Here's an inscription from John Cowper Powys to poet Raymond Garlick I found in (of all places) a Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana) library copy of Powys's The Brazen Head.
1872: JCP born
1875: TFP born
1879: Rothesay House, South Walk, Dorchester
1884: LP born
1918: Mother dies
1918-23: Father retires to Greenhill Terrace, Weymouth (of him going to birthplace of Stalbridge--89)
From LP's auto The Joy of It, re Montacute and parents (7-8).
JCP at school in Sherborne; TFP to Aldeburgh, Suffolk, where later father bought him a farm (9).
One of few books at old Hardy's bedside: Visions and Revisions (15).
LP's Skin for Skin = "the most perfect autobiographical essay in English" (32).
JCP's def of culture in The War and Culture: Culture "is no smooth, placid, academic thing. It is no carefully arranged system of rules and theories. It is the passionate and imaginative instinct for things that are distinguished, heroic and rare. It is the subtilizing and deepening of the human spirit in the presence of the final mystery" (37).
Chaldon: TFP (Beth Car) c. 40 yrs; LP (Chydyok)14; JCP (Down Barn/Rat Barn) for a short time (51).
From JCP's "Knowledge": "The wild kite over the wold's edge knows / To what piteous end / All joy, all hope, all love, all wisdom, all desire / In swift procession tend-- / Yet none the less it soars and flashes free / Across the glaciers of eternity!" (59).
From JCP's The Secret of Self-Development: "Culture is simply the name we give to a premeditated and calculated response to the mystery of life when such a response is directed toward life as a whole rather than toward any practical end . . . . The most uneducate peasant or factory-hand, if he has developed an original and sensitive response to life, is in reality more cultivated in the truest sense of that term than many a college-bred professor" (65-66).
LP in Arizona desert imagining "William Blake walking here naked, holding high converse with Los" (68).
Little Blue Books of JCP published by E. Haldeman-Julius from Girard, KS (75).
TFP: movement/action, obj characters; JCP: slow, subj characters (107).
Early 30s: JCP at Phudd Bottom, Hillsdale, NY (naturalist/writer Alan Devoe then lived in house and would write about his life there).
LP and wife Alysse Gregory (who had been managing editor of The Dial) in winter 29-30 (interrupted by trip to West Indies) visited Millay/wrote some of Impassioned Clay in cottage, a substantial wood-frame house actually, a little downhill from main residence, at Steepletop. Millay would later visit East Chaldon. LP essay mentions sledge rides, reading of Malory, buckwheat honey and brown bread: "in the mountains above the small village of Austerlitz I know that I was given many chances of touching in time the flying wings of eternity. In the dead of winter on moonlit nights I used often to visit a ruined farmhouse. I would feel my way up the creaking narrow stairs, cross the floor of the upper room . . . and send my spirit out into the night. . ." (144-46).
4 Patchin Place, Greenwich Village: LP and AG had lived there, JCP did, later Cummings (152).
GR, JCP's "greatest novel," begun at Phudd Bottom April 1930 (156). Followed by WS and then Auto (177).
TFP: "if he had written 'The Tortoise and the Hare' he would probably have shown that the race is to the swift, but that it is better not to win" (163).
WS: characters make do with second best; MC: with nothing (191).
TFP to Mappowder in 1940, in house called "The Lodge," near the churchyard (211).
1934: JCP to Corwen, Wales
1955: Blaenau-ffestiniog, Wales
Philobiblon features JCP about time in New York state.
LP buried on Dorset downs near home
TFP in Mappowder churchyard
JCP cremated, scattered on water at Chesil Beach
BOOKS BY THEM
1. Llewelyn Powys. A Baker's Dozen. Intro by John Cowper Powys. London: John Lane The Bodley Head, 1941.
Intro: Lovers of humanity = lovers of the past; LP = "a heathen love for earth-life, just as it is, and for all the creatures of earth, just as they are" (13).
The New Year: different ways of celebrating; memories revived by steeple bells ringing in year.
The Village Shop (JCP's favorite): Deborah Sparkes's shop w/ two counters in middle of Bishopston, a main st of Montacute; parrot in garden in back.
The Memory of One Day: Lodging in Brunswick Terrace, Weymouth, when LP and brother caught whooping cough. Excursions to Portland Bill, Upwey Wishing Well, Swannery at Abbotsbury, White Nose.
Childhood Memories: Going from Chaldon Down to spend weeks at Brunswick Terrace. Memory of going to Weymouth in 1893, lodging at Invicta House, facing a square at bottom of st going steeply down from Waterloo Place.
Weymouth Harbor: romantic; winding its way to heart of town.
