I have a few half-written posts lying about in the draft section of Blogger, and tonight – coming in late, halfway through a book review and with the prospect of another Great British Bake Off recap on the horizon, I am turning to one of them. I no longer remember the wider framework which I intended to use for a review of Sylvia & David: The Townsend Warner/Garnett letters. So, instead, here are three wonderful quotations Sylvia Townsend Warner wrote to David Garnett…
Warner to Garnett, 1967: I go home on Saturday, and on Monday the decorator comes, and all the books will have to be moved from Valentine’s sitting-room and dispersed through a house where there are far too many books already. It will be a fine opportunity to read books I have forgotten we have, and even to find some I thought we had lost. Of course we should also see it as an opportunity to weed out books we don’t want. Can you weed books? I can’t. I discarded some Ruskin about thirty years ago and have often regretted it since. I don’t know why exactly – but I know it was a mistake. I might have read it and liked it very much.
Warner to Garnett, 1972: ‘What a lot of books we have written! This is borne in on me because I have carried basketsful of them out of this room into the next’
Warner to Garnett, 1974: ‘I have been having visitors too. One of them was Peggy Ashcroft who summarised the plight of ageing actresses by saying in a smouldering voice “Now I have only Volumnia left me.”. . .