Dorset Stories (1926) is a collection of short stories which evoke a quiet rural life much like the one that Townsend Warner had repeatedly kept as a constant in her life.
Here are stories featuring all manner of country-folk from retired service men to village maids. There is an air of village-gossip here which begs for the stories to be passed from person to person much as the latest scandal might have been at the village post office.
The collection is thoughtfully put together in its structure from some of Townsend Warner’s more archival work to stories as recent as the 1960s. What is so interesting is that despite the somewhat radical nature of her life – she was a committed Communist and maintained a same-sex relationship during a disapproving time – the stories here are perfectly untouched by cultural shifts and divergences. Major musical and political events do not feature here, it is as if Townsend Warner has created a microcosmic world of the rural ideal and it is preserved here for all to discover.