Dec 23, 2011
Sylvia Townsend Warner's first novel, Lolly Willowes, was about witches, self-reliance and the rights of single women to do what they wanted for themselves. It was a fashionable and critical hit when it appeared in 1926, and is still loved by its devoted fans. But civilised witches are less in fashion than they were. Lolly Willowes is about the subtle pleasures of witchcraft as a means to an end, when the ends are independence and some decent privacy from interfering families. For readers who walk in the woods rather than on the paths, and who prefer the smell of wet leaves to incense.