Frances Wilson (writer)

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Frances Wilson (born 1964) is an English author, academic, and critic.


Born in Malawi, she attended The Mount School, York, and read English literature at St Hugh's College, Oxford. She received a DPhil on Henry James and Freud from Sussex University. She taught English literature at Reading University for ten years, leaving in 2005 to become a full-time writer.[1] She reviews for The Times Literary Supplement,[2] The Spectator, The Oldie, The New Statesmen, The Guardian, and The Daily Telegraph,[3] and has been a judge for the Whitbread Biography Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the Baillie Gifford Prize, and was chair of the 2020 Goldsmiths Prize. She has been writer in residence at Somerset House and University College London, taught a University of East Anglia/Guardian Masterclass in Biography and has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 2009. From 2016 until 2021 she taught creative writing and English literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.[4] She is a co-founder of the how to Academy.[5]

Wilson was the Jean Strouse Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers[6] at the New York Public Library from 2018 to 2019, where she worked on a biography of D.H. Lawrence, which was published by FSG in America and by Bloomsbury Circus in the UK in 2021.


Wilson is the author of six books:

She has written introductions to

  • Henry James, A Small Boy and Others: Childhood Memoirs (Gibson Square Books, 2001).
  • Henry James, The Wings of the Dove (Folio Society, 2005).
  • Henry James, The Ambassadors (Folio Society, 2006).
  • The Adventures of Casanova (Folio Society, 2007).
  • Daniel Defoe, Roxanna (Folio Society, 2010).
  • Thomas Bernhard, My Prizes: An Accounting (Notting Hill Editions, 2011).
  • Lorna Sage, Bad Blood (Fourth Estate, 2020)
  • D.H. Lawrence, The Man Who Loved Islands: Sixteen Stories by D.H. Lawrence (riverrun editions, 2021)


  1. ^ Frances Wilson. "Literary Seductions: Compulsive Writers and Diverted Readers". ISBN 9780312261931. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  2. ^ "'Criminal' Mrs Norton". TLS. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  3. ^ Book Reviews. "The Beautiful Child by Emma Tennant: review". Telegraph. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Dr Frances Wilson at Goldsmiths University of London". (She is no longer listed among academic staff.)
  5. ^ "how to: Academy curators".
  6. ^ ""Meet the 2018-2019 Fellows of the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers"".
  7. ^ "Rose Mary Crawshay Prize 2009 - British Academy". Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Elizabeth Longford | Society of Authors - Protecting the rights and furthering the interests of authors". Society of Authors. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  9. ^ "HWA Crown Shortlists 2017".