THE CORNER THAT HELD THEM by Sylvia Townsend Warner


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A realistic novel of 14th century Catholic England and a priory which housed a group of nuns at Oby. The story proper starts with the Black Death- and ends with the Peasants' rebellion, and the departure of one of the nuns concealed in the garb of a pilgrim for the Holy Land. In between, the little dramas of the internal politics of the convent, the scheming for this office or that, the plotting to achieve small ambitions and large, the building of the spire, the making of a second altar cloth- and its loss, the appointments of successive prioresses, the visitations of the bishops,- and throughout the central thread of story runs, in the mystery of the convent priest whose identity even as a legitimate priest was the subject of whispers and gossip. Here is an effective re-creation of a phase of medieval England, complete as to atmosphere, mood and pace, but for this reader at any rate, wholly lacking in that deep emotional quality which made Peter Abelard and Kristin Lavransdatter timeless classics. There is humor- ribaldry-uniquely detailed; more like a tapestry than a novel.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1948
Publisher: Viking