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Merlin Holland

The only grandchild of Oscar Wilde, Merlin Holland has spent his life researching the writer and playwright and poet’s life. This Burgundy, France based...

Josie Goodbody

With a name worthy of a Bond Girl, Josie Goodbody has morphed from working in public relations in London to writing novels in Uruguay....

Jeanette Winterson OBE

This Mancunian lesbian loves the word “lover”: She describes herself as not only a plain “lover” but also a “book lover, opera lover and...

Anna Smith

Former Daily Record chief reporter Anna Smith has covered conflicts from Somalia and Rwanda to Kosovo. She was one of the first journalists on...

Erika Leonard James (E. L. James)

The highest earning author of 2013, Erika Leonard James raked in £33.3 million that year and £10.6 million in 2012. Her Fifty Shades of...

Mary Berry CBE

This cookery writer morphed into Britain’s favourite baker as the judge of BBC Two’s The Great British Bake Off and in the process amassed...

Philip K. Dick (1928 – 1982; AKA Richard Phillipps and Jack Dowland)

This Chicago born novelist, short story writer and essayist explored deep themes through his own personal experiences of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia and transcendental...

Seamus Heaney (1939 – 2013)

“The most important Irish poet since Yeats”, Heaney’s books accounted for two thirds of the sales of all living poets in the UK during...

Katherine “Kate” Mosse OBE

This author and co-founder of the Orange Prize for Literature must often find people confusing her with the model of the same name. Most...

Anne Dunhill

This Roman Catholic novelist and Italian translator’s works have included A Darker Shade of Love, Web of Passion and Anita: A Memoir. A former...

John Armstrong

This poet and artist was born in Consett, County Durham and began writing aged just 13 during his time studying at a monastery in...

Derek Blasberg

This witty New York based fashion journalist and author’s first book, Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady, was a New York Times...

Alex Preston

This talented Oxford educated author is a former credit derivatives trader who is now regular on BBC2’s The Review Show. This Bleeding City, his...

Dominick Dunne (1925 – 2009)

This “Boswell of the bluebloods” was a writer whose tips came from unnamed sources and “waiter serving  risotto at dinner parties”. Though Robert F....

Pippa Middleton

The sister of The Duchess of Cambridge was paid a £400,000 advance by Penguin for her first book, Celebrate. A graduate of the University...

Richard Mason

This talented author was born in South Africa but educated at Eton and New College, Oxford. The Drowning People, his first novel, gained him...

Arthur Ransome (1864 – 1967)

Though best known for Swallows and Amazons, Ransome’s life in Russia was what makes him most fascinating. He was sued unsuccessfully by Lord Alfred...

Susan Hill CBE

Best known for her chilling novel The Woman in White, this writer also did a stint on the BBC’s The Archers and runs a...

Helena Matheopolous

Fluent in six languages, this Athenian was fashion editor of The Tatler and a columnist for The Times. Resident in London’s Knightsbridge, Matheopoulos has...

Steven Berkoff

Steven Berkoff is a titan of the stage and a might with a pen. He’s best known for playing the darkest of characters but...

Aita Ighodaro

This statuesque Oxford graduate’s first novel, Sin Tropez, was a mighty success. The Independent described it as a “thrilling and scandalous read” and it...

Julian Fellowes (The Lord Fellowes of West Stafford DL, also known as Julian Kitchener-Fellowes)

English actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter. His career pottered along until he won an Oscar for Gosford Park in 2002. Subsequent success came...