Literary lion of the lens

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The Independent Culture

In a career spanning 40 years, the photographer Mark Gerson, now 89, shot most of the biggest names in English literature, from Roald Dahl to Salman Rushdie.

Several of Gerson's pictures, all signed, are to go on sale at the auction house Bonhams, including those featured here. He captured the novelist and satirist Evelyn Waugh,in 1963, on vintage bromide print. Others caught by his lens are the poet and critic Edith Sitwell, and her cat, shot in 1962. The American novelist James Baldwin, a personal friend of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, sat for him in 1971.

Also for sale is a famous picture of the "Faber Poets" – Louis MacNeice, Ted Hughes, T S Eliot, W H Auden, and Stephen Spender – at a literary function in 1960, which can also be seen in the National Portrait Gallery.