I’ll Stand by You
by Sylvia Townsend Warner; Valentine Ackland; Susanna Pinney
Editor: Susanna Pinney
Format: Trade Paperback
No. of Pages: 392
No. In Series:
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These letters & the connecting narrative, offer an intense & moving account of the love between distinguished writer Sylvia Townsend Warner & poet Valentine Ackland, a marriage that lasted nearly forty years. — Amazon. com Review Throughout her professional life, Sylvia Townsend Warner was a prolific writer, ranging among biography, novels, short stories, and poetry. As I’ll Stand by You, a collection of letters between Warner and her longtime companion, Valentine Ackland, proves, she was equally productive in her personal life as well. The relationship between the two women was a remarkably happy one, and their correspondence reflects this: one won’t find much evidence of Sturm und Drang in the letters they wrote to one another during their separations. Instead, there are frequent declarations of love and practical admonishments to dress warmly and eat properly. When Ackland died after nearly 40 years of ‘marriage, ‘ Warner gathered together their voluminous correspondence for publication, connecting the letters with her own narrative and directing her editor to wait until anyone who might be offended by the contents was dead before publishing them. In addition to voicing the intense passion Warner and Ackland felt for one another, the letters range over a wide variety of topics–from pets to politics. What makes this collection of letters so intriguing is the wit and elegance with which both Warner and Ackland wrote. Their relationship wasn’t perfect by any means–there was a lengthy period surrounding World War II during which Valentine fell in love with another woman–but it was securely grounded in love, a fact to which these selected letters stand testament. From Library Journal This 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 each other, and the times they lived through: the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the postwar era. ? Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo, NY Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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