Skip to main content

The Papers of John Cowper Powys

Reference Code: GBR/0014/JCPS

Scope and Contents

Papers comprising a copy typescript of "Porius", a typescript of a dramatisation of Dostoevsky's "The Idiot", and a press cuttings album.


  • Creation: 1930 - 1963

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

John Cowper Powys was born in Shirley, Derbyshire, 8 October 1872, the son of Charles Francis Powys and Mary Cowper Johnson. He was educated at Sherborne School and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He married Margaret Alice Lyon in 1896 (died 1947), with whom he had one son.

He was a teacher and a lecturer, touring Britain, Europe and the United States. He settled in the United States, 1904-34, making his home with his companion, Phyllis Plater, near Albany in upstate New York, 1930-4. He became a full-time writer and returned to Britain in 1934, living in Blaenau Festiniog, North Wales, 1935-63. He made his name as a poet and essayist and later produced novels and some works of philosophy. He died on 17 June 1963.

His publications include: "Poems" (1899); "Wood and Stone" (1915); "Visions and Revisions" (1915); "Rodmoor" (1916); "Wolf's-Bane. Rhymes" (1916); "Suspended Judgements" (1916); (with Llewelyn Powys) "Confessions of Two Brothers" (1916); "Mandragora" (1917); "The Complex Vision" (1920); "Samphire" (1922); "Psychoanalysis and Morality" (1923); "The Religion of a Sceptic" (1925); "Ducdame" (1925); "Wolf Solent" (1929); "The Meaning of Culture" (1929); "In Defence of Sensuality" (1930); "Dorothy M. Richardson" (1931); "A Glastonbury Romance" (1933); "A Philosophy of Solitude" (1933); "John Cowper Powys: Autobiography" (1934); "Weymouth Sands" (1934) published in Britain as "Jobber Skald" (1935); "The Art of Happiness" (1935); "Maiden Castle" (1936); "Morwyn" (1937); "The Pleasures of Literature" (1938); "Owen Glendower" (1940); "Mortal Strife" (1941); "The Art of Growing Old" (1943); "Dostoievsky" (1946); "Rabelais" (1947); "Porius" (1951); "The Inmates" (1952); "In Spite Of" (1953); "Atlantis" (1954); "The Brazen Head" (1956); "Lucifer: a Narrative Poem" (1956); "Up and Out" (1957); "Letters to L. U. Wilkinson" (1957); "Homer and Æther" (1959); and "All or Nothing" (1960).


2 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of this catalogue are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by James D. Watson, 1968, and by Peter Powys Grey (via Charles Lock), 1979.


This collection level description and catalogue was prepared by Sophie Bridges, May 2004. Information was obtained from "Who Was Who 1897-1996" (A and C Black).

Date information

DateText: undated, 1930-63.


Powys, John Cowper, 1872-1963, writer

2003-10-08 10:34:11+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087