An Anthony Powell Abibliography

If you’re interested in Anthony Powell or imaginary books written by imaginary persons, this is for you. I started the list below while reading Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time last year. I scribbled it onto a sheet of paper, stuffed it in a drawer, and forgot about it. I offer it now as an oddity for the odd. Something like this ought to exist somewhere online and it might as well be here.

This is an incomplete list of Powell’s biblia abiblia. I’m sure I missed some. Let me know (by email or in the comments) if there’s anything you feel I should add or change. The rules: 1) Only include books referred to in Anthony Powell’s Music of Time series; 2) Every book must have a title and author; 3) Every author must be a substantial enough character to have a speaking part in one of Powell’s twelve volumes.

Evadne Clapham:
Cain’s Jawbone
Golden Grime

St John Clarke:
Dust Thou Art
E’en the Longest River
Fields of Amaranth
The Heart is Highland
Match Me Such Marvel
Never to the Philistines

Vernon Gainsborough (Werner Guggenbuhl):
Bronstein: Marxist or Mystagogue?

Russell Gwinnett:
Death’s Head Swordsman: The Life and Works of X. Trapnel
The Gothic Symbolism of Mortality in the Texture of Jacobean Stagecraft

Nicholas Jenkins:
Borage and Hellebore: A Study

Alaric Kydd:

Ada Leintwardine:
The Bitch Pack Meets on Wednesday
I Stopped at a Chemist

David Pennistone:
Descartes, Gassendi and the Atomic Theory of Epicurus

J.G. Quiggin:
Unburnt Boats

L.O. Salvidge:
Paper Wine

Odo Stevens:
Sad Majors

City State and State of City
Garnered at Sunset

X. Trapnel:
Bin Ends
Camel Ride to the Tomb
Dogs Have No Uncles
Profiles in String

Engine Melody
(formerly: The Pistons of our Locomotives Sing the Songs of Our Workers)


Filed under Literature

13 responses to “An Anthony Powell Abibliography

  1. Dave Lull

    Hi Ian,

    You might want to check out Levi Stahl and Ed Park’s Invisible Library:

    They list, for example, GWINNETT, Russell, The Gothic Symbolism of Mortality in the Texture of Jacobean Stagecraft, and others, from A Dance.

    I sent Levi a link to this posting.


  2. Ian Wolcott

    Thank you, Mr Lull.

    Ah, I’ll have to check the citation in Powell, but I see this Wikipedia entry agrees with me about Brightman authoring Gothic Symbolism…:

  3. Ian Wolcott

    Stahl and Park are missing several that I have here, but I was missing some too. I added Sillery’s City State and State of City. I also added several from Jenkins that I had somehow overlooked (but then we’re always tempted to overlook Jenkins, aren’t we?).

  4. Ian Wolcott

    Update: Google Books would seem to confirm the Gwinnett attribution, which leaves me with nothing for poor Ms Brightman. It’s mentioned in vol. 12 as the intended title of Gwinnett’s follow up to his bio of X. Trapnel. I’ve made the change.

  5. levistahl

    This is a pleasure to see–I’m glad Dave tipped me off to it.

    If you don’t have Hilary Spurling’s Invitation to the Dance, I highly recommend it: it’s great on questions like this about which characters did what. I don’t have it at hand right now to confirm that it includes full publication information for characters, but that’s at least the sort of information it traffics in.

  6. Ian Wolcott

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check it out.

  7. Holly

    Well, there was the long-winded title of Dr. Brightman’s ancestor Revd Salathiel Brightman, _Attick and Roman Reckonings of Capacity for Things Liquid and Things Dry reduced to the Common English Mensursation for Wine and Corn_.

  8. Ian Wolcott

    Very good. I’d have to adjust my “rules” if we were to include that one, I suppose.

  9. Michael Henle

    Charming list!
    I don’t think Evadne Clapham wrote ‘Engine Melody’. It is listed in ‘Invitation to the Dance’ without the name any author. It would be shame to have to discard it, but I’m afraid the author isn’t a named character.
    Robert Beasecker (from the Yahoo AP listserv) mentions that the works of Mark Members should be included. Here they are:
    Iron Aspidistra
    Baroque Interlude
    H-Bomb Eclogue
    Collected Poems
    Finally, where did the works by Nicholas Jenkins come from. I’ve never heard of any of them.

  10. Jim Scott

    If by “Only include books referred to in Anthony Powell’s Music of Time Series” you mean the actual books, the only work by Jenkins that qualifies is “Borage and Hellebore.” The others were added by the creators of a television adaptation of Dance.

  11. Douglas Dalrymple

    It’s wonderful to see some resurrected interest in this old post.

    Mr Henle, I’m going to tentatively disagree with you about Engine Melody for now. It particularly impressed me because Evadne Clapham had (I believe) originally titled it The Pistons of Our Locomotives Sing the Songs of Our Workers, which is too funny for words. However, I don’t have the citation. I’ll see if I can find it.

    Mr Scott, thank you for the clarification. As noted in the comment string I had originally only listed Borage and Hellebore for Nicholas Jenkins. I added the others when I discovered them on Levi Stahl’s list. I couldn’t understand how I had missed them, but now it makes sense. Personally, I’ve never seen the television adaptation you mention. I’ve now removed them.

  12. Douglas Dalrymple

    After a little more digging, I’m forced to relent on Engine Melody. It was the passage here that made me assign it to Evadne Clapham:

    But it’s not clear. Hilary Spurling’s Invitation to the Dance also identifies no author/translator.

    I’ll keep it on the list but mark the author as Anon.

    • Michael Henle

      I’m pleased you have made the change regarding ‘Engine Melody’.

      Your post caught the attention of the Yahoo ap listserv. Quite a number of contributors, once it was pointed out to them, commented on it. If you are interested, you are welcome to join the listserv. It’s address is

      but you have to create a yahoo account and then search for ‘aplist’ in order to join. In the same spirit, if you haven’t seen it already, you may enjoy the relatively new, apparently anonymous wordpress blog:

      which is working its way through the whole of the Dance novels and commenting on each and every reference to an art work therein.


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