Famous 20th Century British Poets

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 1 
T. S. Eliot
(Best Known as a Leader of the Modernist Movement in Poetry)
T. S. Eliot
10
Birthdate: September 26, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: January 4, 1965
American-born British poet T. S. Eliot is best remembered for his poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, and Ash Wednesday, and his plays such as Murder in the Cathedral. He won the Nobel Prize for literature and became a prominent figure of Modernist poetry.  
 2 
Ted Hughes
(Poet and Children's Writer)
Ted Hughes
12
Birthdate: August 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mytholmroyd
Died: October 28, 1998
Poet and children’s author Ted Hughes is best remembered for his iconic poems The Hawk in the Rain, Birthday Letters, and Crow. He was married to poet Sylvia Plath, who eventually committed suicide at 30. Most people blamed him for mistreating Plath and indirectly causing her death.   
 3 
W. H. Auden
(One of the Greatest Authors of 20th Century)
W. H. Auden
9
Birthdate: February 21, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: York, England, United Kingdom
Died: September 29, 1973

W. H. Auden was an Anglo-American poet. His poetry was noted for its technical achievement and versatility. He wrote poems on love, political and social themes, and cultural and psychological themes. Throughout his career, Auden was both influential and controversial. His personal life also attracted attention as he had sexual relationships with men, which was unusual at the time.

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 4 
Philip Larkin
7
Birthdate: August 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Radford, Coventry, United Kingdom
Died: December 2, 1985
 5 
Robert Graves
(Poet & Novelist)
Robert Graves
9
Birthdate: July 24, 1895
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wimbledon, England
Died: December 7, 1985
 6 
D. H. Lawrence
(English Writer and Poet Known for His Novels: ‘Sons and Lovers’, ‘The Rainbow’ and ‘Women in Love’)
D. H. Lawrence
10
Birthdate: September 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Eastwood, England, United Kingdom
Died: March 2, 1930

English writer, D. H. Lawrence, was known for exploring sensitive issues, such as sexuality, emotional health,  and instinct. In his works, he often reflected upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization. The sexual nature of his writings earned him many enemies. Even though he died at the relatively young age of 44, he left behind a rich literary legacy.

 7 
A. E. Housman
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1859
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fockbury, England
Died: April 30, 1936
 8 
J. R. R. Tolkien
(Author of 'The Hobbit' & 'The Lord of the Rings')
J. R. R. Tolkien
19
Birthdate: January 3, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Died: September 2, 1973

Considered one of the greatest authors, JRR Tolkien is popularly called the father of the modern fantasy literature. He is best known for his high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which is set in a conceived world called the Middle-Earth. Many years after his death, Tolkien continues to be one of the best-selling writers.

 9 
A. A. Milne
(Best Known for His Books About the Teddy Bear ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ and Children's Poetry)
A. A. Milne
6
Birthdate: January 18, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 31, 1956

A. A. Milne was an English author best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh. He joined the British Army as a young man and served in both World War I and World War II. In his career as a writer, he wrote several novels, non-fiction pieces, articles, poems, screenplays, and children’s stories.

 10 
Donovan
(Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Composer, Autobiographer, Writer, Poet, Record producer, Film score composer)
Donovan
9
Birthdate: May 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Donovan is a Scottish guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for developing and popularizing a distinctive and eclectic style that blended many genres, such as folk, jazz, pop, calypso, and psychedelic rock. Donovan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

 11 
Gilbert K. Chesterton
(One of the Greatest Writers of the 20th Century Best Known as the 'Prince of Paradox')
Gilbert K. Chesterton
4
Birthdate: May 29, 1874
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Died: June 14, 1936

Gilbert K. Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, and art critic. A prolific writer, he composed around 80 books, hundreds of poems, around 200 short stories, and 4,000 essays. Often referred to as the "prince of paradox", he had as many detractors as he had admirers. He is considered a successor to Victorian authors like Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin.

