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A Visit to The National Library of Wales

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TFP The Voice of God by Michael Kowalewski

JCP OWEN GLENDOWER The Seen and the Unseen by P.J. Kavanagh

First Powys Lecture in Ireland











































































Cecil Woolf Publishers

  For an Online Catalogue please CLICK HERE


  • Two recent titles in the Powys Heritage series:  

    T. F. Powys’s Favourite Bookseller: The Story of Charles Lahr by Chris Gostick 32pp. (ISBN 978-1-907286-01-8) £6.00

    Encounters with John Cowper Powys, a Meditation by Christiane Poussier. Translated from the French by Nelly Markovic 28pp. (ISBN 978-1-907286-00-1) £6.00

    (Reviews of both titles appear in the Society's Newsletter, No.68). 


    T. F. Powys’s Favourite Bookseller

    The Story of Charles Lahr

    by Chris Gostick  

     The London bookseller and publisher Charles Lahr was a larger-than-life character whose various business enterprises and devil-may-care radicalism played an important role in the careers of numerous writers during the inter-war years. A particular friend and patron of T. F. Powys, as well as other members of the Powys family and their circle, he also had close and fruitful associations with such writers as H. E. Bates, Liam O’Flaherty, Rhys Davies, D. H. Lawrence, James Hanley and Kenneth Hopkins.

    During the 1920s and 1930s Lahr’s Red Lion Street bookshop in Holborn was a magnet for writers and bibliophiles of all stripes, ‘a rendezvous for rebels and world-shakers.’ But although he features in many of the literary memoirs and novels of these years there has so far been no full biography of this renowned eccentric and ‘literary buccaneer’.

    Now, in T. F. Powys’s Favourite Bookseller, Chris Gostick provides the first detailed synopsis of Lahr’s work and achievements, drawing not only on archive documents but on original materials provided by Lahr’s two daughters to trace Lahr’s often turbulent life, from his birth in Germany in 1885 to his death in London eighty-six years later. Chris Gostick is the author of Lord Jim, Lady Tim and the Powys Circle (2000) in the Powys Heritage Series and is currently completing a full biography of James Hanley. In this monograph he pays tribute to a significant and unjustly neglected figure on the London literary scene.

    A review by David Goodway


    Encounters with John Cowper Powys

    A Meditation

    by Christiane Poussier

    Translated from the French by Nelly Markovic

     Admirers of John Cowper Powys can often vividly recall the moment when they first encountered his work. For many it proves to be an unforgettable experience, if not a life-changing one. In Encounters with John Cowper Powys, a personal meditation on the man and his life, Christiane Poussier conveys the peculiar influence that Powys has had on her imagination and thinking from the moment she first came into contact with his work. In a discursive and highly individual manner, she recounts her various ‘encounters’ with Powys through his writing, speculates about aspects of his own personality and thought, and offers some suggestive glimpses into the mind and spirit of one of literature’s towering figures.

    Christiane Poussier has held various positions in the field of education and now mostly works as a translator of English texts. Among several Powys titles she has translated are Confessions de deux frères (Confessions of Two Brothers) by John Cowper Powys and Llewelyn Powys (1982), Esprits-Frères (Selected Letters of John Cowper Powys) (2001), Le Hibou, le Canard et Miss Rowe! Miss Rowe! (The Owl, the Duck and Miss Rowe! Miss Rowe!) by John Cowper Powys (2007), and ‘Remy de Gourmont par John Cowper Powys’ in Actualité de Remy de Gourmont (2008), an extract from Powys’s Suspended Judgments. She has also translated works by Patrick Hamilton, Angela Huth and P. C. Doherty. 

    £6.00 each. Direct from the publisher Cecil Woolf. (A review of both titles appears in the Society's Newsletter, No.68).


The Uniform Edition of the Collected Letters of John Cowper Powys


Powys and Dorothy Richardson

The Letters of John Cowper Powys and Dorothy Richardson


This correspondence, now published in the Uniform Edition of the Letters of John Cowper Powys, is among the first in which the letters on both sides have been collected, where it has been possible to reconstruct the dialogue between the two writers. The result is an extraordinarily stimulating exchange of views between two people who are not only prolific letter-writers, but also significant literary figures.

