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Date: 15th March, 2021
Born in London in 1890, Angela Thirkell was Sir Edward Burne-Jones's granddaughter, J.M. Barrie's goddaughter and a cousin of Rudyard Kipling and Stanley Baldwin. John Collier painted her portrait and she was drawn by John Singer Sargent and Thea Proctor. Between 1931 and her death in 1961, Angela published more than thirty books in a variety of genres. She began with the acclaimed family memoir Three Houses and later settled on her amusing Barsetshire series, inspired by Anthony Trollope but set in the present day. Angela Thirkell: A Writer's Life tells the author's story from her Kensington childhood to her two marriages and the birth of three sons, Graham McInnes, Colin MacInnes and Lance Thirkell, all of whom also entered the literary world. The book traces her decade in Australia where she wrote for magazines and newspapers and made radio broadcasts, followed by her return to London and her fortuitous meeting with a young publisher called Jamie Hamilton, which lead to her bestselling Barsetshire novels.