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More Literary Heroes

Discover the literary greats of Nottinghamshire below...

Arthur Mee

Born in Stapleford, Mee (1875 – 1943) was a prolific author and editor of non-fiction for both children and adults. He helped to write Harmsworth's Self-Educator and History of the World. He then wrote his own Children's Encyclopaedia, My Magazine, The Children's Newspaper, 1000 Heroes, The Little Treasure House, The Children's Bible, Children's Shakespeare, Bunyan and 'Arthur Mee's ' books about many things. When he was twenty he was appointed editor of the Nottingham Evening News and later moved to the Daily Mail. Mee was offered honours several times, including a knighthood on two occasions, but always refused.


Geoffrey Trease

Chiefly a children’s author, Trease (1909 - 1998) wrote 110 books in a 60 year career. He was also a playwright, historian and biographer. He was one of the first authors who deliberately set out to appeal to both boys and girls and to feature strong leading characters of both sexes. He was born in Nottingham, part of the wine merchant Treases (who still operate today). One of his stories, A Flight of Angels, was inspired by the deep sandstone cellar-caves dug out under Nottingham by the old merchants.


Graham Greene

Henry Graham Greene (1904 - 1991) was a versatile author was famed for his serious religious novels. He was a former employee of the old Nottingham Daily Journal and it was here in Nottingham that he was instructed in the Roman Catholic faith. He left the city to become sub-editor in The Times and went on to write travel books, novels, short stories, plays and film scripts.


Helen Cresswell

Helen Cresswell (1924 - 2005) started writing at the tender age of six years old. At that time her main interest was poetry. She was born in Nottingham, educated at Nottingham Girls High School, and until her death in September 2005, she lived locally in an old farmhouse. An acclaimed children's author, she wrote over 60 books including The Piemakers and the Phoenix Award winning The Night Watchmen. In 2000, she was awarded a BAFTA Children's Writers award. She also wrote screenplays for acclaimed television drama serials like Lizzie Dripping, The Secret World of Polly Flint, and Five Children.


John Harvey

Initially a writer of paperback fiction - both for adults and teenagers - John Harvey has published over 90 books. Now he's principally known as a writer of crime fiction, including the award winning Charlie Resnick novels which are set against a backdrop of Nottingham. He continues to work on scripts for television and radio, where he has specialised in adapting the work of himself and others. A former student of the University of Nottingham, he taught Film and Literature there between 1980 - 1986, and has now returned to live here.

In 'Darkness and Light', the third of John Harvey's series featuring Frank Elder, the detective is quoted as saying of Nottingham: "... something about it nonetheless, something that meant once you'd lived there, it never quite let you go."


JM Barrie

Sir James Matthew, Baronet Barrie (1860-1937) the celebrated children’s author, began his career in journalism on the Nottingham Daily Journal before moving to London. He lived in the area known as the Arboretum and it’s rumoured that Peter Pan was inspired by a Nottingham street urchin he saw walking in Clifton Grove.


Robert Harris

Born in Nottingham in 1957, Robert Harris is the bestselling author of books such as Fatherland in 1992. A former TV news reporter, journalist and columnist, he has followed it with novels such as Enigma, Archangel, and Pompeii. He's a graduate of Cambridge University and has also written five non-fiction books.


Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902) was the son and grandson of Eminent Clergymen. In 1859, refusing to be ordained, he moved to New Zealand where he established a sheep farm and within a few years made a modest fortune. He returned to England in 1864 and devoted himself to a variety of interests, including art, music, biology, and literature. He is the author of Erewhon, Life and Habit, The Authoress of the Odyssey and The Way of All Flesh.


Sir George Dance

The son of a Nottingham clay-pipe maker who grew up on what is now Lower Parliament Street, Dance received a knighthood in 1923. By the age of 17, he came to write the Alhambra, his first play for the Nottingham theatre. He was more than just a songwriter, his musicals such as The Gay Parisienne and A Chinese Honeymoon were two of the longest-running musicals ever to be staged in London's theatreland.


Stephan Collishaw

Stephan grew up in Nottinghamshire, and studied at Nottingham Trent University. Having travelled extensively, he returned to Nottingham to live and work as a teacher. He won an art bursary from East Midlands Arts for his work, ‘The Last Girl’, which Newsweek International called “a spectacular novel.” His second novel, Amber, was published in July 2004.



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    From: Thursday, 1st January 2015

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