AUTHORS

A. N. Wilson

A. N. Wilson grew up in Staffordshire, where his father was Managing Director of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons. He was educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a prominent position in the world of literature and journalism. He is a prolific and award-winning biographer and celebrated novelist. His most recent novel, Winnie and Wolf, was longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize. He lives in North London.

BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

REVIEWS

Wilson offers a sweeping portrait of the European Enlightenment and the foundation of an intellectual dynasty destined to include Charles Darwin and Ralph Vaughn Williams in its ranks... All of this intellectualism is held together by a strong narrative... Behind the calm equipoise of Wedgwood's neoclassical designs, a global storm of ideas and inventions raged. It has a centre in Stoke-on-Trent and an icon in Wedgwood. Wilson brings it all to life.Tristram Hunt
Financial Times

The Potter's Hand is a rich and rather wonderful novel... It is one of these books which gives the impression of having matured in the imagination for years. One can't, in a short review, do justice to its abundance. It is a cornucopia of a novel... wide in scope, rich in detail, and deep in understanding.
Scotsman

Full of fascinating historical detail... [A. N. Wilson's] most obvious fictional flourish, which sees a Cherokee transported to the potteries, is as incredible as it is romantic... a rather magnificent achievement.
Daily Mail

This is a splendid story, vividly told.
Economist

A weighty, most satisfying tale
Sunday Times

A. N. Wilson bases his first novel for five years, The Potter's Hand, on the Wedgwood Dynasty, and delivers their extraordinary adventures and achievements in business with customary aplomb.
Bookseller's Choice

Excellent historic fiction based around the family of Josiah Wedgwood in the period between the US revolution and the French revolution. An interesting man in a fascinating period makes for a compelling read.
Bookbag

A generous, beautiful novel
Irish Examiner

A magnificent saga of family life in the Enlightenment
Evening Standard

An outstanding biography, first published 25 years ago when it deservedly won great praise and prizes... Wilson is an ideal biographer
Daily Mail

Magisterial... Wilson has an advantage over a mere biographer, looking not to judge his subject but to fully understand the inspirations behind his great works
Daily Express

Wilson is a playful biographer, whose pithiest points are made with a frivolity in gratifying contrast to Tolstoy's odiously sententious disciples
Spectator

[A] splendid biography - this book is a gem: thoughtful, witty, insightful, striking a balance between political commentary and personal gossip... As this terrific biography shows, there really was a human being behind the gloomy portraits.Dominic Sandbrook
Evening Standard

Subtle, thoughtful ... a shimmering and rather wonderful biographyKathryn Hughes
Guardian

Wilson is affectionately alert to the rich contradictions of his subject's personality, and his deliciously readable biography becomes increasingly fascinating as Victoria's reign unfolds.Jane Shilling
Daily Mail - Book of the Week

This superb revisionist biography is the book that he was born to write. Wilson clearly loves and admires his subject, but this is a critical biography - funny, insightful, original and authoritative. At last Victoria has been rescued from her widow's weeds.Jane Ridley
Spectator

A. N. Wilson brings his novelist's perception and immense knowledge of the era to his effervescent biography of the tiny woman (4ft 11in) who ruled Britain for 61 years... This won't be the last biography of Victoria but it is certainly the most interesting and original in a long time.Daisy Goodwin
Sunday Times

Ninety-five years ago, the standard was set by Lytton Strachey's lucid and moving Queen Victoria but A. N. Wilson has now raised the bar... And what a pity she never met A. N. Wilson: she shines in his company ... [this] expansive and victorious book.Frances Wilson
Daily Telegraph

A. N. Wilson has written a sympathetic but by no means hagiographic biography of her that will probably overturn many people's prejudiced conception of her... Wilson's picture of her is a rounded one, with her vices and virtues.Theodore Dalrymple
The Times

A biographer of Queen Victoria also needs to be a good historian, with a confident grasp of the personalities and issues of 19th-century public life. Mr Wilson is at his best here... This is a bracing biography of a bracing woman ... it undeniably achieves its central aim to make us take Queen Victoria more seriously.Michael Hall
Country Life

Wilson is an excellent history teacher. He orders and narrates the hugely complex socio-political events and party infighting of the 19th century with a rare clarity... His own achievement, sustained by a lifetime's scholarly fascination with the Victorian era, is also in its way, awesome.John Sutherland
Financial Times

Few if any previous biographers have viewed her as incisively and absorbingly as Wilson does in his... smoothly flowing treatment of the queen's long life. The considerable detail he brings to his greatly balanced portrait not only strengthens his estimation of the significance of the queen in British governmental history but also successfully conveys for the general reader all the nuances of character that Wilson so carefully shares.Brad Hooper
Booklist, starred review