the powys society
President:
Glen Cavaliero

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THE POWYS SOCIETY


the powys society
Chairman:
Timothy Hyman


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llewelyn powys diary of a reluctant teacher

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

WELCOME

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.


JOIN THE SOCIETY

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



glen cavaliero, the powys society

7th June 2017

Warmest congratulations to the Society’s President, GLEN CAVALIERO, who celebrates his 90th birthday this month.



Visit The Powys Society Facebook page:www.facebook.com/thepowyssociety




Greetings to All

EVENTS for 2017

Two POWYS Days




john cowper powys, porius


Saturday 29 April

PORIUS AND MYRDDIN WYLLT
Old Fire Engine House (restaurant and art gallery), 25 St. Mary’s Street, Ely


Thursday 15 June

A ONE DAY LITERARY SYMPOSIUM
Exeter University, Old Library, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, Devon

Details of both the above events on the News and Events webpage
                                                                              

XX


The Powys Society Conference, 2017
The Hand Hotel, Bridge Street, Llangollen
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th August
WHERE THE SPIRIT BREATHES'

In 1909, Mrs Rodolph Stawell, made a journey, by car, through Wales at a time when there must have been very few other motorists. She described Llangollen in her book, Motor Tours in Wales:a little town that owes its charm entirely to its position...it is an entrancing place.’ In the eighteenth century the English naturalist, William Bingley, also toured Wales, and observed the view of Llangollen from a distance ‘with its church and elegant bridge romantically embosomed in mountains.’ When JCP arrived in Llangollen in May 1935, on the way to his new home in Corwen, he was at first unimpressed. He wrote in his diary that he thought Llangollen was: ‘a grievous disappointment...we shall not return.’ However on that first visit he was also very much impressed by the river Dee and instantly remembered, appropriately, a line from Milton’s Lycidas, 'where Deva spreads her wizard stream'. He stared, transfixed, at the ruins of Dinas Bran and prayed for the soul of Owen Glendower. JCP’s veneration for the subject of his new novel, which he was already thinking about, connects with a fragment of verse by Shelley: ‘Great Spirit whom the sea of boundless thought nurtures within its imagined caves...’ Of course JCP did return to Llangollen many times. He loved the town and its surroundings reversing his original impression. For this year’s conference we also return to Llangollen and the friendly hospitality of the Hand Hotel in its picturesque position overlooking the Dee. Famous guests who have stayed here, in the past, have included Darwin, Wordsworth, Browning, Scott and Shaw.

Speakers: Grevel Lindop, David Goodway, David Stimpson and Patrick Quigley

  Full details, including the Conference Booking Form, can be viewed on the Conference 2017 webpage

  



Just issued: The Powys Society Newsletter No. 90 (March 2017)

powys society newsletter 90 (march 2017)















JUNE
An essay by Llewelyn Powys












Many a merry meeting
My love and I have had;
 She was my only sweeting
She made my heart full glad.
 
llewelyn powys, the twelve monthsTHE MONTH OF JUNE may be considered as the queen of all the months of the year. Ovid declared that it derives its name from Juno, the Queen of Heaven, and this derivation is more in keeping with the proud beauty of these weeks of midsummer than is the commonplace one now generally accepted. It was named the ‘Dry month’ by the Saxons, but the word dry is not a very apposite epithet for describing June in England which is a month remarkable for the abundance of its fresh foliage. It may be regarded as the month of consummation. The sap that stirred in April and ran riot in May, by midsummer has created out of the air, out of nothing, millions upon millions of new outspreading leaves. All through the winter the sun shone upon bare twigs, bare branches, bare boughs, but these are now shaded by delicate upheld hands of palest green, by living hands of marvellous fabrication, by hands that breathe and bask through the bland day-time hours, and remain during the short summer nights cool and dedicated under the dreaming stars.

The Barnaby Bright.

All day and no night.


