Angela Thirlwell likes to push the boundaries of biography. Her ground-breaking Folio Anthology of Autobiography, ranging from ancient Egyptian tomb inscriptions to the modern day, and still the only one of its kind, came out in 1994. She used a thematic ‘spots of time’ approach in her first biography, William and Lucy: The Other Rossettis (Yale University Press, 2003). Into the Frame: the Four Loves of Ford Madox Brown (Chatto & Windus, 2010 and Pimlico paperback, 2011) interpreted the great Pre-Raphaelite painter, Ford Madox Brown, from the perspectives of the 4 women in his life. This time, in another creative approach to biography, she’s chosen Shakespeare’s inspirational heroine, Rosalind, a character who has never lived and therefore can never die. No need for the biographer’s usual deathbed scene.
Angela read English at St. Anne’s College, Oxford and lectured in English and Theatre Studies for many years for the Faculty of Continuing Education, Birkbeck College, University of London.
She has given a wide range of talks on biography and art at literary festivals, conferences, museums and galleries in England, France, Italy and the U.S.A. These include the Wallace Collection, the Walker Gallery in Liverpool, Manchester Art Gallery, the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, the Oxford Literary Festival, the University Women’s Club, King’s College London, Words by the Water in Keswick, Burgh House and Kenwood House in Hampstead, Hofstra University USA, and King’s Place London for a recent Guardian Masterclass on Biography.
She’s been the external examiner at the University of Buckingham on its highly regarded M.A. course in Biography which regularly draws on her Folio Anthology of Autobiography.
Angela appeared in a Culture Show Special on BBC2 about the modernist writer, Ford Madox Ford, author of Parade’s End, and grandson of the painter, Ford Madox Brown.