Wilson was born in Bexhill, Sussex, England, to an English father and South African mother. He was educated at Westminster School and Merton College, Oxford, and in 1937 became a librarian in the British Museum's Department of Printed Books, working on the new General Catalogue. During World War II, he worked in the Naval section Hut 8 at the code-breaking establishment, Bletchley Park, translating Italian Naval codes. A wearer of large, brightly-coloured bow-ties, he was one of the "famous homosexuals" at Bletchley.
The work situation was stressful and led to a nervous breakdown, for which he was treated by Rolf-Werner Kosterlitz. He returned to the Museum after the end of the War, and it was there that he met Tony Garrett (born 1929), who was to be his companion for the rest of his life. Tony Garrett, a schoolmaster, was fired when the nature of his relationship with Sir Angus was discovered by the school's governors. With Sir Angus, Garrett co-edited East Anglia in Verse (1982). Sir Angus lived for many years in a cottage in Suffolk, close to Felsham Woods, and he loved the garden that he and Tony Garrett, had created together, and did much of his writing out of doors. The garden is the central symbol in a a 45-minute documentary art film for Anglia Television on the life of Sir Angus Wilson, called "ECHOES FROM A SUFFOLK GARDEN". (Picture: Tony Garrett)
Sir Angus Wilson was an English novelist and short story writer. During World War II, he worked in the Naval section Hut 8 at the code-breaking establishment, Bletchley Park, translating Italian Naval codes. After the end of the War, he met Tony Garrett, who was to be his companion for the rest of his life. Tony Garrett, a schoolmaster, was fired when the school’s governors discovered the nature of his relationship with Sir Angus. They lived for many years in a cottage in Suffolk, close to Felsham Woods.
Wilson's first publication was a collection of short stories, The Wrong Set (1949), followed quickly by the daring novel Hemlock and After, which was a great success, prompting invitations to lecture in Europe.
He worked as a reviewer, and in 1955 he resigned from the British Museum to write full-time (although his financial situation did not justify doing so) and moved to Suffolk.
From 1957 he gave lectures further afield, in Japan, Switzerland, Australia, and the USA. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1968, and received many literary honours in succeeding years. He was knighted in 1980. His remaining years were spent battling ill health.
His writing, which has a strongly satirical vein, expresses his concern with preserving a liberal humanistic outlook in the face of fashionable doctrinaire temptations. Several of his works were adapted for television. He jointly helped to establish the creative writing course at masters level in 1970 at the University of East Anglia, which was then a groundbreaking initiative in the United Kingdom.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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