April 5, 2018

Kingsley Amis, an English Novelist, Poet, Critic, and Teacher.

Kingsley Amis Quick Facts


  • Birth Name: Kingsley William Amis
  • AKA: Sir Kingsley William Amis
  • Date of Birth: April 16, 1922
  • Place of Birth: Clapham, London, Middlesex, England, UK
  • Zodiac Sign: Aries
  • Date of Death: October 22, 1995
  • Died at Age: 73
  • Place of Death: St. Pancras Hospital, Camden, London, Middlesex, England, UK
  • Place of Burial: Cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, London, UK
  • Cause of Death: Stroke
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: British
  • Father: William Robert Amis (1888-1963)
  • Mother: Rosa Annie, née Lucas (1891-1957)
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Spouse(s):
  1. Hilary Ann Bardwell (m. 1948–1965, divorced) (b. 1928-d. 2010)
  2. Elizabeth Jane Howard (m. 1965–1983, divorced) (b. 1923-d. 2014)
  • Children:
  1. Son - Philip Amis (b. 1948)
  2. Son-Martin Louis Amis (b. 1949)
  3. Daughter- Sally Amis (1954-2000)


“I thought to myself how much more welcome a faculty the imagination would be if we could tell when it was at work and when not.” - Kingsley Amis, The Green Man

Major Themes

  • Society and Class
  • Art and Culture
  • Injustice
  • Women
  • Alcohol and Drugs

Memorable Characters

  • Jim Dixon
  • John Lewis
  • Patrick Standish
  • Jenny Bunn
  • Roger Micheldene
  • Sir Roy Vandervane
  • Rhiannon Weaver
  • Muriel

Major Works

  • The Russian Girl (1992)
  • The Folks That Live on the Hill (1990)
  • The Old Devils (1986)
  • Russian Hide-and-Seek (1980)
  • The Alteration (1976)
  • The Riverside Villas Murder (1973)
  • Girl, 20 (1971)
  • The Anti-Death League (1966)
  • One Fat Englishman (1963)
  • The Green Man (1969)
  • Take A Girl Like You (1960)
  • Lucky Jim (1954)

Did You Know?

  • Amis’ father, William Robert Amis was a mustard manufacturer’s clerk.
  • Amis received his primary education from the City of London School.
  • In the year 1941 he enrolled into St. John’s College, Oxford but his education was interrupted during World War II by his service as a lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Signals. After the end of the war in 1945, he returned to Oxford and resumed his studies and got a distinction in English.
  • In 1946, Kingsley Amis joined the Communist Party of Great Britain.
  • Amis was appointed as lecturer at the University of Wales Swansea in 1948.
  • He penned his first novel Lucky Jim while working as lecturer at the University of Wales Swansea.
  • Amis is labeled by many as a member of the Angry Young Men movement due to his mood and temperament reflected in Lucky Jim.
  • Although Lucky Jim was a best seller in the UK, the book was sold only two thousand copies in the US in its first two years.
  • He received the honorary title ‘Knight’ in 1990.
  • Amis was a non believer of God.
  • Amis had a close friendship with the poet Philip Larkin.
  • Kingsley had two marriages and was divorced twice.
  • He married his first wife Hilary Bardwell in 1948 and had three children with her.
  • Amis’ marriage tended towards divorce soon after Hilary discovered his love affair with Elizabeth Jane Howard in 1963.
  • After formal separation from Hilary in 1965, Amis married Jane in the same year. Again the marriage proved to be unsuccessful and they were divorced in 1983.
  • Amis had no children with Jane.
  • His eldest son Philip Amis is a collagist.
  • His other son, Martin Amis is a novelist.
  • Kingsley Amis suffered from a mild stroke in 1995 which worsened his already ill health.
  • In his last years Amis stayed in the same house where his first wife Hilary lived with her third husband so that he could be cared for until his death.
  • He won the Booker Prize in 1986 for The Old Devils.
  • After death his body was cremated and the ashes were given to family or friend.
  • Kingsley Amis was the key figure in postwar British culture as well as the greatest British comic novelist of his generation.

Media Gallery


Hilary Ann Bardwell and Kingsley Amis

Kinsley Amis with First Wife and Children

Kinsley Amis with First Wife and Children

Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard

Martin Amis and Kingsley Amis

Martin Amis

Sally Amis


Tanvir Shameem Tanvir Shameem is not the biggest fan of teaching, but he is doing his best to write on various topics of language and literature just to guide thousands of students and researchers across the globe. You can always find him experimenting with presentation, style and diction. He will contribute as long as time permits. You can find him on:


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