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True Story of Mrs Wilson



In the new three-part mini-series Mrs Wilson who premieres this weekend on Masterpiece PBS, actress Ruth Wilson plays a woman who upon her husband Alexander "Alec" Wilson's death discovers that he had another wife . Her on-screen persona is based on a real person, and one close to her heart: Wilson's grandmother Alison.

"It's probably the hardest thing I've ever done — I think it's the hardest role I've ever played. "Wilson says of her work on the show.

Here's the true story behind the drama viewers will see on screen

Ruth's grandmother shared the first part of her story with her when the future actress was 1

5 years old, but it wasn't until after Alison's death, that Wilson received the second half, which revealed that Ruth's grandfather had multiple families.

"I didn't realize she'd kept these secrets with her for so many years," Wilson says of her grandmother. "I discovered this woman full of passion, full of love; looking for someone to believe in and want to dedicate herself entirely to an individual."

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Wilson, as her grandmother.

Courtesy of PBS

Alison with her husband during WWII, when she worked as his secretary at the British intelligence agency, MI6. [19659011] They fell in love in the early 1940s, beginning a relationship after Alison went to Alexander's flat when her apartment was bombed in the Blitz. Their courtship was short — they married quickly and had two children together. her husband had already been married two times, and was not divorced from either his other wives, Gladys and Dorothy. , Alex would marry his fourth wife, Elizabeth Hill, when he was still married to Alison.

According to Ruth, her grandmother only knew about one of her husband's other wives, and she found out about her following his death.

"It seems she only knew about one other wife. of them, "Wilson told the Guardian . "She meets his first wife, Gladys, at the funeral and sees three kids there, though she had been only had one child."

It's one of the key points in which the television program deviates from Alison's real Life. In the series, she seeks out her husband's other wives. "I'm not sure my granny wanted to search for the truth. She heard enough, early on. So that's a character change that we've put in order to serve the whole story."

Later in her life , Alison earned a degree in divinity and wrote a book on faith, according to Tim Crook, a biographer of Alexander Wilson.

So, who was the real Alexander Wilson?

Ruth Wilson's grandfather was a spy, a novelist, a former English professor at the University of Punjab in Lahore, and a serial bigamist, with at least four different wives and seven children. But apart from those facts, it can be difficult to parse which events in his life were, and which were fabricated, as part of his cover story.

for work? Were they for love? "Wilson questions, according to Radio Times." We don't have any clarity on that. So he's a man of mystery. "

We know for certain that Alexander Wilson was born in 1893, died in 1963. He served as an MI6 agent during WWII, definitively working as an agent between the years of 1939 and 1942, though it was unclear exactly how long his tenure was. ”In addition to his career as a spy, Wilson was also a successful novelist, in total, he wrote 27 spy novels, which are under a pseudonym.

But only a few years into his marriage to Alison, Alexander was fired from the intelligence agency, went to jail twice over, and declared bankruptcy. -with-money fraud? At this point, it's still unclear.

As Alexander Wilson was an intelligence agent, some of the records regarding his work are still classified. so there could be even more to come out about his life in the futur e.

"MI5 still doesn't release his records as to what he got up to there, they're case sensitive, whatever that means, but after 70 years they won't release them so we don't really know what he actually got up to or what he was doing with MI5, or MI6, "Wilson said, according to Radio Times.

Mrs Wilson airs Sunday nights at 9 pm on Masterpiece on PBS


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