Angus Wilson started his literary career in 1946, at the age of thirty-three, by writing short stories. The earliest stories were published in Horizon. The Wrong Set, and Other Stories (1949), Such Darling Dodos, and Other Stories (1950), and A Bit off the Map, and Other Stories (1957) deal with the same problems and use the same imagery as his novels. Wilson also wrote drama, and in the 1970’s, he became a leading reviewer of fiction. His literary journalism and criticism for The Spectator, The Observer, and The London Magazine center mainly on the problem of the English novel. The range of writers he discussed in articles, introductions, or lectures is wide and includes, among others, the Victorians, the Bloomsbury Group, Aldous Huxley, D. H. Lawrence, John Cowper Powys, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevski, Irving Shaw, Robert Penn Warren, and William Golding.
Wilson also published three full-length literary monographs: Émile Zola: An Introductory Study of His Novels (1952), The World of Charles Dickens (1970), and The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Works (1977). Wilson’s many lectures and articles display his concern with a wide range of problems relevant to the second half of the twentieth century. Most important for the study and understanding of his art is the volume The Wild Garden: Or, Speaking of Writing (1963), which contains lectures given in California in 1960. Some of his criticism was collected in Diversity and Depth in Fiction: Selected Critical Writings of Angus Wilson (1983). Written over several decades are the essays collected in Reflections in a Writer’s Eye: Travel Pieces (1986).