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Johann David Wyss (1743-1818) was, like the narrator of his famous story, a Swiss pastor who had four sons. He is best remembered for Swiss Family Robinson which it is said was inspired by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and which became an international classic bestseller.
Brought up starved of books, Diana Wynne Jones first made up stories at the age of eight to entertain her sisters. Her first novel - a satire for adults - was published in 1970, and afterwards she settled into writing children's fantasies. Her books have been translated into eighteen languages. Diana died in 2011, leaving behind a rich legacy of writing and a vast legion of dedicated fans.
Canadian Seth Wynes is studying for a PhD in climate change at the University of British Columbia. He has a Masters in Sustainable Science from Lund University, Sweden, where he co-authored the 2017 research paper, The Climate Mitigation Gap, with Professor Kim Nichols. The paper outlined the 11 most impactful ways inhabitants of the Western world could reduce their carbon emissions. Prior to studying at Lund University, Seth studied at the University of Western Ontario and McMaster University and taught high school science in England and Northern Canada. Seth’s work has been published by the World Resources Institute, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and Environmental Research Letters. TV and radio appearances include BBC World Service, NBC News and the National Live with CBC News.
John Wyndham was born in 1903 in the Midlands. After leaving school, he tried his hand at several careers, including farming, law and advertising, before starting to write stories in 1925. During the war he worked as a censor in the Ministry of Information and afterwards served in the Army. The Day of The Triffids was published in 1951, and was followed by many other famous works of science fiction, including The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysalids and The Midwich Cuckoos. Wyndham died in 1969.
Ruth Rogers (Author) Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray created the Michelin-starred River Cafe in 1987 and wrote their first book, The River Cafe Cookbook, in 1995. It was a game-changing Italian cookery manual and a global bestseller, which they followed with several more bestselling cookbooks. In 2010, shortly before Rose's death, they were appointed MBE. Many of the new generation of renowned chefs, such as April Bloomfield, Samuel and Samantha Clark and Jamie Oliver, began their careers in the kitchens of the River Cafe. Sian Wyn Owen (Author) Sian Wyn Owen is Head Chef at the River Cafe and has worked alongside Ruth Rogers for over 17 years. Joseph Trivelli (Author) Joseph Trivelli is Head Chef at the River Cafe and has worked in its kitchens for over 16 years. Rose Gray (Author) Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers created the River Cafe, which opened in 1987. Together they trained many of the new generation of renowned chefs, such as April Bloomfield, Samuel and Samantha Clark and Jamie Oliver.
Lawrie Wyman conceived the format of The Navy Lark in the 1950s, and wrote the scripts with George Evans. The series ran until 1977 and was enormously popular with BBC radio audiences.
The Navy Lark is the second longest-running comedy in British radio history (the topical Friday night show, Week Ending, which ran from 1970 to 1998, is currently the longest). In 1958, writer Laurie Wyman announced that he wanted to build a series around talented comic actor Jon Pertwee. Having secured Pertwee as the lead, he looked for other main characters and is quoted in the Radio Times as saying 'I felt we needed an idiot, and there was no one better at playing idiots than Leslie Phillips - so we got him.' The first episode of the series went out on 29 March 1959 and, from the start, the light-hearted and affectionate spoof on the Senior Service won many fans - some of the highest order! On the occasion of the show's 21st anniversary, for example, the crew were asked by WRNS to put on a special performance. They duly obliged, and in the audience that night at the Royal Festival Hall was Her Royal Highness the Queen Mother. Sir Charles Lambe, who was the first Sea Lord at the time, had also visited the studio during rehearsal. The crew of HMS Troutbridge were a motley bunch: Jon Pertwee, who actually served in the Navy during the Second World War, played the conniving Petty Officer and was established as a household favourite by the series. Leslie Phillips was the vague chinless wonder Sub-Lieutenant. His parrot cry of 'left hand down a bit' has passed into A Dictionary of Catch Phrases, whose author Eric Partridge writes 'within two years, it was a standard piece of Navalese'. The young Ronnie Barker (long before attaining fame as a television comedy actor) also appeared in the series, playing two parts: (Un)Able Seaman Fatso Johnson and Lieutenant-Commander Stanton. The Navy Lark gripped the nation for the best part of twenty years. Its signature tune, composed by Tommy Reilly and James Moody, was the jaunty Trade Wind Hornpipe and did much to contribute to the popularity of the series. The key to the show's popularity, though, was its irreverent but essentially gentle humour and, most of all, the many-voiced talents of its stars. As Leslie Phillips remarked in 1987, 'I caused more damage to Naval property than the Navy had done in two world wars'. The final episode was broadcast on 18 January 1976. However, the crew all jumped on board one last time for a Jubilee Special on 16 July 1977.
James Wyllie (Author) James Wyllie is an author, award-winning screenwriter and broadcaster. He published Goering and Goering: Hitler’s Henchman and His Anti-Nazi Brother in 2010, and has worked on numerous films for the BBC, Film4 and Talkback among others. He has written for a number of TV drama series, including The Bill, The Tribe, and Atlantis High. Michael McKinley (Author) Michael McKinley is an award-winning author, filmmaker, journalist and screenwriter. He is based in New York and has written for a range of publications including The New York Observer, The New York Daily News and The Chicago Sun-Times. He is the author of a number of books and has made documentaries for CNN, The Discovery Channel and CBC.
Joanna Wylde is a freelance writer who lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Reaper's Legacy and Devil's Game, the first two novels in the Reapers Motorcycle Club series, are also published by Penguin.
