Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Lolly Willowes, so gentle and accommodating, has depths no one suspects. When she suddenly announces that she is leaving London and moving, alone, to the depths of the countryside, her overbearing relatives are horrified. But Lolly has a greater, far darker calling than family: witchcraft.
This work, first published in 1926, would be best descibled as early feminist fiction (as opposed to explicitly lesbian). It is full of unexpected delights such as a cat called Vinegar, who is believed by the protagonist Lolly to be Satan's emissary on earth. Marvellous stuff!
'The book I'll be pressing into people's hands forever . . . It tells the story of a woman who rejects the life that society has fixed for her in favour of freedom ... tips suddenly into extraordinary, lucid wildness' Helen McDonald
'Witty, eerie, tender ... her prose, in its simple, abrupt evocations, has something preternatural about it' John Updike
Publication Date: 1 October 2020