Angus Wilson

Angus Wilson

Sir Angus Frank Johnstone Wilson (11 August 1913 – 31 May 1991) was an English novelist and short story writer. He was awarded the 1958 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for "The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot" and later received a knighthood for his services to literature.


Wilson was born in Bexhill, Sussex, England, to an English father and South African mother. He was educated at Merton College, Oxford, and in 1937 became a librarian in the British Museum's Department of Printed Books, working on the new General Catalogue. During World War II, he worked in the Naval section Hut 8 at the code-breaking establishment, Bletchley Park, translating Italian Naval codes. A wearer of large, brightly-coloured bow-ties, he was one of the "famous homosexuals" at Bletchley and already known as a novelist (Anne Lavell in "Station X" by Michael Smith). The work situation was stressful and led to a nervous breakdown, for which he was treated by Rolf-Werner Kosterlitz. He returned to the Museum after the end of the War, and it was there that he met Tony Garrett (born 1929), who was to be his companion for the rest of his life.

Wilson's first publication was a collection of short stories, "The Wrong Set" (1949), followed quickly by the daring novel "Hemlock and After", which was a great success, prompting invitations to lecture in Europe. He worked as a reviewer, and in 1955 he resigned from the British Museum to write full-time (although his financial situation did not justify doing so) and moved to Suffolk. From 1957 he gave lectures further afield, in Japan, Switzerland, Australia, and the USA. He was awarded a CBE in 1968, and received many literary honours in succeeding years. A knighthood was granted in 1980, prompting many hostile comments in the press. Remaining years were spent battling ill health.

His writing, which has a strongly satirical vein, expresses his concern with preserving a liberal humanistic outlook in the face of fashionable doctrinaire temptations. Several of his plays were adapted for television. He jointly helped to establish the now renowned creative writing course at the University of East Anglia.



*"Hemlock and After" (1952)
*"" (1953)
*"Anglo-Saxon Attitudes" (1956)
*"The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot" (1958)
*"The Old Men at the Zoo" (1961)
*"Late Call" (1964)
*"No Laughing Matter" (1967)
*"As If By Magic" (1973)
*"Setting the World on Fire" (1980)

hort story collections

*"The Wrong Set" (1949)
*"Such Darling Dodos" (1950)
*"A Bit Off the Map" (1957)


*"The Mulberry Bush" (1955)


*"The Wild Garden or Speaking of Writing" (1963)
*"The World of Charles Dickens" (1970)
*"The Naughty Nineties" (1976)
*"The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Works (1977)
*"Diversity and Depth in Fiction: Selected Critical Writings of Angus Wilson" (1983)
*"Reflections In A Writer's Eye: travel pieces by Angus Wilson" (1986)


*"Angus Wilson: A Biography" by Margaret Drabble (1995, Secker & Warburg, London) ISBN 0436 20038 4 or ISBN 0436 20271 9 (paperback)
*"Angus Wilson: A Bibliography 1947-1987" by J.H. Snape & Anne N. Thomas (1988, Mansell Publishing, London & New York)

External links

* [ Authors' Calendar: Angus Wilson]
* [ The Paris Review Interview]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Angus Wilson — Angus Frank Johnstone Wilson (11 août 1913 – 31 mai 1991) est un écrivain britannique, auteur de romans, de nouvelles et d essais. Lauréat du James Tait Black Memorial Prize pour The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot (Les Quarante Ans de Mrs Eliot), il fut …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Angus Wilson — [Angus Wilson] (1913–91) a British writer of novels and short stories, born in South Africa. His books, including Hemlock and After (1952) and Anglo Saxon Attitudes (1956), are known for their humorous descriptions of unusual characters in the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Angus Wilson — ➡ Wilson (I) * * * …   Universalium

  • Sir Angus Wilson — noun English writer of novels and short stories (1913 1991) • Syn: ↑Wilson, ↑Angus Frank Johnstone Wilson • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author …   Useful english dictionary

  • WILSON (A.) — WILSON ANGUS (1913 1991) Doué d’un sens de l’humour féroce, admirablement servi par un don d’observation sans complaisance et par une clairvoyance psychologique redoutable, Angus Wilson cache sous les dehors pétillants d’un homme d’esprit la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Wilson (Familienname) — Wilson ist ein englischer Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Der Name bedeutet Sohn des Wil. Somit handelt es sich um einen patronymisch gebildeten Namen. Verbreitung 1990 war Wilson in den USA der achthäufigste Familienname.[1] Varianten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Angus McLaren — à Melbourne en avril 2009 Angus McLaren est un acteur australien né le 3 novembre 1988 à Leongatha. Il a grandi dans une ferme laitière, à l Est de Melbourne. Son frère ainé Aidan est batteur dans le groupe populaire de hard rock Long… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wilson — Wilson, Angus Wilson, Charles Thompson Rees Wilson, Colin Wilson, Colin St. John Wilson, Henry Maitland Wilson, James Harold Wilson, John Wilson, Kenneth …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Wilson — noun 1. Scottish ornithologist in the United States (1766 1813) • Syn: ↑Alexander Wilson • Instance Hypernyms: ↑ornithologist, ↑bird watcher 2. English writer of novels and short stories (1913 1991) • Syn: ↑Sir Angus …   Useful english dictionary

  • Wilson — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sommaire 1 Étymologie historique 2 Patronyme 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”