Read I'll Stand by You: Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland by Sylvia Townsend Warner Free Online
Book Title: I'll Stand by You: Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland|
The author of the book: Sylvia Townsend Warner
Loaded: 2311 times
Reader ratings: 6.9
Date of issue: June 30th 1998
ISBN 13: 9780712673716
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.13 MB
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Throughout her professional life, Sylvia Townsend Warner was a prolific writer, ranging among biography, novels, short stories, and poetry. As I'll Stand by You, a collection of letters between Warner and her longtime companion, Valentine Ackland, proves, she was equally productive in her personal life as well. The relationship between the two women was a remarkably happy one, and their correspondence reflects this: one won't find much evidence of Sturm und Drang in the letters they wrote to one another during their separations. Instead, there are frequent declarations of love and practical admonishments to dress warmly and eat properly. When Ackland died after they were together for nearly 40 years, Warner gathered together their voluminous correspondence for publication, connecting the letters with her own narrative and directing her editor to wait until anyone who might be offended by the contents was dead before publishing them.
In addition to voicing the intense passion Warner and Ackland felt for one another, the letters range over a wide variety of topics--from pets to politics. What makes this collection of letters so intriguing is the wit and elegance with which both Warner and Ackland wrote. Their relationship wasn't perfect by any means--there was a lengthy period surrounding World War II during which Valentine fell in love with another woman--but it was securely grounded in love, a fact to which these selected letters stand testament.
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Read information about the authorSylvia Townsend Warner was born at Harrow on the Hill, the only child of George Townsend Warner and his wife Eleanora (Nora) Hudleston. Her father was a house-master at Harrow School and was, for many years, associated with the prestigious Harrow History Prize which was renamed the Townsend Warner History Prize in his honor, after his death in 1916. As a child, Sylvia seemingly enjoyed an idyllic childhood in rural Devonshire, but was strongly affected by her father's death.
She moved to London and worked in a munitions factory at the outbreak of World War I. She was friendly with a number of the "Bright Young Things" of the 1920s. Her first major success was the novel Lolly Willowes. In 1923 Warner met T. F. Powys whose writing influenced her own and whose work she in turn encouraged. It was at T.F. Powys' house in 1930 that Warner first met Valentine Ackland, a young poet. The two women fell in love and settled at Frome Vauchurch in Dorset. Alarmed by the growing threat of fascism, they were active in the Communist Party of Great Britain, and visited Spain on behalf of the Red Cross during the Civil War. They lived together from 1930 until Ackland's death in 1969. Warner's political engagement continued for the rest of her life, even after her disillusionment with communism. She died on 1 May 1978.