Birthday: October 27, 1950
Age: 69 Years, 69 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Andrew Norman Wilson
Famous as: Writer & Columnist
Spouse/Ex-: Katherine Duncan-Jones
children: Beatrice Wilson, Emily Wilson
education: New College, Oxford, Rugby School, St Stephen's House, Oxford
awards: - E.M. Forster Award
Born in Staffordshire England, Andrew Norman Wilson is a illustrious novelist and award winning biographer who made a name for himself in the world of literature and journalism. Wilson has to his name a number of fiction and non-fiction novels. A Fellow of the Royal Society, Wilson who was destined to be an Ordinator, gave up on the same as he believed in atheism. Wilson, in his lifetime, has written numerous works but the most famous among them is the fiction, “Winnie and Wolf” which he wrote in 2007. The book forwards a story of the extraordinary friendship between Winifred Wagner and Adolf Hitler in the Years between the First and Second World Wars and has been long listed for the 2007 Man Booker Prize. With this biography, check out information about the life and career of A. N. Wilson.
Childhood & Early Life
Andrew Norman Wilson was born in Stone, Staffordshire, on October 27, 1950 to Norman Wilson and his wife. He has one brother and one sister. His father had been a colonel in the Royal Artillery and was the managing director of the Wedgwood factory, a pottery company.
His parents sent young Andrew to Hillstone School, Great Malvern in Worcestershire. Unknown to his parents, the school’s headmaster and his wife were a pedophile and a sadist respectively who sexually abused and tortured the boys. After having tolerated the torture for a while Andrew mustered courage and threw a bowl of porridge at the headmaster’s wife. Eventually he was removed from the school.
He then went to the Rugby School and joined the New College, Oxford, after completing his schooling. He completed his B.A. in 1972 and M.A. in 1976.
Raised as a Christian, he entered St Stephen's House, the High Church theological hall at Oxford with plans to get ordained in the Church of England. But, he renounced religion by the end of his first year and left.
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A. N. Wilson embarked on a writing career and brought out his first novel, ‘The Sweets of Pimlico’ in 1977. The plot revolves around an introverted woman who gets attracted to an elderly aristocratic man. He released two more novels within the next couple of years: ‘Hours’ (1978) and ‘Kindly Light’ (1979).
In the 1980s he forayed into writing biographies and gained a reputation as a frank and entertaining biographer. Some of the books he wrote during this time are: ‘The Laird of Abbotsford: A view of Sir Walter Scott’ (1980), ‘Hilaire Belloc: A Biography’ (1985), and ‘Tolstoy: A Biography’ (1988).
During the 1980s, he openly declared that he was an atheist and penned several works on the themes of religion, spirituality and atheism, the major ones of which are ‘Against Religion: Why we should live without it’ (1991), ‘Jesus: A Life’ (1992), ‘Paul: The mind of the Apostle’ (1997), and ‘God's Funeral: The Decline of Faith in Western Civilization’ (1999).
He also wrote several novels during the 1990s including ‘The Vicar of Sorrows ‘(1993), ‘The Tabitha Stories’ (1997) and ‘Dream Children’ (1998). A highly poignant novel, ‘Dream Children’ deals with the concept of pedophilia and draws heavily upon the author’s own horrific experiences as a child.
A. N. Wilson penned a novel sequence referred to as ‘The Lampitt Chronicles’ which consists ‘Incline Our Hearts’ (1988), ‘A Bottle in the Smoke’ (1990), ‘Daughters of Albion’ (1991), ‘Hearing Voices’ (1995), and ‘A Watch in the Night’ (1996).
As a newspaper columnist he contributes, or has contributed, numerous articles on varying topics to ‘Daily Mail’, ‘London Evening Standard’, ‘Times Literary Supplement’, ‘New Statesman’, ‘The Spectator’ and ‘The Observer’.
In the recent years he has received much media attention for his non-fiction works ‘Dante in Love’ (2011) , ‘The Elizabethans’ (2011) , ‘Hitler: a short biography’ (2011), and ‘Victoria: a life’ (2014).
He has also presented several television programs. In 2013, he presented ‘The Genius of Josiah Wedgwood’ in which he explored the life of his great hero, Josiah Wedgwood, one of the founding fathers of the Industrial Revolution. Some other programs he has presented are ‘Narnia's Lost Poet: The Secret Lives and Loves of CS Lewis’ (2013) and ‘Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled’ (2014).
His novel ‘My Name Is Legion’ is considered to be one of his most popular works. The book tells the story of a mentally disturbed teenager and revolves around the topics of yellow journalism and Christian religion, and their impact on the society and culture.
Awards & Achievements
His book on Leo Tolstoy won the Whitbread Award for best biography in 1988.
He won the E. M. Forster Award in 1989. .
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1971, A. N. Wilson married the Shakespeare scholar Katherine Duncan-Jones. The couple had two daughters—Emily and Beatrice. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1990.