Alec Wilson – stranger than fiction



The extraordinary life of triple bigamist, shadowy MI6 agent and successful novelist Alec Wilson has made a highly watchable BBC 3-part drama, starring actress Ruth Wilson playing her grandmother, Alison and Iain Glen playing Alec. Only in recent years have the seven children and grandchildren of his four ‘marriages’ found out about each other and pressured MI6 to come clean on his records, so far with limited results.

Alison Wilson married, as she thought, a divorced secret service agent during World War 11, who explained his stints in prison and absences as undercover work and she stuck by him despite great poverty at times. After his death, she discovered he had never been divorced, his first wife had three children, there was another liaison with a child, and a fourth Mrs Wilson from his time working as a hospital porter.

M16 insist they fired him in 1942 for fabricating evidence though there are enough questionmarks over that and enough blanks in his record to at least leave the door open to the suggestion that he’d been framed and there was a cover up.

He was born 24 October 1893 in Dover, to an army father and he was himself wounded in World War 1. This gave rise to a hint in the drama that his fiction writing was a way of coping with his horror at what he’d seen.  He was clearly bright, becoming in the 1930s Professor of English Literature in Lahore when he had started publishing his fiction.

He was a Sun Scorpio widely conjunct Uranus – intense and a maverick. His Venus in adventurous Sagittarius was opposition Neptune Pluto in Gemini and sextile Mars Saturn in Libra – and his Aries Moon may well have been tied into those two conjunctions as well – opposition Saturn Mars and sextile Pluto Neptune. So his two emotional planets were all over the place.

Neptune Pluto is head-in-the-clouds and associated with scandal as well as grandiose plans, would certainly edge him towards fantasy and illusion as well as deception. Mars Saturn is military but also hard-edged, not sympathetic, which he must have been, to two-time quite so many ‘wives’ and abandon all but two of his children. Though oddly the adult children describe him as loving and devoted, so he could obviously turn on the charm.

After his death Alison retreated into a religious community where she stayed  until the end of her life.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: