John Cowper Powys: bibliography





Works by John Cowper Powys

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...

Poems London: William Rider, 1899; London: Village Press, 1975.

The War and Culture. New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1914; London: William Rider, 1915; (The Menace of German Culture); London: Village Press, 1975.

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 (Montacute area).

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: Village Press, 1975.

Rodmoor 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: Village Press, 1974.

William Blake. Little Blue Books, 1923; London: Village Press, 1974.

Psychoanalysis and Morality San Francisco: Jessica Colbert, 1923; London: Village Press, 1975. Specifically sexual morality.

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 Press, 1974.

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 Powys-figure Wolf.

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 criticism.

Is Modern Marriage a Failure? A Debate[John Cowper Powys and 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. Describes a 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 book).

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, which 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 novel.

The Pleasures of Literature London: Cassell, 1938; New York: Simon and Schuster, 1938 (titled The Enjoyment of Literature; London: Village Press, 1975. Criticism.

Owen 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.

The Art of Growing Old London: Jonathan Cape, 1944; London: Village Press, 1974.

Dostoievsky 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 construct.

In Spite of: a Philosophy for Everyman London: Macdonald, 1953; New York: The Philosophical 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 civilisations).

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 mechanical head.

Lucifer London: Macdonald, 1956; London: Village Press, 1974. Poetry. Contains some early versions of 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 published 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 it.

All or Nothing London: Macdonald, 1960; London: Village Press, 1973; Calcutta: Rupa, 1981. Space fiction.

John Cowper Powys: A Selection from his Poems Ed. and intr. Kenneth Hopkins. London: Macdonald, 1964.

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.

Three Fantasies Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1985.

Horned Poppies: New Poems North Walsham: Warren House Press, 1986.

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 Woolf, 1994.

Confessions of Two Brothers With Llewelyn Powys. Rochester: New York, 1916; London: Sinclair Browne, 1982.

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 Kwintner, 1990.

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 to why.

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.

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 Press, 1975.

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. Anthony Head. London: Cecil Woolf, 1996.


John Cowper Powys's works in translation

(thanks to Paul Holmes and to Jacqueline Peltier for these)

(See the Powys Review 1989 for a list of translations from 1967 onwards, and Derek Langridge's John Cowper Powys: A Record of Achievement for earlier translations, as well as Granit 1/2, 1973.

Wood and Stone (trans. Patrick Reumaux) Ph╚bus 1991 ISBN 2-85940-209-8

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 2-07-025219-1

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 2-267-00322-8

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. and ed. Nordine Haddad. Criterion, 1994.

Autobiographie. Trans. Nikolaus Stingl, Peter Kirchheim, Munich, 1992.

A Glastonbury Romance. Trans. Klaus Pemsel, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich, 1995.

Wolf Solent. trans. Richard Hoffmann, Paul Zsolnay Verlag, Wien/Hamburg, 1986

A number of Akzente, a literary journal, ed. Elmar Schenkel, 1995, on John Cowper Powys.


Unpublished works on John Cowper Powys

(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).

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, on Rodmoor, got into an early edition of Powys Notes, or whatever it was called back then'.

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 Powys, 1915-1929.' University of Oxford, D.Phil. dissertation, 1981. Interesting and intelligent, but I don't understand his principles of aesthetic judgement

Moran, Margaret Louise, 'The Wessex Romances of John Cowper Powys.' University of Toronto, Ph.D. dissertation, 1981. Good try at establishing a genre for Powys's fiction.

Rodman, J. S., 'A World of Romance: the Wessex fiction of John Cowper Powys.' Cambridge University, Ph.D. dissertation, 1990. Again, like Moran's, a good try, but given Moran's dissertation much had already been done here. Very interesting on 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.


Published works on John Cowper Powys

(This includes most of the books - tell me if 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 Powys.

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 University Press; Clarendon Press, 1973. Probably the best book on Powys. Sensible, informed, balanced, helpful.

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 sixties

de Wet, Oloff. A Visit to John Cowper Powys. London: Village Press, 1974. (thin pamphlet, originally published in Texas Quarterly) -- a fun read.

Graves, Richard Perceval, The Brothers Powys . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983. Useful biography of the three literary bros. It got a pasting from the Powysians in The Powys Review when it was published, but it seems to do the job well enough.

Hooker, Jeremy, 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. Norfolk: 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. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1972. See Humfrey's introduction and especially Hyman's essay.

---.ed., John Cowper Powys's Wolf Solent: Critical Studies. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1990. Good.

---. ed., Recollections of the Powys Brothers. London: Peter Owen, 1980.

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: the prose works of John Cowper Powys are part of a Saturnian quest: as we see in Porius, Powys seeks a god who will discard his godhood.

Krissdottir, Morine, John Cowper Powys and the Magical Quest. London, Macdonald & Jane's Publishing Group Ltd, Macdonald General Books, 1980. Powys's use of Welsh myth and history needs investigating, and here it's done with a totalizing framework by which I'm not quite convinced, but it's nonetheless valuable.

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 helpful.

Langridge, Derek. JOhn Cowper Powys: A Record of Achievement. 1966. Bibliographical guide to all Powys's published works.

Lock, Charles, '"Multiverse".language which makes language impossible', The Powys Review , Number Five, Summer 1979.

---. Polyphonic Powys: Dostoevsky, Bakhtin, and A Glastonbury Romance', 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 Powys, touching on contemporary issues of theory

Marlow, Louis, Welsh Ambassadors . 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 fun.

Steiner, George, 'The Difficulties of Reading John Cowper Powys', The Powys Review , Number 1, Spring 1977.