Anthony powell

I’m glad Anthony Powell didn’t take my writing advice

There is general excitement among the legions of fans of A Dance to the Music of Time: next week a plaque to Anthony Powell will be placed on 1 Chester Gate, the house where he started to write the many-volumed work of genius. I have a particular interest in attending, not only because Powell was married to my father’s sister Violet, but also because I took advantage of the relationship to lodge for several years in Chester Gate. This was when my parents chose to live maddeningly in Hampstead Garden Suburb and at the age of about 17 I was beginning to go to parties. Go to them? But how

The magic of Anthony Powell

Every few years I’ve picked up one or other of Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time series and laid it aside after a few pages. Too wordy. Earlier this year I glanced again at A Question of Upbringing, the first of the 12 novels. A light came on and I was captured — providing yet another example of a novel repelling or attracting according to age, circumstances or mood. After that I tittered my way through the series, wondering at my previous humourlessness. I had one volume to go when I went into hospital last week for a minor operation, Hearing Secret Harmonies (1975), which I packed