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A. N. Wilson - Author

About the Author

A.N. Wilson grew up in Staffordshire, where his father was Managing Director of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons. He was educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a prominent position in the world of literature and journalism. He is a prolific and award-winning biographer and celebrated novelist. His last novel Winnie and Wolf, was longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize. He lives in North London.

 

Author photo © Magali Delporte

Featured books by A. N. Wilson

Dante in Love

Dante in Love

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

In Dante in Love, A. N. Wilson presents a glittering study of an artist and his world, arguing that without an understanding of medieval Florence, it is impossible to comprehend the meaning of Dante's great poem. He explains how the Italian States were at that time locked into violent feuds, mirrored in the ferocious competition between the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy. He explores Dante's preoccupations with classical mythology, numerology and the great Christian philosophers which inform every line of the Comedy. Dante in Love also lays bare the enigma of the man who never wrote about the mother of his children, yet immortalized the mysterious Beatrice, whom he barely knew. With a biographer's eye for detail and a novelist's comprehension of the creative process, A N Wilson paints a masterful portrait of Dante Alighieri and unlocks one of the seminal works of literature for a new generation of readers.

ebook of the month
The Elizabethans

The Elizabethans

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2011

Tells the story of the Elizabethan Age. A time of exceptional creativity, wealth creation and political expansion. It was also a period of English history more remarkable than any other for the technicolour personalities of its leading participants. Apart from the complex character of the Virgin Queen herself, we follow the story of Francis Drake and political intriguers like William Cecil and Francis Walsingham, so important to a monarch who often made a key strategy out of her indecisiveness. Favourites like Leicester and Essex skated very close to the edge as far as Elizabeth's affections were concerned, and Essex made a big mistake when he led a rebellion against the crown. There was a Renaissance during this period in the world of words, which included the all-round hero and literary genius, Sir Philip Sidney, playwright-spy Christopher Marlowe and that 'myriad-minded man', William Shakespeare. Life in Elizabethan England could be very harsh. Plague swept the land. And the poor received little assistance from the State. Thumbscrews and the rack could be the grim prelude to the executioner's block. But crucially, this was the age when modern Britain was born, and established independence from mainland Europe. After Sir Walter Raleigh established the colony of Virginia, English was destined to become the language of the great globe itself, and the the foundations were laid not only of later British imperial power but also of American domination of the world.

Other books by A. N. Wilson

Victoria

Victoria

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: eBook Release Date: 23/10/2014

Acclaimed historian A. N. Wilson gives a sweeping, definitive biography of one of the most recognizable yet enigmatic monarchs of all time.The longest reigning British monarch and female sovereign in history, Queen Victoria was a figure of profound paradox who has mystified historians for over a century. Now in this magisterial biography, A. N. Wilson rebukes the conventional wisdom about her life-that she was merely a "e;funny little woman in a bonnet"e; who did next to nothing-to show she was in fact intensely involved in state affairs despite a public facade of inaction. More than just the stock image of a stuffy, unsmiling widow in mourning, Wilson's complete immersion in Victoria's countless letters and journals reveals a carefully nuanced portrait of a monarch possessed by family immigrant insecurities, a reluctant public figure who learned to exploit public display, a mother who hated pregnancy, and above all, a political luminary who created and controlled the story of her life, true or otherwise.Victoria brings to life its subject in all her many moods and phases: her so-called miserable childhood, her early years of political inexperience as a pawn to advisers and statesmen, her passionate marriage to Prince Albert and the incessant public criticism, her famed mourning period after Albert's early death, and finally, the captivating last decades of her rule as Empress of India. After nearly two decades as an eccentric, reclusive mourner, she emerged, self-confident and robust, as an out-and-out imperialist who harnessed royalty with British foreign policy and as the figurehead of military and economic world domination.Wilson tells a story of victory against painful odds and gives the portrait of a woman battling with demons and overcoming them, largely alone. Despite everything, she came to embody the British people's experience of their own lives. For those hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world, Queen Victoria transcended autocracy; she became the model for all future constitutional monarchies, a beloved leader who reflected back to the people their own experiences of passing time, their own values, and their own sense of the world. With dramatic sweep and novelistic style, Victoria: A Life is an accomplished work from one of our greatest biographers.

