Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Element of Lavishness: Letters of William Maxwell and Sylvia Townsend Warner, 1938-1978” as Want to Read:
The Element of Lavishness: Letters of William Maxwell and Sylvia Townsend Warner, 1938-1978
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Element of Lavishness: Letters of William Maxwell and Sylvia Townsend Warner, 1938-1978

4.5 of 5 stars 4.50  ·  rating details  ·  56 ratings  ·  7 reviews
An instant classic in the literature of friendship: the witty, affectionate 40-year correspondence between a great story-writer and her New Yorker editor. For forty years, until her death in 1978, Sylvia Townsend Warner (poet, novelist, and short-story writer) and her New Yorker editor William Maxwell (himself a fiction writer of great distinction) exchanged more than 1,30 ...more
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Counterpoint Press (first published December 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Element of Lavishness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Element of Lavishness

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 173)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Tony
Steinman, Michael (ed.). THE ELEMENT OF LAVISHNESS: Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner & William Maxwell, 1938-1978. (2001). ****. I started this book with the intention of dipping into it over a period of several weeks, but found the letters to be so well written, interesting, and enchanting that I read it straight through. I should have known better with two great writers like this. The correspondence started in 1938 when Maxwell wrote to Ms. Warner asking her to submit some of her poems to ...more
Stephanie Patterson
Sylvia Townsend Warner counted herself very lucky to have William Maxwell as her New Yorker editor and readers of this volume of their correspondence would agree Warner wrote 153 stories between 1936 and 1977 and found a devoted and discering fan in Maxwell. Many of the letters deal with both Warner's and Maxwell's writing. On occasion Maxwell has to gracefully reject one of Warner's stories (usually with the reassurance that the story is wonderful "but not for The New Yorker"). But what the rea ...more
Ashley
May 06, 2007 Ashley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mail Artists etc.
I simply adored this book. Although I had not read either author's fiction, I found myself instantly in love with Maxwell and Warner. Their letters were deeply personal without being too obscure for somebody elese to jump into. I've actually purchased two copies of this book for some friends, which is something I rarely do. But seriously, this is such a wonderful correspondence-- everyone will find themselves or their inner self in these letters, I believe that 100%.

I slowed down reading it afte
...more
Eileen
May 29, 2015 Eileen is currently reading it
While this is great, one should not underestimate the difficulty of reading an entire lifetime's worth of letters in a reasonable amount of time.
Laura Leaney
I loved these letters and I love the people who wrote them. I'll miss them now that I've finally finished the last letter. It took me a while to finish the book, but to read two letters every other day or every three days was, perhaps, conducive to the experience of old-fashioned correspondence. One feels a bit of the voyeur in reading private letters, but Maxwell and Townsend Warner knew they'd be published. Such civility and grace is here. I feel the need to buy a good heavy pen and some onion ...more
Louis
I guess I was a little nuts--that is, depressed--when I read this book of letters, because I literally slept with this book next for me for the few weeks I read it. It was one of those books that I read a little of each night before bed, but wouldn't bring it out into the world with me.
Richard
Letters between two of America's most under-appreciated great writers.
Jaime
Jaime marked it as to-read
May 30, 2015
Jessica
Jessica marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
Anders
Anders marked it as to-read
May 02, 2015
A.
A. marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2015
Alicewilts
Alicewilts marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2015
Jur
Jur marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2015
Brittany Cavallaro
Brittany Cavallaro marked it as to-read
Dec 07, 2014
Kate
Kate marked it as to-read
Nov 09, 2014
Debbie Smit
Debbie Smit marked it as to-read
Oct 31, 2014
Teresa
Teresa marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2014
Alexis
Alexis marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2014
Kendall
Kendall marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014
Catherine
Catherine marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2014
Jacob
Jacob added it
Sep 09, 2014
alba
alba marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2014
Colin Kenniff
Colin Kenniff marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2014
Marina
Marina marked it as to-read
Jun 26, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
32349
Sylvia Townsend Warner was born at Harrow on the Hill, the only child of George Townsend Warner and his wife Eleanora (Nora) Hudleston. Her father was a house-master at Harrow School and was, for many years, associated with the prestigious Harrow History Prize which was renamed the Townsend Warner History Prize in his honor, after his death in 1916. As a child, Sylvia seemingly enjoyed an idyllic ...more
More about Sylvia Townsend Warner...
Lolly Willowes Mr. Fortune's Maggot; and, The Salutation Summer Will Show Kingdoms of Elfin The Corner That Held Them

Share This Book