Wood, Erskine, Charles (1852-1944)

Between Colonel C.E.S. Wood and myself there was something of the same mixture of solid affection mingled with temperamental reservations as might have existed between a touchy nephew and a formidable uncle, only in the case of this remarkable old man our relations were complicated by the fact that he was so much more in a position to help me than I was in a position to do anything for him. We were, as I have often told him, like Zarathrusta's eagle and serpent — I of course being the latter. He used to dominate me, for my good, by his formidable blue eye; and then, when I dodged and wavered and hummed-and-hawed and evaded and turned into vapour, he would suddenly say: "John, what is it? What is the matter with you?" John Cowper Powys, (Autobiography)

Powys often mentioned him, in Autobiography or in his Letters to Llewelyn and called him 'that noble old Poseidon of the Pacific'. He had served in the United States Army and fought Indians but resigned his commission when he realised the corruption of the Indian Ring in Washington. He practised law as an attorney and also wrote poetry, thus becoming a literary figure in San Francisco. His works include The Poet in the Desert (1915), Circe (1919) and Sonnets to Sapho (1940). It was Clarence Darrow who introduced him to Sara Bard Field, reformer and writer, who was to become his wife. They were both well-known in the artistic circles of San Francisco and were the champions of many causes.