Finding Aids
printer friendly version

John Cowper Powys Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Powys, John Cowper, 1872-1963.
Title: John Cowper Powys Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1890-1972
Quantity: 3.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the British novelist, poet, author. Collection includes correspondence (1927-1965); manuscript notebooks containing holograph fragments of essays, novels, plays, poems, prefaces (1890-1966); and memorabilia including clippings, pamphlets, and a Powys family photograph album. Correspondents include Graham Ackroyd, Fred Bason, Norman Denny, Lucile Grebenc, Warren Penn Kime, George L. Lewin, Laurence Pollack, Dorothy M. Richardson, Asta Fleming Sullivan, Sven-Erik Tāckmark, and Clifford Tolchard.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

John Cowper Powys (1872-1963) was an English essayist, novelist and poet.

Powys was born in Shirley, Derbyshire, England, on October 8, 1872. He received his education at Sherborne Preparatory School and later at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he earned his degreee in history.In 1896 and 1899, Powys published two volumes of poetry, Odes and Other Poems and Poems, respectively. Then, for several years he was primarily occupied with lecturing, first for the Oxford and Cambridge Extension, for whom he gave his first American lecture in 1910, and later on his own.

In 1915 his first novel, Wood and Stone, appeared. Two years later, his third volume of poetry, Mandragora, was published in America, followed by Samphire in 1922. From that point on his prolific output of essays, novels and poems continued until 1980, his eighty-eighth year.

John Cowper Powys married Margaret Alice Lyon on April 9, 1898, and they had one child, a son. Powys died June 17, 1963.

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Cowper Powys Papers consist of correspondence, writings and memorabilia. The materials date from 1890-1972.

Correspondence from the early years is that from Powys to others, while later correspondence is to and from others discussing Powys. An index to the correspondence appears at the end of this finding aid.

Writings consists primarily of unpublished fragments and notebooks of essays, novels, plays, poems, and prefaces. Also included here are Powys' letters compiled by Penn Kime in book form, and a typescript of Llewelyn Powys' Swiss Essays.

Memorabilia contains newspaper clippings, two published pamphlets on John Cowper Powys and the Powys family, and a Powys family photograph album.

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically; undated items are at the end, arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Writings are arranged first by type and then by title.

Return to top

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Return to top

Related Material

Other John Cowper Powys letters exist in the Eric Wilson Barker Papers and the Edmund B. Chaffee Papers, and in the papers of Professor A. E. Johnson in the Syracuse University Archives.

Return to top

Subject Headings

Persons

Ackroyd, Graham.
Bason, Frederick T.
Denny, Norman, 1901-
Grebenc, Lucile.
Kime, Warren Penn, 1919-
Lewin, George L.
Pollock, Laurence.
Powys, John Cowper, 1872-1963.
Richardson, Dorothy Miller, 1873-1957.
Sullivan, Asta Fleming.
Tackmark, Sven-Erik, 1916-
Tolchard, Clifford, 1908-

Subjects

Authors, English.
English literature, 20th century.
Novelists, English.
Poets, English.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Correspondence.
Essays.
Notebooks.
Photograph albums.
Poems.
Scripts (documents)

Occupations

Authors.
Novelists.
Poets.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Cowper Powys Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Marian Powys Grey, 1964 and purchase, 1962-1973.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: BEB
Date: 31 Oct 1973
Revision history: 3 Oct 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC); 5 Jan 2017 - fixed index code (MRC)

