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Earth Memories
by Llewelyn Powys

Llewelyn Powys’ poignant love letter to the English countryside, stimulated by history and legend. Introduced by John Gray.

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Author: Llewelyn Powys

Introduction: John Gray

Published: May 2015


Out of stock

‘Powys consolidated his reputation as a charismatic observer of the natural world’ MICHAEL CAINES (TLS)

‘These essays celebrate the life of the spirit – not by turning to an otherworldly realm, or retreating into the shadowy depths of the mind, but by standing still and looking anew at the sun and rain and the changing seasons. As Powys shows, the human spirit is reborn when it sees the natural world as it actually is – a spectacle of inexhaustible beauty.’   JOHN GRAY

In 1931, after two decades of wandering the world, Llewelyn Powys moved into an isolated cliff-top cottage in Dorset, where he embarked on a series of essays embracing what he called ‘the poetry of life’. In their evocations of land and sea, of childhood and old age, of wildlife, chance meetings and remembered conversations, they are a poignant love letter to the English countryside.

Stimulated by history and legend, indeed by the very smell of the earth, Powys engages us with the natural world in a spirit of unflinching honesty. A true countryman and sharp-eyed observer, his writings range from the habits of the hedgehog to the daily round of the ploughman, from the healing power of landscape to the aquatic life of a pond. Part manifesto for the life-enhancing power of nature, part a philosophy for living formed by bitter-sweet experience, all these writings are underpinned by the miracle of being alive, and a belief that the enjoyment of nature is the birthright of us all.

Llewelyn Powys

Introduced by John Gray
Cover by Marzia Colonna
216 x 156mm sewn paperback with flaps
176 pages
ISBN 9781908213228

Additional information

Weight350 g
Dimensions14 × 156 × 216 mm


  1. Michael Caines

    Llewelyn Powys and the senses By Michael Caines (TLS)

    Earth Memories opens with an essay called “A Struggle for Life”, that describes the course of his consumption, and how Kenya was good for his health, despite its hardships. Back in England, Powys invests in a “revolving shelter” and puts it in a hermit’s spot near Weymouth. “In the early mornings I would wake to look upon a small still bay with rocks and rippling pools. Little hedge birds would begin to twitter on the grey stone wall near the empty nettle-filled well, while over a restless sea, behind the outline of a cornfield, black hungry cormorants would follow each other on their way to their distant feeding places.” Occasionally puffed up with Augustan effort, prone to grandiloquent if often charming quirks, Powys’s prose falls easily into this manner of general description, as it hops from phrase to descriptive phrase.

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