Selling like elegantly spiced hot cakes
‘Handheld Classics’ republication is a triumph, complete with a beautiful Arthur Rackham cover and a blurb from Neil Gaiman.’ Paperback Preview Book of the Month, The Bookseller, 27 July 2018.
‘A book for anyone who has heard the horns of Elfin in the distance at twilight, as much as it is for readers who crave fine literature and are certain that elves and their kingdoms are bosh.’ Neil Gaiman
‘The subtlety of Warner’s vision, and ultimately of her empathy towards her fellow beings, is a refusal despite all inclinations to separate the rational and the irrational, the material and the immaterial, the earthly and the yearning for something else. She might have dismissed faith but she understood the impulse towards an elsewhere.’ The Times Literary Supplement, 26 October 2018.
What are these Kingdoms?
Sylvia Townsend Warner’s final collection of short stories was originally published in The New Yorker, and appeared in book form in 1977. The Handheld Classics reprint brings these sixteen sly and enchanting stories of Elfindom to a new readership, and shows Warner’s mastery of realist fantasy that recalls the success of her first novel, the witchcraft classic Lolly Willowes (1926).
Warner explores the morals, domestic practices, politics and passions of the Kingdoms of Elfin by following their affairs with mortals, and their daring flights across the North Sea. The Kingdoms of Brocéliande in France, Zuy in the Low Countries, Gedanken in Austria and Blokula in Lappland entertain Ambassadors, hunt with wolves and rear changelings for the courtiers’ amusement. But love and hate strike at fairies of all ranks, as do poverty and the passions of the heart. Enter Elfindom with care.
The Foreword is by the noted US fantasy author Greer Gilman, and the Introduction is by Ingrid Hotz-Davies.
Warner (1893-1978) was one of the great 20th-century feminist modernist novelists, also a poet, a musicologist, and a Communist, and lived for most of her life in Dorset with her lover Valentine Ackland.
We’ve published an article about the peculiarly Scottish kingdoms in The Bottle Imp, free to view online.
Buy your print copy here!
All our books sold through this website are accompanied on their journey to you by bespoke bookmarks illustrating your book plus one other title to interest you. Your books are packed in tissue paper, sturdy paper packaging, and secured with remarkably strong non-plastic tape. We love packing as well as publishing.
Every order of two or more books (any combination of titles) will receive one of our free tote bags, in organic fair trade cotton, hand-printed in the UK.
If you want to read more about Sylvia Townsend Warner’s life, we also publish The Akeing Heart, about the tormented love affair that came between her and Valentine Ackland, for nearly twenty years.
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£12.99, includes free post & packing to addresses within the UK (BFPO included).
£18.00 inclusive of post & packing for the rest of the world.
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What about an ebook?
You can buy the Kindle edition here.
We’re moving our epub editions to Kobo; when the transfer is complete, we’ll put the link up here.