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Interaction between landscape and myth in the novels of John Cowper Powys Miles, Gwyneth Frances 1973

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c . \ THE INTERACTION BETWEEN LANDSCAPE AND MYTH IN THE NOVELS OF JOHN COWPER POWYS by GWYNETH F. MILES M.A. Bryn Mawr College, 196? A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1973 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver 8 , Canada i A b s t r a c t Powys' n o v e l s a r e d e e p l y r o o t e d i n a sense o f p l a c e ; much of t h e i r c o n f l i c t d e v e l o p s t h r o u g h t h e e f f e c t o f a p a r t i c u l a r l o c a l i t y upon th e c h a r a c t e r s who l i v e t h e r e o r come t h e r e . T h i s t h e s i s d emonstrates how Powys' sense o f p l a c e i s com-pounded of b o t h a f e e l i n g f o r t h e p h y s i c a l l a n d s c a p e , and an awareness o f the h i s t o r i c a l and m y t h i c a l t r a d i t i o n s which form i t s human p a s t . Powys f i n d s c o r r espondences between th e s c e n e r y and legends o f a l o c a l i t y and t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e s of h i s p e r s o n a e , and thus uses l a n d s c a p e and myth f o r s y m b o l i c p u r p o s e s . The i n t e r a c t i o n o f myth and l a n d s c a p e l a r g e l y c r e a t e s the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c atmosphere of t h e f i v e n o v e l s s t u d i e d h e r e . These n o v e l s i l l u s t r a t e Powys' development o v e r a p e r i o d o f t h i r t y - s i x y e a r s , and i n c l u d e b oth h i s f i r s t n o v e l and h i s l a s t major n o v e l . The term "romance," as i t i s found t o r e c u r i n t h e i r t i t l e s , i s r e l a t e d t o Powys' d e s c r i p t i o n o f the r o m a n t i c atmosphere, i n h i s e s s a y on E m i l y B r o n t e , as com-pounded of s c e n e r y and t r a d i t i o n s of t h e human p a s t . Wood and  Stone i s t a k e n as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the e a r l y n o v e l s ; A G l a s t o n b u r y Romance, Maiden C a s t l e , Owen Glendower and P o r i u s a r e the f o u r major n o v e l s i n w h i c h t h e two " r o m a n t i c " elements of l a n d s c a p e and myth a r e seen most f u l l y d e v e l o p e d and work-i n g t o g e t h e r . A l t h o u g h t h i s t h e s i s does not a t t e m p t a t h o r o u g h study of s o u r c e s and i n f l u e n c e s , some o f the more i m p o r t a n t ones ar e i n d i c a t e d — Hardy, the K a b i n o g i o n , S i r John Rhys — and i l suggestions made as to how Powys* imagination operated on the material he derived from them. S i m i l a r l y , b r i e f comparisons are made with the use of myth and landscape by some of Powys' l i t e r a r y contemporaries, Including the regional n o v e l i s t s , Joyce, Yeats and E l i o t . The second and t h i r d chapters consider Powys' use of landscape and myth, respectively, by a survey of a l l of Powys' novels i n chronological orders recurrent patterns and themes are noted and i t becomes apparent that there i s a s h i f t i n emphasis from landscape i n the early novels to myth i n the late ones. In the major novels, i t i s argued, Powys' use of landscape helps to give a c t u a l i t y and coherence to his work, while his use of hi s t o r y and myth provides a certain basic structure f o r some, and confers richness on a l l by r e l a t i n g present characters' experience to a larger human past. Even i n Wood and Stone the use of landscape f o r symbolic purposes i s overt and quite complex» opposition i s set up between two h i l l s , and between the substances wood and stone, and both are related to psychological and philosophical c o n f l i c t s between the characters. The h i s t o r i c a l and legen-dary associations of a l o c a l topography are r i c h l y exploited in A Glastonbury Romance, although no key to the novel's meaning i s found in i t s mythological a l l u s i o n s . Different attitudes towards the past are assumed by the characters of Maiden Castle and are a l l ultimately t r i e d against the myster-ious presence of the p r e h i s t o r i c earthwork; Powys' own h i s t o r i c a l and mythological obsessions are defensively i l l s a t i r i z e d through the central characters. Owen Glendower u t i l i z e s a new and d i v e r s i f i e d Welsh landscape in studying the myth-making process through i t s semi-legendary national hero and his romantic young kinsman who sees his world i n terms of i t s legendary past. Cronos, T a l i e s s i n , Nineue, Merlin, Arthur and other mythic figures who remained in the background of the previous novels are the dramatis personae of Forius i large mythological themes are overtly the novel's concern, rather than being sublimated into the personal struggles of the characters, and are reinforced by the sym-b o l i c landscape descriptions. The general d i r e c t i o n of Powys* f i c t i o n i s away from realism, and towards the f a n t a s t i c embodiment i n actual people and places of what were ideas or figures of speech in the e a r l i e r works. In the novels studied here, however, landscape and myth, realism and fantasy are held i n a fine balance, where the suggestions of deep mythic si g n i f i c a n c e are held i n r e l a t i o n to the v i s i b l e world through the r i c h and detailed evocation of landscape. i v T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s C h a p t e r One I n t r o d u c t i o n p. 1 C h a p t e r Two " P e n e t r a t e d t h r o u g h a n d t h r o u g h by t h e s c e n e r y " : The I m p a c t o f L a n d s c a p e on Powys p . 11 C h a p t e r T h r e e " T r a d i t i o n s , o l d and d a r k a n d s u p e r s t i t i o u s a n d m a l i g n " t The M y t h i c B a c k g r o u n d o f Powys' F i c t i o n p. C h a p t e r F o u r " O c c u l t H a r m o n i e s " ! Wood a n d S t o n e .. p. 76 C h a p t e r F i v e A G l a s t o n b u r y Romance p. 101 C h a p t e r S i x "A M o n s t r o u s G r o t e s q u e n e s s " : M a i d e n C a s t l e p. 151 C h a p t e r S e v e n "The P a s t i s t h e E t e r n a l " : Owen G l e n d o w e r p. 191 C h a p t e r E i g h t " T h i s h u g e , c o m p o s i t e e a r t h - c r e a t u r e " : p P " ^ us P. 21? C h a p t e r N i n e C o n c l u s i o n p. 267 A S e l e c t e d B i b l i o g r a p h y p. 275 V Note t Textual References to Primary Sources Page references to the f i v e novels studied are to the following editions i Wood and Stonei A Romance. New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1 9 1 5 . A Glastonbury Romance. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1 9 3 2 . Maiden Castle. 1 9 3 6 ; rpt. London: Macdonald, 1 9 6 6 . Owen Glendower: An H i s t o r i c a l Novel. 2 vols. New York* Simon and Schuster, 1 9 ^ 0 . Porius1 A Romance of the Dark Ages. London* Macdonald, 1 9 5 1 . Page references to other works of Powys cited are to the following editions : A t l a n t i s . London i Macdonald, 1 9 5 ^ . Autobiography. New York 1 Simon and Schuster, 193^-. Ducdame. New Yorki Doubleday, Page and Co., 1 9 2 5 . The Inmates. London 1 Macdonald, 1 9 5 2 . Morwyn; Or The Vengeance of God. London 1 Cassell, 1 9 3 7 . Obstinate Cymric> Essays 1 9 3 5 - ^ 7. Carmarthen 1 Druid Press, 1947. Suspended Judgements! Essays on Books and Sensations. New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1 9 1 6 . Visions and Revisions: A Book of L i t e r a r y Devotions. 1 9 1 5 ; rpt. London: Macdonald, 1 9 5 5 . Weymouth Sands: A Novel. 193^-; r p t . London: Macdonald, 1 9 6 3 . ~ Wolf Solent: A Novel. ' 2 v o l s . New York: Simon and Schuster, 1 9 2 9 . Chapter One t Introduction What Is romance? I think i t i s the i n s t i n c t i v e recognition of a certain poetic glamour which an especial kind of grouping of persons and things — of persons and things seen under a p a r t i c u l a r l i g h t — i s able to produce . . . . I think t h i s q u a l i t y of romance can only be evoked when the background of the story Is heavily laden with old, r i c h , dim, pathetic, human associations . . . . The characters must be penetrated through and through by the scenery which surrounds them and by the t r a d i t i o n s , old and dark and superstitious and malign, of some p a r t i c u l a r spot upon earth's surface. The scenery which i s the background of a t a l e which has the true romantic q u a l i t y must gather i t s e l f together and concentrate i t s e l f i n some kind of symbolic unity; and t h i s symbolic unity — wherein the various elements of grandeur and mystery are merged must present I t s e l f as something almost personal and as a dynamic 'motif i n the development of p l o t . ("Emily Bronte," Suspended  Judgements. 322-23) ' In t h i s d e f i n i t i o n of romance taken from his essay on Emily Bronte, John Cowper Powys gives a valuable explication of two major elements i n his own f i c t i o n — landscape and myth. He indicates that landscape and myth may be seen as working together to create a p a r t i c u l a r atmosphere, "the true romantic q u a l i t y " which i s , although i n a somewhat d i f f e r e n t sense, a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of his work as much as of that of Emily Bronte. This d i s s e r t a t i o n i s concerned with the functions of landscape and mythological a l l u s i o n s i n Powys' f i c t i o n , f i r s t i n general terms and then s p e c i f i c a l l y as they work together i n f i v e s i g n i f i c a n t novels. As much as those of Hardy, the novels of Powys are deeply rooted i n a sense of place, and much of t h e i r c o n f l i c t develops 2 through the e f f e c t o f a p a r t i c u l a r l o c a l i t y upon the characters who l i v e there or come there. In f i n d i n g correspondences between the scenery and legends o f a l o c a l i t y and the psycho-l o g i c a l states of his personae, Powys places himself within the romantic t r a d i t i o n which, while i t abounds i n detai l e d , r e a l i s t i c depiction of nature, b a s i c a l l y views nature i n a mystical, symbolic way. Writing of Emily Bronte, Powys defines the "poetic glamour" that i s Instinct i n the romance as the product of an atmosphere created by the topography and past associations o f "some p a r t i c u l a r spot upon earth's surface." The two elements e s s e n t i a l to romance, then, are landscape and a sense of the past — both the legendary and the h i s t o r i c a l past. Landscape and the past work together to form the atmos-phere of a place which has "the true romantic q u a l i t y ; " t h i s atmosphere i s taken i n i n t u i t i v e l y , and has i t s psychological eff e c t on Powys' characters whether they f e e l l n harmony with i t (Geard, Uryen), d e l i b e r a t e l y f i g h t i t (John Crow, Rh i s i a r t ) or remain unaware of i t (Farmer Goring). Although reasons of space preclude a detailed study of a l l Powys* f i c t i o n , i t i s f a i r to say that the f i v e novels examined here are more f u l l y "romances" i n Powys' sense of the term than any o f his other books. According to Powys' d e f i n i t i o n , the romance must be r i c h i n the evocation of both scenery and the human past. Wood and Stone i A Romance. A Glastonbury  Romance and Porlus i A Romance of the Dark Ages are designated romances by t h e i r t i t l e s or s u b - t i t l e s , and Maiden Castle i s described by Powys i n a l e t t e r to his publishers (quoted by 3 Malcolm Elwin l n his Prefatory Note to Macdonald's 1966 1 e d i t i o n of the novel) as "my Dorchester Romance." In each of these novels a single s e t t i n g i s intensely imagined, i n terms of both i t s physical presence and the p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t s of the past which pervade I t . Owen Glendower» An H i s t o r i c a l  Novel i s a t y p i c a l i n that there are many changes of s e t t i n g l n i t , and emphasis i s l a i d upon a succession of h i s t o r i c a l events rather than upon the i n d i v i d u a l character of the p a r t i c u l a r place. But the past i s quite as important i n t h i s novel as i t Is i n the other four "romances"; mythological references are copious and ingeniously employed, and the atmospheric q u a l i t i e s of the Welsh landscape are c l o s e l y observed and i n t e g r a l to the novel's v i t a l i t y . A l l f i v e novels admirably f u l f i l Powys' des-c r i p t i o n of the romance as showing i t s characters to be "penetrated through and through by the scenery which surrounds them and by the t r a d i t i o n s . . . of some p a r t i c u l a r spot upon 2 earth's surface." The f i v e novels also i l l u s t r a t e Powys* development over a period of 36 years, and include both his f i r s t novel and his l a s t major novel. The early novels, here represented by Wood  and Stone, are heavily influenced by Hardy and by the Gothic t r a d i t i o n . In A Glastonbury Romance and Owen Glendower. the two major works to be discussed, Powys achieves a unique r i c h -ness of animistic awareness and mythological correspondence without s a c r i f i c i n g coherence l n plot and characterization. Maiden Castle and Porlus are more eccentric works, i n which coherence and p r o b a b i l i t y are frequently strained, yet they remain within the t r a d i t i o n a l novel form and perhaps, with t h e i r dark and curious essays at metaphysics, as well as t h e i r psychological insights and multi-layered sense of history, help to expand that form. Owen Glendower and Porlus are both h i s t o r i c a l novels, and thus present d i f f e r e n t approaches to the ideas of history which are important themes i n some of the e a r l i e r novels, par-t i c u l a r l y Maiden Castle. In Maiden Castle, an exploratory and often grotesque work, various characters are representative of d i f f e r e n t attitudes to the past — those of the h i s t o r i c a l n o v e l i s t , the economist, the philosophic i d e a l i s t , the anthro-pologist and the mystic. A l l attitudes are ultimately t r i e d against the mysteries of Mai-Dun, the great p r e h i s t o r i c earth-work which dominates the novel thematically as we l l as topo-graphically. Owen Glendower, s i m i l a r l y dominated by a h i l l -f o r tress of mythological associations, studies the processes of h i s t o r y and the influence of legend through two major characters. R h i s i a r t seeks to reconcile his Welsh ancestry with his English upbringing i n terms of the contemporary struggle of Wales f o r independence! s i m i l a r personal and p o l i t i c a l con-f l i c t s were of considerable s i g n i f i c a n c e i n Powys* own l i f e s i x centuries l a t e r . Glendower himself i s aware that his destiny Is to become a legend, to r e l i n q u i s h p o l i t i c a l success i n order to become a symbol f o r his race. The complex layers of Wales' past and future, both legendary and act u a l , form the texture of the novel. Owen Glendower continues to develop correspondences made 5 i n e a r l i e r novels between contemporary characters and figures from mythology, but i n Porlus these figures emerge from the shadowy background to become active characters themselves. Going a stage further back i n history, Porius recreates the Arthurian era i n Wales with an ingenious blending of twentieth-century psychological realism, h i s t o r i c a l speculation, and miraculous episodes from C e l t i c myths. Mythology and h i s t o r y , always c l o s e l y associated i n Powys as the two sources of the "old, r i c h , dim . . . human associations" demanded by romance, here are presented as equal i n power and a c t u a l i t y . Landscape i n Powys' novels often serves as a bridge between the legendary and/or h i s t o r i c a l past of the l o c a l i t y and the contemporary characters. Dud NoMan i n Dorchester and Rhl s i a r t at Dinas Bran, f o r example, are deeply s t i r r e d and disturbed by t h e i r physical proximity to places where l i v e d h i s t o r i c a l characters who fascinated them. But more than t h i s , Powys t e l l s us i n the "Emily Bronte" essay that landscape must "concentrate i t s e l f i n some kind of symbolic unity," as "some-thing almost personal and as a dynamic 'motif i n the development of p l o t . " The symbolic value of landscape i n Powys' own novels Is evident from the opening passages of the f i r s t , Wood and Stone. These describe the "strange supernatural c o n f l i c t going on" between two h i l l s , one "the consecrated repository of Christian t r a d i t i o n " exerting i t s " s p i r i t u a l influence" upon the neigh-bouring town, and the other an "impious heathen f o r t r e s s " drawing " i t s strength from the impulse to Power" ( 1 - 3 ) . Characters a l i g n themselves with, or are torn between, the 6 d i f f e r e n t forces represented by the h i l l s . In t h e i r appearance, i n t h e i r t r a d i t i o n s , and i n t h e i r s o c i a l and economic function, the contrast between the two h i l l s i s sustained, and forms a potent image f o r the Ideological c o n f l i c t with which Powys i s concerned. This treatment of landscape i s developed, with more subtlety and complexity, i n A Glastonbury Romance. Perhaps because he i s working here with topographical and legendary associations which are part of a great European t r a d i t i o n , rather than being somewhat obscure and personal, the fusion of topography and legend into something of genuine s p i r i t u a l power and s i g n i f i c a n c e i s more f u l l y achieved i n t h i s novel than anywhere else i n his f i c t i o n . C r i t i c a l studies of Powys have thus f a r tended to survey i the whole body of his work, and so have been unable to give de t a i l e d attention to i n d i v i d u a l novels. In his examination of the metaphysical aspects of Powys' work, The Saturnlan Quest, G. Wilson Knight considers some of the major mythic patterns which recur i n the novels, p a r t i c u l a r l y the descent 3 Into the underworld and the search f o r the Golden Age. His i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of these patterns i s suggestive and stimulating, and Indicates a great many subjects f o r d e t a i l e d research. He i s , however, concerned with extracting a broad and all-encom-passing overview of Powys' central philosophy and b e l i e f . Although, i n e v i t a b l y , my study takes up mythic patterns which he notices, my emphasis w i l l be placed upon t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e within the structure of the i n d i v i d u a l novels rather than t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e to Powys* metaphysic as a whole. 