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 two works mentioned belong to the classics of English and British literature respectively. The main characteristic of their works are romantic love stories. Austen died in Winchester in 1817 and had a decisive influence on subsequent generations of writers.
Winchester is in the south of England and has a population of around 40,000. The city is the administrative seat of the county of Hampshire and the district of City of Winchester.
Iain M. Banks (born 1954)
Iain Menzies Banks was born in 1954 in Dunfermline to a sailor. Among other things, he studied English and philosophy in Stirling and now travels a lot around the world. Banks made a living as a nurse and an IBM worker. He then specialized primarily in science fiction novels after he celebrated his international breakthrough with works such as “Die Wespenfabrik” (1984). His pieces became bestsellers in Great Britain.
JM Barrie (1860-1937)
Sir James Matthew Barrie was a Scottish novelist and playwright. He was born in Kirriemuir in 1860 to a weaver and studied at the University of Edinburgh. Barrie created the famous literary character Peter Pan, who has inspired numerous writers, filmmakers and pop singers. Michael Jackson, for example, saw himself as Peter Pan – a child who never becomes an adult. Barrie died in London in 1937.
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.
James Boswell (1740-1795)
writer and lawyer. James Boswell was born in Edinburgh in 1740 as the son of a judge and studied at the University of Glasgow, among others. The biography “Dr. Samuel Johnson. Life and Opinions” (1791) is one of the most important biographical books in English literature and is about Boswell’s friend. Boswell, who traveled extensively in his life, died in London in 1795. He had a decisive influence on the next generation of writers.
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.
John Buchan (1875-1940)
Buchan was a Scottish writer, journalist, publicist and politician who was born in Perth in 1875. The son of a pastor studied in Oxford, among other places. He wrote the first successful spy novel of the 20th century with the often filmed book “The 39 Steps”. There were also biographies (about Sir Walter Scott, Oliver Cromwell, among others) and adventure novels (e.g. “Drumming about the Transvaal”). Buchan died in Montreal, Canada in 1940. He had also served as Governor of Canada and held the title of 1st Baron Tweedsmuir.
Robert Burns (1759-1796)
Robert Burns was born in Alloway in 1759 to a gardener. The Scottish writer, songwriter and poet wrote exclusively about nature and about his own feelings, that is, he only wrote what he felt and experienced himself. His style of poetry had a great influence on British literature. Burns himself inspired Lord Byron and Percy B. Shelley. Most famous is probably his text “Auld Lang Syne”, which is ritually sung in English-speaking countries on New Year’s Eve. Burns, who was also in the Masonic Lodge, died in Dumfries in 1796.
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.