Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893–1978) was an English novelist, poet, and short story writer. She is known for her nuanced prose and the sharp social commentary in her works, which often explore themes of love, freedom, and the complexities of human relationships. Her most famous novel is 'Lolly Willowes,' which has been celebrated for its feminist themes and its portrayal of a woman's quest for independence. Warner's literary contributions also include 'Mr. Fortune's Maggot' and the series of stories featuring the character Laura Willowes.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Summer Will Show

    Set in the 19th century, the novel follows the life of a highborn Englishwoman who, after being betrayed by her husband, decides to live independently. However, she is drawn back into a relationship when her husband's mistress, a French actress, sends for her after he falls ill. The protagonist travels to Paris, where she becomes involved in the 1848 revolution and begins a romantic relationship with the actress. The novel explores themes of gender, sexuality, and social class against the backdrop of a tumultuous historical period.

  2. 2. Lolly Willowes

    A middle-aged spinster, after spending her life caring for others, decides to break free from societal expectations by moving to a small village in the countryside. There, she discovers her true identity as a witch and finds contentment in her newfound independence and connection with nature. The novel is a feminist critique of the limited roles available to women in early 20th-century England and a celebration of female autonomy and non-conformity.

  3. 3. The Flint Anchor

    The novel is a historical family saga set in the 19th century, revolving around the Barnard family, whose patriarch, John Barnard, is a stern and pious man who rules his family with an iron fist. As the story unfolds, the narrative delves into the lives of the Barnard family members, exploring themes of duty, rebellion, and the quest for personal freedom. The characters grapple with the constraints of their social roles and the expectations placed upon them, leading to a rich tapestry of interpersonal dynamics and generational conflicts. The novel paints a vivid portrait of Victorian society, with its rigid moral codes and the undercurrents of change that challenge the status quo.