7 H. P. C o l l i n s ' John Cowper Powysi Old Earth Man considers John Cowper and his brother Theodore as "England's l a s t r e a l r u r a l w r i t e r s , " and i n the f i n a l chapter on "The Earth Man and the Novel" discusses the general attitude to nature i n John Cowper's work. But while C o l l i n s asserts that Powys "may well have helped i n c i d e n t a l l y towards restoring some day the love of l o c a l i t y to English f i c t i o n , which has become both rootless and subtoplan,"^ the scope of C o l l i n s ' book prevents him from making any d e t a i l e d comment on the role of l o c a l i t y i n i n d i v i d u a l novels. C o l l i n s ' book and Kenneth Hopkins' 6 The Powys Brothers both provide valuable biographical informa-t i o n and suggestions about Powys' development as a writer, and thus have prepared the way f o r the closer studies which are 7 now beginning to appear. Essays on John Cowper Powys. edited by Belinda Humfrey, contains two such studies which are particu-l a r l y relevant to the subject of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n ! Glen 8 Cavaliero's discussion of landscape i n the early novels and Roland Mathias' c r i t i c a l examination of the h i s t o r i c a l and 9 mythic background of Owen Glendower. They w i l l be commented on i n the chapters on Wood and Stone and Owen Glendower. While Powys' growing s k i l l i n the handling of landscape and the more variable handling of myth are evident when the novels are examined i n chronological sequence, the concern of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n i s not so much with Powys' development as with the i n t e g r i t y , meaning and value of the i n d i v i d u a l novels. Introductory chapters consider the changing roles of landscape and myth within the whole of Powys' f i c t i o n , but the body of 8 the d i s s e r t a t i o n treats each of the f i v e novels as to a very great extent a separate e n t i t y . Only thus can t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l merits be adequately assessed, apart from t h e i r i n t e r e s t to the study of the man and the t o t a l oeuvre. This close and c r i t i c a l study of i n d i v i d u a l works i s p a r t i c u l a r l y needed l n Powys' c r i t i c i s m just now, Powys' knowledge of European l i t e r a t u r e was exhaustive, and t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n does not purport to comprehend the l i t e r a r y and i n t e l l e c t u a l influences which acted on him during the ninety-one years of his l i f e . An attempt i s made, however, to indicate some of the major sources and influences, and to suggest ways i n which Powys' imagination operated on t h i s mat-e r i a l . As Hardy i s the n o v e l i s t most often invoked i n connection with Powys, some comparisons are made in the general chapter on landscape between these two Wessex n o v e l i s t s , and also between Powys and some of the other regional n o v e l i s t s . The great influences upon Powys i n his use of myth are, besides his early 10 reading of Tennyson and Malory, the Mablnoglon and S i r John 11 Rhys' Studies i n the Arthurian Legend, Some e f f o r t i s made to explicate the frequently obscure a l l u s i o n s to Rhys within Powys* novels, and to consider whether or not t h i s obscurity constitutes a serious defect l n them. The merging of landscape and mythological t r a d i t i o n s to create f o r the s e t t i n g of a story a "symbolic unity" containing "grandeur and mystery" and enabling i t to act as "something almost personal and as a dynamic 'motif i n the development of p l o t " may indeed be seen to be as much the achievement of 9 the best novels of Powys as i t was of Wutherlng Heights. The i n d i v i d u a l character of a place, composed as i t i s of topography and of vestiges of the human past, forms the great subject which runs through Powys* major f i c t i o n . Through int e r a c t i o n with the physical and s p i r i t u a l atmosphere of t h e i r environment, Powys* characters test and develop t h e i r i n d i v i d -ual attitudes toward experience. With the p a r t i a l exception of Porlus, each of the novels i s predominantly concerned with the various reactions of i t s characters to the s p i r i t of the place i n which they l i v e . By these reactions the characters reveal the depth of t h e i r emotional l i v e s , s p i r i t u a l penetration and imaginative sympathies. Montacute (Nevilton), Glastonbury, Maiden Castle and the ancient places of North Wales do indeed "penetrate" Powys' characters "through and through," and become the means whereby these characters are defined and developed. 10 Chapter Onei Footnotes Rodmoor, l i k e Wood and Stone, i s s u b t i t l e d A Romance, but although i n i t the s p i r i t of place i s admirably evoked, i t has less of an atmosphere of the human past than does the e a r l i e r novel. 2 Two major novels, Wolf Solent and Weymouth Sands. are omitted i n t h i s study because they are much less concerned with the past and with mythic t r a d i t i o n than are the four l a t e r novels discussed. On the other hand, while Morwyn and the f i c t i o n written a f t e r Porlus i s r i c h i n mythological references, these books are discussed only b r i e f l y because they are fantasies, rather than novels, and thus are of less i n t e r e s t to a study of how the elements of landscape and myth may be used s t r u c t u r a l l y and thematlcally i n the novel. There i s , however, a certain amount of reference to these other works of f i c t i o n as they are seen to be related to the f i v e novels under discussion. 3 G. Wilson Knight, The Saturnlan Quest (Londont Methuen, 1 9 6 ^ ) . Hereafter referred to as Satumian Quest. H. P. C o l l i n s , John Cowper Powys1 Old Earth Man (London 1 Barrie and R o c k l i f f , 1966), p. 5. Hereafter referred to as Old Earth Man. 5 Ibid., p. 2 1 6 . ^ Kenneth Hopkins, The Powys Brothers (London 1 Phoenix House, 1967). 7 Essays on John Cowper Powys, ed. Belinda Humfrey (Cardiff 1 University of Wales Press, 1 9 7 2 ) . Hereafter referred to as Essays, ed. Humfrey. 8 Glen Cavaliero, "John Cowper Powys1 Landscape and Personality i n the Early Novels," Essays, ed. Humfrey, pp. 85 - 1 0 2 . 9 Roland Mathias, "The S a c r i f i c i a l Prince 1 A Study of Owen Glendower," Essays, ed. Humfrey, pp. 2 3 3 - 6 2 . 10 P h y l l i s Playter, l n a conversation at Blaenau F f e s t i n i o g i n June, 1 9 7 1 , asserted that Powys much preferred Lady Guest's version of the Mablnogion to any other, because of i t s l i t e r a r y q u a l i t i e s . 1 1 John Rhys, Studies i n the Arthurian Legend (Oxford* Clarendon, 1891). Hereafter referred to as Studies. 11 Chapter Two "Penetrated through and through by the scenery" i the Impact of Landscape on Powys The Autobiography suggests many of the influences — biographical and l i t e r a r y — which l i e behind Powys' treatment of landscape i n his novels. It opens with an account of his e a r l i e s t sensations i n Nature, prominent among which i s the memory of Mount Cloud i n Dovedale as "a Tremendum Mysterium" producing a "dim f e e l i n g of immensity." This i s an attitude before Nature which he was to r e t a i n a l l his l i f e — the awed awareness of i t s immensity and mystery. How magically sagacious i s childhood l n i t s power of a r r i v i n g at boundless effects through In s i g n i f i c a n t means I For though th i s eminence — and i t s name was Mount Cloud — can c e r t a i n l y have been no towering Alp, i t w i l l always remain to me synonymous with sublimity. Many aspects of children's days are s i l l y enough; but how often the whole course of our subsequent history becomes an attempt to regain this sorcery, t h i s power of fi n d i n g the i n f i n i t e l y great i n the materially small'. (Autobiography, 1) As a young c h i l d Powys had, he t e l l s us, a passion for erecting r e p l i c a s of Mount Cloud in the shrubbery by the d r i v e . It i s s i g n i f i c a n t that the f i r s t memories recorded in the Autobiography should be of that Derbyshire h i l l , f o r a "conical tumulus" such as he terms Mount Cloud dominates the landscape in many of his novels. The Glastonbury Tor and Dinas Bran are both cone-shaped and i s o l a t e d . Wood and Stone devotes i t s opening chapter to a description of Leo's H i l l (Ham H i l l on 12 the border of Somerset and Dorset) and the lesser "cone-shaped eminence" of Nevilton Mount (Montacute H i l l ) . The h i l l f o r -tress of Maiden Castle i s the dominant image i n the novel of that name, and various h i l l s play important roles i n Wolf Solent, Morwyn and Porius. In t h e i r I s o l a t i o n and t h e i r prom-inence these h i l l s seem to suggest certain q u a l i t i e s of the human s p i r i t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Powys' heroes and of Powys him-s e l f — i n d i v i d u a l i t y , strength and s p i r i t u a l s t r i v i n g . Whatever generalized influence of impressive forms the scenery of Derbyshire may have made on the consciousness of Powys as a young c h i l d , the scenery of Derbyshire as such plays no part l n his novels. It was i n Dorsetshire, and l a t e r Somerset, that Powys developed his sense of place — that i n t e r -mingling of topography with human associations which imbues a locale with the atmosphere of romance. Weymouth exerted a great fa s c i n a t i o n over Powys as a boy, perhaps because the town was associated both with holidays and with the magic of the ocean. In both Wood and Stone and Wolf Solent important epi-sodes involve journeys to Weymouth, the holiday town, and Weymouth Sands i s perhaps the one Powys novel ln which the physical s e t t i n g predominates over a l l other elements of the book. Physical sensations i n themselves, such as the mingled odours of old wood, seaweed and f i s h l n t h e i r Weymouth lodgings and the d i s t i n c t i o n s between wet sand, dry sand and pebbly shore on the Weymouth beach, were very Important to Powys as a c h i l d . But the Imaginative power of another person's 13 feelings about a place were impressed upon him as well, f o r example l n his account of how his father's s t o r i e s of rowing exploits along the Weymouth coastline made the area v i v i d l n his mind before he was ever permitted to explore i t himself. Imagination and sensation, the present and the past, combine ln the chil d ' s sense of Weymouth just as they do i n the great novels of Powys' maturity. John Cowper was s i x when his father became curate of St. Peter's Church, Dorchester, which entailed a move f i r s t to Weymouth and subsequently to Dorchester, the s e t t i n g of Maiden  Castle. Six years l a t e r the family moved to Montacute, i n southern Somerset, where the parents remained f o r many years. Montacute i s the Nevilton of Wood and Stone; Glastonbury i s nearby, and the country between Montacute and Sherborne, where John Cowper went to school, forms the background of Wolf Solent. The influence of Powys' father on his own sense of land-scape was evidently great. Like his son, the Reverend C.F. Powys was a great walker, and could i d e n t i f y every l o c a l plant and animal. His favourite reading, apart from the Bible, was Bewick's Birds. The amateur n a t u r a l i s t taught his son much i n a f a c t u a l way. John Cowper learned to recognize (especially l a t e r , l n Wessex) the song of rare birds, the v a r i e t i e s of wild flowers and ferns, the formation of rocks and stones. His own more se n s i t i v e and I n t u i t i v e love of naturalism achieved pr e c i s i o n , which l a t e r was to give a needed t a n g i b i l i t y and conviction to much of the descriptive w r i t i n g i n his novels. Moreover, he encouraged the development of John Cowper*s response 14 to d i f f e r e n t kinds of natural scenery. My Father made so much of these differences, implying rather than asseverating the advantages of his native Wessex over a l l others, that It was natural enough f o r the varying q u a l i t y of landscapes to become as important to us as s i l k s to haberdashers, skins to f u r r i e r s , wines to dotards and cynics. He brought us up to note every undulation, every upland, every spinney, every ridge, every fen and the e f f e c t produced upon a l l these by every va r i e t y of season or weather, (Autobiography, 138) The influence of the father's sense of landscape i s evident throughout the novels of the son. The father had, however, l i t t l e patience with the preten-sions of science. His passion f o r natural history, "the moment It took on a more recondite s c i e n t i f i c form became to him i n a curious way absurd and r i d i c u l o u s ! It began to border upon the foolishness of that imaginary bete n o l r of h i s , 'The Professor' who was always the v i l l a i n i n his never-ended f a i r y story" (Autobiography, 1 5 ) . This h o s t i l i t y to a n a l y t i c a l science, pursued f o r Its own sake without any imaginative sym-pathy with the thing studied, seems to have been transmitted to John Cowper. Almost every one of his novels has Its "bete  n o l r of a Professor" — Dr. Brush, Morwyn's father, G l l l e s de Pirogue — who, l i k e the Ruler of A t l a n t i s , take as t h e i r "one and sole purpose" the study of "science f o r the sake of science" and "care nothing about such t r i f l i n g , f r i v o l o u s , unimportant matters as f a i t h , hope and charity" or "the happiness of people . . . or the p i t y or the sympathy of people" ( A t l a n t i s . 4 5 1 ) . John Cowper's own g i f t of apprehending the universe was 15 q u i t e otherwise. His animism, h i s d e s c r i p t i o n s of lower forms of l i f e and even inanimate t h i n g s as p o s s e s s i n g consciousness and w i l l , may seem p e r v e r s e l y i r r a t i o n a l and opposed t o a modern understanding of the world. Yet h i s sense of our need f o r i m a g i n a t i v e sympathy, to balance the inhumanity of p u r e l y o b j e c t i v e , s c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h , i s n e i t h e r p e r v e r s e nor i r r a -t i o n a l . Jung suggests t h a t p r i m i t i v e men have a sense of m y s t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the n a t u r a l world which i s l o s t t o modern man, and can operate now o n l y through our dreams. Most of us have consigned t o the unconscious a l l the f a n t a s t i c p s y c h i c a s s o c i a t i o n s t h a t every o b j e c t or i d e a possesses. The p r i m i t i v e , on the o t h e r hand, i s s t i l l aware of these p s y c h i c p r o p e r t i e s ; he endows animals, p l a n t s o r stones w i t h powers t h a t we f i n d strange and u n a c ceptable. . . . A t r e e may p l a y a v i t a l p a r t i n the l i f e o f a p r i m i t i v e , a p p a r e n t l y p o s s e s s i n g f o r him i t s own s o u l and v o i c e , and the man con-cerned w i l l f e e l t h a t he shares i t s f a t e . . . . For i n the p r i m i t i v e ' s world t h i n g s do not have the same sharp boundaries they do i n our " r a t i o n a l " s o c i e t i e s . What p s y c h o l o g i s t s c a l l p s y c h i c i d e n t i t y , o r " m y s t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n , " has been s t r i p p e d o f f our world of t h i n g s . But i t i s e x a c t l y t h i s h a l o of unconscious a s s o c i a t i o n s t h a t g i v e s a c o l o u r f u l and f a n t a s t i c aspect t o the p r i m i t i v e ' s world. We have l o s t i t to such a degree t h a t we do not r e c o g n i z e i t when we meet i t a g a i n . Powys, however, had not l o s t t h i s power, but i n h e r i t e d i t from h i s f a t h e r who was h i m s e l f a p r i m i t i v e i n some ways. He was man who d e r i v e d more t h r i l l i n g p l e a s u r e — a deep, massive, v o l c a n i c p l e a s u r e — from l i t t l e n a t u r a l t h i n g s than anyone I have ever known. . . . The t r u t h was, h i s i n t e r e s t i n Nature was p a r t of h i s p a s s i o n a t e — but t o t a l l y 16 subjective — romance of l i f e . . . . Every person of his l i f e , every place he had ever l i v e d i n , took on f o r him the Importance of something tremendous and mythological. (Autobiography, 13, 15). "Mystical p a r t i c i p a t i o n , " or "the sense of . . . the demonic l i f e of inanimate things" was a qu a l i t y Powys admired and remarked i n other writers he valued. It was the g i f t of Dickens, he writes, To endow the l i t t l e every-day objects that surround us — a certain picture i n a certa i n l i g h t , a certa i n lock or stove l n a certain shadow, a certa i n corner of the curtain when the wind moves i t — with the fetish-magic of natural "animismj" that . . . i s what Dickens does . . . . And that i s why, to me Dickens i s so great a writer.-' Elsewhere Powys writes of a philosophy held by Homer, Rabelais, Laotze and Keats of which the pervading s p i r i t i s animism» I w i l l not say 'the idea that,' I prefer to say 'the r e a l i t y that,' the earth, the sky, the a i r , the water, the sun, the moon, and a l l the multitude of stars with every pond that i s dug and every f i r e that Is l i t , are f u l l of l i v i n g things, f u l l of e n t i t i e s , i d e n t i t i e s , presences, consciousnesses and s p i r i t u a l souls > . . . l i k e the souls of very young children, a n g e l i c a l l y and wickedly and p i t i f u l l y innocent.