Works by John Cowper
Odes and Other Poems London: William Rider, 1896; London:
Village Press, 1975. Personally I
find Powys's poetry truly appalling and, forced to read it for my D.Phil.
once threw this book out
of the window. But others may disagree. Certainly it's better than Edgar
Lee Masters's poetry, but
then Powys liked some of that too...
John Cowper Powys's works in translation
Poems London: William Rider, 1899; London: Village Press,
The War and Culture. New York: G.
Arnold Shaw, 1914; London: William Rider, 1915; (The Menace of German
Culture); London: Village
Visions and Revisions New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1915;
London: Macdonald, 1955 (new
author's intro.); London: Village Press, 1974. Literary criticism.
Wood and Stone New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1915;
London: Heinemann, 1917; London: Village Press, 1974. First novel. Set in
fictive version of Wessex
Wolf's Bane New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1916; London: Village
Press, 1975. More poetry,
still a bit Keatsian, but it does improve, I'll say that for it.
One Hundred Best Books New
York: G. Arnold
Shaw, 1916; New York: American Library Service, 1922; London: Village
Press, 1974. Literary criticism
Suspended Judgments New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1916; London:
New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1916; London: Macdonald, 1973 (Preface by G.
Wilson Knight). Second novel.
Set on Norfolk coast.
Mandragora New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1917. Poetry.
The Complex Vision New York: Dodd,
Mead, 1920; London: Village Press,
1975. Philosophy, an attempt at a whole world view. Slightly out of line
with his later philosophy, and
it's significant for this that his attempt to show that beneath all our
versions the world is actually
there is very unconvincing.
Samphire New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1922. Poetry.
James Joyce's Ulysses, an appreciation: 1923; London:
William Blake. Little Blue Books, 1923; London: Village
Psychoanalysis and Morality San Francisco:
Jessica Colbert, 1923; London: Village Press, 1975. Specifically sexual
The Religion of a Sceptic New York: Dodd, Mead, 1925;
London: Village Press, 1975.
Ducdame New York: Doubleday, 1925; London:
Grant Richards, 1925; London: Village Press, 1974. Fourth novel (After
My Fashion written in
1919-20, not published until the early eighties). Set in fictive Wessex,
like Wood and Stone
features characters based on John and Llewelyn.
The Secret of Self-Development Girard: Haldeman-Julius
Little Blue Books, 1926; London: Village
The Art of Forgetting the Unpleasant Girard:
Haldeman-Julius Little Blue Books, 1928; London:
Village Press, 1974.
Wolf Solent (1929). First major novel. Set in fictive
Wessex. Centres on the consciousness of a single character, the
The Owl, The Duck, and - Miss Rowe! Miss Rowe! Chicago: The
Black Archer Press, 1930; London:
Village Press, 1975.
The Meaning of Culture New York: W. W. Norton, 1929;
London: Jonathan Cape, 1930; New York: W.
W. Norton, 1939 (new intr. and conclusion); London: Village Press, 1974.
Philosophy / cultural
Is Modern Marriage a Failure? A Debate[John Cowper Powys
Bertrand Russell] New York, 1930; Warren House Press, 1983.
In Defence of Sensuality New York: Simon and Schuster,
1930; London: Gollancz, 1930; London:
Village Press, 1974. Philosophy.
Dorothy M. Richardson London: Joiner and Steele, 1931;
London: Village Press, 1974. Criticism. He
admired Richardson's work, and they corresponded. A lot of what he has to
say about 'feminine writing'
could be compared with Woolf's A Room of One's Own
A Glastonbury Romance New York: Simon and Schuster, 1932;
London: The Bodley Head, 1933;
London: Macdonald, 1955 and 1966 (new ed. with author's preface); London:
Picador, 1975; New York: The
Overlook Press, 1987. His most representative work. Set in Glastonbury.
multiplicity of characters drawn together by the central theme of the
regeneration of Glastonbury as a religious centre.
A Philosophy of Solitude New York: Simon and Schuster,
1933; London: Jonathan Cape, 1933;
London: Village Press, 1974. Philosophy.
Weymouth Sands New York: Simon and Schuster, 1934; London:
The Bodley Head, 1935. Published in
England, cut, as Jobber Skald. Published under the original title.
London: Macdonald, 1963.
Cambridge: Rivers Press, 1973; London: Picador, 1980.
