Sunday 20 August 2023

Sleeping Under a Beech Tree

Sylvia Townsend Warner, Lolly Willowes (London: The Women's Press Limited, 1978; 1926) pp. 112-113:

That evening she asked Mrs. Leak if she would lend her some books. From Mrs. Leak’s library she chose Mehalah by the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould, and an anonymous work of information called Enquire Within Upon Everything. The next morning was fine and sunny.  She spent it by the parlour fire, reading. When she read bits of Mehalah she thought how romantic it would be to live in the Essex Marshes. From Enquire Within Upon Everything she learned how gentlemen’s hats if plunged in a bath of logwood will come out with a dash of respectability, and that ruins are best constructed of cork. During the afternoon she learned other valuable facts like these, and fell asleep. On the following morning she fell asleep again, in a beech-wood, curled up in a heap of dead leaves. After that she had no more trouble. Life becomes simple if one does nothing about it.