Books and Background

As with many other writers, Angela Thirkell’s books drifted out of fashion and were out of print in the UK for many years, but with the renewal of interest in middlebrow mid-20th century “forgotten” authors, new editions have appeared.

Picture of the dust cover of "Wild Strawberries" by Angela Thirkell

Allison & Busby published Three Houses in October 2012 in both paperback and Kindle editions, and it was BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week for Christmas week 2012.

Virago published High Rising and Wild Strawberries in November 2012. These were followed by August Folly, Summer Half, Pomfret Towers, The Brandons, and a never-before published collection of short stories, Christmas at High Rising.

In 2016 Before Lunch, Cheerfulness Breaks In, Northbridge Rectory, Growing Up, The Headmistress and Miss Bunting appeared, followed by Peace Breaks Out, all as e-books, some also as paperbacks.

More recently, has Virago published Love Among the Ruins and The Old Bank House.

In 2024 International Literary Properties, owners of the Angela Thirkell copyrights, produced the remaining 11 titles as e-books, via Open Road Media and available from Amazon.

The Angela Thirkell Society runs a second-hand book scheme – lists are sent to members regularly.

A charcoal portrait of Angela McInnes (later Thirkell) by John Singer Sargent
Charcoal portrait of Angela McInnes (later Thirkell) by John Singer Sargent, 1915

Here are some titles to help to fill in the background: Angela Thirkell: a Writer’s Life by Dr Anne Hall, Unicorn, 2022 is the definitive biography. Angela Thirkell, Portrait of a Lady Novelist, by Margot Strickland, Gerald Duckworth, 1977, is now out of print but secondhand copies are widely available. A Circle of Sisters, by Judith Flanders, Viking, 2001. This is the story of the Macdonald sisters: Angela Thirkell’s grandmother, Georgiana Burne-Jones, and her sisters, Alice Kipling, Agnes Poynter, and Louisa Baldwin.

Graham McInnes’ autobiographical books, including The Road to Gundagai, Humping My Bluey, Finding a Father, and Goodbye Melbourne Town.

The Angela Thirkell Society has produced many publications by and about Angela, available to members only, including Lance Thirkell’s childhood memoirs; Angela’s letters to her secretary, Margaret Bird; and letters written to the Nanny employed by Angela during her first marriage after the death of baby Mary. For details about any of these publications, please contact the Angela Thirkell Society.

See a full list of all Angela Thirkell’s books.