Scenes of Childhood

Sylvia Townsend Warner

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In the course of her brilliant career Sylvia Townsend Warner wrote superbly in many and diverse forms but never penned a memoir, properly speaking. However, from the 1930s to the 1970s she did contribute a series of short reminiscences to the New Yorker. Scenes of Childhood collects and orders those reminiscences, thus forming a volume that reads as a joyous, wry and moving testament to the experience of being alive. The collection evokes a recognisably English world of nannies, butlers, pet podles, public schools, ‘good works’ and country churches, but the resonances of these stories are universal – funny and touching by turns.

Sylvia TownsendWarner

Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978) was a poet, novelist, journalist and musicologist. She grew up in Devonshire and was home-schooled for her rebellious behaviour. After World War II disrupted her musical studies, she moved to London to work in a munitions factory. With her partner Valentine Ackland, whom she lived with from 1930 until her death, Warner was active in the Communist…

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Sylvia TownsendWarner
Portrait of author Sylvia Townsend-Warner