Wilson, Angus, 1913-1991

Alternative names
Birth 1913-08-11
Death 1991-05-31

Biographical notes:

Born August 11, 1913, in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, England, Angus Wilson was also a short story writer, editor, critic, biographer, and playwright. Wilson was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1980 for his contributions to literature and the arts.

While working at the British Museum during the 1940s Wilson began writing short stories and other short pieces, most of which were portraits of postwar Britain. He has been ranked among the best short story writers of the twentieth century.

By the 1950s Wilson became impatient with the short story form and in 1952 his first novel, Hemlock and After, was published. The characterizations in two of his novels, Late Call (1964) and No Laughing Matter (1967) are discussed in this letter.

In addition to being knighted, Angus Wilson received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1959, for The Middle Age of Mrs. Eliot ; the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award in 1970, for The World of Charles Dickens ; and honorary degrees from a number of universities including the University of Leicester, University of East Anglia, University of Liverpool, University of Sussex, and the Sorbonne. Angus Wilson died on May 31, 1991, in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England.

Sandra Kent (Harris) was an undergraduate student at Leicester University from 1966-1969. In her final year at Leicester she wrote a dissertation related to Angus Wilson, exploring the "wild garden" theme in his work. She received this letter in response to a letter she had written to Wilson.

"Angus Wilson." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Gale Biography In Context). http://ic.galegroup.com (accessed July 2011). Derived from Sandra (Kent) Harris, e-mail message to Timothy Murray, November 12, 2010.

From the guide to the Angus Wilson letter to Sandra Kent, 1969 February 20, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)

Biographical Note: Angus Wilson is a British novelist, critic, and biographer.

He was born in Bexhill, Sussex in 1913. He studied at Merton College, Oxford (1932-1935) and afterwards took a position at the British Museum. During World War II, he was a member of the intelligence branch of the Foreign Office. A collection of short fiction, "The Wrong Set," was published in 1949 followed by several novels and works of non-fiction. Wilson also enjoyed a career as teacher and lecturer including an appointment as visiting professor in 1974 at The Johns Hopkins University. Angus Wilson was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1980. He resides in Suffolk, England.

From the description of Angus Wilson letters, 1954-1970. (Johns Hopkins University). WorldCat record id: 49301991


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Characters and characteristics in literature--20th century
  • Novelists, British--20th century--Correspondence
  • Authors, English--20th century--Archives
  • Fiction
  • Creative writing
  • English literature--20th century--History and criticism


  • Novelists
  • Authors, English--20th century


not available for this record