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Library JournalThis collection of letters chronicles the love affair between Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978) and Valentine Ackland (1906-69) from 1930 to 1969. Warner, a poet, novelist, and short story writer best known for Mr. Fortune's Maggot and Summer Will Show, collected these letters following Ackland's death and wrote a connecting narrative. Warner and Ackland, also a poet, considered themselves married, and their letters and poems attest to their intense feelings for one another along with their thoughts about health, pets, gardening, books, music, and politics.
Some of the most moving writing concerns Ackland's taking a lover and trying to live with both women, which had a profound impact on Warner. Interestingly, the pair wrote even when not separated, as if to clarify their thoughts and feelings. These letters will appeal to those interested in learning more about these fine writers, their reactions to one another, and the times they lived through: the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the postwar era. -- Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo, New York