Autobiography (1934). Not an accurate autobiography (he
omitted all references to relationships with women, due to the sensitivity
of Phyllis Playter's position: she lived with him as his wife)
The Art of Happiness New York: Simon and Schuster, 1935;
London: The Bodley Head, 1953; London:
Village Press, 1975. Not to be confused with his 1925 US publication with
the same title (but a different
Maiden Castle New York: Simon and Schuster, 1936; London:
Cassell, 1937; London: Macdonald,
1966; London: Picador, 1979; Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1990 (ed.
Ian Hughes, restores cut
sections). Set in Dorchester.
Less positive about its magus-figures than the previous two novels.
Beginnings of Welsh interest used in
the world of the novel rather than as metaphorical thematic..
Morwyn, or, The Vengeance of God London: Cassell, 1937;
London: Village Press, 1974; London:
Sphere Books, 1977. Short fantasy about a descent into the underworld,
owes very little to any previous myths (the denizens of hell are all
sadists who watch vivisection on tv!). More of an allegory of ideas than a
The Pleasures of Literature London: Cassell, 1938;
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1938
(titled The Enjoyment of Literature; London: Village Press, 1975.
Glendower New York: Simon and Schuster, 1940; London: The Bodley Head,
1941; Bath: Cedric Chivers,
1974; London: Picador, 1978. Historical novel combining fact and fantasy.
Also studies the problematics
of leadership and the idea of war as spectacle rather than reality.
Mortal Strife London:
Jonathan Cape, 1942; London: Village Press, 1974. Cultural criticism:
reaction to the war.
Art of Growing Old London: Jonathan Cape, 1944; London: Village Press,
London: The Bodley Head, 1946; London: Village Press, 1974.
Obstinate Cymric. Carmarthen:
Druid Press, 1947; London: Village Press, 1973. Developing his ideas of
Welshness. Cultural criticism.
Rabelais London: The Bodley Head, 1948. This and
Dostoievsky form a pair of critical
studies of two of, with Homer, his favourite writers, and probably Powys's
key references as a writer. As
Charles Lock points out, an interesting way into Powys for recent critical
theory might be the fact that
both he and Mikhail Bakhtin published critical works on Rabelais and
Dostoevksy, and that Powys actually
uses techniques of carnival and dialogism in his works to a great extent.
Porius: A Romance of
the Dark Ages London: Macdonald, 1951; New York: The Philosophical
Library, 1952; London: Village
Press, 1974; Hamilton: Colgate University Press, 1994. Powys saw this
novel as his major work, and,
arguably, it is. Certainly it vies with Glastonbury for
consideration as his greatest novel.
Published in its complete form in 1994 ed. Wilbur T. Albrecht: while it's
good to have the whole thing,
and Charles Lock is a little extreme to suggest the edition should be
suppressed to preserve Powys's good
name, the editorial methods in this edition have been called into question
by a number of reviewers.
The Inmates London: Macdonald, 1952; New York: The
Philosophical Library, 1952; London: Village
Press, 1974. I.e., of an asylum: treating a perennial interest in madness
as a social
In Spite of: a Philosophy for Everyman London:
Macdonald, 1953; New York: The
Library, 1953; London: Village Press, 1974.
Atlantis London: Macdonald, 1954; Bath: Cedric Chivers,
1973. Powys tackles Greek myth: Odysseus
(eventually, after digressions which occupy most
of the book) sets sail for the lost city (which is occasionally mentioned
in earlier novels as an exmple of one of Powys's aboriginal
In Spite of: a Philosophy for Everyman London: Macdonald,
1953; New York: The Philosophical
Library, 1953; London: Village Press, 1974.
The Brazen Head London: Macdonald 1956 and 1969; London:
Picador, 1978. Set in Middle Ages Wessex,
historical fantasy revolving Roger Bacon's invention of a prophetic
Lucifer London: Macdonald, 1956; London: Village Press,
1974. Poetry. Contains some early
Powys's central preoccupations, for example the displacement of orthodox
religion. (Written in 1905)
Up and Out London: Macdonald, 1957; London: Village Press,
1974. Two stories. First of Powys's
space fiction stories.
Homer and the Aether London: Macdonald, 1959. The
Iliad Paraphrased by Powys. From some
biographical evidence - I can't remember where I read it, this would seem
to be a project Powys began
several decades earlier,
though I'm not aware that any work has mentioned this - I'd be interested
to know if anyone discusses
All or Nothing London: Macdonald, 1960; London: Village
Press, 1973; Calcutta: Rupa, 1981.
John Cowper Powys: A Selection from his Poems Ed. and intr.
Kenneth Hopkins. London: Macdonald,
Romer Mowl and Other Stories St Peter Port: Toucan Press,
1974. Three short stories.
Real Wraiths London: Village Press, 1974.
Two and Two London: Village Press, 1974.
