Books and Background

Angela Thirkell’s books were out of print in the UK for many years, but with the current renewal of interest in middlebrow mid-20th century “forgotten” authors, new editions are starting to appear.

Allison & Busby brought out 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.

Depending on popularity, print versions of all will eventually appear.
The Angela Thirkell Society also runs a second-hand book scheme – lists are sent to members regularly.

For a list of all Angela Thirkell’s books click here:  (PDF)

These may 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. 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.

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