Return to top

Inventory

Correspondence
Box 1 [General] 1927-1965, undated
Writings
Books
Box 2 Autobiography 1934 - fragment, holograph
Box 2 In Spite Of 1953 - fragment, holograph, chapter 1, typescript carbon revised
Box 2 Mortal Strife 1943 - Chapters 1-5, typescript carbon revised
Box 2 Morwyn 1937 - fragment, holograph
Box 2 Owen Glendower 1940 - fragment, holograph; chapters 1-6 and 8, typescript carbon revised
Box 2 Untitled [early novel] c.1894 - fragment, holograph
Box 2 Untitled [the life of a street girl] c.1900 - notebook, holograph
Box 2 Untitled c.1904 - two notebooks, holograph
Box 3 Weymouth Sands 1934 - fragment, holograph
Box 3 Wolf Solent 1929 - fragment, holograph; chapters 19-24, holograph
Essays
Box 3 "The Inhumanity of Liberal Protestantism" undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 "The New Paganism" c.1910 - notebook, holograph
Box 3 On America undated - fragment and notes, holograph
Box 3 On being happy with a woman undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 On contemplating life and death undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 On Dorchester undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 On Dostoievski undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 On "The Ichthian Act" undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 On Mr. James Flanders at Wealden undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 On the purpose of life undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 On Several Subjects – and From Several Points of View circa 1894 - notebook, holograph
Box 3 On two sisters – Fanny and Lubie Howard undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 On vivisection and fascism undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 What I expect from Life undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 What is Happiness undated - fragment, holograph
Box 3 Unidentified fragment undated - holograph
Plays
Box 4 The Idiot 1922 - Acts I-IV, holograph and typescript carbon
Box 4 With Love Away, and other unpublished fragments and poems circa 1894 - 3 notebooks
Box 4 Transcription by Paul Roberts 1993
Box 5 Untitled c.1894 (five notebooks, holograph)
Poetry
Box 5 Burpham Journals circa 1909, circa 1919 (2 notebooks)
Box 5, 6 Cambridge and Southwick Journals circa 1890-96 (9 notebooks)
Box 6 Samphire circa 1912, circa 1922 - notebook, published material
Prefaces
Box 6 To the May Chesshire Letters circa 1935 - fragment, holograph
Box 6 To Stern circa 1948 - fragments, unpublished holograph, typescript carbon
Miscellaneous
Box 6 Letters from a Modern Welsh Merlin to Penn Kime 1964 - ts.
Box 6 Swiss Essays by Llewelyn Powys, 1947 - typescript carbon
Memorabilia
Box 6 Newspaper clippings, and autograph 1955-1972
Box 6 Philobiblon, published by Colgate Univ. Press 1966
Oversize 1 Photograph album, Powys family
Box 6 The Powys Family, by Littleton circa Powys 1952
Box 6 Copy negatives from photograph album (not all-inclusive)