^ Powys* f i r s t - p u b l i s h e d f i c t i o n , a short story e n t i t l e d "The Hamadryad and the Demon" which appeared i n a single-copy Powys family magazine, concerns two " r e a l " characters i n love, respectively, with a hamadryad and a stone carving of a demon. In another story, "The Owl, The Duck and — Miss Rowe. Miss Rowel," most of the active characters are, paradoxically, 1 7 6 inanimate. The l a s t novels, or fantasies, of Powys are p a r t i c -u l a r l y r i c h i n the depiction of the consciousness of sub-human and often inanimate characters. It could be argued that his fondness f o r f a n t a s t i c characterization becomes ludicrous some-times, as i n the personalities given to the f l y , moth, p i l l a r and Club of Hercules i n A t l a n t i s . H. P. C o l l i n s notes that among the "strange and anachronous Dramatis personae" of The Mountains of the Moon "dramatic d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n has, under-standably, proved d i f f i c u l t . " ? But Powys* animism i s not r e s t r i c t e d to the overt and c h i l d l i k e bringing of inanimates to l i f e and consciousness such as we f i n d l n these fantasies. In the major novels, i t involves a profound sense of how men are affected by and i n t e r -act with t h e i r environment. "His mysticism i s r e a l l y an uncanny awareness of an actual physical and psychic r e l a t i o n s h i p between Q man and nature." In A Glastonbury Romance the relationships between the supernatural, human and sub-human presences i n the town confer a great richness on the novel and a c t u a l l y inten-s i f y the impression of r e a l i t y which i t conveys. Cordelia Geard, waiting f o r her lover i n Old Jones' c u r i o s i t y shop on an A p r i l day, senses a mystical correspondence between the awakening of the natural world outside, her own sensations of love, and the accumulated debris of the c u r i o s i t i e s , In which "the flowing s p i r i t of l i f e " was "caught up, waylaid, turned into s i l k , s a t i n , brass . . . traps, walking-sticks and weapons" (A Glastonbury Romance, 3 5 5 ) . While Powys absorbed his father's passion f o r long walks 18 through the countryside, close observation of nature, suspicion of s c i e n t i f i c pretension, and sense of the interrelatedness of man, the lower forms of l i f e and inanimate objects, his early interest ln literature was encouraged by his mother. Herself a descendant"- of the poets Cowper and Donne, she was a great reader, and read as well to her children. Powys claims Walter Scott and an illustrated version of Aytoun's Scottish Cavaliers as formative literary influences on his own treatment of land-scape. He found in both a Celtic aura which "affected deeper than I could possibly make you believe the actual feeling I have when I catch sight of certain rocks and stones and trees and rivers and wooded h i l l s " (Autobiography, 24). Thus Powys absorbed early that romantic identification of emotional states with landscape, which is so dominant a characteristic of his own writing. His own f i r s t poem is a Gothic account of two "grisly spectres" at Corfe Castle. Written following a family v i s i t to the castle, i t demonstrates Powys' early suscepti-b i l i t y to impressions of landscape and in particular to the h i l l t o p ruins which are a recurring image in his novels. At Corfe Castle when the light Has vanished and the shades of night Steal o'er the ruins grey There is a dungeon from light of day Where now a grisly Spectre holds his sway. Among the shadowy ruins groping creeps he . . . (Autobiography, 63) Although the early years in Dorset and Somerset were undoubtedly the most significant in the shaping of Powys' sense of place, certain events and aspects of his adult l i f e also 19 shaped his attitude to landscape. The Autobiography describes a moment of revelation and ecstasy brought about by the sight of a piece of moss c l i n g i n g to an ancient wall i n Cambridge. This re v e l a t i o n , which he considers "the greatest event i n my l i f e at Cambridge" (182), gave him a v i s i o n of the "mysterious meeting point of animate with inanimate" which was to play such an important role i n his novels. In f a c t I a c t u a l l y regarded i t as a prophetic idea of the sort of s t o r i e s that I myself might come to write t s t o r i e s that should have as t h e i r background the indescribable peace and gentleness of the substance we name grass i n contact with the substance we name stone. (Autobiography, 183) Powys asserts that although he did not gain much from Cambridge, he "gained a l l the world from Cambridgeshire" (168), as he pursued there the long, s o l i t a r y walks i n which he developed an awareness of a mysterious and mystical rapport between him-s e l f and certain inanimate objects. "Posts, palings, hedges, heaps of s t o n e s — they were part of my very soul" (155). It i s t h i s v i v i d sense of the external world, not simply a sharp accurate picture but a s i x t h sense of an ad d i t i o n a l q u a l i t y of l i f e which was l a t e r to give Powys* novels t h e i r peculiar richness, Although experiences at Cambridge developed Powys* f e e l i n g f o r the countryside and his sense of a mysterious rapport between himself and certain inanimate objects, the landscapes of his novels are, with the exception of Wales, the landscapes known to him as a c h i l d . His Itinerant years as a lecturer 20 seem to have strengthened rather than diminished his f e e l i n g f o r the English countryside. A l l the novels he wrote while i n America are set i n the English landscapes of his boyhood; his creative imagination seems not to have responded to the harsher and more dramatic landscapes through which he t r a v e l l e d , just as the bleak grandeur of the Blaenau F f e s t i n i o g area does not appear l n any of the books he wrote there. Wolf Solent, A Glastonbury Romance and Weymouth Sands, with t h e i r d e t a i l s of hummocks, lanes and stumps, were written from memory and with the help of Ordnance Survey maps. Letters written to L i t t l e t o n at t h i s time indicate the process. . . . I have got an Ordnance Map of Bridgewater and the Quantocks and one of Wells and the Mendipsi but Glastonbury i s just at the edge between these two so that i t i s rather hard to deal with them together. I have n a i l e d up the one that has Glastonbury on i t behind the Stove on the wall of t h i s room. (May 2, 1930) My idea now i s to write my next romance about Weymouth and Portland — so i f you have any old tumbled to b i t s guide-books and books about those places more f a m i l i a r to us both from childhood than any others you might despatch them to me. (February 6, 1932) Returning from America i n 193^, Powys attempted to s e t t l e l n Dorchester, the s e t t i n g of his current work-in-progress. During the composition of his l a s t Wessex novel, Maiden Castle, Powys was f o r once l i v i n g i n and writing about the same place at the same time, and c r i t i c s have suggested that f o r t h i s reason the s e t t i n g of Maiden Castle i s less v i v i d l y evoked 21 than usual. It Is Indicative of the nature of Powys' imagin-ation that the novels written i n the nost a l g i a of e x i l e are those which describe Wessex with the greatest d e t a i l and f e e l i n g . This i s not, however, the case with the novels written during his years i n Wales, but of course Powys considered his sojourn i n Wales as a home-coming rather than as e x i l e . The three "Welsh" novels — Morwyn (1937), Owen Glendower (19^0) and Porlus (1951) were written i n Corwen, where the two h i s t o r -i c a l novels l a r g e l y take place. Powys' growing sense of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the Welsh involved a f a s c i n a t i o n with the wilder, more wooded, landscapes of North Wales, which were even more i s o l a t e d from twentieth-century c i v i l i z a t i o n than Wessex was. Although i t may and has been considered as escapism, Powys' withdrawal from active l i f e and his re t r e a t into the heart of one of the least "developed" areas of B r i t a i n was r e a l l y a search and a Journey inwards, towards psychological and s p i r i t u a l development which must be fostered by s o l i t u d e . T o p i c a l i t y and s o c i a l realism were never among the v i r t u e s of Powys' novels, whereas his residence i n Wales did permit a s i g n i f i c a n t development of his f e e l i n g f o r place, f o r history, and f o r a somewhat more rugged Nature. In his l a s t novels, his imagination understandably seems to have been stimulated by memory and fantasy rather than by the immediate environment. Although he spent his l a s t eight years i n Blaenau F f e s t i n i o g , the Snowdon area i s not used as a s e t t i n g f o r the novels written there; these novels are set once more i n Wessex, or l n imagined t e r r i t o r i e s of Greece, Troy and even the moon. But the 22 f a s c i n a t i o n with the l i t t l e d e t a i l s of nature remains, and the atmospheric power conferred through landscape i s occasionally evoked even i n these l a t e works. The place of John Cowper Powys within the t r a d i t i o n of English w r i t i n g on landscape i s pa r t l y , although not e n t i r e l y , determined by his rel a t i o n s h i p to Hardy. The early novels are those of a d i s c i p l e of Hardy, although they d i f f e r greatly from the school of "regional novels" also written under Hardy's i n s p i r a t i o n . But many of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c Powysian approaches to landscape i n the novel — e x a g g e r a t e d , fantasized and Gothic-ized though they may be — are to be found also i n the works of Hardy. An obvious source of comparison i s i n the Wessex upbring-ing of Powys and Hardy, and the consequent s e t t i n g of many of t h e i r novels i n the same countryside. Wolf Solent goes walking through the lanes of The Woodlanders. Dud No-Man and his friends l i v e i n Casterbrldge, Owen Evans and John Crow, l i k e Tess, pass an eerie night at Stonehenge, and t o u r i s t s of Powys* novel think of Hardy i n Budmouth. While an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t s p i r i t animates the characters of Powys' novels from that which ani-mates those of Hardy's, comparisons and r e c o l l e c t i o n s are almost inevitable when landscapes from the f i c t i o n of Hardy are recreated by Powys. Powys was highly conscious of the fact that he was wri t i n g about Hardy's own country. In Wood and  Stone, Luke Andersen on a v i s i t to Weymouth thinks of Hardy at several points and, r e c a l l i n g the opening chapters of The Well-Beloved, "could not help thinking to himself how strangely the 23 pervading charm of scenes of t h i s kind i s enhanced by personal and l i t e r a r y associations" (5 ? 6 ) . This awareness on his char-acters' part that they inhabit a landscape celebrated by Hardy has the e f f e c t of putting Hardy's novels further into the past; they become part of the background, the myths and t r a d i t i o n s of the area against which the modern characters are seen. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between Powys and Hardy i s not, of course, confined to the s i m i l a r locales of t h e i r novels. In t h e i r treatment of landscape t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s to be found i n t h e i r detailed observation of nature, i n t h e i r attaching symbolic value to topographical features, and l n t h e i r sense of a corres-pondence between human emotions and the changes of weather, colour and l i g h t apparent i n nature. Both were countrymen a l l t h e i r l i v e s , and the i n t r i c a t e d e t a i l s of nature which were fa m i l i a r and f a s c i n a t i n g to them give a richness of texture and evocative power to t h e i r novels, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c also of such "nature writers" as W.H. Hudson, Richard J e f f r i e s and Henry Williamson. But i n Powys' novels, as i n Hardy's, the descrip-tions of nature, however abundant and a t t r a c t i v e , are always es s e n t i a l to the development of theme and the revelation of character. The integration of nature description into the larger purposes of the novel i s achieved by Powys' mingling of such description with the whole consciousness of the observers. It was along the edge of a small t r i b u t a r y f u l l of marsh-marigolds that they approached the r i v e r -bank. Gerda was so impatient to hear a water-rat splash that she scarcely glanced at these great yellow orbs r i s i n g from thick, moist, mud-stained 24 stalks and burnished leaves; but to Wolf, as he passed them by, there came rushing headlong out of that d i t c h , l i k e an i n v i s i b l e Company of tossing-maned air-horses, a whole wild herd of ancient memories I (Wolf Solent, 146) In the major novels of Powys, no piece of natural descrip-t i o n i s gratuitous, a "set-piece" e x i s t i n g independently of the rest of the novel. The marsh-marigolds are appreciated f o r themselves, but the purpose of t h e i r i n c l u s i o n i s a revelation of the contrasting states of awareness i n the two lovers --Gerda c h i l d i s h and spontaneous, Wolf a n a l y t i c a l , introspective and dominated by memory. Awareness of his external surround-ings i s a constant element i n the thought-process of the Powysian protagonist, and a moment of revelation often fuses i t s e l f with some sensory impression which accompanies the s p i r i t u a l exper-ience. Wolf's awakening love f o r Gerda i s accompanied by the beautiful description of her blackbird song, just as Grace Melbury's new awareness of Giles Winterbourne i s seen i n terms of the colours and smells of the cider pressing. S i m i l a r l y , Clara r e a l i z e s Vernon i n Meredith's description of him l y i n g under the cherry tree, and Ursula and Blrkin transmit t h e i r a t t r a c t i o n f o r each other while studying the catkin flowers. In Powys as i n Hardy, Lawrence and even Meredith, who i s not normally considered a "nature writer," the detailed description of a natural scene adds richness to the novel without d e f l e c t -ing the novel from i t s primary concerns with character and theme. Because of his extensive use of Wessex landscapes Powys has often been termed a regional n o v e l i s t . But something of 25 the i n d i v i d u a l nature of his treatment of landscape may be observed from a study of just how he does d i f f e r from both the great regional writers l i k e George E l i o t and Hardy, and those followers of Hardy who form a sort of r e g i o n a l l s t school --among them Eden P h i l l p o t t s , H.W. Bates, Thomas Moult, "John Treveha," Sheila Kaye-Smith and Constance Holme. W.Y. T l n d a l l ' s c r i t i c i s m of the "regional school" might be, and has been, applied to Powys. These middle-class refugees from what t h e i r class had done to nature found or created vestiges of a more natural past. Tom l i k e t h e i r master (Hardy) between Wordsworth and Darwin, and almost aware that in turning t h e i r backs upon c i t i e s they were r e j e c t i n g the important r e a l i t y of t h e i r c l a s s , they became morbid. And so did t h e i r peasants, trees, and flowers. T i n d a l l i s here c r i t i c i z i n g the r e g i o n a l i s t s f o r a lack of s o c i a l realism, but i n Powys' case, at least, s o c i a l realism i s not the q u a l i t y aimed at. It cannot be f a i r l y said that Powys id e a l i z e s the past or the countryside; the charge of morbidity h i t s closer, but Poe, Baudelaire and Dostoievsky are also "morbid" writers, and Powys' l i t e r a r y purposes l i e closer to theirs than to those of Trollope or Arnold Bennett. Herein l i e s one impor-tant d i s t i n c t i o n between Powys and the r e g i o n a l l s t school. Another tendency of the regional novels i s to describe l i f e as, i n Charlotte Bronte's words, "something r e a l , cool and s o l i d . . . as unromantic as Monday morning." Powys, however, finds even Monday morning thoroughly romantic. Dud NoMan's breakfast-making operations are Invested with the atmosphere of h i s t o r i c struggles between royal personages; Wolf Solent and 26 John Crow have visionary experiences while staring respectively at a pig sty and a dead cat i n the mud. What might be natural-i s t i c descriptions, f o r example of the d e t a i l s of domestic i n t e r i o r s or repulsive old men, are moved into another category of l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n by Powys' conviction of a transcendental significance inherent l n the most mundane objects and beings. While most regional nov e l i s t s were working b a s i c a l l y within the n a t u r a l i s t t r a d i t i o n , Powys' i n s p i r a t i o n was fundamentally roman-t i c , mystical and n o n - r e a l i s t i c . 12 P h y l l i s Bentley, i n her book on regionalism, suggests that in the true regional novel the characters' occupations are indi g -enous to the area described, and that the plot depends f o r Its functioning upon c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of that region. While A Glastonbury Romance and Weymouth Sands do attempt to deal with p o l i t i c a l and economic factors l n the l i v e s of the communities — Mr. Geard's mayoral candidacy, P h i l i p Crow's "works," the labour trouble at the Portland quarries -- these issues are kept in the background, rather than being v i v i d l y recreated i n scenes of the novel as they are l n great regional works l i k e Middle-march, The Mayor of Casterbrldge or the Five Towns novels. Jobber Skald i s a l i v e i n his love f o r Perdita and his obsession with murdering Cattistock, but we do not r e a l l y see him func-t i o n i n g as a quarry man, nor can we quite envisage the magnifi-cent mystic Geard coping with the d e t a i l s of c i v i c o f f i c e . It i s i n Wood and Stone, the novel which i s chronologically closest to Hardy and the succeeding wave of r e g l o n a l i s t s , that we f i n d the most convincing depiction of protagonists who are working 2? men. We are a c t u a l l y shown James chipping stone and Dangelis painting a p o r t r a i t . In the l a t e r novels, even those charac-ters who have regular jobs seem to f i n d i t disconcertingly easy to devote large portions of t h e i r days to long walks, d a l l i a n c e and philosophical debate. Most Powysian protagonists have jobs which allow them a great deal of l i b e r t y — Wolf i s doing dub-ious research, Magnus Muir i s a tutor, the Cobbold brothers are respectively clown and i t i n e r a n t philosopher, Dud i s w r i t i n g a novel. While minor characters such as the Torps and Weather-wax may be convincing as working people, v i r t u a l l y a l l the major characters i n the novels are freed by the nature of t h e i r occu-pations from the exigencies of an ordinary working l i f e . Clergymen, tutors, writers, antiquarians they are also not r e s t r i c t e d to any p a r t i c u l a r l o c a l i t y by t h e i r kind of work, and can not be considered "regional" characters. Nor, on the whole, do Powys' plots turn upon events which are indigenous to any p a r t i c u l a r regions. While Lenty Pond, Weymouth and Babylon H i l l play t h e i r parts i n Wolf's s p i r i t u a l c r i s i s , they function symbolically rather than l n some d i r e c t l y economic way. To.elucidate t h i s point, there i s an i n t e r e s t i n g comparison to be made between Wolf Solent and The Woodlanders. In both novels, which are, i n c i d e n t a l l y , set within a few miles of each other, the chief character i s attracted to two d i f f e r e n t members of the opposite sex, and makes a choice which he l a t e r regrets. In both novels, "cosmopolitan" characters (Wolf, C h r i s t i e , F i t z p i e r s , Mrs. Charmond and to some extent Grace) interact with "regional" characters (Gerda, Giles and Marty). 