Dante in Love

Dante in Love

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

In Dante in Love, A. N. Wilson presents a glittering study of an artist and his world, arguing that without an understanding of medieval Florence, it is impossible to comprehend the meaning of Dante's great poem. He explains how the Italian States were at that time locked into violent feuds, mirrored in the ferocious competition between the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy. He explores Dante's preoccupations with classical mythology, numerology and the great Christian philosophers which inform every line of the Comedy. Dante in Love also lays bare the enigma of the man who never wrote about the mother of his children, yet immortalized the mysterious Beatrice, whom he barely knew. With a biographer's eye for detail and a novelist's comprehension of the creative process, A N Wilson paints a masterful portrait of Dante Alighieri and unlocks one of the seminal works of literature for a new generation of readers.

ebook of the month
Tolstoy

Tolstoy

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/11/2013

A. N. Wilson's Tolstoy is a highly intelligent and accessible biography of the most famous writer in the Russian canon. In this biography of Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, A.N. Wilson narrates the complex drama of the writer's life: his childhood of aristocratic privilege but emotional deprivation, his discovery of his literary genius after aimless years of gambling and womanizing, and his increasingly disastrous marriage. Wilson sweeps away the long-held belief that Tolstoy's works were the exact mirror of his life, and instead traces the roots of Tolstoy's art to his relationship with God, with women, and with Russia. He also recreates the world that shaped the great novelist's life and art - the turmoil of ideas and politics in 19th-century Russia and the literary renaissance that made Tolstoy's work possible. Magisterial... Wilson has an advantage over a mere biographer, looking not to judge his subject but to fully understand the inspirations behind his great works - Daily Express

Hazel

Hazel

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2012

Brought to life by celebrated author and animal lover A. N. Wilson, and charmingly illustrated, Hazel will capture the hearts of guinea-pig lovers everywhere. Creep under the kitchen table and join Hazel the greedy guinea pig as she gets into some sticky situations... Hazel the guinea pig just wants to explore. But she's also very fond of food... When her seven-year-old owner puts her down into the kitchen, she seizes her chance to escape - but her bulging tummy gets her stuck in a wellington boot! That's just the beginning of Hazel's adventures. She's about to meet Tobacco, a handsome boy guinea pig, and together they must fight off a hutch invasion from a curious furball called Fudge. Can Hazel and Tobacco warn the humans in time - using just the power of squealing?

Dante in Love

Dante in Love

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2012

In Dante in Love, A. N. Wilson presents a glittering study of an artist and his world, arguing that without an understanding of medieval Florence, it is impossible to comprehend the meaning of Dante's great poem. He explains how the Italian States were at that time locked into violent feuds, mirrored in the ferocious competition between the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy. He explores Dante's preoccupations with classical mythology, numerology and the great Christian philosophers which inform every line of the Comedy. Dante in Love also lays bare the enigma of the man who never wrote about the mother of his children, yet immortalized the mysterious Beatrice, whom he barely knew.

Hitler

Hitler

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: eBook Release Date: 27/03/2012

ers unlikely rise to power and his uncanny ability to manipulate his fellow man resulted in the deaths of millions of Europeans and a horrific world war, yet despite his colossal role in world history, he remains mythologized and, as a result, misunderstood. In Hitler, A.N. Wilson limns this mysterious figure with great verve and acuity, showing that it was Hitlers frightening normalcynot some otherworldly evilnessthat makes him so truly terrifying.

Hitler

Hitler

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: eBook Release Date: 27/03/2012

Written by acclaimed biographer A. N. Wilson, Hitler is a short, sharp, gripping account of one of the twentieth century's most notorious figures. In it, Wilson offers a fresh interpretation of the life of the ';ultimate demon-tyrant of history.' In 1923, thirty-four-year-old Adolf Hitler was languishing in prison after leading an unsuccessful putsch to overthrow the German government. Within a decade he was German chancellor, one of the most powerful men in Europe. How did he do it? Had Hitler been a regular politician, Wilson argues, he would have vanished without trace after his prison experience. He was not, however, a regular politician but rather a conjurer, seeing politics not as the art of the possible but as the art of the impossible. Among the book's many insights, Wilson shows how Hitler had an intuitive sense, which amounted to genius, that the spoken word was going to be of more significance than the written word during the twentieth century. In this respect, the Fuhrer is presented as a man ahead of his time, who foreshadowed Hollywood and television stars and postwar politicians. In a field dense with lengthy tomes, this brief, penetrating portrait provides a compelling introduction to a man whose evil continues to fascinate and appall.