Return to top

Selected index to correspondence

  • Ackroyd, Graham : 1950 May 13; 1950 May 23; 1950 May 29; 1952 Feb 2; 1952 Apr 19
  • Armer, — : [c.1925]
  • Bason, Fred : 1955 Jan 18; 1955 Feb 2
  • Cate, Garth : 1959 Jun 1
  • Curtis (Mrs.) : 1951 Oct 7
  • Denny, Norman : 1946 Mar 3 ; 1946 Apr 27 ; 1946 Jun 11; 1946 Jun 25 ; 1946 Jul 28 ; 1946 Sep 3 ; 1946 Sep 10 ; 1946 Sep 12 ; 1946 Oct 10 ; 1946 Nov 5 ; 1946 Dec 16 ; 1947 Feb 27 ; 1947 May 8 ; 1947 Jun 18 ; 1947 Dec 21 ; 1949 Sep 6 ; 1949 Oct 6 ; 1949 Oct 11 ; 1949 Nov 25 ; 1949 Nov 28 ; 1949 Dec 4 (to JCP); 1949 Dec 5 ; 1949 Dec 7 ; 1949 Dec 26 & 27; 1949 Dec 29 ; 1950 Jan 9 ; 1950 Jan 23 ; 1950 Jan 26 ; 1950 Mar 23 ; 1950 Mar 28 ; 1950 Mar 30 ; 1950 Apr 1; 1950 Jun 6
  • Grebenc, Lucille : 1935 [Mar 25]; 1938 Jun 19 ; 1938 Jun 20 ; 1938 Aug 31; 1939 [Jan 6] ; 1939 Apr 29 ; 1939 May 13 ; 1939 May 31 ; 1939 Jul 3 ; 1939 Jul 6 ; 1939 Jul 8
  • Grey, Marion Powys : 1947 Oct 7 (from Eleanor Burke)
  • Harker, Brian : 1957 Apr 17 ; 1957 May 29
  • Irvine, — : 1954 Nov 1
  • Kime, W. Penn Jr. : 1943 Feb 5; 1948 Mar 2; 1948 Aug 10 (from Theodore Powys); 1948 Dec 5 (from Theodore Powys); 1948 Dec 13; 1949 Jan 21; 1949 Feb 23; 1949 Feb 28; 1949 Apr 14 ; 1949 May 13; 1949 [Oct 18]; 1949 Dec 6; 1949 Dec 20-21; 1950 Jan 17 ; 1950 Feb 15; 1950 Mar 25 ; 1950 Mar 30 ; 1950 May 9; 1950 Jun 25 ; 1950 Aug 15 ; 1950 Sep 29 ; 1950 Oct 18 ; 1950 Dec 19; 1951 Jan 23 ; 1951 Feb 15 ; 1951 Mar 29; 1951 Apr 21 - 22; 1951 Jun 10; 1951 Oct 6; 1951 [Dec 10]; 1952 Jan 24 ; 1952 Jan 30 ; 1952 Feb 15 ; 1952 Apr 13 ; 1952 Apr 24 ; 1952 Jun 4 ; 1952 Aug 19 ; 1952 Oct 26; 1953 Jan 9; 1953 Mar 25 ; 1953 Jun 25 ; 1953 Sep 25 ; 1953 [Nov 10]; 1954 Jan 28 ; 1954 Apr 30 ; 1954 [Jul 6] ; 1954 Aug 31 ; 1954 Oct 6 ; 1954 Nov 23; 1955 Mar 29 ; 1955 Jul 8 ; 1955 Sep 13 ; 1955 Dec 13; 1956 Mar 24 ; 1956 Jul 28 ; 1956 Aug 2; 1956 Sep 13 ; 1956 Dec 14; 1957 Jan 7 ; 1957 Jul 18 ; 1957 Dec 6. ; 1957 [Dec 27]; 1958 Jun 21 ; 1959 May 16
  • Langfeld, — : undated
  • Lewin, George L. : 1939 Dec 27; 1940 Mar 20; 1940 May 23; 1940 Jun 9; 1940 Oct 18; 1940 Oct 31; 1940 Nov 23; 1940 Dec 14; 1940 Dec 22; 1941 Jan 19; 1941 Jan 25; 1941 Feb 8 ; 1941 Mar 3 ; 1941 May 27; 1941 May 29; 1941 Jul 11; 1941 Aug 10; 1941 Oct 10; 1941 Nov 30; 1941 Dec 3; 1941 Dec 10; 1942 Feb 2; 1942 Mar 3; 1942 Apr 6; 1942 May 29; 1943 Mar 15; 1943 Mar 23; 1943 Apr 20; 1943 May 5; 1943 May 17; 1943 Jun 7; 1943 Jun 23; 1943 Jul 15; 1943 Jul 30; 1943 Aug 10; 1943 Sep 30; 1943 Oct 22; 1943 Nov 6; 1943 Dec 22; 1943 Dec 30; 1944 Jan 17; 1944 Mar 7; 1944 Mar 22; 1944 Apr 21; 1944 Jun 26; 1944 Sep 6; 1944 Nov 6; 1944 Nov 12; 1944 Nov 27; 1944 Dec 1; 1944 Dec 11; 1944 Dec 21; 1945 Jan 17; 1945 Jan 29; 1945 Feb 4; 1945 Feb 11; 1945 Feb 25; 1945 Mar 15; 1945 Apr 20; 1945 May 27; 1945 Jun 25; 1945 July 21; 1945 Nov 24; 1945 Dec 20; 1945 Dec 23; 1946 Jan 16; 1946 Feb 22; 1946 Mar 23; 1946 Apr 12; 1946 Apr 16; 1946 Aug 27; 1947 Jan 25; 1947 Jan 27; 1947 Apr 8; 1947 Oct 8; 1947 Dec 2; 1947 Dec 9; 1947 Dec 22; 1948 Feb 20; 1948 Mar 16; 1948 Mar 30; 1948 Apr 6-7; 1948 Apr 30; 1948 May 12; 1948 Jul 2; 1948 Jul 29; 