Anthony Powell

Anthony Powell is a British author of fictional novels. His full name is Anthony Dymoke Powell and his last name is pronounced ‘pole’ as opposed to ‘Pow-ell’.

Powell was born in Westminster, U.K., on December 21, 1905 and passed away on March 28, 2000. He was well recognized as being an author that focused on social comedy.

One of the works that he is most well known for is his fictional novel series of twelve volumes titled A Dance to the Music of Time. The series started out in 1951 with the release of the first novel, titled A Question of Upbringing. The series includes twelve novels and offer an intriguing and a detailed look into an entire world. Readers will get a panoramic view of the changes that go on when it comes to the middle and upper classes of England from the times of the first world war up to the nineteen sixties. It was adapted into a four part television mini-series in 1997.

His first fictional stand alone novel came out in 1931 and is titled Afternoon Men. He would follow that up in 1932 with Venusburg, in 1933 with A View to a Death, and five more novels all the way up to the publication of The Fisher King in 1986. He also authored a collection of poems titled Caledonia that was released in 1934.

Powell has also done a variety of work not just in novels alone. He has written two plays as well as two essay collections focused on writing. He also put out some journals as well as his memoirs in four volumes. In 1948 he wrote a study on John Aubrey. As a majorly known author, his greatest works have never failed to remain in print. His work has also been often the inspiration for dramatizations on television and radio. The Times newspaper decided to name the author to their list of the top fifty greatest British writers published since 1945 in 2008.

Powell has been praised for his work as well. Guardian compared him to Proust, saying that when it comes to his culture, he was a ‘great’ literary chronicler.

A Question of Upbringing is the debut novel in the Dance to the Music of Time fictional series by author Anthony Powell. This novel focuses on the journeys of four different men.

These are young men that are about to become men and although they are the same age, share very different personalities and traits. Jenkins is the name of the narrator, a young man that wants to become a writer someday. Templer is another, a young man but even though he is of a certain age he has already dove into passion and become a womanizer.

Then there’s the character of Stringham, a man that is aristocratic in status and fairly restless when it comes to life in general. There is also Widmerpool. This man is awkward to the point of there being no hope to recover it, but he also has a lot of ambition. Set in the times of the twenties and then the thirties, these men are about to have their lives changed forever.

As they transition into becoming adults, they also get initiated into the various worlds of society, art, business, and even sex. This is a fictional story that goes into the culture of England at the time, a country that is trying to hold onto the past and the traditions that it defines itself by despite the fact that time is marching on. Things change and no one can get in the way of that.

These four men are on a journey that is as much defined by who they are as the country and times that they live in. Want to find out what happens in this novel? Pick up the first book in this intriguing series by Powell to find out!

A Buyer’s Market is the second fictional novel in the Dance to the Music of Time series by Anthony Powell. This series is renowned for being one of the classic works written in the history of English literature. If you liked the first novel or want to check out something new, get your hands on this sequel and see what you think!

This story starts out focusing on the main character of Nick Jenkins. He’s a man that is trying to do everything that he can to put a foundation down for his life. He’s looking to establish himself after having graduated from university, and is now doing what he can to set up an existence for himself in the competitive and sometimes lonely city of London.

Further complicating this is a unique relationship with friends, some who come into his life and some who are gradually and slowly moving out of it. For example, Stringham has decided that he wants to get married and is taking that next big step with the woman that he loves. Templer has decided to get serious and is moving into the business world to forge his own way.

Meanwhile, their friend Widmerpool has not lost any of his arrogance or confidence in his own abilities. He’s decided to start up his own career working in law and may just make it yet. Nick at the same time decides to evolve into a new life. He’s meeting new people, being social, finding acquaintances, and pretty much going head first into the life of society.

This is a place where who you know and what people know of you is everything. It’s a place where there are debutante balls to announce women into society and visits to the country to get away from the busy nature of the city. However, he’s still growing up and has yet to have his first experience when it comes to true love.

Nick may be in for a romantic awakening, but will he find that it comes with its own disappointments? Pick up a copy of the second installment of the Dance series by author Anthony Powell to find out!

Books in order of publication by series:

Dance to the Music of Time Books

A Question of Upbringing(1951) 
A Buyer’s Market(1952) 
The Acceptance World(1955) 
At Lady Molly’s(1957) 
Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant(1960) 
The Kindly Ones(1962) 
The Valley of Bones(1964) 
The Soldier’s Art(1966) 
The Military Philosophers(1968) 
Books Do Furnish a Room(1971) 
Temporary Kings(1973) 
A Dance to the Music of Time(1975) 
Hearing Secret Harmonies(1975) 

To Keep the Ball Rolling: The Memoirs of Books

Infants of the Spring(1976) 
Messengers of Day(1978) 
Faces in My Time(1981) 
The Strangers All Are Gone(1982) 
To Keep the Ball Rolling(1984) 

Standalone Novels

Afternoon Men(1931) 
From a View to a Death(1933) 
Agents and Patients(1936) 
What’s Become of Waring(1939) 
O, How the Wheel Becomes It!(1983) 
The Fisher King(1986) 

Order of Play

The Garden God & The Rest I’ll Whistle(1971) 


Reference For Mellors(1994)

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

John Aubrey and His Friends(1948) 
Miscellaneous Verdicts(1990) 
Under Review(1992) 
Journals, 1982-86(1995) 
Journals, 1987-89(1996) 
Journals, 1990-1992(1997) 
A Writer’s Notebook(2001) 
Some Poets, Artists & ‘A Reference for Mellors’(2005) 
Anthony Powell on Wine(2017)

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