Dame Agatha Christie DBE (15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976), was an English crime writer of novels, short stories and plays. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but is best remembered for her 80 detective novels and her successful West End theatre plays.
Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE (born 12 April 1939) is a popular and prolific English playwright. He has written and produced seventy-two full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972 and 2009, the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all but four of his plays have received their first performance.
Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (12 April 1550 – 24 June 1604) was an Elizabethan courtier, playwright, poet, sportsman, patron of numerous writers, and sponsor of at least two acting companies, Oxford's Men and Oxford's Boys, and a company of musicians. He was born at Castle Hedingham to the 16th Earl of Oxford and the former Margery Golding.
Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton PC (25 May 1803 – 18 January 1873), was an English politician, poet, playwright, and prolific novelist. He was immensely popular with the reading public and wrote a stream of bestselling novels which earned him a considerable fortune. But, like many authors of the period, his style now seems florid and embellished to modern tastes.
Henry Fielding (22 April 1707 – 8 October 1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones. Aside from his literary achievements, he has a significant place in the history of law-enforcement, having founded (with his half-brother John) what some have called London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners, using his authority as a magistrate.
John Kingsley ("Joe") Orton (1 January 1933 in Leicester – 9 August 1967 in Islington, London) was an English playwright. In a short but prolific career lasting from 1964 until his death, he shocked, outraged and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies. Ortonesque became a recognised term for "outrageously macabre".
Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888–January 4, 1965) was an Anglo-American poet, playwright, and literary critic, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century. The first poem he became known for, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, was started in February 1910 and published in Chicago in June 1915, and is regarded as a masterpiece of the modernist movement.
Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL (born 3 July 1937) is a British playwright. He has written plays such as The Coast of Utopia, Arcadia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Rock 'n' Roll. He co-wrote the screenplays for Brazil and Shakespeare in Love. He has won one Academy Award and four Tony Awards.
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems.
William Somerset Maugham, CH (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was an English playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era, and reputedly, the highest paid author during the 1930s.
Wystan Hugh Auden who signed his works W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, later an American citizen, regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety of tone, form and content.
John Galsworthy OM (14 August 1867 – 31 January 1933) was an English novelist and playwright. Notable works include The Forsyte Saga (1906—1921) and its sequels, A Modern Comedy and End of the Chapter. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932.
Thomas Kyd (baptised 6 November 1558 – buried 15 August 1594) was an English dramatist, the author of The Spanish Tragedy, and one of the most important figures in the development of Elizabethan drama. Although well-known in his own time, Kyd fell into obscurity until 1773 when Thomas Hawkins (an early editor of the The Spanish Tragedie) discovered that Kyd was named as its author by Thomas Heywood in his Apologie for Actors (1612).
Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637) was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and ', which are considered his best, and his lyric poems. A man of vast reading and a seemingly insatiable appetite for controversy, Jonson had an unparalleled breadth of influence on Jacobean and Caroline playwrights and poets.
Richard Arthur Warren Hughes OBE (19 April 1900 – 28 April 1976) was a British writer of poems, short stories, novels and plays. He was born in Weybridge, Surrey of Welsh parentage, and educated at Charterhouse and graduated from Oriel College, Oxford in 1922. A Charterhouse schoolmaster had sent Hughes's first published work to The Spectator in 1917.
Benjamin Charles "Ben" Elton (born 3 May 1959) is an English-born British-Australian comedian, author, playwright and director. He was a leading figure in the alternative comedy movement of the 1980s, while more recently he has become known for his work as a novelist.
Frances Burney (13 June 1752 – 6 January 1840), also known as Fanny Burney and, after her marriage, as Madame d’Arblay, was an English novelist, diarist and playwright. She was born in King’s Lynn, England, on 13 June 1752, to musical historian Dr Charles Burney (1726–1814) and Mrs Esther Sleepe Burney (1725–62). The third of six children, she was self-educated and began writing what she called her “scribblings” at the age of ten.
John Dryden (9 August 1631 – 12 May 1700) was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.
Thomas Middleton (18 April 1580 – 1627) was an English Jacobean playwright and poet. Middleton stands with John Fletcher and Ben Jonson as among the most successful and prolific of playwrights who wrote their best plays during the Jacobean period. He was one of the few Renaissance dramatists to achieve equal success in comedy and tragedy. Also a prolific writer of masques and pageants, he remains one of the most noteworthy and distinctive of Jacobean dramatists.
Graham Greene, OM, CH (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991) was an English author, playwright and literary critic. His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene was notable for his ability to combine serious literary acclaim with widespread popularity.
John Boynton Priestley, OM (13 September 1894 – 14 August 1984) — known as J.B. Priestley — was an English novelist, playwright and broadcaster. He published 27 novels, notably The Good Companions (1929), as well as numerous dramas. His output included literary and social criticism.
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE (10 October 1930 – 24 December 2008), was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor, director, political activist and poet. He was among the most influential British playwrights of modern times. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. After publishing poetry and acting in school plays as a teenager in London, Pinter began his professional theatrical career in 1951, touring Ireland and then performing in repertory throughout England for several years.