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T. F. Powys (Theodore Francis Powys) Biography

(1875–1953), (Theodore Francis Powys), An Interpretation of Genesis, Soliloquies of a Hermit, The Left Leg

British novelist, born at Shirley in Derbyshire, the brother of John Cowper and Llewelyn Powys, educated at Sherborne School. Much of his fiction draws on the social and natural characters of his surroundings at East Chaldon, Dorset, where he lived from 1904 to 1940. A deeply religious sensibility pervades his writing; his idiosyncratic metaphysical views are outlined in An Interpretation of Genesis (1907) and Soliloquies of a Hermit (1917). The Left Leg, his first collection of stories, appeared in 1923. The rich simplicity of his style, which suggests the influence of Bunyan, is highly appropriate to the function of many of his narratives as parables of the human capacities for good and evil. Mr Weston's Good Wine (1927), widely regarded as his finest achievement, forms an allegorical meditation on the nature and purposes of God, manifest as the travelling wine-salesman named in the title. Its fundamentally affirmative vision has its counterpart in the disquieting bleakness of Unclay (1931), the most notable of his other novels. During his lifetime he published eight collections of stories and eight novels, which also include Mr Tasker's Gods (1925), Kindness in a Corner (1930), perhaps his most purely comic work, and the late short stories of God's Eyes a-Twinkle (1947). Among his posthumously published works are The Strong Wooer (1970) and Father Adam (1990). H. Coombes's critical and biographical study T. F. Powys appeared in 1960.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog to Rabbit Tetralogy