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Angela Thirkell's Writing
Like her illustrious grandfather, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Mrs Thirkell’s popularity suffered a decline for some years, her books being thought to be too concerned with the upper middle classes and with a lifestyle that had ceased to exist after World War II. Her books have for the most part been out of print and poorly stocked in libraries for some years, except in the USA, where nearly all of them have been republished in paperback.  Happily, with the revival of interest in middlebrow 20th century literature, the situation is starting to improve.

To the modern reader they are increasingly of interest as an astonishingly accurate record of English country life from the mid-1930s, through the War, and in the years of austerity afterwards. She wrote at the rate of a book a year, portraying village and small town life exactly as the events of the day affected not just the county families but the doctors, lawyers and architects, agricultural and domestic workers with whom their lives were associated.

Her often caustic wit, her accurate and wickedly funny realisation of unforgettable characters, and her interpolation of an extraordinary range of references and allusions, ranging from Homeric similes through English literature from Shakespeare through Dickens (and of course Trollope) to her cousin Rudyard Kipling, historical episodes, nursery rhymes, laced with a sound knowledge of what everyday life was like, mean that one can read and re-read her books.


Angela Thirkell Relusions
'I admit I don't quite take the relusion,' said Mr. Adams ...'but my little Heth would, ...she's a great reader and anything literary she's down on like a pack of wolves.' (The Old Bank House, Hamish Hamilton, 1949, p. 25.)  One of the things that our local groups find interesting when reading and discussing her books are tracking down all the Relusions. If you're a Heth, why not help us track down relusions? We've made a start with (in order of publication):


  • O, These Men, These Men (PDF)
  • August Folly (PDF)


•    Before Lunch (PDF)


•    Cheerfulness Breaks In (PDF)

•    Northbridge Rectory (PDF)



•    Marling Hall (PDF)

•    Growing Up (PDF)

•    The Headmistress (PDF)

•    Miss Bunting (PDF)

•    Private Enterprise (PDF)


•    The Old Bank House (PDF)

•    County Chronicle (PDF)

•    The Duke's Daughter (PDF)

•    Happy Returns (PDF)

•    Jutland Cottage (PDF)

•    What Did it Mean? (PDF)

•    Enter Sir Robert (PDF)


  • A Double Affair (PDF)

  • Love At All Ages (PDF)
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If you find any Relusions we’ve missed, or can help us with the ones we can’t trace, do please get in touch on responses