The poet Philip Larkin worked in the college library between 1946 and 1950 and was a long-term companion of Monica Jones, a lecturer within the School.
In prose, the department has long been associated with the campus novel. Kingsley Amis, who invented the genre, visited his friend Larkin in Leicester; Larkin was living in Dixon Drive, and it was this address that supplied the surname of Jim Dixon, the protagonist of Amis’s Lucky Jim
The novelist Malcolm Bradbury was an undergraduate in the English department in the 1950s, and while still a student he began to write his first campus novel, Eating People is Wrong. This novel is a fiction, but, as Professor Bradbury was happy to acknowledge when writing an afterword decades later, was rooted in his experience as a student at Leicester. The fictional characters of the novel are not representations of those who taught Malcolm Bradbury but are nonetheless given traits that recognisably have their origins in the teaching staff of the English department.
English at Leicester has continued to inspire students with literary ambitions. Adele Parks, author of 11 bestselling novels, is a recent graduate.
- Read Adele's thoughts on her time here in: My Time at Leicester
Will Tudor is an actor and graduate of the department. Perhaps best known for playing Olyvar in the popular HBO TV drama Game of Thrones, Will also plays Odi in Channel 4's Humans and has an upcoming role in the film Tomorrow, executive produced by Martin Scorsese.
- Hear Will talking about his time at Leicester