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Wednesday, 10 April 2019


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Excellent idea - I'm in. Only problem is what to read - all I've read so far is Kingdoms of Elfin and another short story collection, both of which I absolutely loved. But I'd like to embark on at least one novel - which one(s) though?


Fantastic, Harriet!

I'm afraid I can give you no help, since I haven't read much either. Lolly Willowes is deservedly popular, Mr Fortune's Maggot seems to be a bit Marmitey and although I have read it it was so long ago I can't remember anything about it, ditto After the Death of Don Juan. I haven't read any others. But it's a nice problem to have, trying too choose...

Desperate Reader

Definitely in! Thank you for doing this.


Yay! That's great! (I hope I don't mess it up...)

Jenny @ Reading the End

Oh excellent! I'm in! Several of my very wonderful bookish pals have been talking up Sylvia Townsend Warner to me recently, so I've been feeling that the time is right to check out her work. Great great great. I will add this to my mental docket for July.


And of course I'm in too!

Mr. Fortune's Maggot was the first book I read by her, back in 1998, and since I remember very little of it, I'm thinking of giving it a reread in the NYRB edition also containing The Salutation (which I haven't read yet).

Also, don't forget your public (and perhaps university) libraries! My public library, f.e., has a copy of the Letters. Also (among others) a copy of After the Death of Don Juan. That book has never really appealed to me because it seems to be very political, but perhaps I'll borrow it.

And to celebrate the occasion, I have splashed out and ordered a (paper) copy of The Flint Anchor (I must have missed Virago's reissue of it at the time). In a 1983 article in Vrij Nederland, Nienke Begemann wrote that she was amazed that a book like that could just simply disappear. She said that if it had been written in Dutch, STW would in one fell swoop have become our greatest female author. High praise indeed! Let's hope it doesn't disappoint.

Harriet, I can definitely recommend Lolly Willowes. Of the novels I read by her, it is my favourite, and it is a good one to start.


So glad to read about this. I love Sylvia Townsend Warner and have read and reviewed lots of her books. I have After the Death of Don Juan tbr and would love to reread The Corner that Held them.

Simon T (StuckinaBook)

Oh brilliant! What a good idea. For my project of reading books with names in the title, I should go for After The Death of Don Juan (I've read Lolly Willowes and Mr Fortune's Maggot) but I suspect I'll go for her short stories, which are simply wonderful. And I have loads waiting on my shelves from when I impulsively spent way too much buying all of them that I could!


Oooh - I went away and when I came back there were so many comments! Thank you all, I'm so pleased that there are so many Sylvia fans out there. While I was at my parents' I relocated my copy of After the Death of Don Juan but there was no sign of Mr Fortune, this is puzzling.

Jenny, I hope you enjoy her!

lethe, I have a big stack of books to read and I need to track down a copy of her poems too but now predictably after reading your comment I am wanting to lay hands on The Flint Anchor... I seem to remember I was rather bemused when I first read After the Death of DJ but I suspect I didn't understand even the first thing about it.

Ali, I am so glad you are thinking of joining in too! And I had lost my bookmark to your blog, which I used to read regularly, so this is a good moment to bookmark you again. I've always enjoyed your reviews.

Simon, I am glad that you're thinking of joining in too! And this reading week is the direct result and pitiful justification for a similar splurge on STW's works, after reading too many of Hayley's reviews on Desperate Reader.


Well, what a wonderful idea. I *will* try to join in, time permitting - I have so many of her books to read!

Sue Kennedy

That’s just great! Read most of her last year and was tremendously impressed . The Corner that Held Them is a remarkable novel, but then all her novels are different, the product of a huge intellect and fertile imagination.

Annabel (AnnaBookBel)

Never read her, but heard a lot about her! I may try Lolly Willowes I think.


I'm in :-) Especially when I read your description of Mr Fortune's Maggot as marmitey! I have tried it more than once and failed, so this time I'll try something else. I've heard so many good things about Lolly Willowes so I'd like to try that one, but I also have The Cat's Cradle book on my shelves. It would be great to get past my STW reader's block!


Hello again, I'm thrilled that so many people are interested!

Karen, you won't regret it and really you owe it to yourself you know...

Sue, if you would like to write anything and post it here, let me know. It would be lovely to have a post by someone who is familiar with all her work. I have a copy of The Corner That Held Them and am looking forward to reading it.

Annabel, please do, I'd love to know what you make of it.

Sandra, fantastic! I've read several posts by people who really didn't get on at all with Mr Fortune but enjoyed her other work so I hope you'll have better luck with something else. Of course, I am SURE I had a copy of Mr F but an extensive search has turned up nothing, perhaps I imagined reading it...

Lizzie Ross

I found your blog via Sandra @ A Corner of Cornwall, and am happy to join in this celebration of STW. I first read her Kingdoms of Elfin in The New Yorker way back in the 1970s and became an instant fan. Then I devoured a compendium of 4 STW novels -- including The Corner That Held Them, which I adored.
So, I'll commit to reading and posting a review of her short story collection, A Stranger with a Bag, on my blog. Thanks so much for setting this up.


Hello Lizzie and welcome! I'm so pleased you're going to join in. :)

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