She had feigned not to hear him and had walked on. She had not turned her head until she was out of the village, she expected at every moment to hear him come bounding up behind her. Had he done so, she thought she would have turned round and snarled at him.Read more.
Laura “Lolly” Willowes is many things—spinster, caretaker, aunt to many. Liberated is not one of them. At the tender age of 40, she departs her brother and sister-in-law’s London home to make a life for herself in village of Great Mop (population: 227). Taking pleasure in simple acts of independence such as cooking her own meals, it isn’t long before Laura’s long-awaited solitude is intruded upon by well-meaning relatives—among them, a nephew who also intends on calling Great Mop home. But there is a major change afoot: Laura, thanks to the tutelage of her landlord, has become a witch.
Set in England just after World War I, Townsend Warner’s novel is a fantastical, first of its kind exploration of the “independent woman-as-witch” metaphor. In Lolly Willowes, tinctures and spells go hand-in hand with bodily autonomy and peace of mind.
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