Hitler A Short Biography

Hitler A Short Biography

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/03/2012

From acclaimed biographer A. N. Wilson, Hitler is a short, sharp, gripping account of one of the twentieth century's most notorious figures In this brilliant short biography of Adolf Hitler, acclaimed historian A N Wilson offers a fresh interpretation of the life of the `ultimate demon-tyrant of history'. In 1923, aged thirty -four, Hitler was languishing in prison after leading an unsuccessful putsch to overthrow the German Government. Within a decade he was German Chancellor, one of the most powerful men in Europe. How did he do it? Had Hitler been a regular politician, Wilson argues, he would have vanished without trace after his prison experience. But he was not a regular politician, but rather a conjurer, seeing politics not as the Art of the Possible but as the Art of the Impossible: `Whereas politicians watched the weather and waited for calm, Hitler wanted to ride storms.' Among the book's many insights, Wilson shows how Hitler had an intuitive sense which amounted to genius that the spoken word was going to be of more significance than the written word during the twentieth century. In this respect, the Fuhrer is presented as a man ahead of his time, who foreshadowed Hollywood and TV stars and post-war politicians. In a field dense with lengthy tomes, this brief, penetrating portrait provides a compelling introduction to a man whose evil continues to fascinate and appal.

Furball and the Mokes

Furball and the Mokes

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2011

Sneak behind the skirting board with Furball the trusting hamster, and run riot with the Mokes - a gang of cockney mice... It's a scary world out there, especially if you're a pet hamster who likes nothing better than snuggling into a cashmere sock with a pouch full of honey seeds. So when Furball escapes her cozy cage and goes gallivanting with a gang of cockney mice who call themselves the Mokes, it can only end in trouble. Suddenly this brave little hamster is dodging fearsome winged Fevvas in the garden, and smelly long-tailed Narks in the cellar. And she'll have to be very careful not to be caught out by poisonous Floor Food, lethal Sticky Traps, or the dreaded Ole Snapper. Meanwhile the Humans, (or 'Ooms', if you're a Moke) are on the hunt for their beloved pet. And while they're searching high and low for their beloved pet, they're also dealing with a serious mouse problem... A.N. Wilson's children's books have been hugely well received: 'delightful' - Daily Mail 'clever, moving, imaginative' - Daily Telegraph 'An excellent book... for the whole family' - Spectator

The Four Gospels The Pocket Canons Edition

The Four Gospels The Pocket Canons Edition

Author: A. N. Wilson, Nick Cave, Richard Holloway, Blake Morrison Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2010

Encouraging the reading of the Bible as literature rather than doctrine, the four central gospels are presented here in the beauty of the Authorised King James Version, with four fresh, modern introductions. The revelatory essays, by A.N. Wilson, Nick Cave, Richard Holloway and Blake Morrison, were commissioned for the groundbreaking Pocket Canons series. They offer piercing, moving and highly personal responses to the most influential story of the last two thousand years: the life of Jesus Christ. Including: A.N. Wilson on The Gospel According to Matthew Nick Cave on The Gospel According to Mark Richard Holloway on The Gospel According to Luke Blake Morrison on The Gospel According to John and the Authorised King James Version of all four Gospels

Our Times

Our Times

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: eBook Release Date: 05/01/2010

When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953, few could have any inkling of the stupendous changes that were going to take place in Britain and around the world. In this third book of his acclaimed histories, A. N. Wilson paints a panoramic portrait of the development of modern Britain. He begins in the 1950s with the Suez crisis, immigration, the Angry Young Men and Harold Macmillan, and takes us through the vast cultural changes and pop fashions of the 1960s. He continues through the 1970s, with Vietnam and the Cold War looming large and the Labour government that ushered in the Winter of Discontent. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the '80s signaled the end of a political era in Britain, leading up to the current period of unprecedented peace and prosperity.