2 8 In Hardy's novel, however, much of the c r i s i s i s precipitated by regional f a c t o r s . Local tenure laws, the i s o l a t i o n of the Hintocks and the seasonal tasks of the woodsmen are a l l highly l o c a l conditions, and are conditions e s s e n t i a l to the working out of the tragedy. Wolf Solent c e r t a i n l y reacts to the topo-graphical features of his birthplace, and i s aware of Nature and the changes of the seasons, but these influences operate on his i n t e l l e c t and s p i r i t rather than i n the p r a c t i c a l , economic and physical ways that they a f f e c t Giles and the woodlanders. Even the r u s t i c Gerda Is not bound by any e s s e n t i a l l y Wessex way of l i f e . While the book i t s e l f would have a very d i f f e r e n t character i f transferred to some other s e t t i n g , the elements of the plot could remain almost unchanged. Wolf could have morbid fancies about a pond i n Lancashire, Gerda could whistle l i k e a bird on almost any h i l l , and Mr. Malakite could make his f a t e f u l Journey to Blackpool equally as well as to Weymouth. The plots of The Woodlanders, or The Lonely Plough or Anna of the Five  Towns could not be so e a s i l y transferred to other l o c a l i t i e s . To say a l l t h i s i s not to say that Powys' novels are not firmly rooted l n the landscape and t r a d i t i o n s of certain regions. A Glastonbury Romance r e a l l y i s inconceivable i n another s e t t i n g ; Weymouth Sands could not e a s i l y become Blackpool Sands, or even Brighton Sands. But the elements which bind Powys' novels to t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r landscapes are not the economical and s o c i a l influences of the region upon the d e t a i l s of the plot which are so much a part of the regionalism of George E l i o t , Hardy, Bennett and t h e i r followers. Landscape i s ce n t r a l to the novels 29 of Powys i n the sense that i t lar g e l y creates t h e i r psycholog-i c a l atmosphere — the states of mind and s p i r i t u a l battles of his protagonists which are his true concern. In the sense that Lenty Pond represents the s i n i s t e r seduction of negation, des-p a i r and suicide, i t i s an extremely Important image — one might even say force'-.- within the book. Leo's H i l l , Lenty Pond and the Forests of Tywyn have a symbolic power comparable to that of the marshes i n Great Expectations or Egdon Heath, even though t h e i r influence on the economic l i f e of the l o c a l inhabi-tants may not be as great. The best regional novels show the landscape influencing the characters both economically and psychologically, The Return  of the Native being a supreme example of t h i s . Trevena's Furze the Cruel (1907) and Sheila Kaye-Smlth's Sussex Gorse (1916), regional novels roughly contemporary with Powys' f i r s t e f f o r t s , do use landscapes i n these ways, but both novels are much more obviously indebted to Hardy (for example, i n t h e i r choice of the heath as antagonist) than Powys i s even l n his early works. In these two novels the landscape symbolism i s monolithic; the aspirations of the human characters are set i n opposition to the bleak reductionism of the heath. In Wood and  Stone c o n f l i c t i n g aspects of human nature are embodied l n two h i l l s , one rockyand quarried, the other gently wooded and sur-mounted by a cross. The symbolism i s s t i l l quite blatant, but i t i s already more complex than that of Furze the Cruel or Sussex  Gorse. In a late novel l i k e Owen Glendower the symbolism of the landscape has become very subtle and i n t r i c a t e l y woven into the treatment of themes and characters. In the two regional novels 30 v i r t u a l l y a l l the characters are natives, and most work on the land. Wood and Stone has an American painter, two I t a l i a n waifs and a cosmopolitan theologian among i t s personaes r e l a -t i v e l y few of i t s characters could be considered Wessex "types". Clearly, something other than r u r a l realism i s being attempted. For the most f r u i t f u l sources of comparison with Powys' treatment of landscape i t i s necessary to look not only to Hardy, the "nature writers" l i k e Hudson and J e f f r i e s , and the r e g l o n a l i s t s but also to the Romantics, the Gothic n o v e l i s t s , Emily Bronte and certain French contemporaries. Among the romantic poets, Wordsworth and Scott probably had the most i n -fluence, although Powys shared Keats' fascination with minutiae and his imaginative sympathy enabled him, l i k e Keats, sometimes to convey the sense that he too a c t u a l l y was the sparrow picking about the gravel. From Scott, and Aytoun as w e l l , Powys claimed to have derived much of his early f a s c i n a t i o n with h i s t o r i c a l romance and the glamour of a landscape steeped i n associations of human drama (Autobiography. 23-24, 6 0 - 6 1 ) . Wordsworth's sense of presences among the mighty forms of the h i l l s , working with an inscrutable w i l l upon the human char-acter, i s echoed i n Powys' sense of the landscape as having some kind of consciousness and w i l l of i t s own. The malevolence of Leo's H i l l , and the presence of Cader Idris i n Porlus owe some-thing to the midnight boating expeditions l n Book I of The  Prelude when . . . growing s t i l l l n stature the grim shape Towered up between me and the s t a r s , and s t i l l , For so i t seemed, with purpose of i t s own And measured motion l i k e a l i v i n g thing, Strode a f t e r me. (I, 381-385) 31 Powys lacked Wordsworth's conviction of the benevolence of the "Presences of Nature i n the sky/ And on the earthI Ye v i s i o n s of the h i l i s t ? And Souls of lonely places I" (I, 464-66), but his awareness of these Presences i s a notable aspect of landscape description i n a l l his novels. Unlike those of Wordsworth, the landscapes of Powys often embody q u a l i t i e s of horror and e v i l . A l e t t e r written to Louis Wilkinson from V i r g i n i a shows the kind of macabre fantasy which Powys p a r t i c u l a r l y enjoyed. It describes a marsh by a sea-estuary among reeds and black decaying tree-trunks and indescribable mud — and on the other side of the water black cypresses . . . . The place heaved and palpitated with the l i f e of putrescence l i k e a h o r r i b l e great heart . . . . It was the cradle of a l l the physical nightmares that prey on morbid nerves. It heaved with h o r r i b l e d e a t h - i n - l i f e . . . with forbidden l i f e . It was l i k e black blood breeding snakes . . . From Gothic novels Powys learned the a r t of contrasting pastoral and awesome landscapes to heighten the e f f e c t of each, and i n d i -cating something of the psychological states of the characters through the technique of pathetic f a l l a c y . The midnight esca-pade of Gladys and Lacrlma i n Wood and Stone and the discovery of Rachel's corpse with i t s eyes pecked out by an owl i n Rodmoor are thoroughly Gothic episodes. However, the mature Powys was less i n c l i n e d to gloat over horrors. Gothic passages are less frequent i n the l a t e r novels, and even p o t e n t i a l l y melodramatic scenes such as the confrontation of Geard with Merlin's s p i r i t at Mark's Court i n A Glastonbury Romance and the pursuit of the giants over the peaks of Cader Idr i s l n Porlus have a magical rather than h o r r i f i c q u a l i t y — magic 32 which i s o r i g i n a l to and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Powys at his best. Having considered l n a general way the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Powys' treatment of landscape, each of his works of f i c t i o n may be surveyed i n d i v i d u a l l y and l n chronological sequence, in order to Indicate the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the f i v e novels to the development of Powys' work as a whole. It has already been demonstrated that Wood and Stone and the other early novels were greatly influenced by Hardy. Wood  and Stone (1915) i s dedicated to Hardy, Rodmoor (1916) to "the s p i r i t of Emily Bronte." These f i r s t two novels were both sub-t i t l e d "A Romance;" both appeared within a year of the essay i n Suspended Judgements which discusses the importance of landscape as the background of human drama l n the romance. The scenery i n which Wood and Stone i s set does indeed "present I t s e l f as some-thing almost personal" i n the development of the p l o t . As the introduction and opening chapter assert, the c o n f l i c t l n the novel i s b a s i c a l l y between the two h i l l s , animated by opposing "mythologies j" the human characters are powerless against these larger forces. A landscape description opens each chapter, estab l i s h i n g i t s mood with overt symbolism. Wood and Stone and Ducdame (1925) are Wessex novels, but Rodmoor, a f t e r opening i n London, i s set i n East Anglia. Thus, while the f i r s t novel describes the landscape — that around Montacute — with which Powys had the longest and closest assoc-i a t i o n s , Rodmoor has fewer personal and autobiographical elements, and landscape i s less prominent than usual. 3 3 . . . Powys distances his theme by putting to a t r a g i c purpose a landscape with happy associations f o r himself . . . . The landscape harmonises with the bleakness of the t a l e . Rodmoor i t s e l f i s a decaying port backed by immense salt-marshes and eroded by the sea, and the novel i s haunted by a f e e l i n g of i s o l a t i o n and menace. The geographical notation of Wood and  Stone i s here reversed. Now i t i s the woods and orchards and gardens of the inland country which are f r i e n d l y , and the sea which i s the enemy and destroyer* agraphobla replaces c l a u s t r o p h o b i a . ^ Not only the sea but the t i d a l River Loon, i n which the f i r s t of the three deaths by drowning takes place, i s endowed with a s i n i s t e r h o s t i l i t y to man. But the Gothicism of Powys i s not simply sensational indulgence. It i s a means of expressing his acute s e n s i t i v i t y to e v i l , to the darker side of men's natures and of the impulses which pass between them and the physical world. Although chronologically much closer to Wolf Solent (1929) and the succeeding major novels, Ducdame belongs with the ear-l i e r , minor novels of Powys, since i n i t he i s s t i l l somewhat under the t h r a l l of the Gothic and regional t r a d i t i o n s . Land-scape descriptions are abundant and r i c h i n natural d e t a i l s . While they do not formally introduce each chapter as they do l n Wood and Stone, these descriptions of the l o c a l scenery as i t a l t e r s under the changes of season and weather are nevertheless made to correspond with the emotional states of the characters. A close analysis of how t h i s correspondence between man and nature operates i n a t y p i c a l chapter i s given by Glen Cavaliero 15 in his essay on the early novels. Nature does not exert the malign influence i n t h i s novel upon man that i t did i n the two preceding ones. Oppressive images of both the fecundity and 34 the bleakness of nature are counterbalanced by i d y l l i c images. He remembered one p a r t i c u l a r June evening . . . as he watched by his brother's side a great orange-bellied newt sink languidly down into the depth of a meadow pond, while the hum of the heavy mowing machine went round the f i e l d followed by the scent of newly cut clover and the f l i c k e r of careless-winged dragon-flies . . . (167). The sinking of the newt into the watery depths recurs as an Image of almost mystical joy and completeness i n A Glastonbury Romance. Ducdame and Wolf Solent are the l a s t novels i n which Powys, following Hardy's practice, t h i n l y disguised the settings of the novels by a l t e r i n g t h e i r place names. Jobber Skald (1934) was issued with that t i t l e and with i t s place names a l t e r e d , only because of a law s u i t launched by a Somerset i n d u s t r i a l -i s t who had believed himself l i b e l l e d i n the person of P h i l i p Crow l n the preceding novel, A Glastonbury Romance. The book had already been published i n America as Weymouth Sands. and a l a t e r English e d i t i o n (1963) restored the t i t l e and true place names. There i s no doubt but that Powys* novels are enriched by the a c t u a l i t y of t h e i r settings, and disguised place names serve l i t t l e purpose. With Wolf Solent Powys entered upon two decades of crea-t i v e f e r t i l i t y and maturity: between 1929 and 1951 he wrote si x major novels as well as the fantasy Morwyn, his Autobi-ography and other n o n - f i c t i o n a l works. In Wolf Solent can be sensed f o r the f i r s t time an independence and confidence i n his own v i s i o n which enabled Powys l a r g e l y to dispense with Gothic machinery. Paradoxically, while Wolf Solent i s thus 35 more " r e a l i s t i c " than the early novels, i t digresses further from the t r a d i t i o n of the regional novel by i t s absorption l n the psychological processes of i t s protagonist. While Wood  and Stone did to some degree depict the l i f e of a Wessex v i l l -age, Wolf Solent i s concerned with the soul of Wolf, and with the external world only insofar as i t Impinges on or i s mirrored in that soul. One s i g n i f i c a n t change from the early novels l i e s i n the r e l a t i v e benevolence, or at least i n d i f f e r e n c e , of the landscape and nature toward the human characters. Partly due to the pruning away of his Gothicism, t h i s new acceptance of the intertwined beauty and ugliness of nature i s an i n d i c a -tion of Powys' Increasingly tolerant, balanced attitude towards human experience. Lenty Pond has Its morbid f a s c i n a t i o n , but Wolf i s able to r e s i s t i t , and achieves acceptance of both the pig sty and the f i e l d of buttercups behind i t . The protagon-i s t s of the preceding novels, James Andersen, Adrian Sorio and Rook Ashover, respectively died by going insane and f a l l i n g o f f a c l i f f i nto a quarry, by bursting a blood vessel and subse-quently drowning while t i e d to the body of his mistress, and by being beaten to death with a rake by a mad v i c a r . In sub-sequent novels the superhuman figures — Geard, Uryen, Glendower — s t i l l die dramatically, but the "Powys fig u r e s " make some sort of compromise and l i v e on. Nature, from being a h o s t i l e , malign force, Is now a p o t e n t i a l source of physical and s p i r i t u a l ecstasy. Wolf concludes "It's my body that has saved me" inasmuch as It i s through the body that the "simplest elements" of sensuous pleasure to which he ultimately clings 36 f o r a r a i s o n d ' e t r e come t o pervade h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s . A G l a s t o n b u r y Romance (1932) i s the f i r s t o f Powys' n o v e l s i n w h i c h a p a r t i c u l a r l a n d s c a p e i s g i v e n atmosphere and c h a r a c -t e r by a coherent body of l e g e n d . In Wood and Stone Powys more o r l e s s invented, a m y t h o l o g i c a l s t r i f e between th e powers of the two h i l l s ; i n Wolf S o l e n t s i g n i f i c a n c e i s c o n f e r r e d on f e a t u r e s o f t h e l a n d s c a p e by Wolf's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f them w i t h c e r t a i n p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s . But i n G l a s t o n b u r y Powys found a t h o r o u g h l y d e v e l o p e d n a t i v e t r a d i t i o n g i v i n g meaning and resonance t o t h e T o r , C h a l i c e W e l l , W i r r a l H i l l and Pomparles B r i d g e . Powys' i n s i s t e n c e on t h e s p i r i t u a l l y s y m b o l i c p r o p e r t i e s of the l a n d s c a p e t h u s appears l e s s i d i o s y n c r a t i c than i t does i n o t h e r works, and t h e i n s i s t e n c e I t s e l f i s not so b e l a b o u r e d . T h i s n o v e l , and t h e two w h i c h f o l l o w i t (Weymouth Sands and Maiden C a s t l e ) , concern t h e m s e l v e s w i t h t h e topography o f a town as much as w i t h t h e s u r r o u n d i n g l a n d s c a p e . In Weymouth Sands f e a t u r e s o f t h i s t opography -- s p i r e , c l o c k , s t a t u e and w i s h i n g w e l l — e n t e r i n t o the a c t i o n a l m o s t as p e r s o n a l i t i e s . Perhaps because of t h e glamour w h i c h s u r -rounded h i s c h i l d h o o d memories of Weymouth, Powys' p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e p l a c e i s marked by mellow fondness o f t o n e , and an a b s o r p t i o n i n t h e s e n s a t i o n s of t h e p r e s e n t . In t h e A u t o b i o g r a p h y Powys o b s e r v e d how . . . e v e r y a s p e c t o f t h e Weymouth c o a s t sunk i n t o my mind w i t h such a t r a n s u b s t a n t i a t i n g magic t h a t i t might be s a i d t h a t when I t h i n k now o f c e r t a i n t h i n g s I t h i n k w i t h S t . John's s p i r e and the Nothe, and t h e o l d Backwater and 37 the Harbour Bridge, and the stone groins and the green pier-posts and the dead seaweed and the windrow-flotsam and the stranded s t a r - f i s h I (39) The promontory of Portland Is the most a r r e s t i n g topographical image in the book. Like the conical h i l l s of other novels, i t thrusts out into another element, here water as well as a i r . It becomes incarnate i n Jobber Skald who has "a vein of o o l i t e in his d i s p o s i t i o n " and seems to embody both the remote strength of the rock and the moody potency of the sea (171, 252 -53) . The presence of the sea pervades the novel. Unlike Rodmoor, the only other seacoast novel, Weymouth Sands i s a novel of l i g h t and invigorating a i r . The sea, even during the storm scene, i s not a h o s t i l e , malignant force; i t embodies, rather, the mys-tery of the impersonal forces which control human l i f e but which remain ultimately Incomprehensible. In Maiden Castle (1936) topographical features are seen almost e n t i r e l y l n terms of t h e i r past, and landscape Is given i t s meaning by the reaction of the modern characters to the past which It embodies. The town resembles Glastonbury in "the dignity of i t s long h i s t o r y " and i t s a b i l i t y "to gather the centuries together with a f a m i l i a r continuity of unbroken t r a d i t i o n . . . ." Like the Dorchester landscape, t h i s novel has always in i t s background the mysterious and disturbing presence of Maiden Castle, a p r e h i s t o r i c earthwork s i m i l a r to Po l l ' s Camp of Wolf Solent. Much more than i n the e a r l i e r novel, however, the history and o r i g i n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the earthwork are stressed. Uryen Quirm regards Maiden Castle as 38 the repository of some ancient secret of l i f e . The symbolism i s powerful but obscure. While the atmosphere of Weymouth i s almost e n t i r e l y evoked by present phenomena, the timeless sea and seashore, the atmospheres of Glastonbury and Dorchester are conferred on them largely by h i s t o r i c a l associations. Land-scape i n i t s e l f , apart from i t s h i s t o r i c a l and mythological connotations, i s becoming less important than i t was i n the early novels. In Morwyn (1937), an a n t i - v i v i s e c t i o n i s t fantasy, the landscape i s l i t e r a l l y that of H e l l , and the earthly v i s i t o r s are given a tour of i t i n an a l l e g o r i c a l , Dantesque fashion. The book i s i n t e r e s t i n g i n terms of landscape inasmuch as i t gives a s p a t i a l location to what remains i n the major novels merely a