A Glastonbury Romance

A Glastonbury Romance was written by John Cowper Powys (18731963) in rural upstate New York and first published by Simon and Schuster in New York City in March 1932. An English edition published by John Lane followed in 1933. It is the second of Powys’s Wessex novels, along with Wolf Solent (1929), Weymouth Sands (1934) and Maiden Castle (1936). Powys was an admirer of Thomas Hardy and these novels are set in Somerset and Dorset, parts of Hardy’s mythical Wessex. The action occurs over roughly a year, and the first two chapters of A Glastonbury Romance take place in Norfolk, where the late Canon William Crow’s will is read, and the Crow family learn that his secretary-valet John Geard has inherited his wealth. Also in Norfolk, a romance begins between cousins, John and Mary Crow. However, after an important scene at the ancient monument of Stonehenge, the rest of the action takes place in or near the Somerset town of Glastonbury, which is some ten miles north of the village of Montacute. Powys’s father, the Reverend Charles Francis Powys (18431923), was parish priest of Montacute from 1885 to 1918, and it was here that Powys grew up. The grail legends associated with the town of Glastonbury are of major importance in this novel, and Welsh mythology has, for the first time, a signifiant role.


Read or listen to A Glastonbury Romance

by John Cowper Powys