the powys society
Glen Cavaliero

Welcome to the official website of


the powys society
Timothy Hyman

The Newsletter The Journal Society Publications
The Collection
Upcoming - The Society's Annual Conference

John Cowper Powys
T. F. Powys
Llewelyn Powys The Powys Family
llewelyn powys diary 1910
john cowper powys t f powys
llewelyn powys
the powys family


The eleven children born to Charles Francis Powys, an Anglican clergyman, were a uniquely precocious family, one of the most significant in the cultural history of Britain, of whom the writers John Cowper Powys, T. F. Powys and Llewelyn Powys are the most famous. But they also included the architect and conservationist A. R. Powys, the artist Gertrude Powys, the lacemaker Marian Powys, the notable headmaster Littleton Powys and the poet and novelist Philippa Powys. Primarily, though not exclusively, the focus of the Society is on the three writing brothers; distinctively unique as both individuals and authors.

The Society, a registered charity, was founded to promote and encourage the appreciation and enjoyment of the writings of John Cowper, Theodore and Llewelyn Powys and to establish their true literary status.

The aims of The Powys Society are:
- To promote a wider general readership and stimulate scholarly study and discussion of the works of the Powys brothers
- To actively promote an expanded universe around the Powyses
- To provide a comprehensive and accurate resource on the life and works of the Powyses

If you are an admirer, an enthusiast, a reader, a scholar, or a student of anything Powysian, then this international society would like to hear from you, and welcomes your participation in its activities.


Membership benefits include:

- A membership pack on joining.

- An annual Journal devoted to the study of the life and works of John Cowper, Theodore and Llewelyn Powys plus three 50 page newsletters (March, July and November).

- The Society is active in promoting the life and works of the Powys family. Speakers are arranged for special events.

- Opportunities to meet fellow Powysians and those who share your interest.

- An annual weekend conference and Powys Days.  JOIN US

the hand hotel, llangollen
Signs and Wonders

a powys society meeting    llangollen railway station, the powys society


john cowper powys, porius

"Porius stood upon the low square tower above the Southern Gate of Mynydd-y-Gaer, and looked down on the wide stretching valley below." So begins one of the most unique novels of twentieth-century literature, by one of its most "extraordinary, neglected geniuses," said Robertson Davies of John Cowper Powys. Powys thought Porius his masterpiece, but because of the paper shortage after World War II and the novel's lengthiness, he could not find a publisher for it. Only after he cut one-third from it was it accepted. This new edition not only brings Porius back into print, but makes the original book at last available to readers. Set in the geographic confines of Powys's own homeland of Northern Wales, Porius takes place in the course of a mere eight October days in 499 A.D., when King Arthur - a key character in the novel, along with Myrddin Wyllt, or Merlin - was attempting to persuade the people of Britian to repel the barbaric Saxon invaders. Porius, the only child of Prince Einion of Edeyrnion, is the main character who is sent on a journey that is both historical melodrama and satirical allegory. A complex novel, Porius is a mixture of mystery and philosophy on a huge narrative scale, as if Nabokov or Pynchon tried to compress Dostoevsky into a Ulyssean mold. Writing in The New Yorker, George Steiner has said of the abridged Porius that it "combines [a] Shakespearean-epic sweep of historicity with a Jamesian finesse of psychological detail and acuity. Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!, which I believe to be the American masterpiece after Melville, is a smaller thing by comparison." This first complete edition of the novel substantiates both Steiner's judgement and Powys's claim for Porius as his masterpiece. 

“JCP is unquestionably the finest British novelist of the twentieth century. This is the longest, most magnificent, strangest, most thought-provoking book I have ever read. Occasionally over-written and slightly confusing, it is nonetheless a wonderful work of the imagination, marked by a depth of insight and an understanding of human psychology that rivals Dostoevsky.” Roger Norman (author)

 Recent Powys Society publications

llewelyn powys diary 1910


Edited by Peter J. FOSS
Like Katherine Mansfield’s journal from the same period, Llewelyn Powys’s diary is a major record from inside the consumptive experience and adds significantly to our understanding of the ordeal of this deadly and durable disease in the first half of the twentieth century.
The Powys Press ISBN 9781874559481
Details here

llewelyn Powys, the conqueror worm, literary review, john gray
Conspicuous Consumption The LITERARY REVIEW

the powys society  newsletter 85
The Society’s Newsletter No.85
Available to all Society members (27 July 2015)
The front cover features a photo of Philippa & Marian Powys
Includes: reports on the Montacute & Dochester Powys Days plus Charles Beauclerk's lecture on The Art of Happiness in Sherborne; reviews of Llewelyn Powys's The Conqueror Worm and the new version of Earth Memories; John Cowper Powys on Wordsworth and The Illiad; Philippa Powys's diary, 1903-4; The Essays of Llewelyn Powys by Stephen Powys Marks; articles by W.J. Keith & Patrick Quigley; obituary notices for David Gervais; News & Notes and much more.
Editor: Kate Kavanagh

alyse gregory

The Society’s Newsletter No.84
Available to all Society members (31 March 2015
  The front cover features a portrait of Alyse Gregory
as 'Pandora' by Chester Hayes.

