John Cowper Powys


Born
in Shirley, Derbyshire, The United Kingdom
October 08, 1872

Died
June 17, 1963

Genre


Powys was born in Shirley, Derbyshire, where his father was vicar. His mother was descended from the poet William Cowper, hence his middle name. His two younger brothers, Llewelyn Powys and Theodore Francis Powys, also became well-known writers. Other brothers and sisters also became prominent in the arts.

John studied at Sherborne School and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and became a teacher and lecturer; as lecturer, he worked first in England, then in continental Europe and finally in the USA, where he lived in the years 1904-1934. While in the United States, his work was championed by author Theodore Dreiser. He engaged in public debate with Bertrand Russell and the philosopher and historian Will Durant: he was called for the defen
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“One needs no strange spiritual faith to worship the earth.”
John Cowper Powys

“To read great books does not mean one becomes ‘bookish’; it means that something of the terrible insight of Dostoyevsky, of the richly-charged imagination of Shakespeare, of the luminous wisdom of Goethe, actually passes into the personality of the reader; so that in contact with the chaos of ordinary life certain free and flowing outlines emerge, like the forms of some classic picture, endowing both people and things with a grandeur beyond what is visible to the superficial glance.”
John Cowper Powys

“It is strange how few people make more than a casual cult of enjoying Nature. And yet the earth is actually and literally the mother of us all. One needs no strange spiritual faith to worship the earth.”
John Cowper Powys, A Glastonbury Romance

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