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Fergus Allen

b. 1921

Fergus Allen was born in London in 1921, of an Anglo-Irish father and an English mother. After childhood and Quaker schools in Ireland, he read engineering at Trinity College, Dublin, where he wrote...

Sebastian Barker

b. 1945 d. 2014

Sebastian Barker (1945–2014) was the author of many books of poetry and editor of The London Magazine. An ex-chairman of the Poetry Society, he was a director of several literary festivals, including...

John Betjeman

b. 1906 d. 1984

John Betjeman (1906-1984) achieved huge success during his lifetime and continues to retain his 'National Treasure' status more than twenty years after his death. His gift for comic writing, his...

William Blake

b. 1757 d. 1827

William Blake was born in London in 1757 and spent most of his long life there. The son of a hosier, he left ordinary school at the age of ten to join a drawing school, and at fourteen became...

Charles Boyle

b. 1951

Charles Boyle was born in Leeds, and worked in for a long time in publishing, including fourteen years at Faber and Faber. He is the author of six collections of poetry: Affinities (1977), House of...

Edwin Brock

b. 1927 d. 1997

Edwin Brock (1927-1997) wrote two of the best-known poems of the last century, 'Five Ways to Kill a Man' and 'Song of the Battery Hen', but his work deserves wider recognition beyond these anthology...

Robert Browning

b. 1812 d. 1889

Robert Browning was born in South London in 1812. He was largely self-educated, utilising his father's extensive library of over six thousand volumes. A voracious reader, Browning would later draw on...

Alan Brownjohn

b. 1931

Alan Brownjohn (b. 1931) grew up in London and was educated at Merton College, Oxford. He worked first as a schoolteacher and then a lecturer before becoming a full-time freelance writer in 1979. His...

Lord Byron

b. 1788 d. 1824

George Byron was born in 1788 with a deformed foot: he limped all his life. His father was 'Mad Jack' Byron, an infamous adventurer who abandoned his wife and family in 1790 and died in 1791. At the...

Julia Copus

b. 1969

Julia Copus was born in London in 1969 and grew up in a house with three brothers who were learning to play musical instruments. Two of them later went on to be professional musicians, and Copus has...