The English author Anthony Dymoke Powell was born in London on 21 December 1905. He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford where he met several other young writers and artists including Evelyn Waugh, Henry Green, John Betjeman, Graham Greene and Osbert Lancaster. Prior to World War II he worked in publishing and as a film-script writer, before becoming a full-time novelist and literary critic.
Powell is probably best known for his twelve-volume novel sequence A Dance to the Music of Time (usually just referred to as Dance). He wrote a further seven other novels, a biography of the seventeenth-century diarist John Aubrey and two plays.
Powell (pronounced Po-ell, by the way) was also a prolific literary critic and book reviewer for a number of periodicals including the Daily Telegraph, Times Literary Supplement, Punch and The Spectator. He published four volumes of memoirs, three volumes of diaries and three volumes (one posthumously) of his selected literary criticism.
On top of all his writing, Powell was an accomplished genealogist, publishing almost 40 papers on Welsh genealogy, and was in later years a Vice-President of the Society of Genealogists.
He was made a CBE in 1956 and a Companion of Honour in 1988. Powell was married (in December 1934) to the author Lady Violet Pakenham; they had two sons. He died peacefully on 28 March 2000 at his Somerset home.
It is possible to purchase these books through the Anthony Powell Society’s online shop: