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The nuns who enter a medieval Norfolk convent are told to renounce the world, but the world still finds ways to trouble them, whether it is through fire, floods, pestilence, a collapsing spire, jealous rivalries, a priest with a secret or a plague of caterpillars. As we follow their daily lives over three centuries, this masterpiece of historical fiction re-creates a world run by women.
'One of the great British novels of the twentieth century: a narrative of extraordinary reach, power and beauty' Sarah Waters
'As an act of imagined history this novel has few rivals. Also, as it happens, a work of high, frequent comedy' George Steiner, The Times Literary Supplement
'Spellbinding . . . One starts rereading as soon as one has reached the last page' Sunday Times
'Magnificent' Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph
© Sylvia Townsend Warner 1948 (P) Penguin Audio 2021
A classic, whose resonance deepens inside the reader in proportion to its austere, luminous discretion. Also, as it happens, a work of high, frequent comedy. As an act of imagined history this novel has few rivals
A spellbinding piece of historical fiction-spare, luminous. . . . One starts rereading as soon as one has reached the last page
A magnificent recreation of the life of a medieval convent