Anna Haycraft

[Alice Thomas Ellis]

Biography of Anna Haycraft

Anna Haycraft (9 September 1932 – 8 March 2005) was a British writer and essayist who wrote under the nom de plume Alice Thomas Ellis. She was the author of numerous novels, and also of some non-fiction, including cookery books.

Born Anna Margaret Lindholm, she was half-Finnish, half-Welsh and spent part of her childhood as an evacuee in North Wales, a period she later wrote about in A Welsh Childhood. She later moved to North London.

Haycraft's parents belonged to the positivist and atheist Church of Humanity founded by Auguste Comte, but she left to become a Roman Catholic at the age of 19. Shortly afterwards, she entered a convent as a postulant, but had to leave due to a health condition.

In 1956, she married Colin Haycraft, owner of the publishing company, Duckworth. They were happily married until his death, in 1995. The couple had seven children, raised in Anna's religion, but they were also struck by tragedy: their daughter Mary died in infancy at the age of two days, and their son Joshua was killed in an accident while still in his teens.

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