Our Times

Our Times

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2009

When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953, many proclaimed the start of a new Elizabethan Age. Few had any inkling, however, of the stupendous changes that would take place over the next 50 years, in Britain and around the world. In Our Times, A.N. Wilson takes the reader on an exhilarating journey from that day to this. With his acute eye not just for the broad social and cultural sweep but also for the telling detail, he brilliantly distils half a century of unprecedented social and political change. Here are the defining events and characters of the modern age, from the Suez crisis to Vietnam, The Beatles to Princess Diana, the miners' strike to the Cold War. Here are the Angry Young Men, the satirists of Beyond the Fringe, Ruth Ellis and the abolition of hanging, the rise of pop culture and celebrity, industrial unrest and the Winter of Discontent, the Thatcher era and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. This book will propel you from post-war austerity - an age of deference in which men wore hats and women wore gloves - through the alterations in our social landscape to the multi-cultural Britain of today. Despite the appalling tyrannies that have taken place in the world, Wilson argues that in the last fifty years Britain has known a period of prosperity and peace without precedent in its history. With Our Times, A.N. Wilson triumphantly concludes the acclaimed trilogy which includes The Victorians and After the Victorians. It makes compelling reading for anyone interested in the forces that have shaped our world.

England

England

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/10/2008

This is the patriot's song book, which includes such rollicking word-smiths as Hilaire Belloc, G K Chesterton, Rudyard Kipling and the lyrics of Gilbert and Sullivan. England, as every fan of Flanders and Swan will know, hasn't really got a national song. This collection more than fills the gap. Despite the worldwide spread of the English language in the wake of the Empire, the poets of England were always more interested in personal freedom than political conformity. Those rallying cries from the pens of Blake, Byron and Brook are as relevant as ever. Armed with the clarion calls of Milton and Shakespeare, England still calls upon us to do our duty: to cleanse our land of a media monoculture linked by a spreading cancer of motorways, hypermarkets and a rootless, heartless international capitalism that rots the spirit.

Winnie And Wolf

Winnie And Wolf

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/07/2008

Winnie and Wolf is the story of the extraordinary relationship between Winifred Wagner and Adolf Hitler that took place during the years 1923-40, as seen through the eyes of the secretary at the Wagner house in Bayreuth. Winifred, an English girl, brought up in an orphanage in East Grinstead, married at the age of eighteen to the son of Germany's most controversial genius, is a passionate Germanophile, a Wagnerian dreamer, a Teutonic patriot. In the debacle of the post-Versailles world, the Wagner family hope for the coming, not of a warrior, a fearless Siegfried, but of a Parsifal, a mystic idealist, a redeemer-figure. In 1923, they meet their Parsifal - a wild-eyed Viennese opera-fanatic in a trilby hat, a mac and a badly fitting suit. Hitler has already made a name for himself in some sections of German society through rabble-rousing and street corner speeches. It is Winifred, though, who believes she can really see his poetry. Almost at once they drop formalities and call one another 'Du' rather than 'Sie'. She is Winnie and he is Wolf. Like Winnie, Hitler was an outsider. Like her, he was haunted by the impossibility of reconciling the pursuit of love and the pursuit of power; the ultimate inevitability, if you pursued power, of destruction. Both had known the humiliations of poverty. Both felt angry and excluded by society. Both found each other in an unusual kinship that expressed itself through a love of opera.

Betjeman

Betjeman

Author: A. N. Wilson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2007

John Betjeman was by far the most popular poet of the twentieth century. His collected poems sold over two million copies. Television audiences loved his quirky evocations of landscape and architecture. As Poet Laureate, he became a national icon, but behind the public man were doubts and demons. For much of his fifty year marriage to Penelope Chetwode, the daughter of a Field Marshal, Betjeman had a relationship with Elizabeth Cavendish, the daughter of the Duke of Devonshire and Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret. Betjeman, a devout Anglican, was tormented by guilt about the storms this emotional triangle caused. This book is the first to use fully the vast archive of personal material relating to Betjeman's private life, including literally hundreds of letters written by his wife about their life together and apart. It is a celebration of a much-loved poet, a brave campaigner for architecture at risk, and a highly popular public performer.

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