Welcome to the Powys Society

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The Powys Society was founded to promote and encourage the appreciation and enjoyment of the writings of John Cowper, Theodore (T.F.), and Llewelyn Powys. All three writers attract passionate support: John Cowper Powys’s expansive visionary novels have been hailed as comparable with the fictions of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy; T. F. Powys’s compact biblical prose combines mordant wit, melancholy, and profound meditation on life and death; Llewelyn, known mostly for his essays, has been described as ‘a philosophical poet relating the pleasures of his senses in the purest prose of his time.’ These three brothers are only three of the eleven children of Charles Francis Powys and Mary Cowper Powys whose remarkable family this website is glad to introduce.

The aims of The Powys Society are:

john cowper powys

To promote a wider general readership and stimulate scholarly study and discussion of the works of the Powys brothers.

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.
  • The annual Powys 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).
  • Free online access to the full range of Powys Journals (1991 to date) through JSTOR.
  • Opportunities to meet fellow Powysians and those who share your interest.
  • An annual weekend Conference and Powys Days
Powys books
t f powys

“I read A Glastonbury Romance when I was 16 and it changed my life". — The Reverend Richard Coles (quoted 29 Sep 2022 on BBC R3 Arts & Ideas)

“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

“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

llewelyn 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