the powys society
Glen Cavaliero

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Timothy Hyman

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llewelyn powys diary 1910

John Cowper Powys
T. F. Powys
Llewelyn Powys The Powys Family
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

London Meeting
Saturday, 5 December 2015


john cowper powys, the pleasures of literatur, the powys societyOur past Chairman, John Hodgson, will lead a discussion of The Pleasures of Literature, by John Cowper Powys, published in the UK by Cassell & Co., in November 1938. The American edition was published in October 1938 under the title The Enjoyment of Literature, by Simon & Schuster.

Derek Langridge in John Cowper Powys, A Record of Achievement (1966) noted variations between the two editions. The American edition for instance lacks the long essay on St. Paul, which JCP's American editor, Quincey Howe, disliked. Our discussion will focus on JCP's attitude to world literature and his favourite authors, expresed especially in the Introduction and the Conclusion, comparing his choice of writers with the authors he discusses in Visions and Revisions (1915), 100 Best Books (1916), and Suspended Judgements (1916).
Bunhill Fields Friends Meeting House   JCP's response to literature, which determined his choice of writers, can be found in summary at the end of the Introduction to The Pleasures of Literature: "Books...are man's word against the cosmic dumbness, man's life against the planetary death, man's revelation of the God within him, man's repartee to the God without him." JCP wrote most of the essays in The Pleasures of Literature in 1937 following a commission from Simon and Schuster in 1936, between the publication of Maiden Castle (1936), Morwyn (1937) and finishing Owen Glendower (first published 1940 in USA).

The venue of the meeting, Bunhill Meeting House, is located through a rectangular archway off Banner Street, a short walk from Old Street Underground station. It is set on the edge of the recently replanted and refurbished Quaker Gardens. For more information about the venue including a local map please visit the Bunhill House website

All are welcome. The event is free, although a contribution would be welcome, with refreshments provided after the discussion.

Venue: the Bunhill Meeting House, Quaker Court, Banner Street, London EC1Y 8QQ
at 2pm for 2.30pm start on Saturday 5 December.


Some back copies are available from the Powys Society of POWYS NOTES; the semi-annual publication of the Powys Society of North America which appeared between 1985 and 2000 under the editorial control of Denis Lane, Richard Maxwell and Nicholas Birns.
Please contact Hon. Secretary, by e-mail, at, or write to Hon Secretary at 87 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AG, for details of availability and costs including postage.
A list of issues including titles of articles is also available. These issues of Powys Notes have been kindly donated to the Society by Katie Trumpener, wife of Richard Maxwell (1948-2010), who was also past editor of the Powys Journal. Please see Richard’s obituary by Charles Lock in PS NL No.71, November 2010.
For a list of contents of available issues, please click here.

The Society’s Newsletter No.86

Available to all members (05 November 2015)
A range of artcles including reports and reviews of the annual conference, the AGM, JCP's Fantasies, the 20th Llewelyn Birthday Walk, reviews of two books by Llewelyn Powys, a very special Blackthorn Winter, News & Notes, plus much more. 56pp

Four DVD Set of the 2015 Conference now available

  September 2015

  Fresh from The Powys Press:

A Phenomenological Study of Maiden Castle

H.W. Fawkner John Cowper Powys and the Elements:  
In this study of Maiden Castle, H.W. Fawkner discusses the elements—but in a way new to Powys criticism and indeed to element-theory. In a move that aligns itself with the ongoing shift from postmodernism to speculative realism, Fawkner highlights the Powysian emphasis on elements as a mechanism that invalidates the tradition of taking the human being as ultimate standard of reference. In Maiden Castle, No-man’s name points to this devolution. The futility of self-centredness is inscribed in his identity as a void into which self-glory perpetually plummets—but also as a gateway for release into the elemental surprises of the real. Space is uncovered as a field in which each element is a dwelling for anything existing under the authority of its sphere. Here each being has an elemental essence surpassing all possible relations to it. Objects and people are not defined by relations but by the style and feel of the element in which they are imbued.

Freed from connectivity, an object, colour, or landscape is perceivable in stand-alone fashion as something almost surreally real. Powys is hooked on the rumbling, ghostly, or unobtrusive intensity of this reality-factor, all relations and connections being subservient to it. To read Maiden Castle as a celebration of the elements is accordingly to confront the fact that every primordial component of the world is somehow absolutely real prior to its being-related. Each item of reality, whether living or inanimate, sports the secret of an intrinsic reality that is hidden from the rush of the world’. To see things and beings non-relationally is to see elementally. That seeing is complex—and no one understood that complexity more profoundly and vividly than John Cowper Powys.

ISBN 9781874559504 ~ £10.00

The Ordinary and the Short Story: Short Fiction of T.F. Powys and V.S. Pritchett
The Ordinary and the Short Story: Short Fiction of T.F. Powys and V.S. Pritchett
by Milosz Wojtyna
This formalist-narratological study of T F Powys' and V S Pritchett's short fiction re-establishes both authors as important contributors to the history of the short story form. It also discusses how writers, who did not belong to the modernist avant-garde innovation, address the problems of the short story form in the twentieth century. The study takes a close look at the uses of the ordinary and analyses character, setting, and event presentation, narrators, audiences, narrativity, eventfulness, causality, and narrative rhetoric. It presents two kinds of short fiction and two kinds of the ordinary: the ecstatic one, focused on violations of norm, and the static kind that reassures its patterns.

Contents: The ordinary in literature – The short story – Non-canonical short fiction writers – Modernism and the canon – Formalism – The rhetoric of narrative, narrativity, eventfulness, character presentation, causality – Social realism – Polemics with realism – Stasis-ekstasis as an organizing principle of narrative.

Hardcover: 230 pages
September 2015
ISBN-13: 978-3631662267


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.

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.

the hand hotel, llangollen

Signs and Wonders
Four DVD set of the Conference (6 hours 23 minutes) now available to purchase at £8.00 from:
Raymond Cox, 4 Lulworth Close, Halesowen, B63 2UJ
(Please make cheques to R.E.Cox not The Powys Society)

  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)


   Michael Cains reviews THE CONQUERING WORM and the new version of EARTH MEMORIES in The TLS

Sunday, 30 August 2015
Radio 4 (8.48 AM): A Point of View
John Gray looks to history to argue that it's time to rethink today's narrow view of atheism.
He ponders the lives of two little known atheists from the past - the nineteenth century Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi and the Somerset essayist and novelist Llewelyn Powys. He says their work shows how atheism can be far richer and subtler than the version we're familiar with.
"The predominant strand of contemporary unbelief, which aims to convert the world to a scientific view of things, is only one way of living without an idea of God" writes Gray.
Listen or download MP3 at

 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

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