Includes: reports on the London meeting in December
; new books (The Conqueror Worm, Llewelyn's 1910 "Consumptive's Diary"; Llewelyn Powys, the Man behind the Myth by Neil Lee); three Powys views of the Book of Genesis; Miklos Szentkurthy and JCP; Iain Sinclair on JCP; JCP lecturing in Wales in April 1940; News & Events and much more.
Editor: Kate Kavanagh

  2015 — Two Powys Days

dorset county museum

Saturday 20th June 2015
Dorset County Museum

Paul Cheshire will present a talk entitled “John Cowper Powys and Wordsworth’s ‘cerebral mystical passion for young women’ taking as his theme the passage in Autobiography about JCP’s perception of Wordsworth’s “abnormally sensual sensitiveness to the elements”. In his talk Paul Cheshire will explore the relationship between JCP and Wordsworth.

the kings arms montacute

Saturday 25th April 2015
The Kings Arms
Montacute, Somerset

Chris Thomas will lead a discussion of WOOD AND STONE, John Cowper Powys’s first novel, in its original location and setting.

Selected articles


Digital editions of THE POWYS JOURNAL

A Visit to The National Library of Wales

Reminiscences  of John Cowper Powys in the late 1920s by Albert S. Krick (PDF file)

A minor, difficult masterpiece by T. F. Powys

Recent Powys publications

earth memories

EARTH MEMORIES by Llewelyn Powys

A new version
Foreword by Anthony Head & Introduction by John Gray

‘These essays celebrate the life of the spirit – not by turning to an otherworldly realm, or retreating into the shadowy depths of the mind, but by standing still and looking anew at the sun and rain and the changing seasons. As Powys shows, the human spirit is reborn when it sees the natural world as it actually is – a spectacle of inexhaustible beauty.’  JOHN GRAY (a speaker at this year's Powys Conference; his most recent book is The Soul of The  Marionette )

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 2015 - First Spanish translation of MR WESTON'S GOOD WINE

t f powys, mr weston's good wine in spanish

Un vendedor de vinos, el señor Weston, llega a Folly Down en una antigua furgoneta Ford, acompañado de Michael, su joven secretario. Misteriosamente, el tiempo se detiene, y los habitantes de Folly Down descubren que el vino del señor Weston no es ni mucho menos un vino corriente. Las fuerzas del bien y del mal recaen sobre una docena de personajes fascinantes de los que conoceremos su crueldad, estupidez y lujuria (memorables pasajes de sexualidad aldeana), así como la mezcla de miedo y deseo con que responden a la perspectiva de la muerte. Theodore Francis Powys utiliza el imaginario bíblico para presentar en forma alegórica una visión pesimista y oscura del ser humano.

"A genius - a fearless writer, who writes with reckless passion." - Margaret Drabble on John Cowper Powys 

“The one author I could not live without is John Cowper Powys” – Bernard Cornwell

"Llewelyn Powys is one of those rare writers who teach endurance of life as well as its enjoyment." - Philip Larkin

"Theodore Powys wrote extraordinary fables of English country life. Bloomsbury admirers hailed them as the singular works of a dark and brooding genius." - P. Wright

"Theodore Powys, the brother of Llewelyn, is a rare person." - T. E. Lawrence

john cowper powys, henry miller, proteus and the magician
The Letters of Henry Miller and John Cowper Powys
(click on image above)

the powys journal volume xx, the powys society
Digital version available to read online
(click on image above)

john cowper powys, dorchester wall plaque
john cowper powys, the dorset year

John Cowper Powys
wall plaque in High West Street,
Dorchester, Dorset
The Diary of John Cowper Powys
(June 1934 to June 1935)

the powys brothers books, the powys society

“I touch here upon what is to me one of the profoundest philosophical mysteries: I mean the power of the individual mind to create its own world, not in complete independence of what is called "the objective world," but in a steadily growing independence of the attitudes of the minds toward this world. For what people call the objective world is really a most fluid, flexible, malleable thing. It is like the wine of the Priestess Bacbuc in Rabelais. It tastes differently; it is a different cosmos, to every man, woman, and child. To analyse this "objective world is all very well, as long as you don't forget that the power to rebuild it by emphasis and rejection is synonymous with your being alive.” — John Cowper Powys

“Even though we waves lie for centuries in the deeps of the waters, so deeply buried that no man could think that we should ever rise, yet as all life must come to the surface again and again, awakening each time from a deep sleep as long as eternity, so we are raised up out of the deeps high above our fellows, to obey the winds, to behold the sky, to fly onwards, moving swiftly, to complete our course, break and sink once more.

  We, who are waves, know you, who are men, only as another sea, within which every living creature is a little wave that rises for a moment and then breaks and dies. Our great joy comes when we break, yours when you are born, for you have not yet reached that sublime relationship with God which gives the greatest happiness to destruction.” T.F. Powys 

 "No sight that the human eyes can look upon is more provocative of awe than is the night sky scattered thick with stars.” — Llewelyn Powys


The legacy of enthusiasm and accurate knowledge left in certain published works is an enduring source of inspiration and information that becomes more valuable to students and scholars as time elapses. LACE AND LACE-MAKING by Marian Powys is just such a book.

marian powys

Two articles by June Burns Bové on the notebooks and scrapbooks by Marian Powys are available to read online:



(Both the above links will open in new windows.)

marian powys, lace and lace-making

glastonbury tor


durdle door
Glastonbury Tor
Montacute Durdle Door

If you have any queries or issues relaing to this website please contact the webmaster direct:
This website is © The Powys Society 2015.
Permission must be asked before using any material from this site.

U.K. Registered Charity no. 801332 
Webmaster: Frank Kibblewhite

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