Famous Lancashire Writers

There are many famous Lancashire writers, born in the region and the famous city of Preston. Writers of novels, poetry as well as comic book writers and artists. This writers are famous not just locally, but nationally and internationally. You may be surprised by some of the names listed, including one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.

Anthony Burgess

Anthony BurgessBorn in 1948 in Lancashire, Burgess was a lecturer of Speech and Drama at the Bamber Bridge Emergency Teacher Training College, near Preston. The College was part of a post-war initiative to train ex-soldiers to be qualified teachers and Burgess trained almost 360 men in his time working there. Anthony Burgess is most famous for his 1962 novel, A Clockwork Orange, that was later adapted into a major film by director Stanley Kubrick.

Joseph Delaney

Joseph DelaneyFamous for his series The Wardstone Chronicles based on Lancashire. The town Priestown is loosely based on Preston, where Delaney was born. Other cities in Lancashire make a camouflaged appearance: Lancaster is Caster; Blackpool is Black Pool; and Chipping becomes Chipenden. The first book in the series, The Spook’s Apprentice, was adapted to film under the title Seventh Son in 2015.

Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth GaskellGaskell’s industrial novel North and South (1855) was, like much of her work, a portrait of of social class. North and South has a focus on the poor in the Manchester area and the strike resembles the Preston strike of 1853-4 that closed down the cotton industry for seven months. North and South was adapted by the BBC for screening in 2004.

Francis Thompson

Born at 7 Winckley Street in 1859, Francis Thompson was a poet who, in the 1890s, was part of the Aesthetic art movement. His most famous poem, selling over fifty-thousand copies, is ‘The Hound of Heaven’, a 182-line Christian poem. J. R. R. Tolkien made mention of Francis Thompson being a positive influence.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley HopkinsHopkin’s, the famous Victorian poet trained as a priest at St Mary’s Hall in Stonyhurst, not far from Preston and was curate at St Ignatius Church in Preston during the 1880’s.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin FranklinOne of the Founding Fathers of the United States lived in Preston and there is a discreet blue plaque on Orchard Street in Preston to commemorate the occasion. Benjamin Franklin wrote several essays on the importance of abolishing slavery.

Elizabeth Burns

An award-winning poet and lecturer at UCLan. Her recent work and awards include the 2009 Mark Ogle Memorial Poem, commissioned by Shore Poets; the 2009 Mirehouse Poetry Prize as part of the Ways with Words Festival, and the 2009 Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets.

Angela Brazil

Born on November 30, 1868 at 1 West Cliff in Broadgate, Angela Brazil entertained generations of readers with her schoolgirl stories and her books remained popular until the 1960’s. She was probably one of Lancashire’s most prolific published writers, with nearly fifty books published. She is credited with being one of the first British writers of modern schoolgirl stories.

Robert William Service

Born in Preston, Service wrote both prose and poetry, although he is best known for his poems. He briefly studied literature at the University of Glasgow before setting sail for Canada. Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling, Service dreamed of becoming a cowboy in the Yukon wilderness where his poetry earned him the name ‘Bard of the Yukon’.

Leo Baxendale

Leo BaxendaleFamous for being the creator of The Beano‘s witty and popular Minnie the Minx and The Bash Street Kids, Baxendale studied at Preston Catholic College. Homage to one of Lancashire’s famous writers, a mural of characters from The Beano was painted in Preston’s Community Gardens at Ribbleton Park in 2012.

Mary and Bryan Talbot

Mary and Bryan TalbotBefore becoming a comic book artist and writer, Bryan Talbot attended the Harris College in Preston. Mary Talbot is an author and an academic with a PhD in critical discourse analysis. They collaborated on the graphic novel Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, which won the 2012 Costa biography prize. The graphic novel is part biography, part memoir. It tells the tales of Lucia, James Joyce’s daughter, and Mary Talbot, daughter of the Joycean scholar James S. Atherton.