  I can remember the very occasion when I first heard that happy-sounding rhyme as it came from the lips of my mother in her efforts to explain why it was that I should be sent to bed before even the sparrows had begun the chittering of their roosting hour in the massed jasmine outside my night-nursery window. In these times when we delude ourselves with altered clocks, the June nights seem short indeed. There is a particular transparent whiteness, like a reflection from the crystal floor of heaven, that belongs to the nights on each side of the longest day, and which never seems quite to fade out of the sky during the solstice period. We, the living lusty populations of England, go about actively preoccupied with our social frivolities, showing little conscious realization of the terms of our existence, fast imprisoned as we are in the importunate illusions of our experience.

  England in the small hours of a midsummer night is held under a glamour. What a new immaterial buoyancy is in the cosmic atmosphere lingering so lightly in the Western horizon, present so early in the East! We are not forgetting how the frowardness and greed of man has drenched the earth with blood; we are not forgetting how the cries and groans of tortured animals and exploited labourers have for generations reached to the pitiless clouds and ‘nothing said’, but even in the face of such knowledge it would be impossible in June not to recognize that the earth we live upon is a paradise lost. The air we breathe at this time is no common ozone. It is an air fresh as the breath of a thistle-eating donkey. It is an air dulcet and cool as the dew upon a mushroom’s white globe. Every one who is alive and in England in June is alive in a faery land.

  In all the shires hay-making takes place during this month. In mornings of dazzling heat men may be seen tossing the tanned fodder into aromatic heaps: ‘Wi’ their earms in white sleeves, left an’ right.’ Little emerald hip-frogs leap out of the way of blind crushing boots as with spotted bellies and triangular legs they are at pains to preserve the miracle of their singular existence.

The business of the day is done.

The last-left haymaker is gone.

And from the thyme upon the height.

And from the elder-blossom white

And pale dog-roses in the hedge.

And from the mint-plant in the sedge.

In puffs of balm the night-air blows

The perfume which the day forgoes.


  The night falls, and over the hushed meadow, over the hedgerows garlanded with twisted honeysuckle tods, hungry owls float silently by intent to surprise any over-bold mouse that has had the temerity to forage for a harmless diet in the damp inch-high jungles of the close-cut open field.

  Cabbage-roses are out in midnight gardens by water-lily fish pools, at the ends of wide terraces, and by red-brick kitchen garden walls. In covert and wood brown seeds may already be seen fringing the undersides of hidden ferns. How soft the moss is in such places! How still the pink campions in the white light of the small hours fanned by the damask wings and woolly abdomens of night-wandering moths! The whiteness of the night gives place at last to the whiteness of the dawn. The partridge is heard calling to her newly hatched brood that still carry on tender chicken feathers fragments of their natal shells! The wood-pigeons have begun the murmur of their content. Fortunate indeed are the boys and girls, summer lovers, who are out and abroad together in these hours of enchantment.

  The month of June has always been recognized as the most favourable month for marriages. How many dead bones would gladly gather themselves to life could they once again be wed to their sweethearts in June! The word ‘wed’ in Anglo-Saxon meant a pledge. One pledge or wed took the form of a ring that as soon as a lover had gained the consent of his lady would be placed on the diird finger of her right hand, until put, on her wedding-day, upon her left-hand ‘Betty Bodkin’ finger, there being rumoured some close association between this finger and the heart of a girl in love. Then on bended knee the man would take the woman, as the old words said, ‘For fairer, for fouler, for better, for worse’, she on her part vowing that she would always be ‘buxom and bonny’ to her chosen lord. The luckiest wedding-day of all the year is on the day of the full moon in June, but even on this day it must be remembered as the church is approached that it is ill luck to have a monk, or a hare, or a cat cross your path. Should the bride, on the other hand, happen to catch sight of a spider or a toad it may be taken as a fortunate sign.

