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Angela Thirkell (1890–1961)

Author of High Rising

45+ Works 7,603 Members 266 Reviews 53 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Courtesy of the Angela Thirkell Society

Series

Works by Angela Thirkell

High Rising (1933) 676 copies
Wild Strawberries (1934) 527 copies
The Brandons (1939) 417 copies
August Folly (1936) 381 copies
Pomfret Towers (1938) 356 copies
Before Lunch (1939) 321 copies
Summer Half (1937) 300 copies
The Headmistress (1944) 252 copies
Cheerfulness Breaks In (1940) 240 copies
Miss Bunting (1946) 232 copies
Marling Hall (1942) 231 copies
Northbridge Rectory (1941) 227 copies
Growing Up (1943) 220 copies
Peace Breaks Out (1946) 202 copies
The Demon in the House (1934) 188 copies
Private Enterprise (1947) 171 copies
Happy Returns (1952) 167 copies
The Duke's Daughter (1951) 167 copies
County Chronicle (1950) 165 copies
Love Among the Ruins (1948) 160 copies
Jutland Cottage (1953) 157 copies
The Old Bank House (1949) 154 copies
Enter Sir Robert (1955) 149 copies
A Double Affair (1957) 144 copies
Christmas at High Rising (2013) 143 copies
Three Houses (1931) 141 copies
Love at All Ages (1959) 139 copies
What Did It Mean? (1954) 138 copies
Close Quarters (1958) 129 copies
Ankle Deep (1933) 128 copies
Never Too Late (1956) 122 copies
Coronation Summer (1937) 113 copies
Three Score and Ten (1961) 106 copies
O, These Men, These Men! (1935) 78 copies
The Grateful Sparrow (1935) 10 copies
The Good Little Girls (2006) 5 copies
The Brandons, and others (1968) 3 copies
Everything 1 copy

Associated Works

Persuasion (1817) — Introduction, some editions — 28,434 copies
The Newcomes (1855) — Introduction, some editions — 397 copies
An Adult's Garden of Bloomers (1966) — Contributor — 7 copies

Tagged

1930s (138) 19th century (724) 20th century (139) audiobook (123) Austen (396) Barsetshire (552) Barsetshire Chronicles (134) Bath (109) Britain (122) British (723) British fiction (255) British literature (444) classic (1,190) classic literature (144) classics (1,373) ebook (218) England (794) English (214) English fiction (113) English literature (411) family (109) favorites (118) fiction (3,997) historical (107) historical fiction (184) humor (326) Jane Austen (551) Kindle (187) literature (581) love (135) novel (614) own (201) read (361) Regency (326) romance (999) series (162) Thirkell (172) to-read (1,233) unread (120) women (130)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Thirkell, Angela
Legal name
Thirkell, Angela Margaret
Other names
Parker, Leslie
Birthdate
1890-01-30
Date of death
1961-01-29
Burial location
Rottingdean, Sussex, England, UK
Gender
female
Nationality
UK
Birthplace
Kensington, London, England, UK
Place of death
Bramley, Surrey, England, UK
Places of residence
Kensington, London, England, UK
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Chelsea, London, England, UK
Education
St Paul's School, London, England, UK
Occupations
writer
novelist
Relationships
Mackail, Denis (brother)
Mackail, J. W. (father)
Burne-Jones, Edward Coley (grandfather)
MacInnes, Colin (son)
Kipling, Rudyard (first cousin)
Baldwin, Earl Stanley Baldwin (first cousin) (show all 10)
Barrie, J. M. (godfather)
Baldwin, Monica (cousin)
Thirkell, Lance (son)
McInnes, Graham (son)
Short biography
Angela Margaret Mackail was born on January 30, 1890 at 27 Young Street, Kensington Square, London. Her grandfather was Sir Edward Burne-Jones, the pre-Raphaelite painter. Her grandmother was Georgiana Macdonald. Angela's brother, Denis Mackail, was also a prolific and successful novelist. Angela's mother, Margaret Burne-Jones, married John Mackail - an administrator at the Ministry of Education and Professor of Poetry at Oxford University. Angela married James Campbell McInnes in 1911. James was a professional Baritone and performed at concert halls throughout the UK. In 1912 their first son Graham was born and in 1914 a second son, Colin. A daughter was born in 1917 at the time when her marriage was breaking up. In November 1917 a divorce was granted and Angela and the children went to live with her parents in Pembroke Gardens in London. The child, Mary, died the next year. Angela then met and married George Lancelot Thirkell in 1918 and in 1920 they travelled on a troop ship to George's hometown in Australia. In 1921, in Melbourne Australia, her youngest son, Lancelot George, was born. Angela left Australia in 1929 with 8-year- old Lance and never returned. Although living with her parents in London she badly needed to earn a living so she set forth on the difficult road of the professional writer. Her first book, Three Houses, a memoir of her happy childhood was published in 1931 and was an immediate success. The first of her novels set in Trollope's mythical county of Barsetshire was Demon in the House, followed by 28 others, one each year. Angela died on the 29th of January 1961. She is buried in Rottingdean alongside her daughter Mary and her Burne-Jones grandparents.