The Haymaking Months: "In Dorset, the grass is often mown down to the salt sea's edge, green against blue, so that on late mackerel evenings, fishermen laying lobster-pots on subaqueous rocky beds far out to sea can still smell the land of that lovely county. . . ."
Herring Gulls: a sound that can "shock the mind into a remembrance of the planet's long travail," many ages before us.
Tintinhull Memories: two miles from Montacute; very old church(yard); grassy lanes; tavern.
A Montacute Field: Field between Batemoor and Bagnel called Witcombe, where medieval hamlet existed; monks, Thomas Shoel, field-laborers have known the field.
The Harvest: growing of wheat comes from Syria, is ancient, is thus sacred; of Herrick following behind last wagon and his poem ("Drink, frollick, boyes, till all be blythe") reminding that animals must feast too. Regrets the fading of Harvest Home celebration. "Ambition, envy, avarice are the sneak-thieves of our hours. Because gold sparkles we must needs snap at the bait like so many jack-pike with chilled bellies clapped to the mud at a pond's bottom. Life is to be accepted and honoured upon its lowest terms. If we can sit undisturbed in the sun but one hour the drudgery of a whole day's work can be redeemed."
Buffalo Intruders: Africa. Buffalo among cattle all right for a while. Brother fires shot. The two buffalo fight each other. Close proximity makes them easy to shoot.
Montacute Hill: St. Michael's Mount above Montacute. Timber with large King-rookery. Timber cut. Now growing again.
A Somerset Christmas: At Montacute, children into dining room to wait for carolers; John Scott buried in churchyard, epitaph alluding to his drinking, two curt lines added: "And now, God wot, / He has got his lot." Of Christmas tree ready in school-room. How tree was almost unknown in England until Prince Albert, from Germany, introduced it.
1. From Llewelyn Powys. Llewelyn Powys: A Selection. Ed. Kenneth Hopkins. NY: Horizon, 1961. [Sections labeled "Autobiographical" and "Philosophical." Also "Memories of Thomas Hardy."]
LP owned Edward FitzGerald's shawl.
A Somerset Christmas (see above)
Out of the Past
Of father walking from Weymouth to Stalbridge, where he grew up.
A Struggle for Life
Of walking at least 10 miles a day for health around Montacute after return from Switz.
Of his "revolving shelter" east of Weymouth; of sleeping on New York rooftops.
A Sheepman's Diary
Place in Africa where English turned coast to golf course, but can't corrupt the sea.
Philistine conformity of existences in Durban.
Beauty of Montacute upon return.
The Rocky Mountains
With James S. Watson of The Dial in spring 1924.
Albert Reginald Powys
Sale of Hardy ms. allowed ARP to restore Winterbourne Tomson church.
Montacute: Of playing in plot of pear trees behind kitchen garden wall. Thinks of it when wants to "regain serenity."
From Impassioned Clay
Awe inspired by stars. "To be ever aware of the sun as he moves from horizon to horizon is a form of prayer to us who are ignorant of other Gods."
Change your life, with its goal of happiness, undeterred by worldly ambition. Much quoting of Lucretius.
From The Cradle of God
Jesus of Nazareth
Romans' materialism: focus on justice, great roads, spiritually vanquished by others, phallic signs ("ordered their pleasures wholesale without restraint or discrimination").
Few have put Jesus' teachings into practice in part because they are by nature impractical.
Says unpleasant people have locked him up in their churches.
Says his sayings mixed with misconceptions.
But LP just boldly states things about Jesus and Christianity, with no standard for deciding what is wise and what is misconceived: dismisses beneficent God, resurrection (if were true, divine intervention could alter circumstances whenever we wanted: really? why?) , life after death, end of world. And yet (minor point, I know) he capitalizes pronouns when referring to Jesus, and refers to spiritual realm.
Points to the irony of founding a religion on "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
The Grave of a God
Of going to Palestine to the Holy Sepulchre.
When I Consider Thy Heavens
History of studying and naming (and misfortune of not knowing names) the stars. Reassurance for wanderers of always seeing the constellations.
The Poetic Faith
Against Christianity for making us despise this world.
Against churches and priests, with worship not even in the open air.
Goal should be personal happiness, found in attention to simple things that modern world masks.
But he ends with how this happiness allows us to "touch for a moment the linnet wings of the eternal"-- Self-contradiction?
Memories of Thomas Hardy
Of how fitting H's cottage at Higher B. was.
Of JCP's ode addressed to (and sent to) H.
H and first wife visited Montacute.
LP visited H when was working on Dynasts.
Praises Hardy for signing letter petitioning for shortening of Wilde's sentence though W's manners so remote from H's. (Meredith would not sign it.)
LP arranged Clarence Darrow's visiting H.
