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Alice Thomas Ellis

Sue Lawley's castaway is novelist Alice Thomas Ellis.

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the novelist Alice Thomas Ellis.

A devout and traditional Catholic, she didn't begin writing until she was 42. The Sin Eater, that first novel, was her reaction to the changes in the Catholic Church after Vatican Two and channelled her anger at what she saw as the excesses of the 1960s. She's a woman of apparent contradictions. She wanted to be a nun, but fell in love and became a mother of seven instead. She's deeply religious but believes in ghosts and the supernatural and although her books are often triggered by anger, they are frequently tender and full of humour.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Rorate Caeli Desuper by Monks & Choirboys or Downside Abbey
Book: Come Hither - An Anthology by Walter de la Mare
Luxury: A very comfortable sofa

Available now

40 minutes

Last on

Fri 3 Apr 1998 09:05

Music Played

  • Billie Holiday

    For All We Know

    • Lady in Satin.
    • CBS.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • The Monks and Choirboys of Downside Abbey

      Rorate Caeli Desuper

      • The Abbey.
      • Virgin.
  • Paul Robeson

    Canoe Song

    • The Best of Paul Robeson.
    • EMI.
  • Miquel Brown

    His Eye is on the Sparrow

    • Bubbling Brown Sugar.
    • Pye.
  • Tom Lehrer

    Poisoning Pigeons in the Park

    • Dr Demento.
    • Rhino.
  • Russ Brown


    • Damn Yankees.
    • RCA.
  • Nancy Kerr

    The Great Silkie

    • Neat and Complete.
    • Fellside Recordings.
  • Gracie Fields

    The House is Haunted

    • Sing as we Go.
    • EMI.
  • Book Choice

    • Come Hither - An Anthology - Walter de la Mare

  • Luxury Choice

    • A very comfortable sofa


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Alice Thomas Ellis


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