Famous Yorkshire Writers


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Famous Yorkshire Writers

  1. 1. Famous Yorkshire Writers
  2. 2. Alan Bennett is a playwright, author and actor. Originally hailing from Leeds, Bennett attended Oxford University before moving to London. Bennett’s most famous work is, arguably, the play “The History Boys”, which follows a group of history pupils preparing for their Oxbridge entrance examinations. Bennett is 79 and continues to live and write in London.
  3. 3. Perhaps Yorkshire’s most famous literary son, Ted Hughes is best remembered for being both Poet Laureate and the husband of Sylvia Plath. Born in Mytholmroyd in 1930, Hughes spent much of his life investigating his rural surroundings, both physically and through his writing. His most well known works include “Tales from Ovid”, “Birthday Letters” and “Crow”. Hughes died in 1998, aged 68.
  4. 4. Emily Brontë, also known by her pen name of Ellis Bell, was the second youngest of the famous Brontë siblings, and perhaps the best known. Her novel “Wuthering Heights” has passed into literary canon as one of the greatest English novels ever written, with Heathcliff and Cathy becoming household names. Emily’s constitution was ill suited to the harsh climate of Haworth, and when she fell ill in September 1848 it signalled the beginning of the end of her short life. She died in December of that year, aged 30.
  5. 5. Tony Harrison was born and educated in Leeds. One of England’s finest living poets, he’s best known for his controversial poem “V” – described as containing “streams” of obscenities. In addition, Harrison is an accomplished playwright and is well known for his outspoken, Leftist views.
  6. 6. John Arden, who passed away only last year, was one of England’s best loved playwrights. Known for his outspoken opposition to anti-terror legislation, his works were inspired by both artistic and political motivations. Shortly before his death he was elected to the Aosdána – a prestigious arts association in Ireland.
  7. 7. WH Auden was born in York, brought up near Birmingham, educated at Oxford and eventually moved to America. His early works were sombre and dramatic, and shot through with leftist political rhetoric. He later abandoned this style, however, in favour of devising new forms of poetical and lyrical expression. W H Auden is probably best remembered for his poems “Funeral Blues” and “The Unknown Citizen”.
  8. 8. George Gissing was born in Wakefield in 1857. A prolific writer, his works contained 23 novels and a number of short stories. Gissing may perhaps be best remembered for his seminal novel “New Grub Street”, which cast a cynical eye over the state of journalism, publishing and readership at the end of the 19th century. Gissing died in 1903, aged 46. He was suffering from emphysema, which he contracted after taking a walk.
  9. 9. Andrew Marvell was born in Winestead in 1621. As a metaphysical poet and politician, he counted amongst his friends John Milton, John Donne and George Herbert. During his political career, Marvell became MP for Hull under the Cavalier Parliament. However he came to hate the tyrannical reign of the 17th century courts and wrote satirical verses against them. He is best remembered for poems such as “To His Coy Mistress” and “The Mower’s Song”.
  10. 10. Barry Hines was born in Barnsely and spent much of his early life in and around the coal mining industry, before deciding to go to University. Hines’s most famous work is his novel “A Kestrel for a Knave”, which is still taught as part of school curriculums throughout the UK. It was adapted into a much loved film of the same name in 1984. Barry Hines is 74.
  11. 11. John Braine died a broken man, at the age of 64. Born in Bingley, in 1922, he was a passionate man who came to symbolise the movement known as The Angry Young Men. His rise to the top had been meteoric – after publishing poems and articles whilst recuperating in the Grassington Sanatorium during WWII, he made a move back to Bingley Library and there penned his most famous novel, “Room at the Top”. But the phenomenal success he experienced upon its publication was short lived, and Braine died of a perforated ulcer after years of heavy drinking and depression.