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Greater Manchester Authors & Writers

Alfred Wainwright MBE

Alfred Wainwright

Alfred Wainwright was born in Audley Range, Blackburn, Lancashire,
the son of a stonemason, in 1907. Wainwright was educated at Blakey
Moor School and at the age of 13 he became an office boy in Blackburn
Borough Engineer’s Department. But it was at the age of 23 during
a holiday visit to the Lake District that he began a lifelong
love affair with the Lakeland Fells. In 1941 he was appointed
to a position in the Borough Treasurers Office in Kendal in Southern
Lakeland, and went on to serve as Borough Treasurer from 1948
until he retired in 1967. He spent the rest of his life as a resident
of Kendal, and it was here that he began making pen and ink drawings
of the fells. His now famous pictorial walking guides (the ‘Wainwright
Guides’) to the Lakeland fells, accompanied by his own hand-drawn
maps and illustrations, made between 1952 and 1966, a series of
7 guides in all, have all become classics of their kind and are
still definitive best-sellers with walkers and ramblers in the
Lake District. The 214 fells described in his Pictorial Guides
are now generally known as “the Wainwrights”. He also
made and published many other guides, including the Pennine Way
and the Derbyshire Dales, as well as a substantial portfolio of
drawings and sketches including drawings of the Eden valley and
a Furness Sketchbook. In 1972 Wainwright devised the Coast to
Coast Walk, which traversed the north of England from St Bees
on the west coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast.
Wainwright died on 20 January 1991 and a memorial to him can be
found in the church at Buttermere. His ashes were scattered above
the village on his favourite Lakeland mountain, Haystacks.


Howard Jacobson

(Born 1942)

Novelist, critic, columnist and broadcaster Howard Jacobson was
born in Prestwich in 1942, the son of a Manchester market trader.
He was educated at Stand Grammar School in Whitefield and went
on study at Cambridge University. He worked as a lecturer at the
University of Sydney for three years before returning to teach
English at Selwyn College.
In the 1970s he went on to tech at the Wolverhampton Polytechnic,
which provided the source material his first novel, “Coming
From Behind” published in 1983. Others of his novels include
the satirical comedy “Peeping Tom” (1984), “The
Very Model of a Man” (1992), “No More Mister Nice Guy”
(1998), and in 1999 “The Mighty Walzer” based on the
Jewish community in Manchester during the 1950s. This book was
awarded the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse and the ‘Jewish Quarterly’
Literary Prize for Fiction in 2000.
Next came, in 2002, “Who’s Sorry Now” , followed by
“The Making of Henry ” in 2004.
An ‘Arena’ television documentary on Howard Jacobson, entitled
‘ My Son the Novelist’, was broadcast on BBC2 in 1985, and his
work featured in an edition of ITV’s ‘South Bank Show’, in 1999.
Jacobson explored his own Jewishness ins two non-fiction books:
“Roots Schmoots: Journeys Among Jews” in 1993, and “Seriously
Funny: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime” in 1997. He has
also made two television programmes: in 2000, ‘Howard Jacobson
Takes on the Turner’, on Channel 4, and in 2002, a ‘ South Bank
Show’ special entitled ‘Why the Novel Matters ‘. He also authored
of a travel book about Australia, “In the Land of Oz”
in 1987. In 2006 he published “Kalooki Nights” .
In October 2010 he won the prestigious £50,000 Booker Prize
for his novel “The Finkler Question” , a humorous look
at Jewish culture.

Trevor Griffiths, author, playwright

(Born 1935)

Author, Playwright, Screenwriter Trevor Griffiths was born on
April 4th 1935 in Ancoats, Manchester of Irish and Welsh decent.
He attended the local Catholic school and entered Manchester University
in 1952 to read English. He was for a short time a professional
footballer, followed by one year’s National Service, before he
became a teacher and Liberal Studies lecturer and a further education
officer for the BBC before becoming a full time writer in 1970.
He has been writing for the theatre, television and cinema since
the late 1960s, his work having won numerous awards. Perhaps his
best known stage play was “Comedians” , (1975). He received
a Best Screenplay Award and an Oscar nomination for his film “Reds”
, written with and starring Warren Beatty. Other notable films
to his credit have included “Country” directed by Richard
Eyre and “Fatherland” directed by Ken Loach.
Since the 1980s he has directed his own work in the theatre and
on film. In 1997 the BBC broadcast his made-for-television film
“Food for Ravens” which he both wrote and directed.
He is also well known for his adaptations of works by writers
like D H Lawrence and Chekhov. Trevor Griffiths’s published plays
include “These Are The Times, a Life of Thomas Paine”,
“Theatre Plays One” and “Theatre Plays Two “

