11 October 2017

Anthony Powell Biography

Obviously we are delighted that Hilary Spurling's long-awaited biography of Anthony Powell was released in the UK by Penguin Random House on 5 October.

The book can be ordered from Amazon UK or from any good bookseller.

Hilary Spurling is one of our leading biographers and as a friend of Powell's (and his choice of biographer) it is hardly surprising she has produced an enthralling and splendid volume: interesting and very readable with something fascinating on almost every page.

The vast majority of the reviews have been extremely complimentary – and in my judgement quite rightly so. For those who want to catch up on the reviews here's a list of those of which we are aware. [Note that some of these are hidden behind a paywall.]
  • Hilary Spurling has herself written about the biography in the Times on 23 September.
  • John Carey in the Sunday Times on 24 September.
  • Claire Messud in the Guardian on 28 September.
  • Lara Feigel in the Financial Times on 29 September.
  • Philip Hensher in the Spectator on 30 September.
  • Laura Freeman in the October issue of Standpoint magazine.
  • Jeremy Treglown in the October issue of Literary Review.
  • Robert McCrum in the Observer on 1 October.
  • A parody review in Private Eye on 6 October (not online).
  • DJ Taylor in the Times on 7 October (not online).
  • Craig Brown in the Daily Mail on 7 October.
  • Nicholas Shakespeare in the Daily Telegraph on 7 October (not online).
  • Lucy Hughes-Hallett in New Statesman on 8 October.
  • Kieran Fagan in th Irish Times on 14 October.
  • Selina Hastings in the November issue of The Oldie.
We'll try to update this list as we encounter further reviews.

Meanwhile if you're an Anthony Powell fan go and by the biography!

Updated 13/10/2017, Keith Marshall
Updated 14/10/2017, Keith Marshall
Updated 15/10/2017, Keith Marshall

15 August 2017

Anthony Powell Lecture: Alexander Waugh, 6 December

We are pleased to announce …

Anthony Powell Lecture

Wavian Reactions to Anthony Powell

to be given by Alexander Waugh

Wednesday 6 December 2017, 1830 for 1900 hrs

The Travellers Club, 106 Pall Mall, London SW1

Tickets: £13 are available via the Society’s online shop or email the Hon. Secretary
The ticket price includes a glass of wine before the lecture, from 1830 hrs
Travellers Club members should book through the Club
All orders will be acknowledged and tickets will be mailed out in early November

Alexander Waugh has worked as an opera critic and written books on classical music and opera as well as co-writing a musical (Bon Voyage!) with his brother Nathaniel. His other publications include Fathers and Sons (2004), an inter-generational portrait of his own family, which formed the basis of a BBC4 documentary in 2005. He is General Editor of his grandfather Evelyn Waugh’s Complete Works, a scholarly collaboration between the University of Leicester and Oxford University Press currently expected to run to 43 volumes.
In his talk he will trace the relationship of Anthony Powell with Evelyn Waugh, Waugh’s brother-in-law Alick Dru and Waugh's heirs and assigns, particularly Auberon Waugh.

Attendees are asked to respect the Club’s dress code: jacket and tie for gentlemen (equivalent for ladies), no sportswear, trainers or denim

14 August 2017

Anthony Powell Society: Hilary Spurling Lecture

We are pleased to announce …

In the Footsteps of Anthony Powell
A lecture by Anthony Powell’s biographer Hilary Spurling

Saturday 28 October 2017, 1500 hrs

The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1

Tickets: £10 may be booked via Eventbrite at https://anthonypowell.eventbrite.co.uk or by calling the Wallace Collection on 020 7563 9551. Please note: tickets are NOT available from the Society!

Hilary Spurling has said of herself: “I write biographies because I am fascinated by people – by their infinite resourcefulness, by their mystery and power, by the strange patterns their lives make – and because they give me better plots than any novel I could invent.” To her masterly studies of English novelists and the French painter Henri Matisse she has now added Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time, which is being published in October. In her talk she will reflect on her pursuit of an often elusive subject, placing Powell’s life firmly in the context of his celebrated twelve-volume sequence A Dance to the Music of Time.

Hilary Spurling will be signing copies of her biography, Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time, after the lecture. We hope the book will be on sale in the Wallace Collection shop.

The Wallace Collection restaurant will be open before the lecture for lunch and afterwards for afternoon tea – but you MUST book a table (phone 020 7563 9505) as Saturday is very busy.

For further details of the lecture please email secretary@anthonypowell.org.


Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time by Hilary Spurling is due out on 5 October 2017 from Hamish Hamilton at £25 (ISBN 9780241143834)

17 July 2017

York 2016 Conference Proceedings

The Anthony Powell Society publication of the Proceedings of the 2016 Anthony Powell Conference at King's Manor, York is now available. The 200-page paperback volume contains most of the papers from the conference, including:


  • The Dance to Come: Powell and the Victorians by John Bowen
  • 'Ever More Congenial' – AP and the Essence of Mr WS by Colin Donald
  • Literary Lampoons and Chronological Knots by Bruce Fleming
  • Adultery in 'A Dance to the Music of Time' and in 'The Great Gatsby' by Steve Loveman
  • Shocking! Powell on Sade by Didier Girard
  • Narration, Character and Time in Anthony Powell’s Dance by David Martin Jones and Lana Starkey
  • The Group Novel: Waugh's 'Vile Bodies', Powell's 'Afternoon Men', and Green's 'Party Going' by Yuexi Liu
  • Finding Powell’s Voice: The Kind of Immortality Most Authors Want by Robin Bynoe
  • Punching Authors: The Novelist as Critic and Parodist by Peter Kislinger
  • Jenkins as Horatio as Hamlet by Nicholas Birns
Copies may be ordered from the Society’s online shop; prices (which include shipping) are: UK Society Members £8; Overseas Society Members £14; UK Non-Members £10; Overseas Non-Members £16.

18 March 2017

AP Society Newsletter #66

The Spring 2017 issue of the Anthony Powell Society Newsletter (#66) was recently sent out to. For the benefit of those who are not members, but who we might entice to join the Society, this 40-page issue contains, inter alia:
  • Powell as Critic: Format and Form by Nicholas Birns
  • You Don’t Find Trollope Easy to Read? by Stephen Hoare
  • The Leopard, Another Favourite of Anthony Powell by Michael Jay
  • James Stourton; Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilisation reviewed by Michael Barber
  • My First Time by Keith Marshall
  • Uncle Giles’ Corner: When May Knitwear be Worn?
  • Mrs Widmerpool’s Wartime Recipe Book
  • Christmas Competition 2016: Pamela’s Memoirs by Robin Bynoe
  • 2016 AGM Minutes Supplement
Plus the usual editorials; Society news, events & local group news.