Within a year, Lolly Willowes had become the talk of the town. Today, Townsend Warner holds her place in this series as a proto-feminist who is. Sylvia Townsend Warner’s novel Lolly Willowes is an act of defiance that gladdens the soul. Put simply, it’s the story of a woman who. Sylvia Townsend Warner’s first novel (published in ) begins with year-old Lolly Willowes being sent, “as if she were a piece of family.

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It was published anonymously at the local press, and fell quite flat.

Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner – review | Books | The Guardian

She is “so useful and obliging” but after 19 years finds her senses dulled and her mind “groping after something that eluded her experience”. Yes, that was it. This is a gentle book — not as sensational as that short plot synopsis would imply. That maybe explains The Bone Clocks. Return to Book Page. Jul 24, Jesse rated it it was amazing Shelves: The greatest gift that the devil gives Laura is the gift of watching her nephew in distress and not caring.

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Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Like many stupid people, they possessed acute instincts. I liked it a lot, liked the character, the wilowes, the writing – everything, and then it just faded away.

Day by day the spirit of the place withdrew itself further from her…. Nobody thought to as Laura if she minded. Powys’ house in that Warner first met Valentine Ackland, a young poet. It was a wicked sound. Now regarded as something of an early feminist classic, it tells the story of Laura Lolly Willowes, an unmarried woman of semi-independent means who struggles to break free from her conservative family to carve out a life of her own in the lush and seductive countryside of Bucks.

On a positive note, it was short. I guess the following quote also alludes to the fact that Lolly was missing something in her life: She picks up her stuff, takes what money she has, and despite the protests of her family who “cannot do without her”, she moves to the country.


The Catholic church is another.

This is a book I want to read on a bench in a quiet park, in front of a fire in the winter, in bed with a mug of tea, in a bay window looking out on a rocky Maine coast.

Topics Fiction Books of defiance. Lolly goes to nurse, late in the First World War. Even if other people still find them quite safe and usual, and go on poking with them, they know in their hearts how dangerous, how incalculable, how extraordinary they are….

Magical omniscience in a human character is all very well, but the utmost certainty that is never willowse or translated into self-reflexivity does not feed my desire for development. Around the Year i Townsend Warner depicts her as much loved, but greatly constrained in her life in London. Stay in Touch Sign up. But after twenty dutiful years, Laura succumbs to the lure of nature and, to the horror and puzzlement of her family, moves to the village of Great Mop in the Chiltern Hills, chosen from a guidebook.

Or perhaps Townsend Warner wanted lilly suggest that there’s really not much difference.

This book is really a reflection of that new fast-moving world, as young Lolly Willowes decides to start doing her life the way she wants it done and not pre-war style. Loolly always, unerringly, puts other people first. Though she’s an inspiration to me, she’s also completely believable: Views Read Aillowes View history.

Nov 13, Christy rated it really liked it. The whole book captures to great effect the emotions of a llolly woman who wants to be left alone rather than being treated as a social problem. The novel is really about how important it is for women to have lives of their own, but Townsend Warner developed her theme by taking us into a world where it seems perfectly logical for the protagonist to meet the devil while out strolling through the woods.


In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Though the noise came from an ordinary goods train, no amount of reasoning could stave off this terror. It struck me so hard that I almost wept.

For Townsend Warner, this “concussion” came a few years after the triumphant publication of Lolly Willowes. The move comes in the wake of the death of Laura’s father, Everard, with whom she lived with at the family home, Lady Place.

Lolly Willowes

Only once does she cast her plight in terms of political anger: That wiillowes them real. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Oct 08, Kathryn rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Her mind was groping after something that eluded her experience, a something that was shadowy and menacing, and yet in some way congenial; a something that lurked in waste places, that was hinted at by the sound of water gurgling through deep channels and by the voices of birds of willowez.

Laura Lolly Willowes rejects men and societal conventions in order to move to the country and become a witch. Oh, and I also want to move to a tiny cottage in the woods in England. Quite different to the way women talk, and men listen, if they listen at all…. It seemed to come nearer and nearer, to inform her like the drumming of blood in her ears. She began loply feel defenseless, exposed to the possibility of an overwhelming terror.

Being a person, in this world, is a failure. Jun 08, Pages.