Sylvia Townsend Warner

(1893—1978) writer

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference


novelist and poet. Her first volume of verse, The Espalier (1925), was followed by several others, including Whether a Dove or a Seagull (1933), written in collaboration with her friend and companion Valentine Ackland; the posthumous Twelve Poems (1980); and Collected Poems (1982). Her original voice is heard more strongly in her novels, which include Lolly Willowes (1926), a tale of the supernatural; Mr Fortune's Maggot (1927), which describes the visit of ex‐clerk missionary Timothy Fortune to the remote South Sea island of Fanua, where he makes only one doubtful convert and in the process loses his own faith through his love of the islanders; and The True Heart (1929), which retells the story of Cupid and Psyche through the medium of a Victorian orphan, Sukey Bond. Her later works include a biography of T. H. White (1967), and various collections of short stories. Her Diaries, ed. Claire Harman, were published in 1994.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »