1905–2000, English novelist. A distinguished writer of social comedy, he is best known for his 12-volume novel sequence collectively entitled A Dance to the Music of Time,
a detailed yet panoramic study of changes in the snobbish, insular world of the English upper and middle classes from World War I to the 1960s. Novels in the series include A Question of Upbringing
(1951), The Acceptance World
(1955), Casanova's Chinese Restaurant
(1960), The Valley of Bones
(1964), The Military Philosophers
(1969), Books Do Furnish a Room
(1971), and Hearing Secret Harmonies
(1975). Powell's other novels include Afternoon Men
(1931), From a View to a Death
(1933), and The Fisher King
(1986). He was also the author of a study of John Aubrey (1948), four volumes of memoirs (1976–82; abr. ed. To Keep the Ball Rolling,
2001), Journals, 1982–92
(3 vol., 1995–97), two collections of essays on writing (1990; 1991, rev. ed. 1994), and two plays (1972).
See biographies by N. F. Brennan (rev. ed. 1995) and M. Barber (2004); studies by R. K. Morris (1968), B. Bergonzi (rev. ed. 1971), J. Tucker (1976), H. Spurling (1978), N. McEwan (1991), R. L. Selig (1991), and N. Birns (2004); bibliography ed. by G. P. Lilley (1993).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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