An instant success on its publication in 1926, Lolly Willowes is Sylvia Townsend Warner’s first and most magical novel.
Lolly Willowes, so gentle and accommodating, has depths no one suspects. When she suddenly announces that she is leaving London and moving, alone, to the depths of the countryside, her overbearing relatives are horrified. But Lolly has a greater, far darker calling than family: witchcraft.
‘A great shout of life and individuality . . . an act of defiance that gladdens the soul’ Guardian
‘The book I’ll be pressing into people's hands forever . . . It tells the story of a woman who rejects the life that society has fixed for her in favour of freedom . . . tips suddenly into extraordinary, lucid wildness’ Helen McDonald
‘Witty, eerie, tender . . . her prose, in its simple, abrupt evocations, has something preternatural about it’ John Updike
Surprised by Joy
It’s always strange to think how easily you might not have met that someone: a bus that arrived on time, or a last drink at the bar, and it might all have been quite different. Our meetings with...Read more
First Class Mail
During my early years as a bookseller, much of each day’s business depended on the post: not just brown envelopes enclosing cheques or less welcome envelopes with publishers’ bills, but orders...Read more
Recently I was given a copy of The Music at Long Verney: Twenty Stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner. It was a revelation. Years ago, when I was a struggling art student, I read and loved her novels,...Read more