Famous British Critics & Connoisseurs

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 1 
Robert Graves
(Poet & Novelist)
Robert Graves
4
Birthdate: July 24, 1895
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wimbledon, England
Died: December 7, 1985
 2 
John Dryden
4
Birthdate: August 9, 1631
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aldwincle, Northamptonshire, England
Died: May 12, 1700
 3 
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.

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 4 
Mark Kermode
(Television presenter, Musician, Journalist)
Mark Kermode
4
Birthdate: July 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chipping Barnet
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 5 
Terry Eagleton
(Literary Theorist Best Known for His Work 'Literary Theory: An Introduction' (1983))
Terry Eagleton
4
Birthdate: February 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Salford, England

English literary theorist and critic Terry Eagleton, presently serving as Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, is a prominent critic of postmodernism and the New Atheism. His oeuvre includes over forty books among which Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), which describes the emerging literary theory of the period, is considered to be one of his most notable works.   

 6 
Ford Madox Ford
(British Writer Known for His Novels: 'The Good Soldier', 'Parade’s End' Tetralogy and 'The Fifth Queen' Trilogy)
Ford Madox Ford
4
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.

 7 
Fanny Cradock
(English Restaurant Critic, Television Chef and Writer)
Fanny Cradock
4
Birthdate: February 26, 1909
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leytonstone, Essex, England
Died: December 27, 1994

Famous for dressing up in ballgowns and wearing heavy make-up while cooking up exotic dishes, celebrity chef Fanny Cradock initially co-wrote cookbooks and food columns with her husband Johnnie Cradock. She had married four times, and had committed bigamy twice. She was known for her signature husky voice and dramatic style.

 8 
Margaret Drabble
(English Novelist, Biographer and Critic)
Margaret Drabble
4
Birthdate: June 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sheffield, England

English author Margaret Drabble mostly writes about women protagonists and their experiences through marriage, motherhood, and intellectual development. Her novels such as The Gates of Ivory and A Summer Bird-Cage have earned her honors such as the DBE. She is the younger sister of novelist A.S. Byatt.

 9 
Peter Ackroyd
(British Biographer, Novelist and Critic with a Particular Interest in the History and Culture of London)
Peter Ackroyd
4
Birthdate: October 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: East Acton, London, England

English author and critic Peter Ackroyd is mostly known for his novels that depict the history of London. The Cambridge and Yale alumnus had initially worked at The Spectator. Apart from writing award-winning novels such as Hawksmoor, he has also penned biographies of T.S. Eliot and Dickens, among others.

 10 
Giles Coren
(Food Writer)
Giles Coren
4
Birthdate: July 29, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paddington, London, Eng;and

Chiefly known as a food writer, Giles Coren has been serving as a columnist for London based daily newspaper, The Times, since the age of 24. Named Food and Drink Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards, he has also authored several books and appeared on several popular television productions. Currently, he also hosts a weekly radio program.

 11 
Tom Parker Bowles
(Food Writer, Food Critic & Son of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Andrew Parker Bowles)
Tom Parker Bowles
4
Birthdate: December 18, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
Tom Parker Bowles, son of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Andrew Parker Bowles, is best known for hosting Market Kitchen. He also writes food reviews in magazines such as GQ and Esquire, and has authored several cookbooks. The Guild of Food Writers award winner also owns a chestnut ale brand.
 12 
Kenneth Tynan
(Diarist, Theatre critic, Screenwriter)
Kenneth Tynan
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Birmingham
Died: July 26, 1980
 13 
Michael Winner
(Film director)
Michael Winner
4
Birthdate: October 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: January 21, 2013
 14 
Waldemar Januszczak
(Journalist)
Waldemar Januszczak
4
Birthdate: January 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basingstoke
 15 
F.R. Leavis
(Literature Critic)
F.R. Leavis
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge, England
Died: April 14, 1978
 16 
Brian Sewell
(journalist, autobiographer, art critic, art historian)
Brian Sewell
4
Birthdate: June 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: September 19, 2015
 17 
Peter Bradshaw
(Writer and film critic)
Peter Bradshaw
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: England
 18 
Walter Pater
(English Essayist, Literary Critic Famous for His Unique Style of Writings)
Walter Pater
3
Birthdate: August 4, 1839
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stepney, London, England
Died: July 30, 1894