concept — the underworld and the Golden Age. Here the Golden Age and the hiding place of Merlin are discovered, underneath H e l l . Morwyn begins l n North Wales, but as yet the Welsh t e r r a i n plays no s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e . A f t e r Maiden Castle Powys wrote only two more major narra-t i v e s , Owen Glendower and Porlus. Both are set l n the area around Corwen, during d i f f e r e n t periods of Welsh h i s t o r y . Owen Glendower (19^0) i s the most wide-ranging of Powys' major novels, since i t follows Glendower's m i l i t a r y a c t i v i t i e s a l l over Wales and the border counties. The influence of the land-scape i s f e l t c h i e f l y i n the person of R h i s i a r t , who reacts to the h i s t o r i c a l and physical auras of Dlnas Bran, Harlech and Tywyn, among other places. As i n A Glastonbury Romance, the legendary s i g n i f i c a n c e of certain landmarks i s blended with 39 the actual physical appearance of the landscape, and the whole aspect of the external environment related to the Internal c o n f l i c t s and aspirations of the characters. In Porius (1951) t h i s process i s more obscure, as the h i s t o r i c a l period depicted i s l i t t l e known and the landscape primeval. Those topographical features which do have human associations (St. Julien's Well, Mynydd y Gaer) are the more memorable f o r the reason that they are surrounded by a v i r t u a l wilderness. Like most of Powys' heroes Porius i s able to throw out his soul into an embrace of Nature, but he embraces a Nature rougher and less humanized than i s usual i n Powys. The intimate association with nature which characterized many of the magus figures and "Powys fig u r e s " of the e a r l i e r novels here reaches i t s extreme i n Merlin, whose nature "constitutes 'a multiple i d e n t i t y composed of many separate l i v e s , ' includ-ing beasts, r e p t i l e s , vegetation and s t o n e . " ^ Thick forests, mists, marshes and funguses are the predominant aspects of landscape l n Porius: they work together with the p r i m i t i v e , r a c i a l l y mixed, often semi-mythological personages of the novel to convey an atmosphere of f e r t i l e mystery. Much of the action of the novel takes place on the great mountains — Cader I d r l s , Yr Wyddfa (a peak of Snowdon) and Mynydd y Gaer. The whole book, l i k e Porius and his giantess lover, i s larger than l i f e , and to t h i s e f f e c t the landscape — purged e n t i r e l y of Gothic trappings and regional quaintness — admirably contributes. In his subsequent works Powys breaks with the main t r a -d i t i o n s of the English novel, and indulges his penchants f o r 40 fantasy and metaphysical speculation. Landscape, which has hitherto provided the novels with a basis i n the normal world, diminishes greatly l n importance as the l a s t novels play with concepts of time and space, and transport t h e i r characters to the sun, moon, the Milky Way, outer space and the earth's centre. The action of The Inmates (1952) takes place mostly inside and i n the grounds of a mental asylum, but a climactic confron-tation does take place under a p r e h i s t o r i c h i l l f o r t at dawn. John Hush, l i k e a l l of Powys' protagonists, finds s p i r i t u a l sustenance i n his r e l a t i o n s h i p with natural and/or inanimate objects, and escapes mesmerism at one point by crawling "on a l l fours" and thus becoming "a medium f o r the secret wisdom of a l l those creatures of the earth, animal, vegetable, min-e r a l . . ." (281) much as Uryen and Merlin had done i n e a r l i e r novels (see Saturnlan Quest, 79, 84). The sense of Nature and the earth i s s t i l l strong, but landscape as such plays l i t t l e part i n the novel. Landscape does resume some importance i n A t l a n t i s (1954), but i t i s the landscape of an imagined Ithaca and a fantasized" ocean voyage, rather than any f a m i l i a r l o c a l i t y , which Powys describes. Certain places are given symbolic weight» Arlma i s a desolate waste where the p o l a r i t i e s of Eurybla and Echidna argue e t e r n a l l y , Kleta's garden i s the repository of l o s t b i t s of matter, and the sunken A t l a n t i s represents the heresy of science f o r i t s own sake. It i s arguable, however, that the l o c a l i t i e s of the novel are so diverse, and the associations given to them so d i f f u s e , that few a t t a i n r e a l s i gnificance 41 f o r the reader. The predominant image of the novel, reinforced by suggestions from Homer and Tennyson, i s that of Odysseus and his motley company s a i l i n g boldly westward. The Brazen Head (1956) has the same Wessex set t i n g as Powys' early novels, but i t s h i s t o r i c a l s e t t i n g and i t s absorp-tion in metaphysical c o n f l i c t s d i f f e r e n t i a t e i t greatly from them. Again, landscape i s very much i n the background, although the book opens with a description of a sunrise seen from a Druidic stone c i r c l e reminiscent of the sunrise i n The Inmates. The s t r i k i n g landmarks of the novel are p r e h i s t o r i c — the stone c i r c l e and the Cerne Giant. This l a t t e r figure has been referred to frequently i n the novels, and here overtly assumes an occult and p h a l l i c power previously just hinted at. Unlike Owen Glendower and Porlus, The Brazen Head does not attempt to give any r e a l i s t i c indication of the place and era i n which i t is set. Features of the landscape sporadically and b r i e f l y become v i v i d , but apart from the Cerne Giant there i s no sense, as there had been i n the early and major novels, of the land-scape as a constant presence and an active force in the human drama. There i s r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e to say about landscape i n Powys* l a s t three fantasies. The protagonists of Up and Out (1957) are on a fragment of earth blown out of the dimensions of time and space by an atomic explosion. There are some humourous references to Powys' own haunts — the Blaenau F f e s t i n i o g Public Library and the ailanthus tree i n Patchin Place, New York City — but the story lacks even that absorption 42 i h natural minutiae which usually marks his work. In The Moun-tains of the Moon, the companion story to Up and Out, these minutiae reappear, and are animated among the cast of charac-ters which thus includes such improbables as the core of the apple from Eden, Jael's Iron N a i l , Nero's f i d d l e - s t r i n g and King Alfred's Crust. We have evidently come a long way from J e f f r i e s , Hardy and the regional novel. Although the late fan-tasies may have l i t t l e d i r e c t interest in the study of Powys* landscapes, i t i s well to remember the sort of f a n t a s t i c , ani-mistic and a l l e g o r i z i n g q u a l i t i e s of his mind which they a f f i r m . A l l or Nothing ( i960) i s set i n a vaguely indent!fiable Dorsetshire, with excursions to London, the sun and the Milky Way. Like A t l a n t i s , i t describes a sacred t e r r i t o r y where polarized e n t i t i e s , here c a l l e d Bubble and Squeak, debate the meaning of l i f e . The Cerne Giant a c t u a l l y comes to l i f e as a kindly and creative f i g u r e . But l n t h i s story, l i k e those immediately preceding i t , "mythology" has taken the place of landscape as the primary inter e s t of the book. Whether or not t h i s i s a t t r i b u t a b l e to Powys* great age, and a consequent emphasis upon fantas i z i n g rather than observation of the world around him, the change undoubtedly results i n a loss of coher-ence and realism. Powys* late works of f i c t i o n indicate how important i t was that his major works were rooted i n a sense of place. The constant, deeply-felt presence of the landscape in these novels helps greatly to counteract the f l i g h t s of metaphysical and psychological speculation which, however valu-able and i n t r i n s i c to his a r t , can otherwise overbalance i t . 4 3 Chapter Twoi Footnotes 1 C o l l i n s , Old Earth Man, p. 1 1 . 2 Carl G. Jung, "Approaching the Unconscious ", Man  and his Symbols, ed., Carl G. Jung (New Yorkt Doubleday, 1964), pp. 4-3-45. 3 "Dickens" i n Visions and Revisions, p. 97. 4 From a review, apparently unpublished, of Eastward l n  Eden by Claude S i l v e , trans. Evelyn Hatch, l n the private c o l l e c t i o n of Mr. E.E. B i s s e l l of Ashorne, Warwickshire. 5 Reprinted i n The Powys Newsletter, Two, 1 9 7 1 . (no pagination). ^ John Cowper Powys, The Owl, The Duck, and — Miss Rowel  Miss Rowe'. (Chicago i Black Archer Press, 1 9 3 0 ) . 7 C o l l i n s , Old Earth Man, p. 116. 8 Glen Cavaliero, "On the F r o n t l e n John Cowper Powys," Theology (Sept. I 9 6 I ) , p. 371. Hereafter referred to as "On the Frontier." ^ Quoted i n Appendix I (b), Essays on John Cowper Powys, ed. Belinda Humfrey (Cardiff 1 University of Wales Press, 1 9 7 2 ) , PP. 3 2 5 , 3 2 9 . This book i s hereafter referred to as Essays, ed. Humfrey. 1 0 Malcolm Elwin, Prefatory Note to the 1966 e d i t i o n of Maiden Castle (London» Macdonald), p. 8 , 1 1 W.Y. T i n d a l l , Forces i n Modern B r i t i s h Literature ( I 9 4 7 5 rpt. New Yorki Random House, 1 9 5 6 ) , p. 3 0 3 . For such c r i t i c i s m of Powys see T i n d a l l himself, p. 3 0 4 , and Lionel Stevenson, The History of the English Novel, v o l 1 1 (New Yorki Barnes and Noble, 1967). PP. 1 3 0 - 3 6 . 1 2 P h y l l i s Bentley, The English Regional Novel (London 1 George Allen and Unwin, 1941). 1 ^ Quoted by Louis Wilkinson, The Brothers Powys ( C i n c l n a t t i i Auburncrest Library, 1947), p. 1 3 . 1 4 Cavaliero, "On the Frontier," p. 8 8 . ^ Glen Cavaliero, "John Cowper Powys1 Landscape and Personality i n the Early Novels," Essays, ed. Humfrey, pp. 8 6 - 1 0 1 . 1 6 G. Wilson Knight, Saturnlan Quest, p. 79. 44 Chapter Three "Traditions, old and dark and superstitious and malign"i The Mythic Background of Powys* F i c t i o n As I have i n s i s t e d from the s t a r t , my dominant l i f e - i l l u s i o n was that I was, or at least would eventually be, a magician; and what i s a magician i f not one who converts God's ' r e a l i t y ' into his I own ' r e a l i t y ' , God's world into his own world, and God's nature into his own nature? (Autobiography, 23) It i s evident from the Autobiography that as a c h i l d Powys had a sense of possessing great powers, of moving i n a world controlled as much by the strength of his own imagination as by natural and s o c i a l laws. This conviction never l e f t him, but influenced his l i f e l o n g concern with mythological and meta-physical Subjects. Powys' dominant l i f e - i l l u s i o n i n childhood was that he was himself a magician, l i k e such favourite charac-ters as Merlin or Michael Scott of "The Lay of the Last Minstrel." As an infant Powys f e l t "a l i v i n g power over matter and over nature," and once s t a r t l e d his nursemaid by declaring "I am the Lord of Hosts" (Autobiography. 1 1 , 2 5 ) , Such a conception of one's own powers, and of the f a n t a s t i c a l q u a l i t y of the universe, i s common enough i n children, but Powys both possessed i t to an extraordinary degree and retained i t , i n modified forms, a l l his l i f e (Autobiography. 5 5 - 5 7 ) . Powys r e c a l l s his father's habit of recounting "an in t e r -minable story about two mythic personages calle d Giant Grumble and Fairy Sprightly" (Autobiography, 4); t h i s story evidently directed Powys' imagination very early towards the form of 45 fantasy, just as infant memories of Mount Cloud impressed the power of landscape upon his mind. In Porius a character pro-claims that the human imagination, i n i t s power to t e l l I t s e l f s t o r i e s , can create i t s own r e a l i t y ( 4 4 ) . Uryen i n Maiden  Castle declares that "Everything's i n the mind. Everything's created and destroyed by the mind . . . . the truth of l i f e ' s i n the imagination, not l n ashes and urns'." ( 2 5 0 ) . This b e l i e f i n the magical power of the human Imagination to create Its own r e a l i t y underlies the treatment of myth throughout Powys' work. In the f a i r y tales t o l d by Powys' father, the v i l l a i n was always a person known as "the professor," and Powys grew up sharing his father's d i s l i k e of pedantry and reductionist r e a l -Ism. He believes that " a l l the great urges of our s p i r i t come nearest to the secret of the universe when they enjoy Nature with the detachment of a Pilgrim rather than analyze her with the c u r i o s i t y of a S c i e n t i s t " (Autobiography. 5 5 ) . Imaginative l i t e r a t u r e , l i k e philosophy, presents d i f f e r e n t possible ways of seeing the world. "To analyze t h i s 'objective world' Is a l l very well, so long as you don't forget that the power to rebuild It by emphasis and r e j e c t i o n i s synonymous with your being a l i v e " (Autobiography. 5 7 ) . The myths are just that kind of story whose t e l l i n g can reconstruct our perception of r e a l i t y . In his major novels Powys uses myth a l l u s i v e l y and sugges-t i v e l y , drawing from sources — c h i e f l y Greek, Latin and C e l t i c — which he knows i n considerable depth. Examining the mytho-l o g i c a l references In Powys' novels i s a formidable task, as 46 Powys read exhaustively i n both the Welsh and Greek o r i g i n a l s and i n c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l commentaries upon them. This study does not purport to be a comprehensive treatment of Powys* use of myth, but rather to show how i n certain novels mytho-l o g i c a l references are used thematically and i n interaction with the landscape. Although some of the l a t e r novels, particu-l a r l y , make great use of c l a s s i c a l legends, the novels studied in t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n are concerned c h i e f l y with C e l t i c mythology. Powys makes extensive reference both to the Welsh legends, c h i e f l y preserved i n the Mablnoglon, and to the Arthurian t r a -d i t i o n which i n part developed out of the Welsh material. In considering Powys* l i f e - l o n g i n t e r e s t i n the Arthurian legends i t i s of course also important to remember that the area in which he spent his boyhood was r i c h i n Arthurian t r a d i t i o n s . Montacute l i e s within sight of the Glastonbury Tor, and walks taken while he was at Sherborne School led to "no less a place than the o r i g i n a l sight of the walls and towers of Camelot . . . . We were always assured by l o c a l antiquaries that Arthur and his Knights were playing chess i n the heart of Cadbury H i l l u n t i l the Day of Judgement" (Autobiography. 82). The theme of a great leader asleep inside a h i l l recurs i n Powys* f i c t i o n i i n Geard sleeping i n Wookey Hole, Glendower hiding i n Mynydd y Gaer and Myrddin Imprisoned on top of Snowdon. Powys* fascination with his Welsh descent also began early. The ancestral Powys emblem, the Welsh dragon, was painted over the schoolroom f i r e p l a c e i n the Montacute vicarage, and L i t t l e t o n Powys r e c a l l s that the old Burke's Peerage "recorded 47 that the family traced i t s descent through the barons of Maln-y-Meifod and the princes of Powys to Rhodri Mawr, king of a l l Wales.* In the private c o l l e c t i o n of Mr. E. E. B i s s e l l of Ashorne, Warwickshire i s a manuscript fragment of an unpublished play, probably written about 1900 When Powys was eighteen, on the subject of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales i n the time of Edward I. The play, composed i n grandiloquent blank verse and evidently modelled a f t e r a Shakespearian history, i s f u l l of high lang-uage about the defense of Wales. When I bow down my head at Edward's feet May Merlin k i s s the pale beard of the Christ May Arthur's ghost at reedy Glastonbury Shed woman's tears . . . Thirty years before the publication of A Glastonbury Romance and f i f t y before that of Porius, the themes of Merlin, Arthur and the Glastonbury legends are thus seen to be working power-f u l l y i n Powys' imagination. Among the cast of characters i n t h i s play are "The Druid I d r i s , " "The Bard Talavan" and "The Ghost of Merlin;" the l i s t i s not unlike those with which Maiden Castle, Owen Glendower and Porius are prefaced. The play Is i n t e r e s t i n g i n that i t shows Powys' early i d e n t i f i c a -t i o n of himself with Wales, and a f a m i l i a r i t y even at t h i s time with Welsh his t o r y and legends. Already his interest shows some close reading! he uses f a i r l y recondite terminology, such as "cantref" f o r the d i v i s i o n of land equivalent to a "hundred." Further, i t makes reference to the Arthurian t r a d i t i o n , and manifests i t s sympathies f o r the Welsh cause 48 and f o r the memories of "Cornish Uther's son." Powys' sense of himself as a Welshman, and of the p a r t i c u l a r values of his C e l t i c r a c i a l heritage, evidently became deeply rooted i n his nature during childhood. Although other members of the Powys family, which had l i v e d i n England for generations, were puz-zled by John Cowper*s obsession with his Welsh ancestry and 2 even considered i t an a f f e c t a t i o n i t undoubtedly was a b e l i e f which dominated Powys a l l his l i f e and plays a large part i n shaping his f i c t i o n . My father's eyes used to burn with a f i r e that was at once secretive and blazing, l i k e the f i r e i n the eyes of long discrowned kings, when he told us how we were descended from the ancient Welsh Princes of Powysland. From an old Welsh family long ago established i n the town of Ludlow i n Shropshire l n what were formerly c a l l e d the Welsh 'Marches' we undoubtedly did — P r i n c e s or no Princes — as the genealogies put i t , •deduce our lineage;' and I am i n c l i n e d to think that there has seldom been a mortal soul — c e r t a i n l y no modem one -- more obstinately Cymric than my own. . . . Probably the oldest wisdom i n Wales was that wisest and most ancient of a l l human wisdom; namely that i t i s within the power of the w i l l and the imagination to destroy and recreate the world. (Autobiography, 24) Powys' concept of the imagination i s here seen to be linked with his sense of a f f i n i t y with the Welsh. It was not u n t i l he was t h i r t y , however, that Powys' youthful Interest in " C e l t i c emotion" became transformed into "a passion f o r everything Welsh." I bought Welsh grammars, Welsh d i c t i o n a r i e s , Welsh modern poetry. I bought an elaborate 49 Welsh Genealogy, ca l l e d 'Powys-Fadoc,' and mightily chagrined was I when I found no mention of my Father's ancestors l n i t I I bought everything I could lay hands on that had to do with Wales and with the Welsh people . . . . I soon gave up t r y i n g to learn Welsh. But the Idea of Wales and the idea of Welsh mythology went drumming on l i k e an incantation through my t a n t a l i z e d soul. I had no v i s i o n so f a r — that was s t i l l to come — of myself as a restorer of the hidden planetary secrets of these mystical Introverts of the world, but the gods having made me, instead of a conscientious scholar, an imaginative charlatan, I resolved to r e a l i z e with my whole s p i r i t u a l force what i t meant to be descended — to the d e v i l with 'Powys-Fadoc' — from those ancient Druidic chie f t a i n s J (Autobiography. 