When LP wrote of H's fanciful notions (shared in conversation) of a local Keats being related to John and John coming to West Country to see relatives, and Amy Lowell reading it and putting it in her bio of H, and second Mrs. H being upset.
Reconciliation with H. Visit to Mrs. H. after H's death.
2. T. F. Powys. Mr. Weston's Good Wine. 1928.
--Mr. Weston and Michael in Ford car w/ title on side sits before hotel in Maidenbridge on 11/20/23; later, will move on to Folly Down, the lanes of which form a cross with the church where the head of Jesus should be, and project its ad into sky, and Michael will talk about townspeople to whom they will try to sell their wine.
--Mrs. Vosper, who slept around early in life and is now jealous of the young, arranges for rape of Jenny Bunce, daughter of inn-keeper who is merry because he blames God for everything, but the sign in the sky distracts the boys.
--Tamar Grobe, daughter of rector, caused her mother's death when her card with a painted angel fell on tracks, she ran to get it, mother pushed her out of the way only to be hit by train herself. Now rector does not believe in God (but does preach His son).
--Mr. Vosper thinks of inn as paradise, where God may appear to show him how to load a hay wagon; talk there about whether Mr. Grunter (who believes end of the world is at hand because he heard Luke Bird say this to geese whom he tried unsuccessfully to baptize because he wanted geese in heaven) or God is to blame for maidens getting pregnant.
--Grandfather clock stops (chapter title: "Time Stops"), suggesting end of the world, but talk continues. Then Weston enters.
--Weston looks familiar to everyone, plus good omens and visions--e.g. Mr. Vosper feeling himself riding safely on load of hay that safely turns a dangerous corner.
--Mr. Grobe drinks wine (it stays full) that is where his Bible had been until he believes in god; later he drinks dark wine (death) which reunites him with his wife.
--Mr. Bunce visits Mr. Grobe, because Weston said to ask him who was getting girls pregnant. Later, Bunce says it was Weston.
--Tamar Grobe, wanting an angel, drinks wine and marries Michael; later she dies when lightning strikes oak tree Grunter cursed; is taken into heavens.
--Mr. Bunce says Luke Bird (who thinks animals, not people, have souls, until he sees Jenny) can marry Jenny Bunce if water in well turns to wine; Weston visits, read from his book (104th psalm), it does, he marries them.
--Grunter drinks wine, no longer wants to be known for sinning. Weston has Grunter open Ada Kiddle's grave, where he finds his lost boot. Later, sees Ada in sky as a star.
--Lion let loose from Weston's car scares Mumby boys and kills Mrs. Vosper; Weston chains it up again with small chain he bought at Woolworth's.
--Mr. Weston and Michael leaving. Drop match in gas tank, turning their enemy into fire, as they go up in smoke.
"Town children, as is well known, will watch anything, however ordinary and commonplace it be, and that for a very good reason, for a town child has always a lively hope in its heart that some extraordinary and uncommon beast--an ape, a dog-faced woman, or an armless man--may appear from a hidden corner when least expected, and provide the watchers with the sudden and brisk joy of a hasty flight."
"the clouds that had once travelled so swiftly round the world were now stopped dead and were hanging, a stupid, grey mass, over the town."
"The rich and prosperous, alas! are so often filled with so many expensive wines that, when they come to ours, they pretend that it tastes a little sour."
"Many have belied our good wine . . . and it is certainly strange that even those who should know my book the best have the poorest opinion of what we sell." (Weston)
When told that clock has stopped, "Mr. Weston smiled blandly, as though Time were nothing to him and Eternity his usual wear."
When Mrs. Grobe was alive, she would want to make love during Lent, saying God wouldn't mind: "You needn't be so afraid of Him; He isn't a goose." "I fear He is a goose," Mr. Grobe replies.
Mr. Grobe drinking wine: "he believed in God. He had but buried Him, a little too deeply perhaps, but in a very good and suitable grave--the heart of a man."
Weston to Grunter: "And so, if I am not mistaken, you only live to be talked about. . . ." Grunter: "That 'tis a mortal pity . . . that any woon should try to lead a good life, for when a man do do good, there bain't nothing more to be said."
3-4. John Cowper Powys. Autobiography. 1934. Hamilton, NY: Colgate UP, 1968.
1. Shirley / 2. Weymouth and Dorchester / 3. Prep. School / 4. Sherborne
18-visiting aged relative at Penn House, Brunswick Terrace, Weymouth / bow window of drawing-room facing Esplanade
28-to a real child, cheap (because imagination counts) and old (memory) toy is best; a medium to enter kingdom of heaven
36-encounters cruel people who aren't sadistic like him: they lack imagination; "sadism is . . . imaginatively aware"
42-when Rothesay House, Dorchester, was being built, lived to rear of Brunswick Terrace
48-father would walk 8 mi from Penn House to Rothesay House
83-"first public literary triumph": "A Voyage round my Chamber" (de Maistre)--wrote about family drawing-room
100-01-going with first walking stick to amphitheater in Dorchester
101-OCD stage-wanting to wash hands, have others open doors, washed handle of walking stick he named "Sacred"
104-Never fight against your madness.