Nineteenth-century critic and essayist Walter Pater redefined aestheticism with his idea of "art for art’s sake." Though initially interested in a church career, he later studied classics and began writing reviews on Renaissance art. Marius the Epicurean remains his most notable work. Some of his works reveal his homosexuality.

 19 
Lytton Strachey
(British Writer, a Founding Member of the 'Bloomsbury Group' and Author of 'Eminent Victorians')
Lytton Strachey
4
Birthdate: March 1, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 21, 1932

English biographer Lytton Strachey is best remembered for his masterpiece Eminent Victorians, which looks at the lives of Victorian figures such as Florence Nightingale and Thomas Arnold, using tools such as irony and paradox. He had also penned an award-winning biography of Queen Victoria. His short biographies discarded irrelevant details.

 20 
Jay Rayner
(Presenter, Journalist, Food critic)
Jay Rayner
4
Birthdate: September 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London
 21 
George Henry Lewes
(Philosopher)
George Henry Lewes
3
Birthdate: April 18, 1817
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 30, 1878
 22 
Roger Fry
(Artist and art critic)
Roger Fry
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: September 9, 1934
 23 
Clive Bell
(Art Critic)
Clive Bell
3
Birthdate: September 16, 1881
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: East Shefford, England
Died: September 18, 1964
 24 
Barry Norman
(Film critic, Television presenter)
Barry Norman
0
Birthdate: August 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lambeth, London, England
Died: June 30, 2017
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 25 
I. A. Richards
(British Educator, Literary Critic, Poet, and Rhetorician)
I. A. Richards
4
Birthdate: February 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sandbach, Cheshire, England
Died: September 7, 1979

British scholar and poet I. A. Richards is known for contributing to the New Criticism movement. While he initially taught English and moral sciences, he later focused on developing a new way of reading literature, known as practical criticism. The Meaning of Meaning remains one of his best-known works.

 26 
Leslie Stephen
(British Author, Critic, Historian, Biographer, and Mountaineer)
Leslie Stephen
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kensington Gore, London, England
Died: February 22, 1904

Sir Leslie Stephen was an English historian, biographer, author, critic, and mountaineer. Leslie Stephen also took an active part in the organized humanist movement, serving as the president of the West London Ethical Society on multiple occasions. He was the father of famous author, Virginia Woolf, and painter, Vanessa Bell.

 27 
Margaret Forster
(British Writer Novelist, Literary Critics, Biographer and Historian Best Known for the 1965 Novel 'Georgy Girl')
Margaret Forster
3
Birthdate: May 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Carlisle, England
Died: February 8, 2016

English author and freelance critic Margaret Forster is best remembered for her bestselling novel Georgy Girl, which was made into a film later. She also penned biographies and contributed to BBC Radio 4 programs. She had also been a Booker Prize judge but mostly remained away from book-signing events.

