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This interview is taken from PN Review 23, Volume 8 Number 3, January - February 1982.

Sylvia Townsend Warner in Conversation Michael Schmidt and Val Warner
This interview with Sylvia Townsend Warner was conducted in 1975 by Val Warner and Michael Schmidt and is published for the first time here. The questions were spoken off-microphone and in some cases have had to be inferred from the replies, hence an apparent terseness on the part of the interviewers. Sylvia Townsend Warner speaks first:

I am what is that odd thing, a musicologist. I've done a lot of work on church music. I was one of the editorial committee on Tudor Church Music, which was financed, much to our surprise, by the Carnegie U.K. Trust.

Have you written music as well?

I have composed music; it's not at all good. I play the piano, and I tried to play the viola because I liked the noise. But nobody liked the noise that I got out of the viola when I was learning and so I gave it up.

You were a music scholar, but not at a university.

No, I never went to a university. I never went to school. . . well, I went to kindergarten for about two terms, and then I was dismissed for being a bad influence. I was a natural mimic, and I mimicked the unfortunate people who were teaching me. I didn't mean any wickedness by it, but like Mary's lamb, I made the children laugh and play and was a very bad influence. They sent me back with a very dubious report; ...


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