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The Swedish

John Cowper Powys Society

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John Cowper Powys
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In Swedish

Newsletter no. 11 – Books and Journals

by Lars Gustaf Andersson


The British Powys Society ( continues to publish its Newsletter. No 64 (July 2008) contains, as usual, a lot of interesting stuff about John Cowper Powys and his friends and family. The newsletter is always generously illustrated, and this time it is a pleasure to see the wooden prints of George Charlton for the first edition of Mr. Weston’s Good Wine by Theodore Francis Powys. A new title in distribution by Powys Society is Aspects of John Cowper Powys’s Owen Glendower by W. J. Keith. Keith, Professor Emeritus of English at Toronto University, is familiar to many Powysians through his readers’ guides to several Powys novels, which are available to download from the Powys Society website. In his new work he describes the historical and mythological background of the novel Owen Glendower, where Powys tried to condense some of the great Welsh and Celtic myths.

Jacqueline Peltier edits la lettre powysienne, now with issue no 15 (Printemps 2008). As ususal the bilingual journal (French/English) gives the reader a lot for the 5 € in annual subscription fee (please contact for information). The latest issue is devoted to trees in thought and literature. As Peltier states in her editorial about the novels of Powys, ”trees are everywhere, often seen at a close distance, as though they were right in front of the reader, their leaves described in minute detail.” Among other things you will find a potpourri of quotes from Rodmoor to Porius concerning the trees. Thomas Nydahl contributes with an essay on the pathos of trees and is in good company: Thomas Hardy, Robert Desnos, Marcel Proust… As always, la lettre powysienne offers reading that truly widens our scope. (Thomas Nydahl has by the way a blog,, where he has published postings on John Cowper Powys as well as on Sven Erik Täckmark.)

Harald Fawkner is a leading Powys scholar, with several intriguing works, amongst which maybe The Ecstatic World of John Cowper Powys (1986) is the most important. His booklet Amorous Life. John Cowper Powys and the Manifestation of Affectivity from 1998 is now available in a revised edition at Crescent Moon ( Here he discusses Weymouth Sands and Owen Glendower. And if you want to be informed about almost everything that Powys wrote you are recommended to read the new biography by Morine Krissdóttir, Descents of Memory. The Life of John Cowper Powys (see  and ).

In well over 400 pages the biographic background of the work of Powys is outlined and scrutinised. Krissdóttir has had access to letters, diaries and other archival findings that together provide a rich profile of the artist. There is no doubt that the book is important and a breakthrough in Powys literature. Margaret Drabble reviewed the biography in Times Literary Supplement and found it ”a remarkable book”: ”Powys and the partner of his later years, Phyllis Playter, emerge from this chronicle as two powerful, fragile, brave and eccentric figures, characters, from a myth the wove for themselves”.(The review from November the 14th 2007 is avaliable at

Glen Cavaliero wrote an appreciating note in The Powys Society Newsletter 62 (November 2007), but in Newsletter 63 (March 2008) Michael Kowalewski attacked the analytical work of Krissdóttir, which he seemed to find rather destructive: ”… there is just a broken puppet at the end, without any interior”. Morine Krissdóttir defended her cause in Newsletter 64, and this is probably only the beginning of a long and interesting discussion. There is a lot of new material to take into consideration, and a lot of questions to debate.

John Cowper Powys admired modernist pioneer Dorothy Richardson, see for example his booklet, Dorothy Richardson from 1931, which was reprinted 1974 by Village Press. Now you can read more about this constellation; Janet Fouli has edited a volume with the letters between the two writers, Powys & Dorothy Richardson. This is the ninth volume in the edition of the Powysian letters, published by Cecil Woolf in London. The first volume consisted of the letters to Sven Erik Täckmark, Powys to Eric the Red, and was edited by Cedric Hentschel. (For information, write to Cecil Woolf Publishers, 1 Mornington Place, London NW1 7RP; there are also facts about the editions at the website of Jacqueline Peltier: At the same time the tenth volume is published, Powys and Emma Goldman, edited by David Goodway. These are beautiful and important books, and we will have reason to return to them later on.

There seems to be no end to book publishing. In addition you will find several websites, devoted to Powys and his family. Thanks to the work of Olof Björner, the Swedish Powys Society has a website of its own: where there is information concerning the Society, articles, a bibliography, and a Newsletter index. During this summer the site has been updated with a Swedish version of a chapter from Weymouth Sands, translated by Sven Erik Täckmark, as well as a presentation of John Cowper Powys, also by the hand of Täckmark. For questions and contributions, please contact the webmaster at


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This page updated 4 April 2012.