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Famous British personalities

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John Maynard Keynes

(1883 - 1946)
Profession: Humanitarian
1st Baron Keynes - English economist.

His General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money 1936 proposed the prevention of financial crises and unemployment by adjusting demand through government control of credit and currency. He is responsible for that part of economics now known as macroeconomics.

Keynes led the British delegation at the Bretton Woods Conference 1944, which set up the International Monetary Fund. His theories were widely accepted in the aftermath of World War II, and he was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. His ideas are today often contrasted with those of monetarism. Keynes was a fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He worked at the Treasury during World War I, and took part in the peace conference as chief Treasury representative, but resigned in protest against the financial terms of the treaty. He justified his action in The Economic Consequences of the Peace 1919. His later economic works aroused much controversy

Sir Malcolm Campbell

(1885 - 1948)
Profession: Sportsman
British corporation director and automobile racer, born in Chislehurst, Kent, England, and educated in Uppingham and abroad. He was prominent in the business world of England as a director and officer in a number of corporations, but he is known in the United States chiefly for the world speed records he set, beginning in the 1920s, in his specially constructed racing cars on the flat sands in Daytona Beach, Florida, and on the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. He was knighted in 1931. Campbell is the author of Speed (1931), The Romance of Motor-Racing (1936), The Roads and the Problem of Their Safety (1937), and Drifting to War (1937).

George Herbert Leigh Mallory

(1886 - 1924)
Profession: Sportsman
English mountain climber.

After some spectacular ascents in the Alps, he participated in the Everest expeditions of 1921, 1922, and 1924. The 1924 expedition culminated in a bold and possibly successful drive toward the summit by Mallory and Andrew Irvine, from which they did not return; Mallory's body was discovered on Everest in 1999. Mallory's intelligence, resolution, and superb leadership, together with the mystery surrounding his final effort, have made his name legendary among mountaineers.

George Mallory, 38 and Andrew Irvine, 22 disappeared on their way to the summit. They were last spotted by a member of the expedition, who reported they "were going strong for the top." Whether they reached the summit remains a mystery.

Dame Agatha Christie

(1890 - 1976)
Profession: Writer
English detective story writer

Born in Torquay, Devon, as Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller. Christie's second husband was the archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan, and she gained much material for her later novels during his excavations in the Middle East. An extraordinarily popular author, Christie wrote over 80 books, most of them featuring one of her two famous detectives; Hercule Poirot, an egotistical Belgian, and Miss Jane Marple, an elderly spinster.

Her novels, noted for their skillful plots, include The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920), The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), Murder on the Orient Express (1934), Death on the Nile (1937), And Then There Were None (1940), Death Comes as the End (1945), Funerals Are Fatal (1953), The Pale Horse (1962), Passenger to Frankfurt (1970), Elephants Can Remember (1973), and Curtain (1975); her plays include The Mousetrap (1952), one of the longest-running plays in theatrical history, and Witness for the Prosecution (1954). Christie also published novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. She was named Dame Commander, Order of the British Empire, in 1971.

Dorothy Leigh Sayers

(1893 - 1957)
Profession: Writer
Graduated Somerville College, Oxford, 1915. Taking first-class honors in medieval literature, she was one of the first women to receive an Oxford degree. For a time she worked as a copywriter in a London advertising agency—the setting for her Murder Must Advertise (1933).

Her first detective novel was Whose Body? (1923), which marked the debut of her nobleman-detective, Lord Peter Wimsey; he reappeared in 10 novels including The Nine Tailors (1934) and Gaudy Night (1935). Her short stories featuring Wimsey were collected in Lord Peter (1972).
Sayers is considered one of the masters of the detective story. Her novels are brilliantly plotted and written with great vitality, wit, and erudition. She later wrote religious dramas and theological essays, including Begin Here (1941) and Creed or Chaos? (1949). She translated most of Dante's Divine Comedy (1949, 1955) and wrote studies of Dante (1954 and 1957).

Anna Freud

(1895 - 1982)
Profession: Scientist
British psychoanalyst

Born in Vienna, Austria. Continuing the work of her father, Sigmund Freud, she was a pioneer in the psychoanalysis of children. She received her training in Vienna before emigrating (1938) with her father to England, where she founded and directed a clinic for child therapy.

