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Giant library panel will honour Liverpool writers
Beryl Bainbridge
Beryl Bainbridge a contender on the literary list

A giant panel listing some of Liverpool's literary greats is planned for the exterior of the city's library.

Liverpool's Central Library on William Brown Street is currently undergoing a £50m redevelopment.

The rear of the building will feature a panel called Literary Liverpool showcasing local writers.

Liverpool City Council has published a shortlist of writers from which it wants people to choose who they think should be included.

The front of the building will include a 22 metre long walkway engraved with titles of world books, cinema and music, which will all be available in the library.

Library revamp

Liverpool's 150 year old Central Library closed in Autumn 2010 while the Grade II listed building, part of Liverpool's World Heritage site, is being revamped.

The library will include Liverpool Record Office which includes many of the city's historic documents including the founding 1207 charter.

The shortlist of local writers for the panel lists 52 names of writers who were either from, lived in or influenced by Liverpool.

Feedback on the list can be submitted through the council's website up to Friday, 11 February.

Here are some of the shortlisted names that could be included in the panel.

William Roscoe

One of Liverpool's great historical figures, William Roscoe is often remembered for his roles in the founding of Liverpool's Botanical Collection and his opposition to the slave trade, but he was also a prolific writer.

He had a great love of poetry and his poem Mount Pleasant, written when he was 16, was critically acclaimed.

William Brown Street
The redeveloped Central Library will be on William Brown Street

He wrote a biography of Florentine politician Lorenzo de Medici and published a pamphlet in 1788 called A General View of the African Slave Trade.

Mainly self educated, Roscoe was one of the founders of Liverpool's Athenaeum club and organised an exhibition of the work of orhtonologist James J. Audubon.

Roscoe's art collection forms part of the Walker Art Gallery's Renaissance art collection next to Central Library on William Brown Street.

Frank Cottrell Boyce

The screenwriter of 24 Hour Party People, Millions and Butterfly Kiss and children's fiction, Frank Cottrell Boyce wrote for Coronation Street and Brookside including the spin off mini-series Damon and Debbie.

Frank Cottrell Boyce
Frank Cottrell Boyce writer of Millions and 24 Hour Party People

Alongside Carol Vorderman he co-presented the 2010 Papal Visit in Hyde Park of Pope Benedict XVI.

In 2004 his book Millions won the Carnegie Medal, it was also made in to a film while his 2005 novel Framed set in a north Wales village was adapted for a BBC television film in 2009.

During Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture Cottrell Boyce staged his first theatre production Proper Clever at Liverpool Playhouse.

Beryl Bainbridge

Dame Beryl Bainbridge who died in July 2010 wrote 18 novels some, like An Awfully Big Adventure, drawing on her experiences in Liverpool.

She was educated at Merchant Taylors School and wrote her first novel Harriet in the late 1950s, but because its story was about two school girls who commit murder it wasn't published until 1972.

In 1978 she wrote Young Adolf which imagined Adolf Hitler visiting his half brother Alois who lived in Upper Stanhope Street for a time before World War I. The fictional account was based on the account of Alois's wife Bridget who claimed the future Nazi leader had stayed with the family in Toxteth, a story that historians have claimed is highly unlikely.

Bainbridge also wrote several plays including The Warrior's Return and Tiptoe Through the Tulips.

Nominated five times for The Booker Prize she won the Whitbread Awards prize for best novel twice, in 1977 and 1996 for Injury Time and Every Man For Himself respectively.

John Lennon

An author isn't how many people would first think of the former Beatle, but John Lennon had a great love of wordplay. While still at school he created the Daily Howl a satirical work in his exercise book designed to amuse schoolfriends.

The Beatles
John Lennon published In His Own Write at the height of Beatlemania

When The Beatles were at the height of their fame in 1964 Lennon published In His Own Write a series of surreal short stories and drawings. It was later made in to a play by Victor Spinetti.

A second book A Spaniard in the Works followed in 1965, along similar lines to In His Own write it again featured stories and drawings. In 1997 it was published by a Swedish publishing house in both English and Swedish including a CD of unreleased Lennon pieces and interviews.

Clive Barker

Horror writer Clive Barker attended Dovedale Primary, the same school that both John Lennon and George Harrison had been to and later Quarry Bank High School.

He first established himself as a horror writer in the 1980s publishing a series of short stories, he also wrote screenplays before moving to directing with Hellraiser in 1987.

His later works moved from horror to more fantastical imaginings in Weaveworld and Sacrament

When Barker's The Books of Blood were published Stephen King proclaimed him 'the future of horror'.

Barker now lives in Los Angeles.

The full shortlist of 52 names is Lyn Andrews, Beryl Bainbridge, Anne Baker, Clive Barker, Alan Bleasdale, Frank Cottrell Boyce, John Brophy, Hall Caine, Ramsey Campbell, Gladys Mary Coles, Walter Crane, Charles Dickens, Berlie Doherty, Alice Thomas Ellis, Paul Farley, J.G. Farrell, Katie Flynn, Helen Forrester, Richard le Gallienne, George Garrett, Alan Gibbons, Linda Grant, James Hanley, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Felicia Hemans, Adrian Henri, Silas K Hocking, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Shirley Hughes, Brian Jacques, Joan Jonker, Edward Lear, Maureen Lee, John Lennon, Malcolm Lowry, Paul McCartney, Roger McGough, Jimmy McGovern, John Masefield, Nicholas Monsarrat, Alun Owen, Brian Patten, Lynda La Plante, Deryn Rees-Jones, William Roscoe, Edward Rushton, Willy Russell, Diane Samuels, Alexei Sayle, Olaf Stapledon, Levi Tafari, Robert Tressell.

Library shows its rarest books
13 Sep 03 |  Merseyside
World-class plans for city library
13 Mar 03 |  England



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