William Harrison Ainsworth was born in Manchester on February 4 1805, the first child of Thomas Ainsworth, a prominent local solicitor, and Ann Harrison, the daughter of a Unitarian minister. The family had one other child the following year, Thomas Gilbert, who was destined for a long life of mental illness. Ainsworth attended the Manchester Free Grammar School, and was contributing literary articles, short fiction and poetry to national periodicals from the age of sixteen. His first published book was a collection of poems under the pseudonym of “Cheviot Ticheburn” (dedicated to Charles Lamb) in 1822, followed in 1823 by the anonymous collection of short stories and literary essays, December Tales. He moved to London to …
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Carver, Stephen. "William Harrison Ainsworth". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2001
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