Wood and Stone

Wood and Stone

John Cowper Powys

Language: English

Pages: 451


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Wood and Stone was John Cowper Powys' first novel published in 1915. It is no prentice-work however - the author was already in his forties. The novel is set in the area of south Somerset that John Cowper Powys grew up in. The village of Nevilton is based on Montacute where his father was vicar for many years. When he wrote it Powys was living in the USA and it is perhaps this absence that accounts for the heightened vividness of the descriptive writing. Powys deploys a large and wonderfully delineated cast of characters. They are loosely divided between 'the well-constituted' and 'the ill-constituted'. Characteristically Powys favours the latter.

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“Oh, he is with us—heart and soul with us!” repeated the triumphant Nonconformist. “I am glad I went to him. Many of us would have been too narrow-minded to enter his house, seeing he is a papist. But I am free from such bigotry.” “And you hope to convert Mr. Clavering, too?” “Certainly; that is what I intend. But I believe our excellent vicar needs no conversion. I have often heard him speak—at the Social Meeting, you know—and I assure you he is a true friend of the working-classes. I only

folks never tasted meat nor butter in them old times. I guess it’s better to be living as we be.” Luke’s habitual tone of sentimental moralizing had evidently set the fashion among the maids of Nevilton. Girls are incredibly quick at acquiring the mental atmosphere of a philosopher who attracts them. The simple flattery of her adoption of his colour of thought made it still more difficult for Luke to keep his vow to the Spinners of Destiny. “Yes,” he remarked pensively, seating himself on the

way towards the Wild Pine ridge. He had, as a matter of fact, crossed the field between the west drive and the Vicarage-garden, and skirting the orchards below Nevilton House, had plunged into the park. A vague hope of meeting Lacrima—an instinctive rather than a conscious feeling—had led him in this direction. Once in the park, the high opposing ridge, crowned with its sentinel-line of tall Scotch-firs, arrested his attention and drew him towards it. He crossed the Yeoborough road and ascended

waited, till their two figures vanished into this declivity, and then he himself crossed the field in their track. Having reached the mossy level of the vanished pond,—a place which seemed as though Nature herself had designed it with a view to his present intention,—Old Flick assumed a less friendly air towards his captive. A psychologist interested in searching out the obscure workings of derelict and submerged souls, would have come to the speedy conclusion as he watched the old man’s

meetings dropping out from our village life. They keep the thoughtful people together as nothing else can.” Mr. Romer smiled grimly. “You will find it difficult to discover another place,” he remarked. “Then I shall have them in my own house,” said the vicar of Nevilton. Mr. Romer crossed his hands and threw back his head; looking, with the air of one who watches the development of precisely foreseen events, straight into the sad eyes of the little Royal Servant on the wall. “Pardon such a

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