Townsend Warner, Sylvia

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Townsend Warner, Sylvia Gender: F
born on 6 December 1893 at 06:00 (= 06:00 AM )
Place Harrow, England, 51n35, 0w21
Timezone GMT h0w (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 14°24' s_mo.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 21°50 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 22°30'


British writer, a translator, poet, short story writer and novelist. Warner began her self-proclaimed "accidental career" as a poet after she was given paper with a "particularly tempting surface." She wrote her first novel, "Lolly Willowes," 1926, because she "happened to find very agreeable thin lined paper in a job lot." Her work is praised for wit and whimsical charm, with an elegant use of language.

The only child of George Townsend Warner, a schoolmaster, and Nora Huddleston Warren, Sylvia was educated privately. She originally intended to follow a career as a musicologist and did become an authority on early English music, working as one of the editors of the ten-volume Tudor Church Music, 1923-29, and a contributor to Grove's Dictionary of Music.

Warner went on to the publication of some 144 short stories that appeared in The New Yorker magazine and her output included collections of short fiction, novels, poetry and biography, including the semi-autobiographical "Scenes of Childhood," posthumously published in 1981. Her novels include "The True Heart," 1929, "The Flint Anchor," 1954 and her final collection, "Kingdoms of Elfin," 1977.

In 1927, Warner met Valentine Ackland (1906-1969), an aspiring writer, and in 1930, they became life partners, eventually settling permanently in the village of Frome Vauchurch, Dorset, in 1937. Both women had joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1935. After losing Ackland to breast cancer, Warner, then in her mid-70s, continued to mourn her for the remainder of her life, though she found some solace in her garden and her much-loved cats. In her later years, a resurgence of interest in her work, especially among feminist scholars, gave her a great deal of satisfaction.

Increasingly troubled by arthritis and deafness, Warner became bedridden early in 1978, dying on May 1 of that year, Maiden Newton, Dorset, England. "I'll Stand By You," a collection of love letters between her and Ackland, was published in 1999.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1926 (First novel released)
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1923 (Work on Tudor Church Music, six years)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1981 (Novel published post humously)
  • Relationship : Meet a significant person 1927 (Valentine Ackland)
  • Relationship : Begin significant relationship 1930 (Became life partner with Valentine)
  • Social : Joined group 1935 (Joined the Communist Party)
  • Family : Change residence 1937 (Moved to Frome Vauchurch)
  • Death of Significant person 1969 (Valentine dies of breast cancer)
  • Health : Decumbiture 1978 (Bedridden)
  • Death, Cause unspecified 1 May 1978 (Age 84)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1999 (Love letters published post humously)

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes Claire Harman, "Sylvia Townsend Warner: A Biography," London, Chatto & Windus, 1989, p. 1.


  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction (Novels, short stories)
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet
  • Family : Childhood : Only child
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 84)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Ears (Deaf in latter years)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Arthritis
  • Passions : Sexuality : Lesbian
  • Family : Relationship : Cohabitation more than 3 yrs (39 years with Valentine)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids none
  • Lifestyle : Home : Home centered
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Animals, pets (Cats)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Outdoors (Gardening)
  • Vocation : Writers : Translator