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EDITOR’S CHOICE Irish dramatist and poet WB Yeats is amongst The Literary Shed’s favourite poets. One of the leading figures of 20th-century literature, Yeats has influenced many writers, poets, musicians and artists. An Irish nationalist, much of Yeats’ early work focuses on that subject and his love for fellow nationalist Maude Gonne. Yeats was close … Continue readings

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  Respected and revered Irish-born writer and dramatist George Bernard Shaw was a member of the Fabian Society and a founder of the London School of Economics. He wrote essays, short stories, articles and more than 60 plays during his life time, including Saint Joan and Androcles and the Lion.   See also: TS Eliot; … Continue readings

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  EDITOR’S CHOICE Alistair Maclean. What can I say? Master of great plots, action-page turners, involving major complicated international operations full of spies, international intrigue and so much more. Like so many other people, I grew up reading him. He’s superb. Born in Glasgow, Maclean grew up speaking Gaellic, with English as his second language. … Continue readings

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New York Times best-selling author Alex Kava has been compared to such illustrious crime-fiction authors as Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs. Her character FBI investigator Maggie O’Dell and tightly constructed plots have captured the imagination of millions of people around the world.  She has also written two standalone titles, One False Move and Whitewash.   … Continue readings

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A leading historical novelist, Margaret George travelled around a lot when she was a child. Books became her friends and she began writing at an early age. After reading english and biology at Tufts University and gaining a masters in ecology from Stanford, George became a science writer. Her first book on Henry VIII was … Continue readings

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  Winston plays the blues. Eyes squeezed shut, head thrown back, chin raised to the sky, the notes dance around in Winston’s head before he breathes them out into the cavernous room, where the crowd sits mesmerised. He is a magician, weaving his spell of ‘Bags’ Groove’; his trumpet is his wand.   His last … Continue readings

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      My garden all is overblown with roses, My spirit all is overblown with rhyme…” – Vita Sackville-West poem (1921) For most of her life, Vita Sackville-West’s twin passions were writing and gardening. She wrote a gardening column for the British newspaper, The Observer, for 15 years. Her beloved gardens at her Kent … Continue readings

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Historian Garrett Mattingly was born in Washington, DC. After serving as a sergeant in the US Army in the First World War, Mattingly completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard and at various universities in Europe. After a brief sojourn in publishing, he received his Masters from Harvard and embarked on a prestigious academic career. He … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE Brilliant writer Dame Penelope Lively was born in Cairo. As a teenager, she was sent to boarding school in England before going on to read Modern History at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Lively is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of both adult and children’s fiction. Her books include Moon Tiger (1987), which won … Continue readings

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Iowa-born best-selling author Tami Hoag was raised in Minnesota. She began writing when she was nine years old and her first book focussd on horses, a life-long love with Hoag, who, today is a competitive equastrian. Her first books were published in Bantams’s Loveswept series, ranging from romantic comedies to the suspense genre she is … Continue readings

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A nutritional therapist Vicki Edgson was one of the founders of The Food Doctor. She regularly contributes to national papers and copresented Fat Nation (BBC) and Diet Doctors (Channel 5). She has written the cookery book Honestly Healthy with Natasha Corrett, endorsed by such celebrities as Victoria Beckham.   See also: Natasha Corrett

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A professional vegetarian chef Natasha Corrett always had a passion for cooking. She experimented from an early age in her father’s French restaurant, Le Boudin Blanc. She runs well-being and lifestyle retreats. She has written the cookery book Honestly Healthy with Vicki Edgson and endorsed by such celebrities as Victoria Beckham.   See also: Vicki … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE Booker Prize-winning author Alan Hollinghurst is an English novelist. After attending Magdalen College, Oxford, Hollinghurst was employed as a lecturer. He was deputy editor of The Times Literary Supplement from 1985 to 1999. In 1988, he received critical acclaim for his brilliant novel The Swimming Pool Library. He won the Man Booker Prize … Continue readings

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Award-winning author and historian Alison Weir was born and brought up in Westminster, London. Since the age of 14, when she first came across a book on Katherine of Aragon, Weir has been fascinated with history. During the 1970s, she wrote several historical novels and finished The Six Wives of Henry VIII (her second published … Continue readings

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Historian Philippa Jones studied Egyptology at Cambridge University. She lived and worked in Bristol. Philippa wrote several books (fiction and non-fiction), including The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards.   See also: Alison Weir; Philippa Gregory; Anne Gracie (Tudor titles)