 12 
Edward Thomas
3
Birthdate: March 3, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lambeth, Surrey, England
Died: April 9, 1917

Educated at Oxford, poet Edward Thomas spent a considerable time working rather reluctantly as a journalist and penning nature studies and critiques of 19th-century authors. An encounter with Robert Frost inspired him to write poems. He was killed in action in Arras, France, during World War I.

 13 
Carol Ann Duffy
6
Birthdate: December 23, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
 14 
Michael Rosen
(Children's author and poet who has written 140 books)
Michael Rosen
7
Birthdate: May 7, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Harrow, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom
 15 
C. Day Lewis
(British poet and Poet Laureate from 1968 until his death in 1972.)
C. Day Lewis
4
Birthdate: April 27, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ballintubber, Ireland
Died: May 22, 1972

C. Day-Lewis was an Anglo-Irish poet who also wrote many mystery stories. From 1968 to 1972, he served as the Poet Laureate. He also contributed as a publications editor during World War II, working for the Ministry of Information.

 16 
Benjamin Zephaniah
(Actor, Poet, Writer, Singer)
Benjamin Zephaniah
6
Birthdate: April 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Birmingham
 17 
Iris Murdoch
(Irish & British Novelist Best Known for Her Novels: 'Under the Net', 'The Sea, the Sea' and 'The Bell')
Iris Murdoch
4
Birthdate: July 15, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 8, 1999

One of the most popular Irish-born British novelists, Iris Murdoch is remembered for her psychological novels, which had a good dose of sexuality, philosophy, morality, and comic elements. While she won the Booker Prize for The Sea, the Sea, the Oxford alumnus had also worked for the HM Treasury and the UN.

 18 
Johnny Marr
(Guitarist, Poet, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer)
Johnny Marr
10
Birthdate: October 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manchester, England
 19 
Angela Carter
(Author of 'The Bloody Chamber' and 'Nights at the Circus')
Angela Carter
4
Birthdate: May 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Eastbourne, England
Died: February 16, 1992
 20 
Dorothy L. Sayers
(English crime writer and poet.)
Dorothy L. Sayers
7
Birthdate: June 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: December 17, 1957
 21 
Frieda Hughes
(Painter, Poet)
Frieda Hughes
9
Birthdate: April 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
 22 
Rowan Douglas Williams
(104th Archbishop of Canterbury)
Rowan Douglas Williams
4
Birthdate: June 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales

Rowan Douglas Williams became the first archbishop of Canterbury who was not from the Church of England. The Welsh Anglican bishop has been quite liberal in his views on homosexuality. He has also taught theology courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and is a life peer.

 23 
David Knopfler
7
Birthdate: December 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
 24 
Kingsley Amis
(Novelist)
Kingsley Amis
6
Birthdate: April 16, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clapham, London, England
Died: October 22, 1995
 25 
John Betjeman
5
Birthdate: August 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 19, 1984
 26 
John Berger
(Novelist)
John Berger
7
Birthdate: November 5, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 2, 2017
 27 
Alfred Douglas
(British Poet, Journalist and Lover of Irish Poet Oscar Wilde)
Alfred Douglas
6
Birthdate: October 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Powick, Worcestershire, England
Died: March 20, 1945

Alfred Douglas was an English journalist and poet best remembered as one of the lovers of famous Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Douglas played an important role in Wilde's imprisonment for homosexuality. Alfred Douglas' father John Sholto Douglas abhorred his son's relationship with the Irish poet and publicly accused the latter of homosexuality, which was illegal at that time.

 28 
Jeremy Lloyd
(Writer)
Jeremy Lloyd
6
Birthdate: July 22, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Danbury, England
Died: December 23, 2014
 29 
Genesis P-Orridge
(Singer-songwriter)
Genesis P-Orridge
12
Birthdate: February 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manchester, England
 30 
Robert Bridges
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1844
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Walmer, Kent, England
Died: April 21, 1930
 31 
Walter de La Mare
5
Birthdate: April 25, 1873
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Charlton, London Charlton, Kent, England, UK
Died: June 22, 1956
 32 
Diana Wynne Jones
(Known for Writing Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Novels for Children and Young Adults)
Diana Wynne Jones
4
Birthdate: August 16, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 26, 2011

Diana Wynne Jones was an English writer who is known for  fantasy and speculative fiction novels for children and young adults.. She began writing stories for her siblings at the age of thirteen. However, she was actually introduced to children's literature while reading out to her sons, starting to write on her own once her children started going to school, authoring more than forty books in her lifetime.