  When Jesus said ‘God is Love’ he was giving expression to an utterance of profound wisdom. The way of a man with a maid is close to the core of life’s mystery. Such love is deeper than all racial or national differences. It can cancel all rancour and transform the aggressive, self-absorbed isolation of the individual. To love and be loved is the only thing that really matters in life, and it is to this supreme emotion that the month of June is especially dedicated.



From The Twelve Months by Llewelyn Powys (The Bodley Head, 1936.)













Newsletter 89 (52 pages)
Contents

powys society newsletter 89 front cover
Powys Society Newsletter 89
front cover


Editorial

The Conference 2016

DVDs of Conference Talks

AGM and Hon. Secretary’s report

Meeting in London, December 3rd


‘My Conference’: Kevin Taylor,
Robin Hickey, Rampaul Chamba,
Marcel Bradbury

Jung’s Glastonbury Romance

The Llewelyn Birthday Walk 2016

News and Notes

Review: Michael Kowalewski on

Zouheir Jamoussi’s Theodore Powys’s
Gods and Demons


Review: Arjen Mulder on Llewelyn
Powys: Recalled to Life,
A Consumptive’s Diary, 1911

Julia Mathews: Childhood Memories

of T.F. Powys in Mappowder

Inscriptions and Dedications


Ron Hall: Introduction and
John Cowper Powys’s letters 

powys society newsletter 89 back cover
Powys Society Newsletter 89
back cover


Editorial
To those of us who came on the Powys scene in the early 1970s with Jeff Kwintner’s Village Press, Ron(ald) Hall is a familiar name. Ron (1929-1985) left two heartfelt tributes to JCP’s effect on his life, one the introduction to JCP’s letters to Henry Miller in the 1975 Village edition, and another to the unpublished letters from JCP to his young self, some of which are in this Newsletter.
   The chief publishing event of the Powys year has been Recalled to Life, the fifth and most substantial of Llewelyn Powys’s diaries edited by Peter Foss, whose conference talk filled in the background to 1911. Arjen Mulder also takes a personal view of Llewelyn in Switzerland. The customary LlP Birthday Walk took place at East Chaldon (this year simultaneously with the conference). JCP as so often dominated the talks, but Michael Kowalewski discusses a Tunisian study of Theodore Powys, who is also recalled by Julia Mathews in her childhood memories of Mappowder. Chris Thomas tracks interesting leads and connections, from Jung at Chalice Well to Van Gogh’s boots, and charts the wealth of revealing inscriptions on the flyleaves of Powys books.
                                                                                                                                          Kate Kavanagh
A PDF of this Newsletter is available to download
Text file here       Cover (front & back) file here







THE POWYS SOCIETY COLLECTION
01 March 2017



The full contents of the inventory of the Powys Society Collection located at Exeter University will be uploaded to this website during the coming weeks. All files (which open in a new tab or window) will be available to read in PDF format. The catalogue is extensive -- 'work in progress' is underway.





JOHN COWPER POWYS LITTLETON POWYS LLEWELYN POWYS PHILIPPA POWYS T.F. POWYS





Articles and Books About

Books by

Contributions to
Periodicals & Books


Ex Libris

Introductions
to other books


Letters

Manuscripts
Articles

Books by

Letters
Articles and Books About

Book Reviews

Books by

Contributions to
Periodicals & Books


Ex Libris

Letters



Miscellaneous Articles and Books About

Books by

Contributions to
other books


Ex Libris

Letters

Proofs

Typescripts
                         



THE BLACKTHORN WINTER
by Philippa Powys

philippa powys, the blackthorn winter, the powys society, sundial press

First paperback edition

Price: 12.50

ISBN-13: 9780955152320

230 pages Book Dimensions: 198 129 mm


Limited special price of 10.00 to Powys Society members




The latest publication from The Powys Press (2016)
llewelyn powys recalled to life, the powys society
RECALLED TO LIFE

