Prolific writers do not cease writing at the completion of the last chapter of a book. More often than not, they are also great writers of letters. Certainly, Anthony Powell proves the point with over two decades of correspondence exchanged with his American friend John S. Monagan, brought together in this collection.
In addition to the letters, Mr. Monagan has also collected various magazine and newspaper articles relating to Anthony Powell. A highlight of the collection is the group of 46 photographs of Anthony and Violet Powell at their home, the Chantry in Somerset, England. Most were taken by Mr. Monagan during visits made with his wife, Rosemary, in 1981, 1987 and 1988.
Anthony Dymoke Powell was born on December 21, 1905, in London, England. His father, Philip Lionel William Powell was an army officer, and his mother was Maud Mary Wells-Dymoke. Powell was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, where he earned his B.A., 1926; and M.A., 1944. His academic honors include a D.Litt. from the universities of Sussex (1971), Kent and Leceister (1976), Oxford (1980), and Bristol (1982).
Powell's career as a writer was launched in 1931 with the publication of his first novel, "Afternoon Men." His publisher was Duckworth & Co. Ltd., with whom he was affiliated from 1926 to 1935. In 1936, Powell was a scriptwriter for Warner Brothers of Great Britain.
During World War II, Powell served in the Welch Regiment infantry from 1939 to 1941; the Intelligence Corps, from 1941-1945; and as liaison officer at the British War Office. His military honors include ranking as a major, receiving the Order of the White Lion (Czechoslovakia), the Order of Leopold II (Belgium), and the Oaken Crown and Croix de Guerre (Luxembourg).
As a man of letters Powell is also an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and of the Modern Language Society. He was a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, London (1962-76), and is a member of the London Travellers' Club.
Other outstanding awards and honors conferred on Powell include, Commander of Order of the British Empire (1956); Companion of Honor (1988); the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (1958) for "At Lady Molly's"; the W.H. Smith Fiction Award (1974) for "Temporary Kings"; the Bennett Award from the "Hudson Review"; and the T.S. Eliot Award from the Ingersoll Foundation (1984) both for body of work.
Powell duly famous for his series of novels under the overall title, "A Dance to the Music of Time" (first British publication from 1951-1975). His other long work consists of memoirs entitled, "To Keep the Ball Rolling: the Memoirs of Anthony Powell" (first British publication 1976-1982). For a complete listing of Powell's works refer to "Anthony Powell: A Bibliography" by George Lilley (1993) or "Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Volume 32" (also the source for this biographical sketch).
Anthony Powell and Lady Violet Pakenham were married on December 1, 1934. She is the daughter of the fifth Earl of Longford. They continue to reside in their lovely Somerset home at the Chantry, which was featured in "House and Garden" magazine (see Folder 6:14 of this collection). The Powells have two sons, Tristram and John.
John Stephen Monagan was born December 23, 1911, in Waterbury, New Haven County, Connecticut. He received his early education at Driggs, St. Mary's and Crosby high schools in Waterbury. He received his Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1933, and later attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1937. In 1938 he was admitted to the Connecticut bar and commenced the practice of law in his home town of Waterbury the same year.
Mr. Monagan has held numerous significant commercial and political positions including president of the Waterbury Board of Alderman, 1940 to 1943; mayor of Waterbury, 1943 to 1948; member of the board of directors of the Waterbury Savings Bank; delegate at the Democratic National Conventions, 1944, 1948, 1960, 1964, and 1968. He was for many years a congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives (D-Conn.) and was elected to the Eighty-sixth and to the six succeeding congresses (January 3, 1959 to January 3, 1973). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1972 to the Ninety-third congress, and resumed the practice of law.
An accomplished writer, Mr. Monagan also has several published works to his name, including "Behind the Iron Curtain and in Selected Countries of Western Europe" (U.S. Congress House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1963); "Horace: Priest of the Poor" (1985); "The Grand Panjandrum: Mellow Year of Justice Holmes" (1988); "From Green Road to Cracker Hill, Waterbury Memories with John Monagan" (videotaped lecture given in Waterbury, Connecticut, 1991); and "One Man's View of Bauby's Corner" (1994).
John Monagan and his wife, Rosemary, currently reside in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and continue a lively, intellectual, cross-Atlantic friendship with Anthony and Violet Powell.
ACCESSION DATA: Gift of John S. Monagan, September 1994, Processed by Lisette C. Matano, January 1995.
BULK DATES: 1969 - 1994
SPAN DATES: 1969 - 1994
EXTENT: 7 boxes