Literary papers, publications, and letters of Angela Thirkell, with related materials.

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 206 Brotherton Collection MS 20c Thirkell
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      30 boxes; manuscript, typescript, photographs, postcards, press cuttings, and printed material.  Includes several Christmas cards, a collection of portrait photographs, a few drawings and portraits, and two audio cassettes.

Scope and Content

Comprises: (1) 12 boxes of material catalogued by David Gilson, namely, autograph manuscript notebooks containing drafts of the novels Love among the Ruins, The Old Bank House, Morning, afternoon and night, part of Jutland Cottage, part of The Vicar's Daughter, and The Fortunes of Harriette, and typescripts of Mamsell Fredrika and The Good Little Girls; also, some of Angela Thirkell's diaries, correspondence dated between 1899 and 1961 (with some from others after her death to her son, Lance Thirkell), some of her contributions to periodicals (also one to a BBC programme on language and pronunciation), typescripts of reviews and talks given by her, and some photographs; and (2) 18 boxes of uncatalogued material, including, (a) Further autograph manuscript notebooks relating to her novels and other writings, namely, The Good Little Girls (a playscript), County Chronicle, Jutland Cottage, Love at all Ages, Happy Returns, A Double Affair, Close Quarters, and The Vicar's Daughter; (b) Printed page proofs of A Double Affair, Close Quarters, Enter Sir Robert, and What did it Mean?; (c) Further correspondence associated with Angela Thirkell, dated ca. 1950-1984; (d) Papers, publications, and correspondence of the Angela Thirkell Society (1981-) and its North American branch, including their Journal and Calendars; (e) Biographical, critical, and bibliographical works about Angela Thirkell, including Margot Strickland's biography, Mrs Thirkell: Portrait of a Lady Novelist, in typescript with many manuscript revisions, Jill Levin's 1986 thesis on her, Molli Uebelacker's index to Thirkell's Barsetshire novels (ca. 1954), and Valerie Ramsden's talk, 'An Introduction to Angela Thirkell' (18 November 2003); (f) 2 audio cassette recordings of some of her works; (g) A small box of photographs of Angela Thirkell at various ages, including young womanhood; (h) 1 small portrait of her as a child, painted in 1895 by P[hilip] B[urne]-J[ones], and 1 large drawing of her in middle life drawn by Walter Hobbs in 1938; (i) 1 plastic bookmark listing all 36 of her novels in chronological order from 1931 to 1961; (j) Miscellaneous material concerning other novelists associated with Angela Thirkell, notably, Anthony Trollope; (k) Several published memoirs by her son, Lance Thirkell, concerning certain periods in his own life; and (l) Miscellaneous correspondence between the Brotherton Library and donors of various parts of the archive, mostly recently in September 2004.

Administrative / Biographical History

Angela Margaret Thirkell (ne Mackail), the novelist, was born on 30 January 1890 in Kensington, London, and died on 29 January 1961. For fuller details of her life and achievements see the Dictionary of National Biography.

Access Information

Access is unrestricted.

Acquisition Information

The archive was largely acquired from Mr Lance Thirkell, son of Mrs Angela Thirkell, through Mrs Valerie Ramsden and members of the Angela Thirkell Society, in 1990, and further material has been added to it on numerous occasions since then through the same and other channels.


In English.

Other Finding Aids

Mr David Gilson compiled typescript catalogue lists of the material held in the first twelve boxes of the literary papers and letters; these are inserted in the boxes to which they apply

Additional Information

A collection of first and other editions of novels by Angela Thirkell, together with a few works about her, forms a related part of the collection and is shelved with the above.