Members

Reviews

This little demon did remind me of Just William. I do wonder if Angela Thirkell was familiar with Richmal Crompton. I have to admit I found Tony to be quite annoying. I felt for Dora and Rose. Three cheers for the doctor and Sylvia who knew how to put him in his place. Not much change or growth in the characters. Perhaps in one of the later Barsetshire books. I'll have to look them out. Some good laughs here.
 
Flagged
njcur | 8 other reviews | Feb 20, 2024 |
Angela Thirkell’s Barsetshire novels are set in the English countryside in the early- to mid-20th century. In each installment she draws on her huge cast of characters, and develops at least two plot threads centered around typical “country” pursuits (church, farming, household management, etc.). The community usually pulls together around some kind of major event, like an agricultural fair. And there is always romance with one or more couples finally pairing off at the end.

This installment had none of these things. The main characters were largely lesser-known players, which would have been fine if they were given a substantial plot. But there was only one plot thread, which mostly involved a few people visiting one family, and that family returning the visit. So much dialogue, and all of it fairly pointless. There is a tiny flicker of romantic interest which is left to be resolved in a later novel. Towards the end, Thirkell brings her alter-ego character into the story in a way that fills a few more pages with incessant conversation, but in no way contributes to the already unsubstantial plot.

Were it not for my irrational desire to “complete” this series, I would not have finished this book.
… (more)
½
 
Flagged
lauralkeet | 5 other reviews | Feb 19, 2024 |
Jutland Cottage is set in 1952, and begins with the death of King George VI in February*. Barsetshire is understandably in a somber mood, but soon normal country life resumes. Margot Phelps is spending her middle-aged years caring for aging parents which she does gladly, but this leaves little time for herself. The community takes note and quietly organizes a “Friends of the Phelpses” effort. Some spend afternoons with Margot’s parents so that she can have some free time. Others take advantage of that free time to take Margot shopping for new clothes, or to have her hair done. This is community at its best, and Margot is much the better for it. But there is still a looming concern about her financial livelihood, as her parents will have little to pass on. The solution to this problem is, sadly, much the same as it was centuries earlier: marriage. But to whom? Margot herself doesn’t appear to be giving this much thought but you can bet everyone else is.

Meanwhile, some of the usual devices are in play: garden parties, Sunday lunches, and gently poking fun at certain character types. The inevitable second romantic storyline occurs quite late in the novel and seemed rather hastily put together. Margot’s storyline has a happy ending (as always), although in my opinion Thirkell made the wrong choice for Margot. But what do I know? And in any case, this was an enjoyable installment in a long-running series.

* I enjoyed reading the Barsetshire community’s thoughts about the new Queen, speculation about how long she would reign, and whether she had any suitable heirs.
… (more)
½
 
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lauralkeet | 1 other review | Oct 27, 2023 |
High Rising is rather a delightful nothing. I perhaps should like Thirkell more than I do, seeing as how she sits somewhere between my favourite novelist Barbara Pym and one of my more obscure pleasures, E.F. Benson, author of the Mapp and Lucia series. Thirkell is much kinder to her characters than Benson is (although not without a sense of cosmic justice), and her character examinations are less sharp than Pym's - not lacking in sharpness, mind you.

High Rising is the first in a series of almost 30 novels, which Thirkell wrote over the course of her lifetime, chronicling the same county (a century removed) from Trollope's more famous 19th century novels. So perhaps later in life, when I have run out of material, I will return here. Lengthy series in which little happens beyond character analysis are hard to find, and right up my alley. For now, though I will leave it to more interested parties.… (more)
 
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therebelprince | 41 other reviews | Oct 24, 2023 |

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Associated Authors

May Wilson Cover artist
Roy Colmer Cover designer
Jilly Bond Reader
Thomas Stegers Translator
Nadia May Narrator
Fritz Wegner Cover designer
Tony Gould Introduction

Statistics

Works
45
Also by
3
Members
7,603
Popularity
#3,212
Rating
4.1
Reviews
266
ISBNs
245
Languages
4
Favorited
53

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