The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

January 29, 2014

January 29, 1961

Angela Thirkell (January 30, 1890 to January 29, 1961), was an English novelist. She came from a family with literary and artistic connections: Her father, John William Mackail, was professor of poetry at Oxford from 1906 to 1911.  Her mother was the daughter of Edward Burne-Jones, the Pre-Raphaelite painter.  Her first book,  Three Houses (1931) recalls a happy childhood in Sussex and the attention of  her grandfather, Edward Burne Jones. Although he was one of the premier artists of cats in the 19th century, we find few feline references in this book. 

There are memorable mentions of cats though, in her fiction, like this from Ankle deep: a novel  (1933) : "The chairs for the audience had fat leather seats which looked as if hundreds of cats spent their leisure in sharpening their claws on them. "

A website is maintained for information on Angela THirkell and my link specifically goes to a list of her books done in a charmingly quaint manner. I recognize the emotion that went into compiling this site: it matches what I feel for Barbara Pym, but is spent on a vastly inferior writer. One difference is that while Pym was determined to describe freshly an overlooked sublayer of society: the single professional woman with roots in the English village, Thirkell threw herself into the imaginary world of another writer-- that of the  19th century novelist, Anthony Trollope. 

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