 33 
John Masefield
6
Birthdate: June 1, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ledbury, United Kingdom
Died: May 12, 1967
 34 
Simon Armitage
5
Birthdate: May 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
 35 
John Webster
(Playwright, Poet, Writer, Poet lawyer)
John Webster
4
Birthdate: 1578 AD
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: 1634 AD
 36 
Leslie Bricusse
(Composer, Musician, Playwright, Lyricist, Screenwriter, Poet, Songwriter, Film score composer)
Leslie Bricusse
6
Birthdate: January 29, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London
 37 
Ford Madox Ford
(British Writer Known for His Novels: 'The Good Soldier', 'Parade’s End' Tetralogy and 'The Fifth Queen' Trilogy)
Ford Madox Ford
9
Birthdate: December 17, 1873
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Merton, Surrey, England
Died: June 26, 1939

Best remembered for his novel The Good Soldier, author Ford Madox Ford was the grandson of Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown. He had been part of World War I. He spent his final years in France and the US, mostly authoring criticism. The tetralogy Parade's End remains one of his best-known works.

 38 
Radclyffe Hall
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Died: October 7, 1943
 39 
Mark Haddon
(Writer)
Mark Haddon
6
Birthdate: September 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Northampton, England, United Kingdom
 40 
Craig Charles
7
Birthdate: July 11, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, UK
 41 
Mervyn Peake
(English Writer Who is Best Remembered for Writing a Series of Fantasy Books Called 'Gormenghast')
Mervyn Peake
3
Birthdate: July 9, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lianxi District, Jiujiang, China
Died: November 17, 1968

Mervyn Peake was an English writer, poet, artist, and illustrator. He is best remembered for writing a series of fantasy books, which are collectively referred to as Gormenghast. Although his work as an illustrator and painter did not gain popularity during his lifetime, Mervyn Peake's drawings are highly respected by his friends and peers.

 42 
Vita Sackville-West
7
Birthdate: March 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Knole, Kent, England, UK
Died: June 2, 1962
 43 
Rumer Godden
(Author)
Rumer Godden
5
Birthdate: December 10, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eastbourne, Sussex, England
Died: November 8, 1998
 44 
Jake Thackray
(English Singer-Songwriter, Poet & Journalist)
Jake Thackray
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leeds
Died: December 24, 2002

Jake Thackray was an English poet, journalist, and singer-songwriter. He achieved immense popularity during the 1960s and 1970s when he started appearing on British television, performing his topical comedy songs. Jake Thackray is credited with influencing performers like Jarvis Cocker, Alex Turner, Ralph McTell, and Mike Harding.

 45 
Akala
(Rapper)
Akala
6
Birthdate: December 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kentish Town, London, England
 46 
Vivian Stanshall
6
Birthdate: March 21, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: March 5, 1995
 47 
Roger McGough
(Poet, performer, and children's author)
Roger McGough
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Litherland, Lancashire, England
 48 
Edward James
(Poet known for his patronage of the surrealist art movement)
Edward James
3
Birthdate: August 16, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Dean House, West Dean, Sussex, England
Died: December 2, 1984
 49 
John Agard
(Playwright, Poet, Children's writer)
John Agard
4
Birthdate: June 21, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Georgetown, Guyana
Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany
3
Birthdate: July 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 25, 1957

Edward Plunkett was a talented Irish author, known for his fantasy novels such as The King of Elfland's Daughter. Initially educated at Eton and then at Sandhurst, he had also been part of the British Army in World War I. He also designed chess puzzles and was a keen hunter.