A. N. Wilson

English journalist and teacher

Andrew Norman Wilson (born 27 October 1950) is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views.


  • The trouble with Thatcherism could be summed up in the words of the Duke of Norfolk when...he offered some reflections on the ‘rhythm’ method of birth control: it doesn't bloody work. ... The trouble is that none of these public services can actually be paid for by private individuals. ... The Government knows this really, and is therefore incapable of living up to its supposed convictions. It has therefore increased public expenditure in most areas, but done so in a mean-spirited way which has resulted in a decline in quality in almost every area of public life. ... They have not been prepared to make the necessary capital outlay to overhaul the railways. Speak to any librarian, museum curator, keeper of an art gallery or of a building in public ownership. Rather than allowing adequate funds to these bodies, the Government has relentlessly refused to increase the money as required. ... Unless we all decide to vote Labour — we the majority who are not committed to Conservatism come what may — we face a future with dud trains, dud libraries, dud museums, dud hospitals, and the poor getting poorer — sans eyes, sans teeth, sans everything.
    • ‘Time to Turn to Labour’, The Spectator (11 March 1989), pp. 8–9
  • In universities and intellectual circles, academics can guarantee themselves popularity — or, which is just as satisfying, unpopularity — by being opinionated rather than by being learned.
    • A. N. Wilson, as quoted in The Guardian (30 September 1989); also in The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (1993) by Robert Andrews, p. 6.

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