ACKROYD, PETER (1949–), biographer and historical novelist, born in London. He is the author of Hawksmoor (1985), Chatterton (1987), and many other novels, and his non-fiction includes London (2000) and Albion (2002).
ADDISON, JOSEPH (1672–1719), essayist. As Member of Parliament for Malmesbury from 1710 he held office under the Whigs. His papers on Sir Roger de Coverly and his friends were contributed to the Spectator (1711–12, 1714) while the Tories were in power.
AINSWORTH, WILLIAM HARRISON (1805–82), novelist, born in Manchester. His 'Newgate novel' Rookwood (1834) was followed by many other historical romances. A friend of Thackeray and Dickens, his popularity declined in later years.
ALI, MONICA (1967–), novelist, born in Bangladesh, resident in England since the age of 3, author of Brick Lane (2003).
AMIS, KINGSLEY (1922–95), novelist, born in London. His first novel Lucky Jim (1954) was written while he was a university lecturer at Swansea. Later works include Take a Girl Like You (1960), The Anti-Death League (1966), The Alteration (1976), Russian Hide-and-Seek (1980), and The Old Devils (1986), which won the Booker Prize. His son Martin Amis (b. 1949) is also a celebrated novelist.
ARBUTHNOT, JOHN (1667–1735), Scottish satirist and personal physician to Queen Anne. An associate of Pope and Swift in the Scriblerus Club, his series of pamphlets on 'the History of John Bull' was isued in 1712.
ARNOLD, MATTHEW (1822–88), poet, critic, and educationist, whose works include Culture and Anarchy (1869).
ASTELL, MARY (1666–1731), philosopher and feminist. Her most influential work was A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (1694), an argument for women's education.
AUSTEN, JANE (1775–1817), novelist, born in Hampshire, the daughter of an Anglican clergyman. Her principal novels are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816), Northanger Abbey (1818), and Persuasion (1818). She began the unfinished Sanditon in 1817. Her juvenilia includes A History of England.
BAGE, ROBERT (1728–1801), novelist and paper manufacturer, born near Derby, best known for his 'Jacobin novels' Man As He Is (1792) and Hermsprong; or, Man As He Is Not (1796).
BAGEHOT, WALTER (1826–77), banker, political writer, and journalist who became editor of the Economist in 1860. He was author of The English Constitution