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Sir Angus Frank Johnstone-Wilson
(August 11, 1913 - May 31, 1991) U.K.

Sir Angus Wilson



Angus Wilson was born in Bexhill, East Sussex, into an elderly, upper-middle-class family. His family was a landed, storytelling Scottish dinasty in decline, which his father accelerated with high and low living, gambling and debts. His mother was from a South African family who made good through trade, and settled in England. He spent part of his childhood in South Africa.

Back in England, Wilson found a stability at school and university, that was not offered at home. Within these institutions he fashioned himself into a "character". His hoosexuality soon becae obvious and, as his pretty looks metamorphsed into oddity and campness, he created defences to protect himself.

Taking pride in his differences and learning to clown, impersonate and tell stories enhanced his natural kindness and generosity, and attracted others to him. At Oxford he read history, kept up vith other reading, especially novels, and involved himself in drama and politics. In 1937 he secured a job at the British Museum.

Wilson met Tony Garrett, fifteen years his junior. From 1946 onwards, their relationship, based on friendship as well as mutual attraction, slowly developed until it became a strong, loving and respectful, though not always unproblemaic, partnership that neither wanted to relinquish.

Some time after his post-war return to the Bitish Museum, Wilson was given a job in the Reading Room. He rose to the position of Deputy Superintendent, then resigned in 1955 to devote his time to writing. He worked as a guest lecturer, especially in America, and in 1963 became a senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia. He was honoured with a knighthood in 1980.

In the mid 1980s he began to sufer from dementia and was cared for by Garrett until his death.


Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001

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