 28 
John Bayley
(Literary critic)
John Bayley
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan
Died: January 12, 2015
 29 
Simon Reynolds
(Journalist, Music critic, Writer)
Simon Reynolds
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
 30 
Paul Morley
(Journalist, Music critic, Writer, Talent agent, Talent manager)
Paul Morley
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Stockport
 31 
Nick Kent
(Journalist, Music critic)
Nick Kent
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
 32 
Mark Beech
(Author)
Mark Beech
3
Birthdate: 1959 AD
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Died: April 27, 2020
 33 
Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji
(Pianist, Composer, Music critic, Writer)
Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji
3
Birthdate: August 14, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Essex
Died: October 15, 1988
 34 
William Empson
(Literary Critic)
William Empson
3
Birthdate: September 27, 1906
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Yokefleet, England
Died: April 15, 1984
 35 
James Fenton
(Poet)
James Fenton
3
Birthdate: April 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lincoln, England
 36 
John Addington Symonds
(Poet)
John Addington Symonds
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1840
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: April 19, 1893
 37 
John Cowper Powys
(Philosopher)
John Cowper Powys
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1872
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shirley, England, United Kingdom
Died: June 17, 1963
 38 
Herbert Read
(Art Historian)
Herbert Read
3
Birthdate: December 4, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Muscoates, England
Died: June 12, 1968
 39 
Al Alvarez
(Author of Many Non-Fiction Books)
Al Alvarez
3
Birthdate: August 5, 1929
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 23, 2019

Best known for works such as The Savage God, which spoke about suicide, and the psychological thriller Day of Atonement, Al Alvarez was educated at Oxford and later became the youngest Christian Gauss lecturer at Princeton. His poems and other works carried themes of love and loss.

 40 
William Michael Rossetti
(Writer)
William Michael Rossetti
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1829
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 5, 1919
 41 
Edmund Gosse
(British Poet, Author and Critic)
Edmund Gosse
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1849
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 16, 1928

Edmund Gosse was an English author, poet, and critic. His book Father and Son inspired the popular TV play Where Adam Stood as well as Peter Carey's novel Oscar and Lucinda. Gosse also helped promote the works of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in England. He is also credited with helping James Joyce and W. B. Yeats establish themselves as writers.

 42 
Suzy Menkes
(Journalist)
Suzy Menkes
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Beaconsfield
 43 
Sheridan Morley
(Author)
Sheridan Morley
3
Birthdate: December 5, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ascot, England
Died: February 16, 2007

Born to actor Robert Morley, Sheridan Morley was named after a character his father played. He started as a BBC broadcaster and then worked with Punch and The Spectator, as a drama critic. He had also penned biographies of personalities such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.

 44 
Frank Kermode
(Critic)
Frank Kermode
3
Birthdate: November 29, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Isle of Man, England
Died: August 17, 2010
 45 
Anna Laetitia Barbauld
(British Poet, Essayist, Literary Critic, Editor, and Author of Children’s Literature)
Anna Laetitia Barbauld
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1743
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kibworth-Harcourt, Leicestershire, England
Died: March 9, 1825

Best known for including political and social themes in her writings, Anna Letitia Barbauld was a renowned poet, essayist, and children’s author. She was the only daughter of Unitarian John Aikin and taught at the Palgrave Academy. She is remembered for her iconic hymn “Life! I Know Not What Thou Art.”

 46 
Hall Caine
(Novelist)
Hall Caine
3
Birthdate: May 14, 1853
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Runcorn, United Kingdom
Died: August 31, 1931
 47 
Arthur Quiller-Couch
(Writer)
Arthur Quiller-Couch
3
Birthdate: November 21, 1863
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bodmin, England
Died: May 12, 1944
 48 
John Middleton Murry
(British Writer Best Known as the Editor of 'The Athenaeum (1919-21)' And 'The Adelphi (1923-48)')
John Middleton Murry
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1889
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Peckham, London, England
Died: March 12, 1957

Author and essayist John Middleton Murry had penned countless essays and about 40 books in his lifetime. Better known as the husband of author Katherine Mansfield and a friend of D.H. Lawrence, he was inspired by both. He had also been an editor of Rhythm and had co-launched The Adelphi.

 49 
Sacheverell Sitwell
(Writer)
Sacheverell Sitwell
3
Birthdate: November 15, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Scarborough, England
Died: October 1, 1988
 50 
Nik Cohn
(Writer)
Nik Cohn
3
Birthdate: 1946 AD
Birthplace: London, England