Aids to the Reading of John Cowper Powys
At the Powys Conference at Llangollen in August 2003, Professor W.J. Keith deposited with the Hon. Secretary copies of two aids to the reading of Porius in the form of "Reader's Companions", with the intention that these should be placed in the Society's archive and made accessible to any member or serious student wishing to consult them.
Professor Keith in his article in Newsletter No. 50 expressed his "hope that the Society will be able to initiate a process by which members and advanced students can obtain copies at the modest cost-price of reproduction and postage". When I read Professor Keith's article, I was moved to suggest to the Society that with this in mind, the two aids could at least be placed on the WWW, thus making them available to any interested person at minimal cost, in as much as most public libraries today provide Internet access even for anyone without the required equipment.
Professor Keith agreed to this suggestion, and the Society made copies of his files available to me. I converted the files to PDF files which can be downloaded from my site. Copies were also provided to the Society.
The system independent PDF format was selected since the Acrobat Reader software, available free from Adobe, provides both high quality printout and display from the downloaded PDF files, with the added capability that when displaying either file, the Acrobat Reader search function gives fast access to all the entries for any page or alphabetical reference.
Since 2003, Prof. Keith has also provided "Reader's Companions" for A Glastonbury Romance , Autobiography and now in 2007 Owen Glendower also available in PDF format.
In his Newsletter article, Professor Keith writes that "Both aids [for Porius], though in a relatively complete state, doubtless contain omissions and errors... I hope that readers who detect errors or can provide additional information will let me know. Ideally, the texts will be updated from time to time, and eventually provide comprehensive and authoritative glosses on this major and complex literary work".
Clearly, this holds true for the later "Companions", so please do not hesitate to contact Professor Keith at the following address:
University of Toronto,
Toronto, M5S 3H7,
or by e-mail.