siblings Charlotte (1816-1855), Emily (1818-1848) and Anne Brontë (1820-1849) were daughters of a pastor. In 1846 they published their first collection of poems, “Poems”, in which they dealt intensively with the fantasy world. It is characteristic that the three always published under male artist names. Charlotte’s novel “Jane Eyre” (1847) is one of the best-known works by the siblings and in world literature. But Emily’s “Sturmhöhe” (1847) also enjoyed international success and was made into a film.
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
poet and playwright. Robert Browning was born in London in 1812 to a banker. He was considered gifted and studied at London University. Troubadours and alchemists appear in his poetry. “The Pied Piper of Hameln” (1842) is one of his most famous poems. But Browning also wrote plays such as “Strafford” (1837). From the late 1870s, he lived mainly in Italy. Browning died in Venice in 1889.
AS Byatt (born 1936)
writer. Antonia Susan Byatt was born in Sheffield in 1936 and studied in both York and Cambridge. Before starting her writing career, she taught at the University of London. One of her most important works is “Possession” (1990) – German: “Besessen” (1993), for which she won the popular Booker Prize. In 1999 Byatt received the royal title of “Dame Commander”.
Lord Byron (1788-1824)
poet. George Gordon Byron was born in 1788 in London to the South Seas explorer John Byron. He studied at Cambridge and is considered a major exponent of Black Romanticism due to his poetics and his escapist life with several affairs. Byron died in Messolongi, Greece in 1824 after devoting himself intensively to the country’s struggle for freedom.
John Le Carré (born 1931)
writer. Le Carré, whose real name is David John Moore Cornwell, was born in Poole, UK, in 1931. His mother was Olive Cornwell, his father Richard Thomas Archibald Cornwell. He studied at Lincoln College, Oxford, among others. He received international attention from 1963 with the publication of his novel “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold”, also known as the “James Bond” film adaptation.
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
writer, mathematician, photographer. Lewis Carroll was born in Daresbury in 1832 to a future bishop. He studied in Oxford, among other places. With the work “Alice in Wonderland” from 1865 he wrote the most famous children’s book in the world, which has been made into films several times. Word jokes, satire, and mathematical logic are among the ingredients of the book, which has been just as highly praised by mathematicians. Carroll died in Guildford in 1898.
Daniel Defoe (approx. 1660-1731)
The novelist was born in London as the son of a craftsman who traded in candles. He first established himself as a businessman and traveled around the world. At first he wrote ironic pamphlets, but then published his own magazine and, since 1719, wrote on “Robinson Crusoe”, the work that is now considered to be the origin of English novel art. Defoe, who campaigned for freedom in his country throughout his life, died in London in 1731.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Charles John Huffam Dickens, the famous writer, worked as a paralegal in London at the age of 14 and spent all his free time in the library of the British Museum. From 1932 he was a reporter for the “Morning Chronicle” and soon began to publish magazines and literature. He is one of the great English storytellers and also distinguished himself through social engagement. His works (including “Oliver Twist”, “Great Expectations”) provide deep insights into the living conditions in Victorian London. Dickens, who also wrote under the stage name Boz, died near Rochester in 1870.
John Donne (1572-1631)
writer and poet. John Donne was born in London in 1572, where he later died in 1631. He grew up in a Catholic family, studied at Hertford College in Oxford and in Cambridge. Donne went down in history as the most important exponent of metaphysical poetry. His poem “The Canonization” from 1896 is most celebrated.
Jasper Fforde (born 1961)
author, cameraman. Jasper Fforde was born in London in 1961 and made her debut with the novel “The Jane Eyre Case” (2001). The main character Thursday Next was so well received by the audience that Fforde has since published several follow-up volumes. With comedy, puns and elements of fantasy, he wrote himself in the hearts of readers all over the world. Fforde also bribed as a cameraman for the 007 film “Golden Eye”. We’ll hear a lot more from this artist.
Helen Fielding (born 1958)
writer and journalist. Helen Fielding was born in Morley in 1958 and studied at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. From 1979 she worked for the BBC, later for the “Sunday Times” and other British newspapers. Fielding became internationally known for her columns on “Bridget Jones”, which appeared in 1995 and were later published as a novel and finally made into a film with enormous success.
Henry Fielding (1707-1754)
After studying in London, Henry Fielding initially wrote 25 dramas, but then began writing novels after the novel form had established itself with Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe”. Fielding came out with “Tom Jones”. Notorious for his sharp tongue, he defended the government against the Catholics, which is why he became the magistrate of Westminster and Middlesex, and devoted himself to fighting crime until he died in Lisbon in 1754.
EM Forster (1879-1970)
writer. Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879 as the son of an architect. He studied at Cambridge, where he met important authors with whom he belonged to the literary circle of the Bloomsbury Group. His most respected works include “Room with a view” (1908) – German: “Room with a view” (1948) and “Howards End” (1910) – German: “Wiedersehen in Howards End” (1949). Many also know his sentence: “How can I know what I am thinking before I hear what I am saying?” Forster died in Coventry in 1970.
Lady Antonia Fraser (born 1932)
writer and historian. Lady Antonia Margaret Caroline Pakenham was born in 1932 into an Irish-English aristocratic family in London. She wrote several biographies (about Oliver Cromwell, Maria Stuart, Marie Antoinette) and standard works as well as crime novels. Fraser is a bestselling author with an international reputation and also publishes in part under the name Antonia Pinter. She was married to the Nobel Prize winner for literature Harry Pinter.
Graham Greene (1904-1991)
writer. Greene was born Henry Graham Greene in 1904 in Berkhamsted, UK. He was the fourth child of Charles Henry and Marian – b. Raymond – Greene. Greene studied at Balliol College, Oxford. For his spy stories, thrillers and adventure stories (eg “The Silent American”, “The Comedians’ Hour”) he received more nominations for the Nobel Prize for Literature than any other writer. However, it was not awarded to him. Greene died in Switzerland in 1991.
Joanne Harris (born 1964)
writer. Joanne Michèle Sylvie Harris was born in Barnsley in 1964 and studied languages in Cambridge. Besides her work as a writer, she also works as a French teacher. Harris gained international fame through her novel “Chocolat”, published in 1999, and its film adaptation a year later with the likes of Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.
Nick Hornby (born 1957)
writer. Nick Hornby was born in Redhill in 1967 and studied in Cambridge, where he wrote radio plays, among other things. He then taught English before becoming just a writer in the early 1990s. His book “High Fidelity” (1995) and the related film adaptation in 2000 made him famous at once. This was followed by box office hits such as “About a Boy” (1998) and “How to be Good” (2001).