Achebe is considered the Father of African literature. His 1958 novel ‘Things Fall Apart’ is regarded as the most famous African novel written in English. He became a Professor of Literature and Africana studies when he moved to the United States in the 1990s.
Bariatinskaya was born into Russian nobility. At 18 she married one of the Tsar’s aides-de-camp and became Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. During the 1840s she was painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, with one of these portraits now in the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Saint-Saens was a major European composer and pianist of the 19th Century. He is best known for his work The Carnival of the Animals, and the opera Samson and Delilah. His students include Gabriel Faure and Maurice Ravel.
Sillitoe was part of the ‘Angry Young Men’ group of writers who emerged in 1950s, alongside writers like Kingsley Amis and John Osborne. He is principally known for two of his early works, ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ and ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’.
Massey was an influential geographer and social scientist. Her work was often viewed through Marxist and Feminist lenses, and her ideas about ‘place’ were particularly important. She was awarded the Vautrin Lud prize in 1998 – regarded as the ‘Nobel Prize for Geography’.