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs

Though Anna Jacobs now lives in
Australia, she was born and bred in Rochdale, and now makes her
living as a novelist writing books set in Lancashire – mainly
historical sagas. She currently has 34 novels published and more
in the pipeline, and her work is ranked regularly in the UK best-seller
charts. Coming out in January 2006 is ‘Pride of Lancashire’ ,
Book One in a series about the early days of the music hall in
Lancashire, when there were music saloons attached to pubs.
A prolific writer, Anna writes novels under several names and
uses the pen names Shannah Jay when writing science fiction and
fantasy, and Sherry-Anne Jacobs when writing historical novels.
Her recent romantic novels include ‘Twopenny Rainbows’, ‘Marrying
Miss Martha’ , and ‘Our Mary Ann’, all published in 2004.
With several recognised and authoritative books on the subject,
she is now regarded as a major authority on the genre, and is
much in demand to speak and lecture on this and related subjects,
as well as having published books on the subject, including ‘An
Introduction to Romance Writing’, and ‘Plotting & Editing’.
Other works, including ‘Calico Road’, ‘Wishing Well’ and ‘An Independent
Woman’, were all published in Australia in 2005, as well as ”Threepenny
Dreams’ – though most are now available in paperback in the UK
and other Commonwealth countries.
A feature article about her life and work was recently published
in ‘Lancashire Life’ magazine, and in April 2005 she was invited
to talk about her work in Ellesmere Port Library.
More about Anna Jacobs and her work can be found on her website
at – Anna Jacobs photo supplied by the author.

Ann Duffy CBE, FRSL

Poet Laureate

Carol Ann Duffy

(Born 1955)

Carol Ann Duffy was born on 23 December 1955) into a Roman Catholic
family in the Gorbals, a very poor part of in Glasgow, the first
child of Scot Frank Duffy and May Black, both of Irish descent.
She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at the Manchester Metropolitan
University, and was appointed Britain’s poet Laureate in May 2009,
the first woman, the first Scot, and the first openly bisexual
person to hold the position.
Her collections include “Standing Female Nude” (1985),
winner of a Scottish Arts Council Award; “Selling Manhattan”
(1987), which won a Somerset Maugham Award; “Mean Time”
(1993), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award; and “Rapture”
(2005), winner of the T S Eliot Prize. Her poems address issues
such as oppression, gender, and violence, in an accessible language
that has made them popular in schools. Her poet, “Last Post”
, was commissioned by the BBC to mark the deaths of Henry Allingham
and Harry Patch, the last two British soldiers to fight in World
War I. Most recently, her poem “Vigil” was written specially
for the Manchester Pride candlelight vigil in remembrance of lesbian,
bisexual and gay people who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS.
Her poems are widely studied in British schools at GCSE, A-level,
and Higher levels and she is widely acknowledged to have done
more to help popularise British poetry than any other poet alive
today. In 2002 she was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire).

(1882– 1958)
Harold Brighouse was born in Eccles, Salford on 26th
July 1882. He attended a local school, before winning a scholarship
to the Manchester Grammar School. After leaving school he worked
for a time as a textile buyer in a shipping merchant’s office
and in 1902 he was sent to help set up a London office. There
he met Emily Lynes aand they were married in 1907. In 1908 he
returned to Manchester to become a full time writer. He is probably
best known for his play “Hobson’s Choice”. Along with
Allan Monkhouse and Stanley Houghton he was part of a group
known as the Manchester School of Dramatists.
Early writings included “Lonesome Like” and “The
Doorway” , which was performed at
‘s Gaiety Theatre in Manchester in 1909. Three of
his works, all set in his native Lancashire, ” The Northerners”,
“Zack” and “The Game” were published together
under the title ‘Three Lancashire Plays’ in 1920. But it was
his most well known play “Hobson’s Choice” which is
most celebrated, having been performed in many theatres in Britain
and America, as well as the 1953 film by David Lean.
Brighouse also wrote novels, including “Hepplestalls”
, about a 19th century Lancashire mill-owning family, as well
as reviews and other pieces for the Manchester Guardian Newspaper
. He was a member of the Dramatists’ Club and in 1930–31
was chairman of the Society of Authors’ dramatic committee.
His autobiography “What I Have Had” was published
in 1953.
Declared to be unfit for service in the First World War, he
later joined the Royal Air Corps, and was seconded to the Air
Ministry Intelligence Staff. In 1919 he moved to Hampstead,
Harold Brighouse died in London on 25 July 1958, aged 76, in
Charing Cross Hospital after collapsing the day earlier in The

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This page last updated 13 Dec11.