Skip to main content

Warner, Sylvia Townsend

Sylvia Townsend Warner, 1893–1978, English novelist and poet. Her first published work was poetry, The Espalier (1925), but she became more generally known with two novels of gentle fantasy, Lolly Willowes (1926) and Mr. Fortune's Maggot (1927). In The Corner That Held Them (1948), generally regarded as her masterpiece, she told the story of a 13th-century convent with a scholar's knowledge of the period, in a style that combined a poetic sensibility with wit and irony. For many years Warner lived a retiring life in Dorset with Valentine Ackland. She wrote several volumes of short stories, including Swans on an Autumn River (1966), The Innocent and the Guilty (1971), and Kingdoms of Elfin (1977); and a highly regarded biography of T. H. White (1967). Her Collected Poems were published in 1983.

See her diaries, ed. by C. Harman (1994); I'll Stand by You (1999), letters to Valentine Ackland, ed. by S. Pinney, and The Element of Lavishness: Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner and William Maxwell, 1938–1978 (2001), ed. by M. Steinman; partial biography by W. Mulford (1988) and biography by C. Harman (1989).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Warner, Sylvia Townsend." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 22 Mar. 2018 <>.

"Warner, Sylvia Townsend." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (March 22, 2018).

"Warner, Sylvia Townsend." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved March 22, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.