Powys was constant in his admiration of Dorothy Richardson's books, and his encouragement and efforts to help her precarious financial circumstances are evident from his letters to her. When he first wrote to her, suggesting that they might meet, she failed to realize that he too was an author and was reluctant to meet him:

'I think on the whole [she writes] I agree with those who feel it is a mistake to meet writers whose work one likes. There is so rarely any correspondence. The enquirer risks losing "illusions" - and the writer a reader. Truth is served however and that, no doubt, if one can face it, is great compensation. We shall be at home on Sunday.'

From this luke-warm invitation sprang a friendship that was to last twenty-five years. Between 1929 and 1952, she wrote 64 letters and 40 postcards to Powys and received 76 from him. Their first meeting in 1929 immediately established their friendship and while they were not to meet frequently, their correspondence quickly developed into a steady exchange of ideas and of books. The letters in this remarkable correspondence belong to a period that includes the publication of Ulysses, the translation into English of À la recherche du temps perdu, the writings of Virginia Woolf and Henry Miller, and, in another perspective, the Second World War. They bear lively witness to these events and to the warm friendship of both writers. They also provide memorably vivid self-portraits of Powys and Richardson, showing each of them in his and her preoccupations and environment. These are not deliberate self-revelations for the public gaze, for neither writer anticipated publication. This adds a special interest, for we can see Powys and Richardson as they were to themselves, and to each other, and, not least, to those closest to them - the silent spouses and collaborators, John Cowper's Phyllis Playter and Dorothy's Alan Odle.

This long-awaited collection forms what, in a different context, Dorothy Richardson calls 'an excursion into the mind and personality of the author'. As such it is an invaluable complement to the books of each writer and its contribution to our knowledge and understanding of both is considerable. 

Casebound, 215x135mm, 272 pp., illustrated. ISBN 978-1-897967-27-0, Price to members of the Powys Society £28.00* (usual price £35.00) and £26.25* if ordered with Powys and Emma Goldman. *Free post and packing in Great Britain.

 Powys and Emma Goldman

The Letters of John Cowper Powys and Emma Goldman


John Cowper Powys and Emma Goldman became friends in the United States during the First World War. 'Jack' was an established lecturer, travelling the country extensively and attracting huge audiences, yet only beginning his second career as an author, and 'Red Emma' was a central figure in American anarchism. In respectable society she was considered a monster, one of America's most dangerous agitators. To her many admir­ers she was a mythic figure, a charismatic heroine who lived her life in the service of a personal and political ideal.

After World War I she was deported with several hundred 'alien radicals' to her native and then revolutionary Russia, but although she fled from there after less than two years, continued to be excluded from America. She renewed contact in 1936 with Powys, by now a major novelist, wishing to establish herself as a lecturer in Britain. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, she was called to Barcelona as the foremost international  anarchist activist, and in consequence Powys was immersed in details of the unfolding conflict and of the anarchist ideal, all to be imprinted on his writings, both fiction and non-fiction, in the late 1930s and 40s. Emma Goldman in turn benefited from the characteristic gener­osity of his response during her dispiriting attempts to mobilize moral and material support for the Spanish anarchists in London.

In this important and fascinating collection, one of the few in the Uniform Edition of the Letters of John Cowper Powys to contain both sides of the correspondence, Emma Goldman recounts and analyzes her experiences in a series of lucid but passionate letters.

Casebound, 215x135mm, 188pp..illustrated. ISBN 978-1-897967-84-3. Price to members of the Powys Society £24* (usual price £30.00) and £22.50* if ordered with Powys and Dorothy Richardson. *Free post and packing in Great Britain.

To read a review of both books please click here

From a review by Jeff Bursey:

The Letters of John Cowper Powys and Emma Goldman, recently released by the small English publisher Cecil Woolf, is another addition to the fine collection of Powys letters his firm has already published. The letters cover the period 1936-1940, and with such figures—Powys full of admiration for Goldman, Goldman consumed by the dire state of Spain—we might expect either a cautious correspondence or one that takes full flight and seizes the reader. “How important was this correspondence to the participants?” Goodway asks in his Afterword. He offers an only partially satisfying answer, that Powys was an “invaluable morale booster” for Goldman, and that she tutored him in anarchist thought, correcting his early errors. Thanks to her, Powys could balance his idiosyncratic outlook on the world with political thought. Her re-education of him was necessary, and beneficial, and it gave him the words and concepts to refine and better articulate his own libertarian (i.e., anarchist) views.

