Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Sylvia Townsend Warner Society

The latest newsletter, number Thirty-Five, from the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society, explores her links to other writers and artists. Sylvia was greatly moved by Walter de la Mare’s poem ‘Autumn’, reprinted, and she also notices in her diary that Denton Welch’s A Voice Through a Cloud shows the influence of de la Mare’s prose, a perceptive insight. Other de la Mare connections are noted.

The newsletter also quotes commentary from Conor Mark Jameson about T H White, whose biography STW wrote, which notes that though his “influence has been widely felt, yet he remains curiously marginalised in literary history”.

A further feature discusses the Norfolk “fisherman-turned-artist John Craske”, who was “discovered” by Sylvia's future partner Valentine Acland, and championed by both of them. He created “an embroidery honouring the bravery and skill of the fleet of ‘little boats’ which saved hundreds of thousands of troops at Dunkirk”, a work “like a one-man Bayeux Tapestry”.

As well as the newsletter, the Society also publishes a substantial paperback journal of rare STW work, and commentary and reviews.

(Photograph: Sylvia at Inverness Terrace in the 1920s, from the STW Society website).


  1. I don't know if it inspired the discussion, but a fine by biography of him, Threads, by Julia Blackburn, was recently published.

    1. Whoops!
      "Him", of course, is John Craske.