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The Brazen Head

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  3 reviews
In this panoramic novel of Friar Roger Bacon, John Cowper Powys displays his genius at its most fecund. First published in 1956, this novel, set in thirteenth-century Wessex, is an amalgam of all the qualities that make John Cowper Powys unique.

The love-story of Lil-Umbra and Raymond de Laon, and the quest of the Mongolian giant, Peleg, for Ghosta, the girl seen, loved, an
Paperback, 347 pages
Published 1978 by Picador (first published 1956)
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Bryn Hammond
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
After Porius, John Cowper Powys wrote three late novels, when he was aged 78-84 and had found a sympathetic publisher who exerted no control. The Inmates, set in a lunatic asylum; Atlantis, on Odysseus' voyage west in old age, but more about an insurrection against the Olympian order by a Chaos of individual life and the older divinities of giants, animals, women. Powys was always engaged in a fight against the scientific view of life - a prophet on behalf of what he called the magical view. Thi ...more
Anthony Peter
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm aware of the status that John Cowper Powys holds among some readers, and it may be that they would tell me I started with the wrong book. I found this hard to read, and though I hoped that by the end I would have found it rewarding, I didn't.

I had enjoyed a few years ago 'Mr Weston's Good Wine' by JCP's brother, and remember reading a few chapters of 'Wolf Solent' a very long time ago, and thought that this £1.75 bargain purchase would be a good place to start a beautiful relationship with J
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
not really sure what to make of this one. it has lots of jcp's usual obsessions and tendencies but it almost feels like he's exaggerating them to self parody, or least for humorous effect, which doesn't really work for me since i don't find him that funny. the plot sort of meanders around and it's never quite clear where it's all going, even after the end of the book. probably stay clear of this one unless you really want to read all his books or you're desperate to read a book featuring a horse ...more
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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

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“   "Time was," it said. "Time is," it said. "And time will—"
   But the burning meteor then fell upon it, and neither it nor what destroyed it was ever seen again.”
“It may well be that what gives to the wind along that Wessex coast its indescribable mixture of vague sorrow and wild obscure joy comes from its passing, on its unpredictable path, the floating hair of so many love-lorn maidens and the wild-tossed beards of so many desolate old men.” 0 likes
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