In an influential 1937 work, she argued that the ego had an active role in resolving conflict and tension. Other psychoanalysts, including Heinz Hartmann and Erik Erikson, advanced her ideas in their own work. Her writings include Normality and Pathology in Childhood (1965) and The Writings of Anna Freud (7 vol., 1973).

Reginald Joseph Mitchell

(1895 - 1937)
Profession: Engineer
Designer of the Supermarine Spitfire

Born in Talke Village near Stoke on Trent on 20 May 1895.

Leaving school in 1911 aged 16 he joined the locomotive engineering company, Kerr Stewart & Co of Stoke as an apprentice and upon completion of his apprenticeship he began working in the drawing office.

At night school however he continued his education studying engineering, mechanics and higher mathematics and with the use of a home based lathe he mastered practical engineering.

In 1917, at the age of 21, a partnership that was to have a significant effect upon his future was formed when he joined the Supermarine Aviation Works as a designer and by 1918, recognising the excellent skills that he had, Reginald Mitchell was appointed Chief Designer by Hubert Scott-Paine the Managing Director of Supermarine.

As seaplane manufacturers, Supermarine were attracted by the Schneider Trophy contests although until 1922 when Mitchell took over complete control of the design for that years entry, the competition was dominated by Italy, who having won the Trophy in 1920 and 1921 meant that a further win in 1922 would secure them the Trophy outright.

Mitchell's aircraft was the only challenger to the Italian's in the 1922 Schneider Trophy and flown by Captain Henri C Baird it won, also taking four new Marine World Records.

Mitchell was however a sick man. He underwent an operation to remove abdominal cancer late in 1933 and almost died. He was told that if their was no recurrence within five years he would likely survive but following that operation he never fully recovered his vitality and remained a weak man.

Over the next two years his health deteriorated and resisting all medical advice he drove himself hard, working not only on the Spitfire but also the Type 317 long range, four engined bomber. On 11th June 1937 Reginald Joseph Mitchell died aged just 42

John (Rhodes) Cobb

(1899 - 1952)
Profession: Sportsman
British racing driver

He broke the world land-speed record in 1938, 1939, and 1947, setting a personal best time of 634.37 km/h (394.19 mph). He attempted to break the world water-speed record on Loch Ness in Scotland in 1952. On his first run he became the first person to break the 200 mph barrier on water, averaging 332.95 km/h (206.89 mph) for a mile, but shortly afterwards he was killed when his jet-powered boat crashed.

Cobb began racing in 1925 and soon established himself as one of the stars of the Brooklands circuit, repeatedly setting new lap records. After breaking every world record between one hour and 24 hours he turned his attention towards breaking the world land-speed record. In 1938, at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, he set a new mark of 563.58 km/h (350.20 mph) in his Napier-Railton Mobil Special. The previous record holder, fellow British driver George Eyston, then regained the record with a speed of 575.330 km/h (357.493 mph), but in 1939, Cobb set a speed of 595.02 km/h (369.74 mph). In 1947, when he raised the record once more, he managed to reach a speed of over 400 mph in one direction.

Barbara Cartland

(1901 - 2000)
Profession: Writer
Record-holding, prolific British romance novelist

Dame Barbara Cartland (married name McCorquodale) was the most prolific author in British history, known primarily for her romance novels. She published more than 700 books in her lifetime, including 5 autobiographies and several books on cooking and health.

But she's most famous as the "Queen of the Romance Novel." Cartland published her first novel in 1923 (Jig-Saw) and was off and running. From the 1970s through the 1990s, she set world records by writing around two dozen novels a year. Cartland was also a celebrity, famous for her involvement in charities and social causes and easily recognized by her pink chiffon outfits. In 1992 she was named a Dame of the British Empire

Dame Barbara Hepworth

(1903 - 1975)
Profession: Artist
English sculptor

Hepworth's smooth, usually nonfigurative sculptures recall those of Jean Arp.

Working in Cornwall, she consistently sought perfection of form and surface texture.

She worked primarily in stone, in bronze. Her sculpture is represented in the Tate Gallery, London.

From 1933 to 1951; Hepworth was married to the painter Ben Nicholson.

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