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Lady Into Fox

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  588 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
The Tebricks, a charming and upstanding young couple, have moved to Oxfordshire to begin their married life, happily unaware of the future awaiting them. When Sylvia turns suddenly into a fox their fortunes are changed forever, despite all of her strenuous attempts to adhere to the proprieties of her upbringing and resist the feral instincts of her current form. Increasing ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Hesperus Press (first published 1922)
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May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bloomsbury
A very odd little novella. It was written by David Garnett, part of the Bloomsbury scene as a result of his affair with Duncan Grant. It was written in 1922 after they had broken up and was dedicated to Grant. It won the James Tait Black prize and the Hawthornden prize. The woodcuts in the original were by Garnett’s then wife Rachel. Later in life Garnett married Angelica Bell, daughter of Vanessa Bell.
The story is a simple one; a fable or fairy tale. Richard Tebricks marries Silvia Fox and the
Nov 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only the son of that dirty whore Constance Garnett could write a book so good yet so wrong at the same time.

Its allegorical message was, at times, telling my own story. I felt as though he knew women. The more I read the more I felt connected to everything he was saying. He knew. He knew women and he had it right. I started envying the relationship he must have with his wife. He knew. Not only was he describing every relationship I have ever had with men but he knew what it felt like to be me i
Lynne King
His vixen had at once sprung into Mr Tebrick’s arms, and before he could turn back the hounds were upon them, and had pulled them down. Then at that moment there was a scream of despair heard by all the field that had come up, which they declared afterwards was more like a woman’s voice than a man’s. But there was no clear proof whether it was Mr Tebrick or his wife who had suddenly regained her voice. When the huntsman who had leapt the wall got to them and had whipped off the hounds, Mr Tebri ...more
Strikingly short, clear as clear water, and none of the above, all at once. Garnett's book conjures old-style fairy tales or bedtime stories, where simple elements resonate, and even the inevitable outcome is also a little confounding, a little mysterious.

Short version, 1922, English dude's wife turns into a fox one day, flips him right out.

In the tradition of the truly chilling ghost story, however, we're not done there. Somehow we're kept in a kind of trance, along with the protagonist, who j
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Magical and sad. Great wood-cuts illustrate the story throughout. Yay foxes!!
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s hard to say too much about Lady into Fox – it’s a short novella, and very simple. Indeed, I didn’t really feel that I was reading the work of an author – more just hearing an articulate, literate man tell me a story. The prose isn’t always polished – and is speckled with little oddities from the common speech of the era – and the story is straightforward and unadorned. Put bluntly, it’s about an English gentleman whose wife one day turns into a fox, and the difficulties that are posed by th ...more
A lovely set of symbols that is perhaps best enjoyed at face-value.

There's a certain elusive quality here which manages to pull the reader in many directions in turn: wonder, tragedy, farce, tedium, contentment.

Also a testament that great books, having been unjustly buried, are still able to enthrall new generations of readers. I read the McSweeney's edition edited by Paul Collins and was pleased to find that another publisher has more recently chosen to reprint this one. (The more recent cover
Jun 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miriam by: Deborah Boliver Boehm
Shelves: fantasy
"Here we have something very different. A grown lady is changed straightway into a fox. There is no explaining that away by natural philosophy. The materialism of our age will not help us here."
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Garnett's debut novel about a woman who turns into a fox and her husband's troubles in dealing with her transformation. The dialogue that the husband has about how to deal with this is meant to mirror that of the people dealing with loved ones who were traumatized and changed by WWII.
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
short novella about a woman who turns into a fox, and her husband's attempts to keep her safe (he shoots dogs and buries them, chases after foxhunts etc.) and treat her like his wife as far as he can (dresses her at first for example, buys her grapes), but nature takes over. Well written, to the point, very nice woodcut illustrations. Odd, memorable.
Jul 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
BOTTOM LINE: Whimsical, slow-moving old-fashioned creepy story that I might enjoy at another time.

This was another of those classic ScienceFiction/Fantasy novels/stories that I hadn't yet read but was highly looking forward to. Written in 1922, it's considered to be an extremely famous/special story in the history of SFF writing, and I'm currently attempting to fill in a few of the gaps in my reading history. There are very few true "classics!" of the genre that I haven't read, actually, so ope
Lee Broderick
It is, perhaps, easy to see Lady into Fox simply as a modern day fairytale. A whimsical fantasy from the early twentieth century. To do so though, would be to ignore the praise and attention that the tale won on its publication and since. A simple fairytale, surely, would not win the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In fact, David Garnett uses humour, fantasy, allegory and realism to explore pain, passion, conjugal fidelity, love, death and, as Douglas Adams once famously wrote, 'everything'. ...more
Deceptively simple, beautiful. I didn't realize how much it affected me until I told my spouse the plot and started crying. Found this in one of the many wonderful bookshops in St. Andrews. I'm trying to think of a way to put this on a syllabus soon. It could pair well Ovid's _Metamorphosis_ or Swift's _Gulliver's Travels_ with Coetzee's _Lives of Animals_.

NB: I read the Hesperus edition with John Burnside's forward, which has a much prettier cover than what I'm seeing now on Goodreads.

