The prolific Powyses
As a postscript to my piece on the eccentric novelist T. F. Powys, I suppose I'd better acknowledge that this Powys, the one whose work I admire the most, isn't the only one among his many brothers and sisters, who grew up in the late nineteenth century but didn't come to any great literary prominence until the 1920s. Aficionados sometimes liken them to the Brontës, but that suggests only three or four writers in a single generation, whereas "TFP" had ten siblings in total, and most of them scribbled at one time or another:
There was John Cowper Powys (long-lived and prolific), Llewelyn Powys (whose African essays were republished last year), Philippa Powys (who struggled to achieve much in her day but has been more recently rediscovered), Littleton Powys (sometime headmaster of Sherborne School, whose memoir The Joy of It has to be mentioned if only as an excuse to mention the fine title of its sequel: Still the Joy of It . . .), Marian Powys (who wrote an authoritative book on lace-making), and A. R. Powys (who wrote on church architecture).
Of the others in this large family, one died young ("a delicate, talented girl, full of poetic fancies", according to Morine Krissdóttir's biography of "JCP"); two of the others painted. I am hopeful that the eleventh remaining Powys, Lucy, didn't do anything at all. But this is not to mention the extended family and the wide circle of friends and acquaintances . . . .