1948 Jul 31; 1948 Aug 17; 1948 Aug 31; 1948 Oct 7; 1948 Oct 13; 1948 Oct 21; 1948 Nov 16; 1948 Nov 24; 1948 Dec 16; 1949 Jan 3; 1949 Feb 22; 1949 May 2 ; 1949 May 7; 1949 Jun 17; 1949 Jun 22; 1949 Oct 6; 1949 Nov 30; 1950 May 22; 1950 Oct 8; 1950 Nov 11; 1950 Nov 15; 1950 Nov 18; 1950 Nov 23; 1950 Nov 30; 1950 Dec 5; 1951 Oct 16; 1953 Sep 17 ; 1953 Oct 7 ; 1954 Jul 21; 1954 Jul 27; 1954 Sep 28; 1954 Oct 9; 1954 Nov 24; 1955 Apr 14 ; 1955 Apr 16 ; 1955 Apr 20 ; 1955 Jul 26 ; 1955 Oct 7; 1956 Mar 8; 1956 Apr 9; 1956 Jun 4; 1956 Jun 2-8; 1956 Jul 5; 1956 Jul 14; 1956 Aug 8; 1956 Aug 29; 1957 Mar 28; 1957 Jun 20; 1957 Jun 30; 1958 Jan 2; 1958 Mar 23; 1958 Jul 4; 1958 Nov 8; 1959 Feb 13; 1959 Feb 20; 1959 Mar 14; 1959 Apr 7; 1959 Apr 28; 1959 May 25; 1959 Jun 9; 1959 Jun 30; 1959 Aug 20; 1959 Oct 8; 1959 Nov 6; 1960 Jan 4; 1960 Mar 5; 1963 May 7 (commentary on meeting Powys); undated (from Powys to Lewin, 14 letters)
  • Lorring, Pierre : 1935 Oct 14
  • Markham, — : [c.1923] Dec 18
  • Milkman, Jerome : 1928 Oct 1 (from Theodore Powys) ; 1929 Jun 15 (from J.circa Powys)
  • Nichols, — : 1933 Oct 8
  • Odle, Rose Isserlis : 1956 Dec 19; 1957 May 31; 1957 Jul 20; [1962] Jan 15
  • Pettersson, Sven Eric : 1937 Oct 7; 1938 Jun 9; 1938 Jul 6; 1938 Sep 2; 1938 Oct 9; 1938 Nov 15; 1939 Apr 29; 1939 Aug 19; 1939 [Nov 14]; 1940 Mar 9; 1940 Oct 17; 1943 May 10; 1943 Aug 14
  • Pollinger, Laurence : 1945 Nov 14 (from M.L. Schuster)
  • Priestley, J.B. : 1965 Dec 20 (to Mrs Sullivan)
  • Ravenel, St. Julien (Mrs. Pamela) : 1935 Apr 27; 1937 Apr 19
  • Richardson, Dorothy M. (Mrs A. Odle) : 1953 Oct 14
  • Roberts, Lester : 1947 Jun 4
  • Russell, Oliver John : 1952, Jul 30
  • Schuster, Max Lincoln : 1945 Nov 2 (from Laurence Pollinger)
  • Stevens, — : 1938 Apr 23
  • Sullivan, Asta Fleming (Whiteside)(Case) : 1933 Apr; 1933 Apr 24; 1933 May 29; 1933 Jun 20; 1935 Feb 22; 1936 Dec; 1939 Feb 7; 1953 Oct 10; 1953 Nov 2; 1953 Dec 29 ; 1954 Jan 30; 1954 Mar 11; 1954 Mar 24 ; 1954 Apr 1 ; 1954 May 13; 1954 Jun 9; 1954 Oct 11; 1954 Nov 2; 1954 Dec 14; 1954 Dec 28; 1955 Apr 19; 1955 Mar 20; 1955 Apr 9; 1956 Aug 7; 1956 Sep 1; 1956 Oct 7; 1956 Oct 26; 1956 Nov 19; 1957 Jan 24; 1957 May 17; 1957 Aug 4; 1957 Nov 4; 1957 Dec 12; 1958 Jun 11; 1958 Aug 2; 1958 Aug 26; 1958 Sep 1; 1958 Sep 26; 1958 Oct 6; 1958 Nov 1; 1958 Dec 25; 1959 Jan 2; 1959 Feb 17; 1959 Apr 24; 1959 Jun 6; 1959 Jun 30; 1959 Jul 25; 1959 Aug 25; 1959 Oct 6; 1959 Dec 5; 1960 Jan 26; 1960 Mar 5; M1960 ar 23; 1961 ?; 1961 Apr 6; 1961 Jul 14; 1961 Nov 2; 1965 Dec 20 (from J.B. Priestley)
  • Tackmark, [Sven Eric] : 1946 May 30 (.from Louis Wilkinson); 1946 Jun 16 (from Louis Wilkinson); 1946 Jul 9 (from Louis Wilkinson); 1947 Feb 26 (from Louis Wilkinson)
  • Tolchard, Clifford : 1947 Jun 30 ; 1948 Dec 31; 1949 Apr 9 ; 1949 Dec 22 ; 1950 Mar 27 ; 1950 Jul 15; 1950 Oct 18 ; 1951 Mar 21 ; 1956 Jan 28 ; 1956 May 30 ; 1956 Dec 5 ; 1957 Jan 21 ; 1957 May 6 ; 1957 Jul 16 ; 1957 Oct 25 ; 1958 May 13 ; 1958 Jul 23 ; 1959 Mar 10 ; [c.1960] Apr 16; 1960 Jul 19
  • Unknown : [c.1925]; 1927 Mar 4
  • White, Katherine : 1929 Dec 18

Return to top