306-07) A f t e r t h i s point the Autobiography Is f u l l of references to himself as "a f a i r y - t a l e Welshman" (428), a "Welsh Rasputin" (441),"a deboshed Welsh clown" (448), who i s possessed by the "old Druidic s p i r i t " of T a l l e s i n (482, see also 334-36, 422, 499, 518, 547, 567). Much of the a t t r a c t i o n of Wales f o r Powys lay, of course, ln the Welsh legends, and i n the p a r t i c u l a r atmosphere of romance and i l l u s i o n which hangs about them. There were other attractions as w e l l i Powys always had a strong i n t e r e s t i n the unsuccessful — evident i n such heroes as Wolf Solent, Magnus Muir and D u d — and i n Owen Glendower he expresses his admiration f o r a nation which l i k e those heroes preserves i t s i n d i v i d u a l character and inner strength i n the face of apparent defeat. 50 We have been, of course, being as harmless as we are, what Is c a l l e d 'conquered* over and over again. But i n our unbelligerent, un-malicious, f u r t i v e l y amused and altogether unfathomable way we have allowed our conquerors to make our laws and our i n s t i t u t i o n s , to clap upon us t h e i r Church of Rome or t h e i r Church of England, and even to present us with our d i c t i o n a r i e s , f i r s t of C e l t i c words and then of Roman words and then of English words, without allowing these energetic aut h o r i t i e s so much as even to discover where we have hidden our human soulJ (Obstinate Cymric, 7-8) As a Welshman l i v i n g i n foreign lands, he could p a r t i c i p a t e in what had always seemed to him "the enchantment of l i t e r a -ture i n connection with e x i l e s , and with exiles whose own cause seemed i r r e t r i e v a b l y l o s t " (Autobiography, 2 3 ) . Powys i d e n t i f i e s himself i n l a t e r works not simply with the Welsh, but with the "aboriginal Welsh," the forest-people of Owen Glendower and Porlus who are p r e - C e l t i c . For a man who always had an acute sense of his difference from other men, the Welsh connection provided a j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r many eccen-t r i c i t i e s — his aloofness, his v o l u b i l i t y , his love of romance and his hatred of organizations (Autobiography. 307-08). But p a r t i c u l a r l y Powys was fascinated by the kind of v i s i o n of the world which he found, or desired to f i n d , i n Welsh myth. In the Autobiography he describes being s t i r r e d i n childhood by a "peculiar C e l t i c emotion —Matthew Arnold describes i t b e a u t i f u l l y , nor i s i t important whether he describes i t cor-r e c t l y — which, l i k e the s p i r i t of Wales i t s e l f , i s always returning, l i k e water seeking i t s l e v e l , to Its own proud, evasive, Ingrown, i n t e r i o r Being" (Autobiography. 2k). In 51 a lecture on Keats delivered i n an Oxford University Extension s e r i e s , Powys speculates about the "natural magic peculiar to the C e l t i c races" which Arnold traced through English poetry, and he compares the weird beauty of "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" to the same sort of enchantment to be found i n the s t o r i e s of the Mablnogion.^ Powys* ideas are heavily influenced by Matthew Arnold's essay "On the Study of C e l t i c L i t e r a t u r e " (186? ) , * * which, indeed, Powys assigned as one of the reference books f o r his Cambridge University Local Lecture series on poetry.-' Arnold compares the Welsh with the Greeks i n t h e i r p o t e n t i a l f o r conquering t h e i r conquerors through the c i v i l i z i n g i n f l u -ence of "the greater delicacy and s p i r i t u a l i t y of the C e l t i c peoples;^ he extols the C e l t i c s e n s i b i l i t y j with i t s power of quick and strong perception and emotion. The Celt, according to Arnold, i s expansive and eager but lacks measure, balance and patience.^ Arnold's description of the C e l t i c temperament e v i -dently helped to shape both Powys' conception of his own character, and his depiction of the Welsh i n his novels. Owen Glendower, p a r t i c u l a r l y , embodies many of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which Arnold had i d e n t i f i e d as p e c u l i a r l y C e l t i c . Highly s i g n i f i c a n t i n terms of Powys* use of mythology i s Arnold*s assertion, quoting Henri Martin, that the Celt i s "always ready to react against the despotism of f a c t . " While the Welsh romances never lose touch with the beauty of the natural, physical world, they conceive of i t as pervaded by magic. This sense of "the intimate l i f e of Nature, her weird 52 power and her f a i r y charm" 7 which Arnold I d e n t i f i e s i n C e l t i c l i t e r a t u r e i s one of the f i n e s t q u a l i t i e s i n Powys' own writing, and perhaps lends some a d d i t i o n a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n to his emphasis on his Welsh descent. A Glastonbury Romance and Maiden Castle encourage, although they do not demand, a w i l l i n g suspension of d i s b e l i e f l n order that the claims of t h e i r magician figures may be f u l l y accepted. Owen Glendower and Porius both are much concerned with the r e l a t i o n s h i p between h i s t o r i c a l and imagin-ative t r u t h , and whether or not psychic power can indeed triumph over "the despotism of f a c t . " If Arnold was a major influence upon the development of Powys' in t e r e s t i n the C e l t i c character and i t s e f f e c t upon l i t e r a t u r e , Powys' intere s t i n C e l t i c myth was fostered and given new dimensions by the work of S i r John Rhys. Curiously enough, i n I 8 7 7 Rhys was appointed to that Chair of C e l t i c Literature i n Oxford whose foundation Arnold's essay "On the Study of C e l t i c L i t e r a t u r e " was Intended to promote. Rhys was a p h i l o l o g i s t and student of mythology whose researches led him to postulate C e l t i c origins f o r much of the material of the Arthurian legend; his f a m i l i a r i t y with the early Welsh bardic writings enabled him to l i n k these to references i n the l a t e r romances. Rhys also interpreted the C e l t i c myths and Arthurian legends i n terms of the concepts of Solar and Cultural Heroes, and had a p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i n the heroes' penetration into the underworld or otherworld. His Hibbert Lectures On the  Origin and Growth of Religion as I l l u s t r a t e d by C e l t i c  Heathendom study the C e l t i c myths i n terms of the Solar Hero 53 hypothesis? his l a t e r Studies i n the Arthurian Legend i d e n t i f y the mythological origins of many of the major figures i n the 10 Arthurian legends. In his Autobiography Powys describes pur-chasing and studying Rhys' book on the Arthurian legend i n order to prepare f o r his own t r i a l lecture on that subject f o r the Oxford University Extension. At the time i t did not give him the extraordinary mystical pleasure, I might almost say the sacerdotal excitement, that derived from i t t h i r t y years l a t e r , when I read i t over and over again on ship-board and even learnt passages out of i t by heart; but i t was, even at that time, a s i g n i f i c a n t though a very obscure and rather puzzling book. (Autob1ography. 2 6 l ) This reverent attitude towards the theories of Rhys underlies much of the mythology i n Powys' novels i i n A Glastonbury  Romance and Maiden Castle Rhys i s referred to by name, as a great i n i t i a t e , one who understands mysteries and i d e n t i t i e s hidden from others. Studies In the Arthurian Legend does not provide a key to unlock the mythological meanings of Powys' novels, but It does illuminate many of the obscure mythological references i n them and can be seen to be a source and influence upon Powys' handl-ing of certain characters. For example, in one paragraph on page 36 of Rhys' book the names of three important female characters i n Powys' novels are Introduced* these are " e l l y l l " ( e l f ) which i s the name often given to E l l i w i n Owen Glendower; Creiddylad, the name of Porius* giantess; and Cordelia, the 54 name of a leading character in A Glastonbury Romance. Rhys describes the function of Luned l n the Welsh story of The Lady of the Fountain as messenger and confidant of her mistress, which exactly corresponds with the role Powys' Luned plays i n Owen Glendower. 1 1 In Chapter Three of Studies i n the Arthurian Legend Rhys discusses the capture of Gwenhwyvar by Melwas l n Glastonbury; Melwas Is seen as the dark l o r d , r u l e r of the otherworld, and the resemblances to the myth of Proserpine 12 are noted. It Is quite possible that Powys had t h i s theory of Rhys i n mind when he has his Persephone taken underground in Wookey Hole and ravished there by the owner, P h i l i p Crow. As w i l l be seen i n a l a t e r chapter of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , P h i l i p i s i n many respects a dark lord , and he g l o r i f i e s and repre-sents the forces of mechanism and materialism to which Geard and Powys himself are opposed. Powys seems to have derived the pattern of abduction to a Glastonbury-underworld from Rhys, 13 and used i t f o r his own f i c t i o n a l purposes. Persephone i s seduced by the power of P h i l i p ; l i k e her, Gwenhwyvar i n some of the versions noted by Rhys i s not an unwilling captive. Glastonbury i s seen throughout Rhys' book as an other-world or abode of the dead: th i s idea i s taken up often by Powys i n A Glastonbury Romance (see below Chapter V, 44-44). Rhys refers also to Glastonbury as an i s l a n d , which i t l i t e r a l l y becomes once more at the end of Powys' novel. Indeed, the town functions throughout the novel as an i s l a n d whose i s o l a -t i o n from the rest of the world i s conveyed through the imagery of i t s mists, and i t s s p e c i a l nature as a holy place and l a t e r 5 5 as a commune. Rhys sees the Glastonbury Tor as a f a i r y h i l l , the abode of Gwyn ap Nud, and Powys takes up t h i s reference also (A Glastonbury Romance, 264). Castellmarch, on the Lleyn peninsula i n Wales, i s des-cribed by Rhys as a "fine old-fashioned farm-house which looks as i f i t had once enjoyed f a r greater importance than i t can 14 boast at present." He suggests that the farm-house, whose name means Mark's Castle, might have some connection with the Mark-Tristram legends. Powys appropriated t h i s idea of the mysterious old farm-house, remote and i n decline from some period of former grandeur, i n his conception of Mark's Court in A Glastonbury Romance. The Arthurian connections are im-p l i e d i Mark's Court i s associated with Merlin as well as Mark. Horses seldom appear i n Powys' novels, so i t may well be more than a coincidence that in the chapter e n t i t l e d "Mark's Court" a horse figures quite prominently, f o r Rhys discusses the leg-endary associations of King Mark with horses and the t a l e that he was endowed with horse's ears. That the realm of Melwas (Glastonbury) in Chretien's poem was the abode of the dead, Rhys asserts to be proven by the fact that i t could only be entered by means of two perilous bridges, the Water Bridge and the Sword Bridge ( 5 5 ) . Bridges are used by Powys as symbols of t r a n s i t i o n , and with f u l l awareness of t h e i r C e l t i c and Arthurian s i g n i f i c a n c e . It i s on Pomparles Bridge, the Perilous Bridge, that John Crow has his v i s i o n of the Sword of Arthmr. Beside another bridge over the River Brue, Young Tewsy catches the great f i s h whose 56 capture i s to s i g n i f y the r a i s i n g of the dead. Rhys observes how bridges are an archetype of the t r a n s i t i o n between t h i s world and the otherworld or a f t e r l i f e , and Powys' novels also make considerable use of t h i s symbolism. Another bridge men-tioned by Rhys i s the E e l Bridge or Bridge of Souls which crosses the snake-river of venom which T a l i e s i n conceived as flowing around the world ( 5 6 ) . Powys uses these images i n Maiden Castle, where the River Frome and the underground r i v e r are associated with the t r a n s i t i o n from l i f e to death (see below, Chapter VI). In Maiden Castle, however, the Influence of Rhys i s c h i e f l y seen l n the conception of the character of Uryen. O r i g i n a l l y named Enoch Quirm, Uryen i n his absorption l n the theories of Rhys believes himself to be a reincarnation of that legendary figure of Urien of Rheged. Rhys postulates also that Urien and the god Bran were o r i g i n a l l y one; hence Powys' Uryen bears a mark shaped l i k e a black crow (Welsh "bran") on his breast. The curious name of Dormarth, given to the bed-post l i n k i n g Uryen and his son, and i t s association both with Malory's Questing Beast and with death, are derived from a passage i n Rhys.1'' Further examples of derivations from Rhys in A Glastonbury Romance and Maiden Castle w i l l be discussed in the f i f t h and s i x t h chapters of t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n . The obsession of Uryen Quirm i s an exaggeration of Powys' own fascination with Rhys and his sense that through his explication of the old Welsh texts Rhys had indeed illuminated "secrets of l i f e that Aryan c i v i l i z a t i o n has destroyed" 57 (Maiden Castle, 254). Rhys never postulated f o r his research the claims to large philosophical implications which Uryen, and Powys himself to some extent, f i n d i n i t . Uryen*s mania is grotesque, and his assumptions absurd, inasmuch as he draws personal implications from what are intended simply as schol-a r l y theories. If John Rhys were a l i v e I'd have l e f t you a l l , years ago, and gone to t e l l him the whole thing. He'd have understood, f o r he put me on the track of i t . He knew how a l l T a l i e s i n ' s prophecies were about me. He knew how a l l the old bards worshipped what works through me. He knew the mysterious secret of my race, of his race; that s t r a i n i n g , that longing, that yearning, that craving, that madness to break through! Hlraeth i s our word f o r i t — no other tongue on earth has a word l i k e that! — and he knew what i t meant. (Maiden Castle, 46?) It w i l l be argued l a t e r that Uryen*s attitude to Rhys i s a deliberate s a t i r e of Powys* own reactions; Powys too made personal and philosophical applications of Rhys' studies, but was able to exaggerate and make fun of his own manias. While Rhys was undoubtedly a p r i n c i p a l influence upon Powys' use of mythological subjects, certain other scholars Investigating the Arthurian legend l n the f i r s t decades of thi s century also affected his interpretation of i t . In his Autobiography Powys refers to "those deep e r o t i c mysteries . . . discovered l n the G r a i l T r a d i t i o n by the great Miss Weston" (261, also 3 0 9 ) . Jessie Weston's From Rit u a l to Romance was published i n 1920, and i t s influence may be seen in A Glastonbury Romance i n such passages as that describing 58 the " k i l l i n g of the G r a i l " attempted by the male protagonists while the women "nourished the G r a i l i n t h e i r sleep" (783, see 778-89). The associations between eros and r e l i g i o n are deeply f e l t throughout the novel; Miss Weston's recognition of pagan f e r t i l i t y r i t u a l s underlying the G r a i l cult i s used by Powys frequently, i n such scenes as the Vicarage supper and Mother Legge's party. In the f i n a l chapter of From R i t u a l to Romance Miss Weston speculates about the i d e n t i t y of Bleheris, the Welshman to whom she attri b u t e s the casting of the G r a i l Legend in i t s Romance form. Bleheris i s referred to i n t h i s role i n A Glastonbury Romance, and also as the Henog i n P o r l u s . 1 6 The connections pointed out by S i r John Rhys between C e l t i c legends and the Arthurian romances were developed further by R.S. Loomls i n a book which appeared i n 1927. f i v e years before the publication of A Glastonbury Romance. Powys does not make the d i r e c t use of Loomls' work, C e l t i c Myth and  Arthurian Romance.^that he did of Rhys', but he does r e f e r to Loomls along with Rhys In A Glastonbury Romance as one of the scholars who write about the ancient secrets contained i n Welsh l i t e r a t u r e (8^3). Mr. Evans, l i k e Uryen Quirm, has no doubts about the truth of Rhys' and Loomis' speculations. The large number of books appearing on the Arthurian leg-ends between the publication of Rhys' Hlbbert Lectures (1888) and Porlus (1951) i s i n d i c a t i v e of the widespread interest taken l n the sources of the Arthurian material during the time that Powys was working on his own adaptations of i t . 5 9 Alongside the scholarly p h i l o l o g i c a l and anthropological works of Rhys, A l f r e d Nutt, Loomls and Weston were studies which mingled research witih claims to occult knowledge, as i n the writings of A.E. Waite. These scholarly and/or occult works acted along with Malory and Tennyson as stimulants to Powys* own complex handling of mythological subjects. He was early intimate with some of the basic Arthurian materials — the Mablnoglon and Malory (Autobiography, 26l), and his extension lecture s y l l a b i include lectures on the Arthurian legend and on Tennyson's I d y l l s of the King. Powys c r i t i c i z e s Tennyson f o r moralizing the legends (Autobiography, 26l). He also read avidly the early Yeats, and thus was f a m i l i a r with the I r i s h 18 forms of C e l t i c myth. Characters l i k e Mr. Evans and Uryen Qulrm are, as we have seen, exaggerated representations of his own interest i n theories about C e l t i c origins of the Arthurian legends, and of his desire to apply the re s u l t s of scholarly research on them to his personal philosophy of l i f e . A cancel led chapter of Porius, to be discussed i n Chapter VIII, shows Powys himself postulating a theory on the origins of a figure from the G r a i l legend. The Henog suggests that his colleague, the French poet Cretlnloy, may give the unprepossessing Galahad si g n i f i c a n c e i n his history of Arthur's reign by des-c r i b i n g the youth as engaged upon a mystic quest, and also by l i n k i n g his unhappiness with that of the mythic Gwair impris-oned in Caer S i d i . In Powys* version, Galahad i s a r e a l character but his nature and purpose are transformed by the imagination of the poet. