Members’ library – our latest additions

The Angela Thirkell Society has a free library service for members. Our available books include all of Thirkell’s works – in various editions – biography, criticism, and social history, as well as works by Angela’s sons Graham McInnes and Colin MacInnes. There’s also a complete set of Angela Thirkell Society journals, and most of the Bulletins and Divagations of the Angela Thirkell Society North America – all perfect for browsing and always a source of something new and thought-provoking.

We’ve made the following additions to the collection:

Front cover of the published diary of Margaret Mackail, Angela Thirkell's mother.
  • Diary of Margaret Mackail – July 1918 to February 1920 – paperback published by the Angela Thirkell Society of North America (2023). Margaret was Angela’s mother, the daughter of Edward and Georgiana Burne-Jones and sister of Philip. “Travelling in the highest social circles in England, she [Margaret] grew up to be a person who would spend an hour and a half making sandwiches for her daughter and her family when they left for life in Australia.” The Diary portrays Margaret Mackail as she manages her life across four family generations, and takes the reader through the preparations for Angela’s departure for Australia, and the death of Georgiana following so soon after.
  • Jambusters – Julie Summers – hardback published by Simon and Schuster.
    An historical non-fiction account of how the Women’s Institute of England and Wales pulled together in the early months of the Second World War and overcame bureaucratic logjams, civil servants’ antipathy and the Phoney War. “Unpaid, unsung, to a large extent uncomplaining, these women quietly and often with humour made the countryside tick,” the author writes. Jambusters was the inspiration for a short-lived but successful drama series on both UK and US television.
  • Wave Me Goodbye – Stories of the Second World War – edited by Anne Boston – paperback published by Virago Modern Classics.
    28 short stories from women writers, including Jan Struther, Malachi Whitaker, Rose Macaulay, Barbara Pym, and Stevie Smith. (Please note that the description on the VMC website includes Angela Thirkell, but there is NO story from Angela Thirkell in this collection!)
  • Novelists Against Social Change – Kate Macdonald – hardback published by Palgrave. “…shows how the writing of the best-selling novelists John Buchan, Dornford Yates and Angela Thirkell expressed their conservative fears and anxieties by politicising their fiction and characters, from 1920 to 1960.” A welcome addition to the Thirkell Society members’ library.
  • The Brontës Went to Woolworths – a novel (1931) by Rachel Ferguson – this hardback edition published by Isis (large print). Rachel Ferguson was one of Thirkell’s closest friends among other women writers of the time. Ferguson’s book “Passionate Kensington” includes a dedication to Angela Thirkell: “Whose enviable face, from which, most unexpectedly, comments of a caustic and blasting nature are frequently emitted, sometimes brightens my morning shopping.”
  • Coronation Summer – unabridged audiobook on cassette tape
  • Chelbury Abbey, Another Part of the Wood, and The Majestic Mystery – all by Denis Mackail – unabridged audiobooks on CD MP3. (NB – will not play on a standard CD player but will play on an MP3 player or computer CD-ROM.)






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