Lolly Willowes (Penguin Modern Classics)

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Lolly Willowes (Penguin Modern Classics)

Lolly Willowes (Penguin Modern Classics)

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I tried reading another of her novels (Summer Will Show) a couple of years ago, but I didn’t get on with it terribly well. Henry, in particular, is both astonished and upset by his sister’s outburst, fearing that he and Caroline have failed in their duty to make her feel welcome and part of the household. It was scarcely audible, more perceptible as feeling than as sound, but by its regularity it dominated all the other voices.

The MS of Lolly Willowes was kept on display in the New York Public Library until the 1960s next to manuscripts by Woolf and Thackeray.

She up and leaves them all to go to the Chilterns, where she discovers how much she enjoys being alone and being in nature.

Da Londra si trasferisce a Great Mop, paesino sperduto e poco conosciuto, dove a poco a poco riesce a identificare e a definire quell’ansia che la assale sempre più spesso. I will give you the dangerous black night to stretch your wings in, and poisonous berries to feed on, and a nest of bones and thorns, perched high up in danger where no one can climb to it.In the end, if you follow where Townsend Warner is leading you, you will explore themes related to power and autonomy, the deep connections possible between a place and a person who is open to undomesticated beauty, and the life possible for a woman who refuses to be constrained by convention and tradition, but who looks inside herself to determine how to live. I guess the following quote also alludes to the fact that Lolly was missing something in her life: “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 and ill-omen. Photograph: National Portrait Gallery Sylvia Townsend Warner in 1934, photographed by Howard Coster. Laura Willowes (to allow her, her given name) is a dutiful unmarried daughter of twenty eight when her beloved father dies.

As someone who gave up a steady, well-paid job for the flexibility (aka uncertainty) of freelancing, I can definitely recommend the mid-life gear change as a route to a better quality of life. I can’t really say why--I have a very personal reaction to writing styles, and this one didn’t work for me. When her father dies, Laura is made to move out of her family home in the country and in with her brother and his family in London.

When I closed the last page of this seemingly light, carefree fantasy, I realized I had read one of the most scathing condemnations of a male dominated society I had ever come across. I also liked how Laura came into her own, realized she didn’t have to live with her family but could survive very well on her own.

Without wishing to give too much away, the village holds a secret, one that enables Laura to unleash an element of her psyche that has been lying dormant for years just waiting to be released. There was always a tendency to get so caught up in the prose that I forgot to follow along in the action and had to go back and reread passages (a “good” thing in this case). This leads her to purchase a guidebook for The Chilterns, where she first learns of the existence of the village of Great Mop. The first part of the book is a cleverly drawn satire of the constricting middle-class family life that holds Laura Willowes in thrall as useful sister, sister-in-law and aunt Lolly. Warner's political engagement continued for the rest of her life, even after her disillusionment with communism.It had belonged to Lolly’s mother, and Lolly had always used it, so Sibyl could not raise any objections. Lolly finally gets her way, only to be smothered with her grown nephew, Titus, who decides to move to the same small village.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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