Llewelyn Powys: A Consumptive’s Diary, 1911

Edited by Peter Foss

The Powys Press


By the spring of 1911, the writer Llewelyn Powys (1884-1939) – then only 26 – had spent eighteen months at a Swiss sanatorium, being treated for the tuberculosis which the previous year had nearly killed him. Still frail, he returned to England, and to Montacute, the Somerset home of his family, where his father had been vicar for 26 years. This homecoming, which Powys first described in his remarkable book Skin for Skin (1925), was fraught with ambiguities, partly occasioned by his confirmed espousal of a neo-pagan philosophy which turned him against the religion of his forebears. Here, in Somerset, he ‘came into his own’, regaining his strength and rediscovering anew the beautiful landscape of his boyhood. This was characterised by a determination to extract joy from every passing moment. He cultivated a visionary response to Nature, relished erotic sensations, and enthusiastically indulged his friendships – especially with his brother John Cowper Powys. This ‘eternal flow of life’, as he called it, was a panacea and, through the writing of this diary, provided ‘food for future years’. Continuing and expanding the narrative account, Powys’s 1911 diary charts in candid detail his longings, his friendships, his reading, the poetry he loved and the letters he received. He writes of his walks in the countryside of south Somerset, imbibing at inns, encountering wayfarers, luxuriating in the natural world – and all this in one of the glorious summers of the twentieth century, when temperatures famously reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In the words of Siegfried Sassoon, it seemed to all ‘a summer of commingled happiness’. But 1911 was also a year of dramatic social and political upheavals that were changing the age-old ways of life, rendering the experience of this year a kind of ‘timeless moment’ – and that is how Powys later re-imagined it in writings such as Love and Death (1939). With the insidious disease always in the background, the 1911 diary conveys vividly what it was like still to live life to the full in the last throes of Edwardian England before The Great War swept so much away.

RECALLED TO LIFE was launched at the conference in August
Within the UK: 10.00
Outside UK price: 15.00
Please send your cheque, made payable to the Powys Society, to:
Hon Secretary, Chris Thomas, at 87 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AG




Powys Society Newsletter Number 88 (July 2016) 
powys society newsletter number 88
Editorial – Chairman’s Report – Treasurer’s Report – AGM 2016 – 2016 Conference – Recalled to Life – Obituaries – Charles Lock on Geoffrey Hill and JCP: A Tribute – Maiden Castle at Ely Meeting – Powys Day at Dorset County Museum – Notes & News – Alliance of Literary Societies – Kevin Taylor: This is Norfolk – Mike Smith: A dissertation revisited – Gift of Correspondence – Frederick Davies – A Letter to Colin Wilson – Review of Jeremy Hooker’s Scattered Light by Geoffrey Winch – Jerry Bird on JCP’s A Glastonbury Romance.
Available to all Society members.
(A digital edition of this issue is available to read on The Newsletter webpage here

The Powys Society Newsletter No. 87 (March 2016)

powys society newsletter 87 (march 2016)
Contents

Two Powys Days

Rothesay House, Dorchester
A G M, Committee Nominations
Conference 2016
Obituary: Joan Stevens
Notes & News
Gamel Woolsey Spanish Fairy Stories
T.F. Powys and Satyajit Ray
Earth Memories original cover


Phyllis Playter, Teenage Author

When David met Phyllis
‘Shakespeare’s Fairies’, by LlP
Shakespeare, by J. C. Powys
Maria Popova, ‘Brainpickings’
Earth Memories – A Response
by Anthony Head
Powyses in Patchin Place
All those Littleton Powyses

the powys society newsletter 87 (march 2016)









Selected articles

JOHN COWPER POWYS ON FILM
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










john cowper powys, henry miller, proteus and the magician
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
THE POWYS JOURNAL Volume XX
Digital version available to read online
(click on image above)







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




the life of john cowper powys

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







the powys brothers books, the powys society

"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


“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



glastonbury tor

m

durdle door
Glastonbury Tor
Montacute Durdle Door


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