David Garnett’s 1922 novella is modern folktale, rich in sentiment and in prose style, and always highly readable. This is a strange but simple-told story about a newly married man whose wife suddenly and inexplicable transforms into a fox, and about the long period of heartbreak he experiences in accepting this change and giving her up to the wild. It is a surprisingly touching story and a fine book for reading aloud.
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
TOP-Buch, super geschrieben und zum Nachdenken / Spekulieren anregend: Was bedeutet die Verwandlung der Frau in einen Fuchs? Wofür steht der Fuchs? Und der Ehemann? Geht es nur um die Frauen, oder hat es auch ein autobiographisches Anliegen des Autors?
Hierzu wichtig: er gehörte der Bloomsbury Gruppe, wie Virginia Woolf.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics-fiction
Ein kleines, feines Buch das davon erzählt, wie sich eine Dame beim Spaziergang mit ihrem Mann plötzlich in eine Fähe verwandelt. Zunächst verhält sie sich, obwohl in diesem fremden Körper gefangen, immer noch ganz so wie zu menschlichen Zeiten. Nach und nach nehmen aber die füchsischen Züge auch in ihrem Charakter Überhand.

Es ist eine schöne und zugleich traurige Geschichte. Da sie bereits 1922 erschienen ist, kann sie wohl als Parabel gesehen werden: Die Frau befreit sich aus der Abhängigkeit
Michael Bohli
Jan 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Märchenhaft, romantisch und naturalistisch - der erste Roman von David Garnett ist eine kurze Fabel und hat auch fast 100 Jahre nach seiner Entstehung nichts von der Wirkung verloren. "Dame zu Fuchs" lässt uns ohne grosse Umschweife in ein kurzes Abenteuer eintreten, in dem der Autor mit Hilfe einer schier kafkaesken Verwandlung das Zusammenspiel von Mensch und Umwelt genauer betrachtet.

Wenn die Frau von Herr Tebrick sich nämlich urplötzlich in eine Fähe verwandelt, ist dies nicht der Beginn ein
Mar 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Partway into Brideshead Revisted, the narrator is in Sebastian's room waiting for him and finds this book and reads it while he waits. Although I like to follow references like this one, in Lady the main character read Clarissa (Samuel Richardson) to the Fox, but that might be a little heavy right now.:]
I am personally rather a fan of allegory. There is little dialog; everything is dependent on the narrator, who has, he tells us, sorted out the truth from "all floating rumor and village gossip.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bizarre little gem from 1923 about a genteel woman who, abruptly and without warning, one day turns into a fox. Reading it was like witnessing someone else's dream: I felt I lacked the ability to interpret the imagery. Wild, in both senses of the word.
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
incredible. unlike anything i've ever read, an absolutely perfect look at physicality, love, and the changing of both.
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: prim and proper people
Fabulously starched collar fairy tale about the wild sovereignty of the feminine as it eludes the rational linearity of the masculine, and the transformational power of love.
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a profoundly odd little book. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I'm impressed by it.
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fict
Guy meets girl.
Girl turns into fox.
Guy loves fox.
Fox meets male-fox.
Guy finds fox family.
Guy depressed.
The end.
Amethyst Marie
Feb 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, classics
I debated my rating on this book long and hard. I eventually decided on a one-star rating in the best possible sense. Like the kind of one-star rating that will motivate me to invite my friends over to watch some wondrously terrible piece of crap on Netflix and laugh out loud through the whole thing.


Sylvia is a ridiculously perfect heroine in the spirit of Elsie Dinsmore. She grew up in the country, so she's innocent, but she was raised by a Protestant governess, so she
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Schöne Sprache, ungewöhnliche Geschichte.
Raül De Tena
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
El gran mal de la literatura moderna es, sin lugar a dudas, la ultra sofisticación de su forma. La imposición de la Gran Novela Americana (mamotreto de más de mil páginas con predilección por la estructura de novel río, con enormes flash-backs historicistas y con vocación alarmante de Pulitzer) sólo ha peligrado en los últimos momentos ante el hermetismo de la narrativa fragmentada postmoderna (es decir: Pynchon, secuaces y herederos indeseados)… Entre unos y otros parece que se han llevado por ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Sylvia Fox and Richard Tebrick have both been raised as upper-class British citizens living in remote Oxfordshire houses. Sylvia's uncle worries that she has married Mr. Tebrick because he is the first man she ever met. But Mr. and Mrs. Tebrick are a happy couple, living quietly, enjoying one another and the countryside. Then Sylvia, while out walking with her husband one autumn day, turns into a fox.

True to his class and upbringing, Richard accepts this transformation stoically and with concern
Eleanor Toland
The story of marriage between a human and a shape-shifter is an ancient one, dating back to Greek myth and probably neolithic times, echoed in Beauty and the Beast and all those fables of selkies and kitsune.Lady into Fox, David Garnett's short but powerful novella, transports the 'animal spouse' motif into upper-class 1920s England. It is notable for its arch, witty writing style and the unusual psychological depth with which the fantasy elements are handled.

Richard Tebrick persuades his new w
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David Garnett (9 March 1892 – 17 February 1981), known as "Bunny", was a British writer and publisher. A prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group, Garnett received literary recognition when his novel Lady into Fox, an allegorical fantasy, was awarded the 1922 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. He ran a bookshop near the British Museum with Francis Birrell during the 1920s. He also founde ...more
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“Wonderful or supernatural events are not so uncommon, rather they are irregular in their incidence. Thus there may be not one marvel to speak of in a century, and then often enough comes a plentiful crop of them; monsters of all sorts swarm suddenly upon the earth, comets blaze in the sky, eclipses frighten nature, meteors fall in rain, while mermaids and sirens beguile, and sea serpents engulf every passing ship, and terrible cataclysms beset humanity.” 5 likes
“Where his wife had been the moment before was a small fox, of a very bright red.” 2 likes
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