Evie Wyld is the author of one previous novel, After the Fire, A Still Small Voice, which was shortlisted for the Impac Prize, the Orange Award for New Writers and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 2011, she was named by the BBC as one of the twelve best new British novelists and in 2013 she was named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in London.
Reece Wykes studied illustration and animation at Kingston University. His work has been highly commended by the MacMillan Children's Book Prize and he was joint winner of the Worldwide Illustration Prize, UK category. He now lives and works in London.
George Etherege (1636-1689) invented the comedy of intrigue, and led the way for the masterpieces of Congreve and Sheridan. William Wycherley (1640?-1716) is famous for his brilliant wit and savagely clever satire which give him a prominent place in the history of English Restoration drama. William Congreve (1670-1729) was apprenticed under the tutelage of John Dryden. Congreve's wit and his characters' sexual freedom and experimentation were at odds with the thinking of certain moralists of the day. However, he has since been considered one of the most intellectually accomplished of English playwrights. Gamini Salgado was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and came to England in 1947 to attend the University of Nottingham. He became an expert on Elizabethan and Jacobean literature, and was appointed to the Chair of English at Exeter University in 1977. He died in 1985.
Dante Alighieri (Author) Dante, or Durante deli Alighieri, was born in Florence, Italy, circa 1265. His family was connected with the Guelph political alliance, supporters of the Papacy. His mother died before Dante’s tenth birthday. Dante himself was betrothed to Gemma di Manetto Donati when he was aged only 12. The pair went on to marry, but Dante’s true love was for Beatrice Portinari, who would inspire much of his poetry. Dante and Gemma had several children. Dante was a member of Florence’s Apothecaries’ Guild, though he did not practice as a pharmacist. Allied to the White Guelphs, with whom he fought against the vanquishing Black Guelphs, he was eventually condemned to perpetual exile from Florence. He went first to Verona and then to Liguria. There is speculation that he travelled more widely, including to Paris and Oxford, although this has not been verified. During his time of exile Dante conceived and wrote the three poems which form The Divine Comedy. He died in 1321, aged 56, of suspected malaria. He was buried in Ravenna, Italy, where a tomb was later erected in his name. Stephen Wyatt is a playwright and dramatist with extensive experience in stage, radio and television.
Petronella Wyatt was educated at St Paul’s Girls’ School and University College, London, where she read History. Her first job was on the Peterborough column of the Daily Telegraph before she became a leader writer and feature writer for that newspaper. She moved to the Sunday Telegraph where she wrote the Mandrake column and wrote a column under her on name. In 1997 she became Deputy Editor of the Spectator. She writes political interviews for the Daily Telegraph and makes regular appearances on television. She lives in London.
When she's not writing or spending time with her daughter and family, Wendy teaches yoga. She lives in Boston and this is her first novel. And yes, Wendy Wunder is her real name!
Andrea Wulf trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art and is the co-author (with Emma Gieben-Gamal) of This Other Eden and The Brother Gardeners, which was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award. She has written and reviewed for The Sunday Times, the Financial Times, The Garden, The Architects' Journal and the TLS.
Ann Wroe is the Briefings and Obituaries editor of The Economist. She is the author of six previous works of non-fiction, including Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award and the W.H. Smith Award. She lives in north London.
Simon Wroe is a former chef who writes about food and culture for Prospect and the Economist, and regularly contributes to a wide range of publications including The Times, Guardian, Telegraph and Evening Standard. In 2014 Chop Chop was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. He is 30 and lives in London.
Stephanie Wrobel was born and grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in the United States. A voracious reader as a child and a later fascination with language led to work as a copywriter and, after a move to the UK in 2014, she set to work writing The Recovery of Rose Gold. She now lives in London where she writes full-time.
Robert Wringham is a writer, performer and editor of New Escapologist, a small-press magazine for working stiffs who sometimes need a little escape. Now in its tenth issue, the magazine has seen contributions from Alain de Botton, Richard Herring, Ewan Morrison, Tom Hodginkson, Leo Babauta, Luke Rhinehart and many others. His first book, You Are Nothing (2012), is a history of Cluub Zarathustra, the comedy club that hit the London underground scene in the 90s. His humorous essays were compiled into his second book, A Loose Egg (2014), and have appeared in Idler, Playboy, HiLoBrow, the British Comedy Guide, Splitsider, and hundreds of others. He writes as a humourist and as an Escapologist, exploring both the minutiae and the larger mechanisms of modern life.
Keith Wrightson was Professor of Social History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Jesus College. He is now Professor of History at Yale University. Among his publications is ENGLISH SOCIETY, 1580-1680.
Tony Wrighton is an NLP Trainer and Master Practitioner. His NLP audiobooks have sold over 100,000 and have been Top 10 bestsellers on iTunes in many countries around the world. In addition to his work as an NLP practitioner and leader of training and motivational events, Tony worked as a TV and radio presenter for 15 years, most recently for Sky Sports. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tonywrighton www.tonywrighton.com
Kit Wright was born in 1944 and is the author of more than twenty-five books, for both adults and children. His books of poetry include The Bear Looked Over the Mountain (1977), which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award, and Short Afternoons (1989), which won the Hawthornden Prize and was joint winner of the Heinemann Award. His poetry is collected in Hoping It Might Be So: Poems 1974-2000 (2000).
Glen Wright is an academic. Sort of. Actually, he started his PhD in 2012 and is yet to finish. In the meantime, he started Academia Obscura, a blog about the lighter side of academic life. Born in the Black Country, Glen now lives in Paris, where he works for a non-governmental organisation trying to the save the ocean. Neither is as glamorous as it sounds. Glen finds writing about himself in the third person extremely uncomfortable, but is equally uncomfortable breaking with convention in his first book.
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