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5 Books for students studying English in the UK

4 Famous Writers From London

September 12, 2018

Literature can certainly enhance your language skills and any students who decide to study abroad in the UK will get the chance to fill up their reading lists with many inspiring works.

We’ve previously highlighted 5 books that every student studying in the UK should read, and we’ve even written about some of the best British poets students can discover. However, this time we want to take a closer look at the iconic literary legends of London.

As well as being home to some of the UK’s top universities, London has always been recognised as one of the biggest contributors to literature around the world. There have been many influential writers from London over the years, so without further ado, here’s 4 of the most famous …

Beatrix Potter

Born in South Kensington in 1866, Beatrix Potter wasn’t just known as writer, she was also an illustrator, conservationist, and natural scientist. She is most widely known for her children’s books, in the particular the classic, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”.

The beloved author has been capturing imaginations for well over 100 years, and she is still celebrated to this day. Her humorous tales can capture the hearts of any reader, taking them on an imaginative trip back into childhood. Potter was truly a visionary and a trailblazer, with her stories and illustrations becoming a natural part of childhood.

George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair, who was better known by his pen name George Orwell, wasn’t born in London but he spent a great deal of his life there. The English novelist and journalist is most famous for his works that highlighted issues concerning social injustice, totalitarianism and democratic socialism.

Ranked second on the The Time’s list of the fifty greatest British writers since 1945, Orwell is perhaps best known for his classic novel ‘Nineteen Eighty Four.’ A hard hitting story that takes place in a totalitarian dystopia, characterised by government control, surveillance, propaganda and subjugation. This and his novella ‘Animal Farm’ have sold more copies than any other two books by other twentieth century writers.

Geoffrey Chaucer

He is commonly referred to as the Father of English literature and was born in London in 1343. Chaucer achieved fame during his lifetime and is credited with legitimising the literary use of Middle English. This was especially significant, as French and Latin were the dominant literary languages at the time.

Regarded as the greatest English poet of his time, he was actually the first ever poet to be buried in the Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey. Even though he was recognised for being an author, astronomer and philosopher, Chaucer maintained an active career in the civil service. He worked with the British court his entire life, beginning as public servant of Countess Elizabeth in 1357. Chaucer is perhaps best known for his collection of stories known as “The Canterbury Tales.”

Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft was born in Spitalfields, London, in 1759. A groundbreaking writer and philosopher, Wollstonecraft was also one of the founding philosophers of Feminist criticism and an advocate of women’s rights. Her highly influential and seminal treatise, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, argued against women being treated as property and creatures of strong emotion rather than intellect.

Her work highlighted how both sexes should be entitled to the same level of education and was seen to have a profound effect on later writers, such as Virginia Woolf. Her daughter would later become Mary Shelley, author of the novel, Frankenstein.

These 4 are just a handful of the great literary writers who have either been born in, or have lived the majority of their lives in the UK’s capital. There’s plenty more for you to research and discover during your studies.

If you’re an International student looking to study English in the UK, you may find works written by these famous writers from london helpful during your studies. You could also use them as a means of enthralling escapism in your down time.