Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Despite the regularity with which A. N. Wilson produces novels, he has never been limited to that form alone. He is one of the best-known journalists in Great Britain, having served as literary editor to The Spectator, the prestigious weekly journal of conservative social and political opinion, and as the literary editor of the Evening Standard. His own writing for these publications has not been confined to reviewing books; he often publishes commentary on social and political subjects. Wilson has a special interest in religion, and aside from his occasional essays on that subject, he has published a study of the layman’s dilemma in matters of Christian belief, How Can We Know? (1985), and historical biographies of Jesus and of the apostle Paul. He has taught at the University of Oxford and has published biographies of writers Sir Walter Scott, John Milton, Hilaire Belloc, Leo Tolstoy, and C. S. Lewis. After a memoir about Iris Murdoch, he published a life of poet John Betjeman. The latter attracted international attention when it was discovered that Wilson had unknowingly included in his biography a hoax letter. He has also published volumes of essays and reviews, including Pen Friends from Porlock (1988) and Eminent Victorians (1989), as well as children’s books, mostly about cats, such as Stray (1987) and The Tabitha Stories (1988).