To read the full review, please click here (NB external link)


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Complete list of books by and about the Powyses available on request


Other volumes in the Uniform Edition of the Collected Letters of John Cowper Powys

The Letters of John Cowper Powys to Sven-Erik Tackmark Edited by Cedric Hentschel

The Letters of John Cowper Powys to G.R. Wilson Knight Edited by Robert Blackmore

The Letters of John Cowper Powys to H. W. & V. Trovillion Edited by Paul Roberts

The Letters of John Cowper Powys to Ichiro Hara Edited by Anthony Head

The Letters of John Cowper Powys to Phillppa Powys Edited by Anthony Head

The Love Letters of John Cowper Powys and Frances Gregg (two volumes) Edited by Oliver and Christopher Wilkinson

The Letters of John Cowper Powys to Glyn Hughes Edited by Frank Warren

The Letters of John Cowper Powys to Frank Warren Edited by Frank Warren



Paul Roberts
John Cowper Powys, Margaret and Lily:
the Evidence of the Syracuse Manuscripts

28 pp. incl. 2 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-37-3   £3.50


A.B. Gourlay
The Powys Brothers at Sherborne School

20 pp. incl. 5 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-42-X   £3.50


Glen Cavaliero
The Powys Family: Some Records of a Friendship

28 pp. incl. 10 illus., card covers. ISBN 1-897967-57-8   £3.50


Jacqueline Peltier
Alyse Gregory: A Woman at Her Window

52 pp. incl. 10 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-62-4   £4.95


Chris Gostick
Lord Jim, Lady Tim and the Powys Circle

28 pp. incl. 7 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-82-9   £4.50


Susan Rands
John Cowper Powys, the Lyons and W.E. Lutyens

60 pp. incl. 12 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-87-X   £6.50


Boyne Grainger
Edited and with an Introduction by Anthony Head
We Lived in Patchin Place

64 pp. incl. 16 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-18-7   £8.50


David Gervais
John Cowper Powys, T.S. Eliot and French Literature

44 pp. incl. 12 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-63-2   £6.50


Llewelyn Powys
Edited and with an Introduction by Peter J. Foss
The Diary of a Sherborne Schoolboy:
Llewelyn Powys's Diary for 1903

36 pp. incl. 5 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-04-7   £7.00


Michael Holliday
Making It New:
John Cowper Powys and the Modernist Tradition

24 pp, illustration, card covers, ISBN 1-897967-93-4   £6.00


llewelyn owys: The Diary of a Reluctant TeacherLlewelyn Powys
Edited and with an Introduction by Peter J. Foss
The Diary of a Reluctant Teacher:
Llewelyn Powys's Diary for 1908

60 pp. incl. 11 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-49-7   £8.00



Jacqueline Peltier
Two Powys Friends:
Glimpses into the Lives of Bernard O'Neill and Ralph Shirley

36 pp. incl. 6 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-63-2   £7.00



Llewelyn Powys
Edited and with an Introduction by Peter J. Foss
The Immemorial Year:
Llewelyn Powys's Diary for 1909

68 pp. incl. 10 illus., card covers, ISBN 1-897967-84-5   £9.00



Christiane Poussier
Translated from the French by Nelly Markovic
Encounters with John CowperPowys,
a Meditation

28 pp. incl. 1 illus., card covers, ISBN 978-1-907286-00-1   £6.00



Chris Gostick
T. F. Powys's Favourite Bookseller,
The Story of Charles Lahr

32 pp. incl. 7 illus., card covers, ISBN 978-1-907286-01-8   £6.00


This website is © The Powys Society 2014. 

Permission must be asked before using any material from this site.

Often described as one of the great apocalyptic novels of our time, WOLF SOLENT is the story of a young man returning from London to work near to the school at which his father had been history master. Complex, romantic and humorous, it is a classicwork combining a close understanding of man's everyday experience with a delicate awareness of the spiritual.


John Cowper Powys

A Powys Society Meeting

Mr Weston's Good Wine is the unusual tale of the struggle between the forces of good and evil in a small Dorset village. Its action is limited to one winter's evening when Time stands still and the bitter-sweet gift of awareness falls upon a dozen memorable characters. During the book a child knocked down by his car is miraculously brought back to life; the sign 'Mr Weston's Good Wine' lights up the sky; and the villagers soon discover that the wine he sells is no ordinary wine.


T.F. Powys


Llewelyn Powys


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