117-Montacute: 11 children around mahogany dining-room table
119-Ally Sloper: cutting out pictures of your women: early lust, the opposite of indecency
120-always annoyed by men who turn lust into comedy
122-learned early the consolation of playing out a part for self, being both performer and audience
129-plum-colored Euclid very important (cps/cts Proust's madeleine): taught him could enjoy essences of life "in the scope of some negligible fragment of matter"
139-buying Ally Sloper at Weymouth Station
142-fearing others/wanting to be liked--combination of cold, analytical judgment and fear of conflict
145-at Penn House, shortly after learning the word, saying "Ennui--Sick-of-Everything!"
10. America [15 yrs, lecturing, 1902-17]
446-reading Dostoevsky: "the overpowering intimation that you do not have to go outside the mind in order to find God and the devil"
446-47-skepticism as, paradoxically, the attitude closest to being a saint
450-lectures admired by Dreiser, Masters, Darrow; met Vachel Lindsay and EAR
454-"deep superstitious mania for trying to make every living entity I encounter think more highly of itself (incl. animals, of praying for an enemy)
455-Catholics, Communists, and Jews liked his lectures best--all "intensely religious"
457-entering nerves of author he was lecturing on (not academic criticism)
462-could summon "Druidic hypnotism of speech" like Mr. Geard in GR
465-sympathy with Tertullian's "I believe because it's impossible"
469-76-"slot-machine girls" and burlesque shows
477-82-of asceticism (error) superseding nympholeptism
481-prefers American to French stage maybe because [in Puritan society] "evasive and delicate nuance entirely comprised of imaginative suggestion . . . liable to be destroyed in a moment by the bare truth [as in France]"
487-getting "anti-fashionable malevolence" from his father
487-88-"as my own idea of Paradise would be an eternal burlesque show from which all burlesque have been eliminated, so my idea of making people happy was to create for them an atmosphere from which all criticism was eliminated"
508ff-of "black race" in U.S. redeeming human race for him
509-dislike for modernistic religion with ethics replacing angels and First Cause replacing Christ
509-"the average American is essentially moral, but essentially irreligious"
510ff-some "queer paralysis" at Claypool Hotel, Indianapolis (continuing with him to Chicago)
511-looking in vain in U.S. cities for Henry James novels
517-walks in U.S. cities, learning to enjoy "the most dilapidated specimens of grass" etc.
518-"kindest aura" of memory around [of all places] Springfield, Ohio, walking from Bancroft Hotel to "cemetery by that pleasant river"
524-Dostoevsky as much greater than other novelists as Shakespeare is greater than other dramatists
527-"If I have any psychic power at all it is the power of melting God and Devil into One person, and then of letting this person loose and making Him run amok among moralists."
12. "There's a Mohawk in the Sky" [upstate NY, 1930-34]
608-friendship with Arthur Ficke (see Millay) led him upstate
609-Edna and Eugene "princely" but closer to LP than to JCP
614-15-4 yrs there happy, mostly free of vices (even sadistic thoughts mostly gone)
616-17-more like England (Shropshire/Derbyshire) than any other place in U.S.
622-can walk across fields without bothering neighbors, more so than in England [sounds more like England to me]
624-forgetting "exterior reputation" and seeing self as old, saintly and old, lecherous: connected to nature and thankful for the miracle of girls' legs
625-26-"sacred malice" which could call "Cowperism": assertion of identity against the too-human mask
628-in upstate NY, felt for first time the full swing of his personality
632ff-how spent day in NY
636ff-for past 2 or 3 years, no natural bowel movements!-enemas, which he prefers [a result, we know, of his diet]
-wrote lying down with board on knees, black spaniel Peter under couch
-of walking out, playing God, projecting spirits/angels over nature and to victims (this is like prayer, which given its age he thinks must have validity, but he isn't praying to)
-naming places--e.g. "Tintern Abbey" because the place is like hill-ridge near Montacute they named that
647-favorite before-breakfast walk 1/2 mile from house along river by edge of spinney (copse)
647ff-how he has changed
650-certain that astronomical universe is not all there is; uncertain about afterlife
650-willow near stream to which transfers troubles (his focus on symbol, ritual, to and past point of something like sacrament: as he says, outward sign of inward reality)
651-52-two great currents of his life: strengthening inmost identity / losing self in continuity of generations; the combination offers Power against which Evil fights [last words of the book] "a losing battle"