Daughters of Albion Critical Essays

A. N. Wilson

Daughters of Albion

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

A. N. Wilson has emerged as one of England’s most respected novelists and biographers. Since the late 1970’s, he has published a number of fascinating portraits of such illustrious figures as John Milton, Sir Walter Scott, Leo Tolstoy, and C. S. Lewis, as well as a number of first-rate ironic novels. The “Lampitt Papers” trilogy began with INCLINE OUR HEARTS (1988), which looked at English life during the 1940’s, and continued with A BOTTLE IN SMOKE (1990), in which Julian Ramsay came of age in the 1950’s. In DAUGHTERS OF ALBION, Ramsay has reached middle age and is most disappointed with his life. He had hoped that he would become a writer, but after merely one novel, Ramsay turned to acting on a popular radio show. The most devastating experience of his life, however, has been the failure of his marriage to Anne Starling, a member of the aristocratic Lampitt family.

At a social gathering organized by a former schoolmate, Miles Darnley, Ramsay is introduced to Rice Robey, who, as Albion Pugh, authored popular supernatural thrillers during the 1940’s. Robey is an eccentric character who sees himself as a sage in the image of William Blake. Ramsay is drawn to this visionary figure and amazed at how women are attracted to him. Robey is currently employed by the Ministry of Works for the purpose of preserving England’s monuments. Through Robey/Pugh, Wilson is able to speak to the power of myth in one’s life and also in an entire nation. The...

(The entire section is 403 words.)