Books: Teacup Demons

SCENES OF CHILDHOOD

by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Viking; 177 pages; $10.95

Sylvia Townsend Warner wore the disguise of an English country gentlewoman. These essays of reminiscence that she wrote from 1936 to 1973 seem to be dressed in tweeds and sensible walking shoes, with a faint, agreeable odor of dog hovering above the pages.

In the best tradition of her genre, Warner recalls old gardens and village churches and eccentric nannies and a dotty old major, a bit the worse for duty in India, and, yes, her dogs. When she died in the Dorset village...

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