Mr Fortune's Maggot (Virago Modern Classics) Paperback – Facsimile, 12 Jan 1984
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One can't be too thankful that Miss Townsend Warner has lived to discover the alchemist s' secret of transmuting the past and the possible, and even the impossible now and then, into pure gold (HILARY SPURLING, OBSERVER)
One of our most idiosyncratic, courageous and versatile writers (HERMIONE LEE)
Syliva Townsend Warner pursues the psychology of the story with beautiful accuracy' John CareySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Laura Willowes, known to friends and family as Aunt Lolly, is the youngest child and only daughter of brewery owner and doting father Everard, with whom she lives a happy, bookish existence until his sudden death when she is twenty-eight. She moves in with her brother and sister-in-law in London, who treat her with well-meaning condescension as a sort of unpaid nanny: "Henry and Caroline did all they could to prevent her feeling unhappy. If they had been overlooking some shame of hers they could not have been more tactful, more modulatory." Friends and family are unanimous in considering the Lolly problem settled. A few years later, however, she astonishes them all by renting a cottage in the obscure Bedfordshire village of Great Mop, where she intends to stay alone. But all is not as it seems there: the village community seems strangely closed, and there are odd goings-on by moonlight. None of this greatly troubles Lolly, who relaxes into a gentle nature mysticism. However, when her family begin inviegling for her return to London, she finds that there is no option but to invoke supernatural assistance...Read more ›
Laura 'Lolly' Willowes has grown up with her father, and then eventually living with one of her brothers. Gradually aging and being a spinster she lives as many others of her type have done so, always with members of the family, alone to a certain extent, bored and to an extent put upon for help. As the First World War takes men off to battle women are more and more called upon to fill men's roles, and Lolly does her little bit by making up parcels. With the world returning to a degree to its old habits, Lolly eventually finds a yearning for something more.
Leaving by herself she moves to Great Mop in the Chilterns. Seemingly an idyllic pastoral setting, it seems as if Lolly has found her own paradise, but then Tobias, one of her nephews, also moves to the area. As Lolly wants to be left alone, so she meets the 'Devil'.
This story, which was extremely relevant at the time is still for a lot of women quite relevant to their lives nowadays. If you are stuck at home, you would like to get a job, or just take more interest in something, then this book is well worth reading. With a light touch Warner tackles a problem that took most of her peers pages and pages to put down.
There is not a word out of place in the novel and reading it is quite simply a bewitching experience (if you'll pardon the pun). In fact, by the end I was longing to move to Great Mop myself, visit the fantastically named pub "The Reason Why" (every village should have one) and perhaps take up witchcraft. I also found a lovely quote from the book: "Life becomes simple if one does nothing about it." How true.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
pretty hilarious book tbh, although it doesn't really pick up until about two thirds of the way throughPublished 12 days ago by Bones
I really enjoyed this. Laura's longing for escape and freedom suited my state of mind. It is beautifully written and I felt a real sense of certain thoughts and ways of being in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ms. E. E. O'connor
Beautifully written - a great book to discuss at a book group.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Came in great condition and I loved the complimentary bookmark!Published 8 months ago by Hannah Smith
Over the past few years, I have made an attempt to read some of the Virago Modern Classics - novels by apparently under-valued female authors of the mid-twentieth century such as... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ms Louise Wilford
This book is beautifully written, and has lovely descriptions of the natural world. However, The Devil appears as unexpected character half way through the book (Huh? Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lucy P
Bought it following a glowing review in the Guardian. Happy to find a new author, a period peice with some interesting insights into the life of a middle class spinster taken in by... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Sussexgardener