10 English Greats; Jon Perks Picks 10 People That Define Englishness
Byline: Jon Perks
Isambard Kingdom Brunel Engineer best known for the creation of the Great Western Railway, numerous bridges and tunnels (including the Clifton Suspension Bridge) and a series of famous steamships, including the SS Great Britain and the Great Eastern, the latter which helped lay the first lasting transatlantic telegraph cable in 1865.
Died of a stroke, aged 53, in 1859.
Sir Winston Churchill British politician known chiefly for his leadership as Prime Minister during the Second World War. A renowned orator (despite a stutter), Churchill gave many defining and famous wartime speeches - including 'We shall fight them on the beaches' and his tribute to the RAF in the Battle of Britain ("Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"). Churchill died in 1965, aged 90, and was given a state funeral. He is buried at Bladon, Oxfordshire, near his birthplace at Blenheim Palace.
William Shakespeare Poet and playwright often regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. Born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's many works (38 plays, over 150 sonnets) include Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet. His legacy lives on in not only his body of work but the Royal Shakespeare Company, based in his home town.
Emmeline Pankhurst Manchester-born campaigner for women's rights and leader of the suffragettes who fought for the right for women to vote. Arrested on numerous occasions, Emmeline went on hunger strike several times. The Representation of the People Act in 1918 finally gave voting rights to women aged over 30; the voting age for women was finally reduced to 21 - the same as for men - shortly after which she died, aged 69.
Charles Dickens Victorian novelist born in Portsmouth who created some of the most iconic characters in English literature. Dickens (whose pen name was 'Boz') wrote Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House and The Pickwick Papers to name but a few. A notable speaker as well as a writer of short stories, plays and poetry, Dickens died in 1870, aged 58.
Sir Isaac Newton Eminent physicist, mathematician and astronomer of the 17th and 18th century, whose famous work, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, showed how a universal force, gravity, applied to all objects in all parts of the universe. Newton also built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on observing how a prism decomposes white light into colours of the visible spectrum. …