You and Me London: Village Press, 1974.
After My Fashion London: Picador, 1980. Written in 1919,
not previously published.
Paddock Calls Intr. Charles Lock. London: Greymitre Books,
1984. Play, written in 1922.
Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1985.
Horned Poppies: New Poems North Walsham: Warren House
Singular Figures: Six Lectures Ed. and intr. Paul Roberts.
Colchester: Footprint Press, 1989.
John Keats: or Popular Paganism Ed. Cedric Hentschel (with
an offensive introduction in which
he dismisses deconstruction as something like 'lunacy' - this kind of
thing is only going to keep Powys
in the doldrums), London: Cecil Woolf, 1989.
Elusive America Intr. and ed. Paul Roberts. London: Cecil
Confessions of Two Brothers With Llewelyn Powys.
Rochester: New York, 1916; London: Sinclair
An Englishman Upstate London: Village Press, 1974.
The Diary of John Cowper Powys, 1930. Ed. Frederick Davies.
London: Greymitre Books, 1987.
The Diary of John Cowper Powys, 1931. London: Jeffrey
Petrushka and the Dancer: The Diaries of John Cowper Powys,
1929-39 Sel. and Ed. Morine
Kirssdottir. Manchester: Carcanet Press; New York: St Martin's Press;
Paris: Alyscamps Press, 1995.
The lack of any apparent plan, continuity, editing procedure or
regular publisher for Powys's diaries
is worrying. Morine Krissdottir's selection gives an excellent taste of
what useful and intriguing
material is lurking in manuscript.
Published letters by John Cowper Powys.
Some points: the titling of the Cecil Woolf books of letters is
unclear - in his Powys Checklist
Stephen Powys Marks gives the pre-titles as main titles. This is not
implied by the printing in the books
themselves, and I've preferred to omit them, also because they are often
ridiculous - the letters of
Ichiro Hara are pretitled 'Powys to a Japanese Friend'. Presumably the
same logic would have the letters
to Llewelyn pretitled 'Powys to a Powys Brother'. Cecil Woolf cause other
unnecessary difficulties, for
example, it's not clear from the obvious textual apparatus whether there
are letters from Frances Gregg
to Powys in the volume of their letters, or what might be going to happen
with volume two (there is also
ambiguity over what is omitted from the letters). Similarly,
'volume one' of John Keats; or Popular Paganism (inventively
pretitled 'Powys on Keats'!!!) starts
a third of the way through the original manuscript, with no explanation as
Letters of John Cowper Powys to Louis Wilkinson 1935-53.
Ed. Louis Wilkinson. London: Macdonald & Co (Publishers) Ltd., 1958.
John Cowper Powys - Letters to Nicholas Ross. Selected by
Nicholas and Adelaide Ross. Ed. Arthur Uphill. London: Bertram Rota, 1971.
John Cowper Powys - Letters to Glyn Hughes Ed. Dr. Bernard
Jones. Ore Publications, 1971.
John Cowper Powys - Letters 1937 - 54. Ed. with
Introduction and Notes by I. C. Peate. Cardiff:
University of Wales Press, 1974. BEWARE!!! These are only letters to
Peate, not a selection. As a
riposte, though belated, to those who would wilfully mislead
poverty-stricken scholars with dubious
titling, I would advise that there is very little of interest in these
Letters of John Cowper Powys to his Brother Llewleyn. Volume I,
1902 - 1925. Edited and Selected by Malcolm Elwin. London: Village
Press, 1975. The best starting point, probably Powys's best letters.
Letters of John Cowper Powys to his Brother Llewleyn. Volume
II, 1925 - 1939. Edited and Selected by Malcolm Elwin. London: Village
Letters to Henry Miller from John Cowper Powys. London:
Village Press, 1975.
Letters to Clifford Tolchard from John Cowper Powys London:
Village Press, 1975.
Letters from John Cowper Powys to C. Benson Roberts.
London: Village Press, 1975.
The Letters of John Cowper Powys to Sven-Eric Tackmark
London: Cecil Woolf, 1983.
The Letters of John Cowper Powys to G. R.Wilson Knight. Ed.
Robert Blackmore. London: Cecil Woolf, 1983. Includes Powys's enthusiasm
for masturbation as a cure for the world's problems. Trust Knight to bring
out the best in a writer.
The Letters of John Cowper Powys to Ichiro Hara. Ed.
Anthony Head. London: Cecil Woolf, 1990.
The Letters of John Cowper Powys to Hal and Violet
Trovillion London: Cecil Woolf, 1990.
The Love Letters of John Cowper Powys to Frances Gregg Vol.
