Sylvia Townsend Warner lived for nearly half her life in Maiden Newton. Surprisingly, since she was a Communist, and Maiden Newton was a working-class village, she showed little interest in its people. During the Second World War, however, she inevitably became more involved with them. ‘Miss Warner’ was a driving force in the Women’s Voluntary Service in Dorchester, and in Maiden Newton’s Civil Defence. Almost all of her short stories about the village date from this chaotic and unpredictable period. They provide a rich source of material about the village’s Home Front, and show Warner’s attitude to it all: a mix of amusement, pity and resignation which combine to make some very fine stories.