RepositorySpecial Collections Archives (GB 0029)
Ref NoEUL MS 433/LLP
LevelSection
TitlePapers and books relating to Llewelyn Powys
DescriptionMaterial relating to Llewelyn Powys, collected by E.E. Bissell and Francis Feather, and donated to the Powys Society. The majority of the collection is comprised of books by, or about, Powys, in addition to his ex libris. The collection also contains manuscripts, typescripts and proofs relating to a number of his works, as well as correspondence with friends, family and business contacts.

Includes material relating to Powys’s major works: ‘Thirteen Worthies’ (1923), ‘Black Laughter’ (1924), ‘Skin for Skin’ (1925), ‘The Verdict of Bridlegoose’ (1926), ‘Henry Hudson’ (1927), ‘The Cradle of God’ (1929), ‘The Pathetic Fallacy’ (1930), ‘Apples Be Ripe’ (1930), ‘A Pagan’s Pilgrimage’ (1931), ‘Impassioned Clay’ (1931), ‘Glory of Life’ (1934), ‘Earth Memories’ (1934), ‘Damnable Opinions’ (1935), ‘Dorset Essays’ (1935), ‘The Twelve Months’ (1936), ‘Rats in the Sacristy’ (1937), ‘Somerset Essays’ (1937), ‘Love and Death’ (1939), ‘A Baker’s Dozen’ (1939), ‘Swiss Essays’ (1947).
Admin HistoryLlewelyn Powys was a novelist and essayist, and was the youngest of the three Powys writers, born on 13th August 1884 at Rothesay House in Dorchester, the eighth child of the eleven children born to Reverend C.F. Powys and his wife Mary Cowper Johnson. He received his education at Sherbourne School, then at Corpus Christi College, however he did not excel academically, having to re-sit the finals for his BA. After leaving Cambridge, Powys became a schoolmaster at Broadstairs, then at Bromsgrove, before becoming a private tutor to a family in Wiltshire in 1908. His brother John then arranged for him to visit America in 1908 to lecture on English poets and some American writers, however he soon returned to England and in 1909 became a school teacher in England again, this time at Sherbourne Preparatory school.

In December of 1909, Powys was sent to Clavadel sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland for 16 months after he suffered a haemorrhage caused by tuberculosis that November, giving him the time to work on his writing skills. He returned home to recover, and although a return to Switzerland in 1912 resulted in another haemorrhage, he recovered enough to return home in March. In 1914, he travelled to South Africa to his brother’s farm, and as his brother went to join the army, Powys stayed to manage the farm for the duration of the First World War. Powys was married to Alyse Gregory in 1924 and they travelled extensively together and despite a brief affair with Gamel Woolsey, he stayed with her until his death.

His first published writing was a piece titled ‘Death’ in the ‘New Age’ paper in 1913 – the first of many vignettes and stories he had been working on since 1912 to be published. In 1916 ‘Confessions of Two Brothers’, written with his brother (John) was published. Powys then travelled to America where he earned himself a reputation with his journalism, and writing periodicals and book reviews. Powys’s first book ‘Ebony and Ivory’ (1923) was then published.

His work was heavily influenced by his travels with Gregory, and several of his works discuss his views on religion, and the tenets of Christianity which he rejected and many of his later essays and articles were on the subject of the countryside, literary subjects and rationalist thinking. He is considered to be the least recognised of the three brothers, and is said to have been the most cheerful of the brothers. Llewelyn Powys and his wife returned to Switzerland in a bid to save his health in 1936. He died on 2nd December 1939 in Clavadel from a burst ulcer and was cremated in Davos, and then his ashes were brought back to Dorset after the Second World War and buried near Chydyok where he and his wife had lived from 1931 to 1936.

Numbered among what are considered to be Llewelyn Powys’s major works are: ‘Thirteen Worthies’ (1923), ‘Black Laughter’ (1924), ‘Skin for Skin’ (1925), ‘The Verdict of Bridlegoose’ (1926), ‘Henry Hudson’ (1927), ‘The Cradle of God’ (1929), ‘The Pathetic Fallacy’ (1930), ‘Apples Be Ripe’ (1930), ‘A Pagan’s Pilgrimage’ (1931), ‘Impassioned Clay’ (1931), ‘Glory of Life’ (1934), ‘Earth Memories’ (1934), ‘Damnable Opinions’ (1935), ‘Dorset Essays’ (1935), ‘The Twelve Months’ (1936), ‘Rats in the Sacristy’ (1937), ‘Somerset Essays’ (1937), ‘Love and Death’ (1939), ‘A Baker’s Dozen’ (1939), ‘Swiss Essays’ (1947).
FormatVarious formats
Access StatusOpen
Creator_NamePowys; Llewelyn (1884-1939); novelist and essayist
London; The Powys Society (1967-)
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