1. Ed. Oliver Marlow
Wilkinson, asstd Christopher Wilkinson. London: Cecil Woolf, 1994.
The Letters of John Cowper Powys to Phillipa PowysEd.
London: Cecil Woolf, 1996.
(thanks to Paul Holmes and to
Peltier for these)
Unpublished works on John Cowper
(See the Powys Review 1989 for a list of translations from 1967
and Derek Langridge's John Cowper Powys: A Record of Achievement
earlier translations, as well as Granit 1/2, 1973.
Wood and Stone (trans. Patrick Reumaux) Ph╚bus 1991 ISBN
Rodmoor (trans. Patrick Reumaux) Seuil 1992 ISBN 2-02-013363-6
Givre et Sang/Ducdame (trans.Diane de Margerie & Fran┴ois Xavier
Jaujard) Seuil 1982 ISBN 2-02-006213-5
Wolf Solent (trans.Suzanne N╚tillard) Gallimard 1967
Les Enchantements de Glastonbury (trans.Jean Queval) Gallimard
1991 ISBN 2-07-072349-6
Autobiographie (trans.Maria Canavaggia) Gallimard 1987 ISBN
Camp Retranch╚/Maiden Castle (trans.M Canavaggia) Bernard Grasset
1988 ISBN 2-246-15722-
Les Sables de la Mer/Weymouth Sands (trans.M Canavaggia)
Christian Bourgois Editeur 1983 ISBN
La T═te qui Parle/The Brazen Head (trans.Bernard G╚ni╦s)
Flamarrion 1987 ISBN 2-08-066009-8
Tout ou Rien/All or Nothing (trans.Fran┴ois Xavier Jaujard &
Guillaume Villeneuve) Minerve 1988 ISBN 2-86931-016-1
Comme je l'entends/After my Fashion (trans.Robert P╚pin) Seuil
1989 ISBN 2-02-010548-9
Morwyn. Veyrier 1978
La Fosse aux Chiens/The Inmates Seuil 1976
Toits Pointus. Mercure de France 1965. (Preface by Powys)
Apologie de Sens Pauvert / Le Livre de Poche 1975
Le Sens de La Culture L'Age d'Homme 1984
Une Philosophie de la Solitude La Difference 1984
Cahier John Cowper Powys (Poemes,essais et lettres) Granit 1989
Romer Mowl Desmoulains 1989
Les Montagnes de la Lune Minerve 1991
L'Art du Bonheur L'Age d'Homme 1984
Rabelais. Trans. C. Lieutenant, La Thalamege, 1992.
Confessions de deux freres. Granit 1992, trans. C. Poussier.
Correspondance prive. John Cowper Powys and Henry Miller. Trans.
Nordine Haddad. Criterion, 1994.
Autobiographie. Trans. Nikolaus Stingl, Peter Kirchheim, Munich,
A Glastonbury Romance. Trans. Klaus Pemsel, Carl Hanser Verlag,
Wolf Solent. trans. Richard Hoffmann, Paul
A number of Akzente, a literary journal, ed. Elmar Schenkel, 1995,
(This is by no means the complete list, but not many
unpublished works are listed on the main
thesis databases available to me. A few people so far have contacted me to
say that their, or someone
they know's thesis is not listed here - I'm very grateful for this
information and will try to
incorporate as soon as possible after I receive it).
Published works on John Cowper Powys
Easingwood, Peter, 'A Critical Study of John Cowper Powys', Ph.D.
thesis, University of Leeds, 1976.
Greenwald, Michael, 'John Cowper Powys's
Fiction of Escape' Harvard, 1974. Michael Greenwald says that 'a portion
of it, on
The Complex Vision, was
published in Belinda Humfrey's 1972 collection of essays and another bit,
Rodmoor, got into an early edition of Powys Notes, or whatever it was
Hodgson, J. W., 'John Cowper Powys and the art of the novelist.'
University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Ph.D. dissertation, 1980. Couldn't get
hold of this one: has anyone seen it?
Lock, C. J. S., 'Development of style in the writings of John Cowper
1915-1929.' University of Oxford, D.Phil. dissertation, 1981. Interesting
intelligent, but I don't understand his principles of aesthetic judgement
Moran, Margaret Louise, 'The Wessex Romances of John Cowper Powys.'
Toronto, Ph.D. dissertation, 1981. Good try at establishing a genre for
Rodman, J. S., 'A World of Romance: the Wessex fiction of John Cowper
Cambridge University, Ph.D. dissertation, 1990. Again, like Moran's, a
but given Moran's dissertation much had already been done here. Very
the dual plot of Wolf Solent though.