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Powys 60 may have derived the idea for t h i s scene from a suggestion 19 made by Jessie Weston. The C e l t i c and Arthurian legends which Powys, following the theories of Rhys and Loomls, sees as closely related to each other form the most s i g n i f i c a n t groups of myths to which reference i s made i n four of the f i v e novels under considera-tion here. The f i f t h novel, Wood and Stone, may be seen as a contrast to the major novels, since i t contains no Welsh re f -erences and i t s use of "mythology" i s quite unlike t h e i r s . One d i f f i c u l t y in wr i t i n g about Powys' approach to mythology l i e s in the fact that Powys himself, l n Wood and Stone and Wolf Solent, employs the word i n a somewhat i d i o s y n c r a t i c sense. By his "mythology" Wolf would seem to mean his private, inner sensations of enjoyment of the cosmos, and his sense of a psychic struggle between good and e v i l i n which he mentally takes part. It i s e s s e n t i a l l y t h i s i n d i v i d u a l , personal mean-ing of "mythology" which i s the subject of two essays on Powys 20 — Angus Wilson's "'Mythology' in John Cowper Powys' Novels" 21 and E l l e n Mayne's "The New Mythology of John Cowper Powys". The "mythology" of such a hero as Wolf, which l i k e the "cavoseniargizing" of Porlus must to some degree be considered as resembling Powys' own personal philosophy, i s not, however, the subject of t h i s chapter. The intent i s to examine Powys' references to t r a d i t i o n a l myths, and t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e in the structure of each of the novels, rather than to analyze Powys• personal "mythology." Certain mythic figures recur l n a number of novels, f o r 61 example Merlin In A Glastonbury Romance. Morwyn, Porius, the Cerne Giant ln Wolf Solent, The Brazen Head, Jobber Skald (though i t becomes the WhitB Horse in Weymouth Sands), A l l or  Nothing, Cronos i n A Glastonbury Romance, Maiden Castle, Morwyn, Porius and Up and Out. Powys fe e l s a strong sympathy f o r 22 Cronos as a resul t of his reading of Homer, Hesiod and Keats. In Porius Merlin and Cronos come to be i d e n t i f i e d with each other as great sleepers, l i k e the Glendower and Arthur of t r a d i t i o n , whose awakening may bring back the Golden Age. Other recurring figures may be seen as concerned with e r o t i c a t t r a c t i o n and p o l a r i t i e s . Androgynous figures appear often, and are i d e n t i f i e d with c l a s s i c a l and/or mythological proto-types — Philippa Renshaw who Is seen as dryad-like, Persephone, the Lamia-like Thuella, Nineue and Drom (see the discussion of "seraphic figures" i n Saturnlan Quest). Powys refers often throughout his f i c t i o n to "the Mothers," the f e r t i l i t y god-desses of the ancient C e l t i c cults whom his reading of Goethe led Powys to see as manifestations of the eternal feminine s p i r i t , sympathetic to eros, r e l i g i o n and the quest of the human imagination f o r some s p i r i t u a l secret l o s t to modern c i v i l i z a t i o n . The C e l t i c "Mothers" ("Mamau") appeared to Powys as a form of the Cretan earth-mother Cybele, who i s powerfully invoked at the end of A Glastonbury Romance. In the same way, certain symbols also recur throughout the novels, p a r t i c u l a r l y clubs or s t i c k s , cauldrons, shape-s h i f t lhgs or transformations, the otherworld, reincarnation and the concept of the Golden Age. The earth or mother goddess 6 2 i s associated with the female symbol of the cauldron, which ln Welsh myth represents i n s p i r a t i o n , wisdom and r e b i r t h . The boy who f a l l s into the cauldron of Ceridwen i s eventually reborn as T a l i e s s i n j there i s thus an association between caul-drons and a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y . Powys was haunted by a memory from early childhood of a "rusty iron Cauldron" (Autobiography, 10). Obstinate Cymric contains an essay on the Pair Dadeni or Welsh cauldron of Rebirth, and also discusses the Cauldron of 2 3 Ceridwen as the prototype of the G r a i l . The club or s t i c k which the "Powys-hero" so often carries i s a corresponding male p h a l l i c image. While i t lacks the clear mythological symbol-ism of the cauldron, Powys gives i t si g n i f i c a n c e by r e l a t i n g i t to the clubs carried by the Cerne Giant and Hercules, as in Dud's "Cerne Giant s t i c k " l n Maiden Castle, and the club of Hercules i n A t l a n t i s . A chronological study of the use of myth in Powys' novels reveals not only the author's growing interest in i t but also major changes in the influence i t has upon the structure of the various novels themselves. In the early novels, mythology in the usual sense of the word i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y important. Wood and Stone contains some references to c l a s s i c a l myth, but neither i t nor Rodmoor draws upon the C e l t i c legends which form a major part of the background of most of the l a t e r novels. The "Mythologies" referred to in the opening chapter of Wood,  and Stone, those of Power and S a c r i f i c e , might instead be termed "ways of dealing with l i f e . " However by i d e n t i f y i n g 6 3 these opposite powers with elements of the topography of Nevilton and by embodying t h e i r struggle i n certain memorable characters, Powys gives to his abstract p r i n c i p l e s a colour-ing and a depth of symbolism which perhaps j u s t i f i e s t h e i r being termed "mythologies". The struggle between these two "mythologies" provides the same sort of psychic c o n f l i c t which is the substance of Wolf Solent•s 'mythology." When in the l a t e r book the conception of such a psychic ba t t l e i s a t t r i -buted to a character, rather than being the declared world-view of the author himself, i t i s more re a d i l y acceptable. There are a few a l l u s i o n s in Rodmoor to c l a s s i c a l myth-ology, c h i e f l y in reference to the androgynous figures of Baltazar Stork and Philippa, and the location of Rodmoor upon the North Sea brings associations of Norse mythology (21). Like Wood and Stone, this novel i s larg e l y concerned with death, and i n a description of the morbid nature of one of i t s characters there i s a curious a n t i c i p a t i o n of the Cimmerian Imagery which i s so important to the l a t e r novels. Mrs. Renshaw appears to come from a world d i f f e r e n t from ours, a world of grey vapours and shadowy margins, a world where the wraiths of the unborn meet the ghosts of the dead, a world where the 'might-have-been and the never-to-be-again'weep together by the shores of Lethe. (438-39) The l a s t phrase drops o f f into c l i c h e , but the f i r s t l i n e s suggest the eerie atmosphere created i n Porius. Philippa too anticipates l a t e r themes i n her c l a s s i c a l l y androgynous body and her desire to "pass fort h free and 64 unfettered into the embrace of primeval powers" ( 5 D . She appears as "some worshipper of a banished d i v i n i t y Invoking her god while her persecutors s l e p t , and passionately c a l l i n g upon him to return to his forsaken shrine" (51). The theme of the return of the banished d i v i n i t y , l a t e r to be i d e n t i -f i e d as Cronos, i s i m p l i c i t i n A Glastonbury Romance, e x p l i c i t and dominant i n Maiden Castle. Porlus and the fantasies. In Rodmoor, too, there i s an enunciation of the theme of "the Mothers," a proclamation of the power of the eternal feminine s p i r i t i n human mothers who are "the only people i n the world who possess the open secret, . . . the e s s e n t i a l mystery" (345). In Ducdame Powys manifests a strong i n t e r e s t i n l o c a l s u p e r s t i t i o n s . Witch-like women figure i n many of the novels — Witch Bessie who puts the e v i l eye upon Gladys Homer (Wood  and Stone, 243-46), Rachel Doorm of Rodmoor, Mad Bet i n A Glastonbury Romance and Gipsy May In Weymouth Sands, but Betsy Cooper, the witch of Ducdame, has a p a r t i c u l a r l y power-f u l role i n the narrative. She possesses the "Cimmery stone," a c r y s t a l b a l l i n which ambiguous images from the future appear; i t comes from "Cimmery Land" which Rook takes to be "some unearthly Limbo — some Elysian Fourth Dimension — out of Space and out of Time" (264). "Cimmery Land" resembles the shadowy world described i n the p o r t r a i t of Mrs. Renshaw. The quest f o r t h i s otherworld, which may be approached through the insights contained i n myths, i s an important theme of a l l the major novels which follow Ducdame. The resolution of Wolf  Solent comes i n Wolf's v i s i o n of the f i e l d of buttercups turning to "Cimmerian gold;" Geard passes into a Cimmerian 65 underworld beneath the floodwatersJ Uryen, Glendower and Myrddin are a l l associated with the supernatural knowledge of a fourth dimension which i s the realm of "old, defeated, long-forgotten gods" (Ducdame, 265). Like Betsy Cooper, Owen Glendower has a c r y s t a l b a l l , but he smashes i t i n a gesture of denying occult attempts to influence the future. Instead he embraces the past as containing the secrets of l i f e and eternity. The occult and the past, linked and made access-i b l e to us through myth, become increasingly more important in the subsequent novels. The f i r s t of Powys' major novels, Wolf Solent i s also the f i r s t to introduce the theme of Wales. In t h i s novel Wales i s associated with C h r i s t i e Malakite, whose mother was Welsh. The motif of Welsh parentage i s used to d i s t i n g u i s h a character with extraordinary s e n s i t i v i t y , aloofness and a certain other-worldly q u a l i t y , and i t recurs i n a great many of Powys' novels. Christie explains that her mother used to t e l l us the wildest stories about her ancestors. Once she a c t u a l l y t o l d us she was descended from Merlin. Merlin's mother was a nun. Did you know that, Wolf?' 'No wonder you're a b i t inhuman,' he s a i d . (362) Wolf's"mythology" consists of a sense that he i s p a r t i -cipating i n a psychic warfare between forces of good and e v i l . His self-indulgent conviction that he i s himself on the " r i g h t " side i s shattered by the closer contact with other human beings which develops during the novel. That i t should be so shattered i s an i n d i c a t i o n of the difference between t h i s 66 "mythology" and the idea of myth which prevails i n the l a t e r books. In them, myth i s seen as o f f e r i n g true i n s i g h t i while such prophet-figures as Geard, Uryen, Glendower and Merlin do have doubts about t h e i r i d e n t i t i e s and t h e i r r o l e s , they seem on the whole to have an understanding of a larger r e a l -i t y than that perceived by ordinary characters. Wolf, a t y p i -c a l l y i n e f f e c t u a l "Powys-hero," lacks the dimensions and v i s i o n of these prophets. His "mythology" i s a personal l i f e - i l l u s i o n , not related to the symbolism of any great mythic t r a d i t i o n . Because Geard and the others do r e l a t e t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l visions to an established mythology, they are confirmed i n the sense of t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e , and are not destroyed as Wolf's i s by a closer acquaintance with human r e a l i t i e s . Mythology i n the t r a d i t i o n a l sense f i r s t becomes a s i g -n i f i c a n t part of the structure of a Powys novel i n A Glastonbury  Romance. The novel i s constructed somewhat as Joyce's Ulysses i s upon the foundation of a well-known legend, to which con-temporary characters and events are compared. Figures from the old legends do not appear in person, and the semblance of realism i s maintained, but certain of the characters are seen as f u l f i l l i n g roles of mythic characters! Persephone i s rav-ished underground l i k e her c l a s s i c a l namesake. Young Tewsy takes on the function of the Fisher King and Mother Legge appears as one of the archetypal Mothers protecting men from t h e i r fear of the unknown. In the major novels to be d i s -cussed i n t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n the mythic references are l n each case grouped around a c e n t r a l event o r character. In A Glastonbury Romance t h i s c e n t r e i s the Pageant, a reenactment 67 of the legends of Glastonbury's past. This pageant does ln miniature what the novel as a whole does, which is to set up modern characters in the situation of their mythic proto-types. What effect i t has on these modern characters to be so measured against the larger figures from legend i s , in this novel as in Ulysses, open to some question. John Crow's f a i l -ure to accept his vision, and the sense of lost promise which accompanies his departure from Glastonbury, should be seen ln terms of the failure of the Grail knights to achieve their quest. Sam, who does achieve the quest, i s that much richer and more humorously human a figure because his appearance and circumstances are so unlike those of the Grail Knight of tradition. The scene at Mark's Court greatly increases our appreciation of the powers of Mr. Geard, because they are appar-ently tried against those of Merlin and triumph. Curiously enough, following after a novel so rich ln mythological association, there are relatively few references to traditional myth ln Weymouth Sands. What "mythology" there is in the novel is again a private mythology, which here invests the topography and monuments of Weymouth with a special clarity and significance resulting from vivid boyhood memories and personal associations. "If Jobber Skald has comparatively few references to the occult, that is because the s p i r l t -24 powers are here housed in an empearled creation." In what is probably the happiest and most approachable of Powys' novels, landscape and i t s personal associations suffice to give the book i t s rich atmosphere; Weymouth is a seaside town dominated by the present and timeless elements of sea 68 and sand, rather than by mysterious r e l i c s of a legendary past. In another great reversal of d i r e c t i o n , Maiden Castle i s a novel completely dominated by the s p i r i t of the past. The interest i n Wales and i n the C e l t i c foundations of the Arthurian mythology i n A Glastonbury Romance here becomes the obsession of one of the characters. Uryen Is the centre f o r the mythological references l n Maiden Castle, and these r e f e r -ences are considerably more obscure than they were i n the preceding novels. No one coherent body of myths i s referred to, but a l l u s i o n s are made p r i n c i p a l l y to the theories of S i r John Rhys about the character of the Welsh gods. Powys relates these theories to modern Dorchester through the d i s -coveries being made at Maiden Castle. As was suggested e a r l i e r , however, the obscurity of Uryen's theories suggest that Powys may be taking an at least p a r t i a l l y i r o n i c view of them. The phantasmagoria Morwyn i s the f i r s t of Powys' f i c t i o n a l works to be dominated by mythic characters and f a n t a s t i c s i t u -ations. It i s Indeed not a novel at a l l , and cannot properly be discussed as such; however, i t frequently provides at least a p a r t i a l e x p l i c a t i o n of mythological themes used i n the novels. Morwyn follows the basic mythic pattern of a descent into the underworld! such a Journey i s implied frequently i n A Glastonbury Romance, Maiden Castle and Owen Glendower. but ln Morwyn the characters l i t e r a l l y undertake i t . Powys' pro-tagonists are p r e c i p i t a t e d into H e l l , where they confront certain h i s t o r i c a l sadists — Nero, Torquemada and Calvin among them. Penetrating deeper into the underworld, however, they pass beneath H e l l into the Golden Age, where they f i n d Merlin, 69 Cronos and Cybele the earth-mother asleep near the l i f e - g i v i n g cauldron of Ceridwen. This Paradisaic Underworld i s the "Cap-t i v i t y of Gwair i n Gaer S i d i " to which Powys refers i n A Glastonbury Romance, Maiden Castle and Porius. T a l i e s i n , who acts as the guide, explains that worship i n Crete was bloodless, and that Cybele and Cronos, god of the Golden Age, were the r u l e r - d e i t i e s there. Ancient Welsh poetry concerns the mysteries of t h i s s u b t e r r e s t r i a l refuge of the old gods and the otherworld voyages which i t describes are i n search of t h i s Golden Age. I suspect that the planetary resting-place to which t h i s descent leads can be reached from the i n t e r i o r of many a Gorsedd Mound i n my country. Our enemies, the Norsemen, made H e l l conquer Heaven. Our poets, much closer to the secret of the universe, reveal the existence of a Paradisaic Underworld that i s beyond both. (Morwyn. 