J. C. Powys (1872 – 1963)
John Cowper Powys was a prolific novelist, essayist, letter writer, poet and philosopher, and a writer of enormous scope, complexity, profundity and humour. A powerful orator, he spent over thirty years as an itinerant lecturer in the United States, during which time he wrote his first four novels. In 1930 he retired to up-state New York and turned to full-time writing: it was here that he produced such masterpieces as his Autobiography, A Glastonbury Romance and Weymouth Sands. He returned to Great Britain in 1934, settling in North Wales in 1935, where he wrote the historical novels Owen Glendower and Porius, the critical studies of Rabelais and Dostoevsky, and The Brazen Head and other inventive fantasies. Other notable novels are Wolf Solent and Maiden Castle: all of them are rich in characterisation, psychological analysis and evocation of place. The Pleasures of Literature demonstrates the breadth of his literary interests, The Meaning of Culture and In Defence of Sensuality the immediacy of his thought.
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