Smith, P. F. M., 'A "certain spirit of liberation": the novels of John
Cowper Powys.' University of Oxford, D.Phil. dissertation, 1986. Very long
treatment of what is perhaps not a very major theme in Powys.
(This includes most
books - tell
not! - and a few articles which I found helpful / interesting). It's a
ramshackle, arbitrary, prejudiced list, but not nearly so ramshackle,
arbitrary and prejudiced as much of the criticism so far published on
Brebner, J. A., The Demon Within: A Study of the Novels of John Cowper
Powys. London: Macdonald, 1973.
Cavaliero, Glen.John Cowper Powys: Novelist. London: Oxford
Press; Clarendon Press, 1973. Probably the best book on Powys. Sensible,
Coates, C. A.,
John Cowper Powys in Search of a Landscape
London: Macmillan Press, 1982. A strange tack to take, I think
Collins, H. P.,
John Cowper Powys, Old Earth Man
. London: Village Press, 1966. Old Earth Man indeed. Still, it was the
de Wet, Oloff. A Visit to John Cowper Powys. London: Village
1974. (thin pamphlet, originally published in Texas Quarterly) -- a fun
Graves, Richard Perceval,
The Brothers Powys
. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983. Useful biography of the three
bros. It got a pasting from the Powysians in The Powys Review when
published, but it seems to do the job well enough.
John Cowper Powys.
Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1973. It's quite short.
---.John Cowper Powys and David Jones: A Comparative Study.
London: Enitharmon Press, 1979. It's even shorter.
Hopkins, Kenneth, The Powys Brothers: a Biographical Appreciation.
Warren House Press, 1972. OK, though I prefer Graves.
Hughes, Ian, 'Allusion, Illusion and Reality: Fact and Fiction in Wolf
Solent', The Powys Review, Number 7. The title promises more than
we get, but still, on the right lines.
---.'The Genre of John Cowper Powys's Major Novels', The Powys
Review, Number Eighteen, 1986. Another great effort from the boy
Hughes. Buy his edition of Maiden Castle and give him some respect.
Humfrey, Belinda, ed., Essays on John Cowper Powys.
of Wales Press, 1972. See Humfrey's introduction and especially Hyman's
---.ed., John Cowper Powys's Wolf Solent: Critical Studies.
University of Wales Press, 1990. Good.
---. ed., Recollections of the Powys Brothers. London: Peter
Jones, Ben, 'The Disfigurement of Gerda: Moral and Textual
Problems in Wolf
Solent', The Powys Review, Number Two, Winter 1977. Interesting
Knight, G. Wilson, The Saturnian Quest - a chart of the prose
works of John Cowper
Powys. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1964. Knight has a field day with
the phallus. Weird, wacky, wonderful. The second best book on Powys, for
all the opposite reasons why Cavaliero is the best. Of course, he's right:
prose works of John Cowper Powys are part of a Saturnian quest: as
in Porius, Powys seeks a god who will discard his godhood.
Krissdottir, Morine, John Cowper Powys and the Magical Quest.
Macdonald & Jane's Publishing Group
Ltd, Macdonald General Books, 1980.
Powys's use of Welsh myth and history needs investigating, and here it's
a totalizing framework by which I'm not quite convinced, but it's
Lane, Denis, ed., In the Spirit of Powys, New Essays.
London: Associated University Presses, 1992. Fortunately they're not in
the spirit of Powys's lit crit, which would result in a load of rambling
incoherent expressions of joy and wonder, and in fact they're quite
Langridge, Derek. JOhn Cowper Powys: A Record of
Achievement. 1966. Bibliographical guide to all Powys's published
Charles, '"Multiverse".language which makes language impossible',
The Powys Review
, Number Five, Summer 1979.
---. Polyphonic Powys: Dostoevsky, Bakhtin, and A Glastonbury
University of Toronto Quarterly. Vol. 55, 3, Spring 1986, pp. 261-81.
---.'Weymouth Sands and the Matter of Representation: Live Dogs,
Stuffed Animals and Unsealed Stones',
The Powys Review
, Number 23, 1989, pp. 25-38. Lock has some important things to say about
touching on contemporary issues of theory
. London: Bertram Rota, 1971. Really Louis Wilkinson, atheist, man of
letters, rake, and legendarily the
man who got exasperated with JCP's constant self deprecation, and the man
who Powys persuaded Frances
Gregg to marry because he couldn't marry her himself. His book's
Steiner, George, 'The Difficulties of Reading John Cowper
Powys', The Powys Review
, Number 1, Spring 1977.