184) The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the ancient Cretan c i v i l i z a t i o n with Wales as the two possessors of the secrets of l i f e which modern c i v i l i z a t i o n has l o s t was implied also i n Maiden Castle and Porius, l n which novel Merlin i s made a reincarnation of Cronos. Many of these ideas are expanded i n the essay c o l l e c -t i o n Obstinate Cymric. . . . one cannot help suspecting that a race as ancient as thi s — whose ways and customs s t i l l r e t a i n memories of the Golden Age when Saturn, or some megalithic philosopher under that name, ruled i n Crete, and the Great Mother was worshipped without the shedding of blood — must have some secret clues to the mystery of l i f e , some magical ways of taking l i f e , . . . such as have not been revealed, and could not be revealed, to more recently arrived peoples. (83) 70 Mythology l n Owen Glendower once more recedes i n t o the background, where i t p r o v i d e s s u g g e s t i v e a n a l o g i e s f o r some of t h e c h a r a c t e r s and e v e nts but does n o t impose any o v e r - a l l p a t t e r n upon t h e a c t i o n . The a l l u s i o n s t o Welsh myth seem more a p p r o p r i a t e and l e s s i d i o s y n c r a t i c here than t h e y d i d i n t h e p r e v i o u s n o v e l s , f o r here t h e y a r e a n a t u r a l p a r t o f the Welsh s e t t i n g . The c e n t r e of t h e s e a l l u s i o n s i n t h i s n o v e l i s t h e p e o p l e ' s own i d e a o f t h e m s e l v e s t c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y , f i n d s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the e v e n t s of t h e i r own l i v e s by f i n d i n g them r e l a t e d t o l e g e n d a r y p r o t o t y p e s . With the a d o l e s c e n t c h a r a c t e r s t h i s a t t i t u d e t o myth i s a n a t u r a l s e l f -d r a m a t i z a t i o n , but Glendower h i m s e l f i s seen t o be f a c i n g the s e r i o u s problems of a c t u a l l y b e i n g made i n t o a l e g e n d i n h i s own l i f e t i m e . P o r i u s , t h e l a s t of Powys* major n o v e l s , resembles Horwyn i n t h a t i t s l i s t of c h a r a c t e r s c o n t a i n s a number of l e g e n d a r y o r h a l f - l e g e n d a r y f i g u r e s — M e r l i n , Cronos, T a l i e s s i n , Galahad. These f i g u r e s a r e , however, g i v e n p e r s o n a l i t y and i n d i v i d u a l -i t y ; t h e y do not remain mere c i p h e r s o r mouthpieces f o r Powys' t h e o r i e s as they t e n d t o be i n Horwyn and the l a t e f a n t a s i e s . But the n o v e l i s q u i t e h e a v i l y w e i g h t e d w i t h m e t a p h y s i c s . S u p p o r t e r s o f the number f o u r as the key t o the cosmos d i s p u t e w i t h t h e proponents of the number t h r e e ; M e r l i n makes a l o n g d i s q u i s i t i o n about th e causes of h i s d e f e a t when he was Cronos; the Henog, i n t h e c a n c e l l e d c h a p t e r , proposes th e f a b r i c a t i o n o f what i s t o become a major s t r a n d o f the A r t h u r i a n l e g e n d . One of t h e most i n t e r e s t i n g a s p e c t s of the use of. myth i n 7 1 Porlus i s the mingling of Welsh legends with c l a s s i c a l myth-ology, p a r t i c u l a r l y the Greek. Porlus i s the most successful of those Powys novels which attempt the d i r e c t recreation of persons and events from myth. Those which follow Porlus must properly be termed fantasies, f o r while they abound in mytho-l o g i c a l i n t e r e s t , t h e i r presentation of character and control of structure have weakened considerably. In Porlus, however, a precarious balance i s maintained between the credible and the marvellous, the humanity of the characters and t h e i r mythological dimensions. Mythology does not play a s i g n i f i c a n t part i n The Inmates; in t h i s novel "Wales as a source of occult wisdom i s replaced 2*5 by Thibet" ^ but no great use i s made of Thibetan l o r e . A t l a n t i s approaches Greek myth, the l a t e r adventures of Ulysses i n p a r t i c u l a r , i n somewhat the same s p i r i t that Porlus dealt with the Arthurian period. Legendary characters mingle with others created by Powys, although events take a course largely Independent of mythological t r a d i t i o n . Like Merlin, Odysseus has a major role but Is subordinated to a younger protagonist. The novel concerns Odysseus' determination to leave Ithaca and continue his voyaging, but manages to bring in a great many other mythological events as w e l l . There Is a threatened r e v o l t of the Titans, representatives of the old order f o r which Powys has always expressed sympathy; the giant Nimrod hunts the dragon Typhon beneath the ocean i n drowned A t l a n t i s . Some of the best scenes i n the novel introduce characters from Homer — Nausikaa and AJax among them — con-siderably older than when they were previously described. 72 But l i k e the l o s t continent, A t l a n t i s at l a s t sinks under the weight of mythological material which burdens i t . Homeric and mythic characters appear i n such profusion that few of them can be treated with any s a t i s f y i n g f u l l n e s s . The threatened defeat of Zeus by the Titans, and other events of great mythological consequence, are dramatically and a l l too frequently announced throughout the narrative. But few of them do a c t u a l l y take place or become worked into the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the story as a whole? they remain as subjects f o r discus-sion, rather than events of a coherent p l o t . Porlus showed thi s weakness as w e l l * events, such as the mission of Tonwen and Cadawg to Arthur, are announced and begun with great excitement but soon come to nothing and t h e i r relevance i s never made cle a r . Perceptive and sympathetic analyses of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of mythology i n A t l a n t i s are given l n Saturnlan Quest (Chapter VI) and a paper read by Glen Cavaliero to the Powys Society i n 1972, but one must ultimately concur with H.P. C o l l i n s ' Judgement that "the fantasy runs away with 26 the a l l e g o r i c a l coherence altogether." The Brazen Head i s , l i k e A t l a n t i s and the h i s t o r i c a l novels, a mingling of h i s t o r i c a l reconstruction and fantasy; as In A t l a n t i s , the fantasy and philosophizing predominate. The mythological monsters are absent, but the human characters are of grotesque dimensions. Powys' l a s t three works of f i c -t i o n — Up and Out, The Mountains of the Moon and A l l or Noth-ing show a continued fascination with the journey motif and with the animism which i n A t l a n t i s made dramatis personae out of a club, a moth and a p i l l a r . Using the mode of fantasy. 73 Powys approaches d i r e c t l y those large metaphysical concepts which i n e a r l i e r novels remained only interests of i n d i v i d u a l characters. In A l l or Nothing, whose t i t l e indicates i t s abstract concerns, God i n the form of a newt and l a t e r of a cockroach d e l i v e r s his opinions on time, space and nothing-ness. Character d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i s s l i g h t , and concepts rather than human per s o n a l i t i e s control the narratives. Powys' use of myth may thus be seen to develop from a concept of i t as a sort of personal philosophy or l i f e - i l l u s i o n , i n the early novels, to a scholarly intimacy with many of the great myths of Western culture and a desire f i r s t to create p a r a l l e l s to them within his own stories and eventually to refashion and add to them himself. Of these three approaches the middle one, which coincided with the years of Powys' matur-i t y as a n o v e l i s t , produced the most s a t i s f a c t o r y results l n his f i c t i o n . The i d i o s y n c r a t i c "mythologies" of Wood and Stone and Wolf Solent, because they are personal concepts of, res-pectively, the author and the protagonist, lack the resonance of the Arthurian p a r a l l e l s i n A Glastonbury Romance and Porius. The late works of f i c t i o n are r i c h i n mythological references, but the fantasy often runs wild. Their profusion and lack of control, along with the tendency to didacticism, gives the late books the atmosphere of a discourse about myths, rather than the atmosphere of a work which i t s e l f contains a certain measure of mythic power. This l a t t e r q u a l i t y — the sense of conveying an eternal and archetypal si g n i f i c a n c e to the tempo-r a l concerns of the characters — i s , however, present upon occasion i n the f i v e novels to be discussed now. 7 4 Chapter Three: Footnotes L i t t l e t o n Powys, "The Powys Family," Welsh Review, (Spring, 1948), p. 3 . Such was the opinion of his brother, A.R. Powys, according to P h y l l i s Playter i n a conversation at Blaenau F f e s t i n i o g in June, 1971. 3 Syllabus of a course of s i x lectures on Shelley and  Keats, 1906-1907 (Oxford! Horace Hart), Lectures IV and VI, pp. 11-12, 16. ^ Matthew Arnold, On the Study of C e l t i c L i terature, (1867; r p t . Londoni Macmillan, 1 9 n 3 ) . ^ Syllabus of a Short Course of Six Lectures on the Study of Poetry introductory to The Poets of the Nineteenth  Century (Cambridge! University Press, 1900) . 6 Arnold, op. c i t . , p. x i i . 7 Ibid., p. 80 f f . 8 Ibid., p. 84. 9 Ibid., p. 132. 1 0 John Rhys, On the Origin and Growth of Religion as  I l l u s t r a t e d by C e l t i c Heathendom (London* Williams and Norgate, 1888), hereafter referred to as the Hibbert Lectures. 1 1 Rhys, Studies, p. 361. 1 2 Ibid., p. 54. 13 Although Wookey Hole i s ac t u a l l y several miles from Glastonbury l n the terms of the novel i t i s part of the Glastonbury area. 1 / + Rhys, Studies, p. 357. ^ Ibid., pp. 153 f f . , see Maiden Castle pp. 31 , 114-16 and below, Chapter Six, pp. 28-32. 16 The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the Henog with Bleheris occurs ln a passage which was cancelled from the published version of the novel but i s extant in the typescript in the possesion of Mr. B i s s e l l of Ashorne, Warwickshire. 75 I? R.S. Loomis, C e l t i c Myth and Arthurian Romance, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1927). -I o John Cowper Powys: Letters to Glyn Hughes, ed. ; Bernard Jones (Stevenage, Herts.: Ore Publications, 1971), p. 14. 1 9j, Weston, From R i t u a l to Romance (Cambridge: University Press, 1920), p. 189. See below, Chapter Eight, 248. 20 Angus Wilson, "Mythology' i n John Cowper Powys' Novels," Review of English Li t e r a t u r e. IV, 1, Jan. 1963, 9-20. 2 1 E l l e n Mayne, "The New Mythology of John Cowper Powys," Thirteenth Foundation Lecture, New At l a n t i s Foundation, Richmond, Surrey, 1968. 2 2 See Letters of John Cowper Powys to Louis Wilkinson. 1935-1936, ed. Louis Wilkinson (London: Macdonald, 1958), P. 319. 23 obstinate Cymric, "Pair Dadenl," "My Welsh Home," p. 75. 24 G. Wilson Knight, Satumlan Quest, p. 48. 2 5 Ibid., p. 82. 26 C o l l i n s , Old Earth Man, p. 182. Chapter Four "Occult Harmonies"! Mood and Stone In that p a r t i c u l a r corner of the West Country so d i s t i n c t and deep-rooted are the legendary su r v i v a l s , i t i s hard not to f e e l as though some vast s p i r i t u a l c o n f l i c t were s t i l l proceeding between the two opposed Mythologies — the one drawing i t s strength from the impulse to Power, and the other from the impulse to S a c r i f i c e . A v i l l a g e - d w e l l e r i n Nevilton might, i f he were ph i l o s o p h i c a l l y disposed, be just as much a percipient of t h i s cosmic struggle, as i f he stood between the Palatine and St. Peter's. Let him l i n g e r among the cranes and pulleys of t h i s heathen promontory, and look westward to the shrine of the Holy G r a i l , or eastward to where rested the Holy Rood, and i t would be strange i f he d i d not become conscious of the presence of eternal s p i r i t u a l antagonists, wrestling f o r the mastery. (2,3) This large d u a l i t y , or rather ancient r i v a l r y , l i e s at the heart of Powys' novel; although i t supplies the novel's greatest strength, i t i s also the source of i t s most dangerous weakness. It permeates the novel and i t s characters, and invests them with s i g n i f i c a n c e . But at times i t overpowers the n o v e l i s t . Instead of the characters t a l k i n g , the novel-i s t t a l k s , expounding his theories. He knows well what he wishes to do, how the major c o n f l i c t w i l l occur In the novel and how the landscape and myth w i l l i n t e r a c t . But intention is not always convincingly f u l f i l l e d . In the introduction to Wood and Stone Powys treats the book as a sort of problem novel concerned with the "world-old struggle between the 'well constituted' and the 77 • i l l - c o n s t i t u t e d ' " ( v i i ) . The r e a l force of the book l i e s , however, less i n t h i s Nietzschean theme than in a pervasive atmosphere created by what Powys c a l l s "the strange occult harmonies between the smallest human dramas and t h e i r elemen-t a l accomplices" (537). The novel i s permeated with a sense of the intimate rel a t i o n s h i p between nature and man. This re l a t i o n s h i p takes a variety of forms, generally of a power-f u l 'mystic' sort. But Powys Is rooted in his own landscape; he knows i t s texture, and because he does, his symbolism i s the more e f f e c t i v e . When he writes of "the vi l l a g e - d w e l l e r in Nevilton" he writes of what he knows, and has been himself, and therefore can depict him and what he sees l n the most d i r e c t l y r e a l i s t i c terms. Thus he i s capable of a straight-forward realism, as when he shows the socio-economic l i f e of Nevilton to be centred around the stone quarries of Leo's H i l l . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between men and landscape i n t h i s instance i s a very p r a c t i c a l one. But the emphasis of the novel i s upon occult harmonies, the s p i r i t u a l rather than the p r a c t i c a l . Vennle Seldom's i n t u i t i o n , that influences f o r good and e v i l can be absorbed by human characters from the landscape, i s a conception which prevails throughout the novel and i s put forward i n respect to almost every one of the p r i n c i p a l characters. Not only are some characters i d e n t i f i e d with p a r t i c u l a r and appropriate l o c a l i t i e s — Ninsy Lintot with dark, iso l a t e d Wild Pine Ridge, the demented g i r l with Auber Lake — but many characters are held to be attracted or repelled by s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t i e s 78 Inherent in the physical landscape. And over a l l i s the r i v a l r y of wood and stone. The r i v a l mythologies of S a c r i f i c e and Power rule the landscape i t s e l f ln t h e i r embodiments in the two h i l l s , and convey a peculiar kind of cosmic dimension to the human struggles with which the novel i s concerned. These are the opposed mythologies of Powys' novel. There is another, more t r a d i t i o n a l kind of mythology i n the book as well, which i s the conventional and/or f a n c i f u l r e c o l l e c t i o n s of Greek and Latin legends which decorate Edwardian f i c t i o n 1 much as they decorated Elizabethan poetry. It occurs c h i e f l y in the meditations of Dangelis, the American painter. Tending to see the world i n terms of art history (113, 121, 127) , Dangelis imagines earth-gods i n the m i l l copse and the woods (130, 262) and sees Gladys variously as Hyacinth (128), Ariadne (Chapter XI) and the c h i l d of Circe and Dionysus (239) . Powys describes Luke at Weymouth as a Triton surrounded by Nereids (577) . These correspondences between the contempor-ary environment and the c l a s s i c a l world are picturesque, and in the case of Gladys, p a r t i c u l a r l y , have an obvious symbolic s i g n i f i c a n c e . But there i s no elaborate p a r a l l e l to any recog-nized body of mythology worked out, as i s the case i n A Glastonbury Romance and Owen Glendower. The c l a s s i c a l a l l u s -ions have a decorative rather than a s t r u c t u r a l function. It i s the d u a l i s t 'mythology' of tension between Power and S a c r i f i c e which organizes the novel. Even i n i t there remains some reference to the usual meaning of "mythology" i n the "legendary s u r v i v a l s , " the implied c o n f l i c t between early 79 pagan B r i t a i n and the b e l i e f s inculcated by Christian mission-a r i e s . The "heathen" exaltation of power, opposed to the Christian admiration f o r s a c r i f i c e , i s fancied to be expressed by the name, appearance and history of stony Leo's H i l l , des-cribed as monstrous, s i n i s t e r , brute, Inert, inexhaustible, mocking and obdurate ( 3 ) . Subsequently Powys i d e n t i f i e d a d i f f e r e n t "mythology" with pre-Christian B r i t a i n J i n Owen  Glendower the medieval' Christian prince believes that "the way of l i f e of the f i r s t people was f a r wiser, f a r f r e e r . . . t h e r e were no princes, no rulers then, but only the men of the land, l i v i n g at peace together and worshipping peaceful gods without s a c r i f i c e s and without blood" (Owen Glendower, 4 1 9 ) . Although the l a t e r book i s more c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Powys* mature thought on the subject, i n Wood and Stone the pagan past provides a convenient locus f o r the forces of strength and cruelty repre-sented by some aspects of the Nevllton landscape. But always a f o r c e f u l image of the r i v a l r y of the opposing h i l l s dominates such t r a d i t i o n a l ideas, f o r Powys himself i s preternaturally that "philosophically disposed" v i l l a g e r , soaked i n r u r a l l i v i n g , who i s also thinker and visionary sensitive ever to the "vast s p i r i t u a l c o n f l i c t . " In i t s dual-ism, i t s sense of a struggle between good and e v i l , the "mythology" of Wood and Stone i s obviously s i m i l a r to the 'myth-ology" of Wolf Solent who imagined himself "taking part in some occult cosmic struggle — some struggle between what he l i k e d to think of as 'good' and what he l i k e d to think of ' e v i l ' in those remote depths" (Wolf Solent. 12). But i n the l a t e r novel 80 the struggle i s shown as highly subjective t i t i s "an arrogant mental idea" of Wolf's, and by the end of the novel he has had to abandon i t . In Wood and Stone the mythology of opposed s p i r i t u a l forces, embodying themselves i n l o c a l topography, i s the author's own, i d i o s y n c r a t i c b e l i e f , and i t must be admitted, before i t s obvious power i s analysed, that i t i s not always e n t i r e l y convincingly espoused i n the novel ' s terms. There i s too much theorizing; the evilness of Leo's H i l l and i t s psychic sympathy with the p e r s o n a l i t i e s of the Romers are asserted when they would have been better shown. Because the "mythology" i s such a personal one, i t can seem gratuitous, and the characters themselves are much more Interesting than the various p r i n c i p l e s which we are t o l d from time to time that they are meant to embody. This f i r s t novel — and that i t i s a f i r s t novel i s pertinent — tends to the same f a u l t that mars Powys' l a s t fantasies — the discussion of disembodied ideas at the expense of dramatic action. To t h i s paradoxical example of the e s s e n t i a l unity of Powys works we s h a l l return (see Chapter Nine). But i n t h i s instance, the f a u l t s of the novel noted, i t i s rather i t s strengths, the uniquely Powysian merits of Wood and Stone, that claim attention. Although the novel at times develops a forced and a r t i -f i c i a l note when i t describes the landscape i n terms of "myth-ology ," what might be c a l l e d the "pure" landscape descriptions and the passages depicting the immediate reactions of a charac-te r to the landscape are much better done. Powys succeeds when he l e t s the landscape speak f o r the idea rather than the 81 idea for the landscape. At such times Powys' a f f i n i t i e s to J e f f r i e s and Hardy are evident. Nevilton Mount and Leo's H i l l can be seen and sensed i n themselves and hence, as we s h a l l see below, in t h e i r symbolic importance ln terms of wood and stone. Powys' knowledge of the countryside and his power of evocation of i t extend to the smaller d e t a i l s as well as the large concepts. The return of the rooks to Nevilton and t h e i r wild c i r c l i n g f l i g h t develops into a symbol of James Anderson's madness (458-9 )„ Other characters are described in terms of the landscape around them. The old creature was as th i n as a lathe; and his cavernous, colourless eyes and drooping jaw looked, ln that i n d i s t i n c t l i g h t , as vague.and shadowy as though they belonged to some phantasmal mirage of mist and rain d r i f t e d i n from the sleeping f i e l d s . (655) Vennie Seldom, who seems often to expound her creator's own ideas, has an experience on Lodmoor which i s i n d i c a t i v e of Powys' intention throughout t h i s , and other novels. At a time of s t r a i n and excitement she finds i t d i f f i c u l t to d i s -entangle her thoughts from her outward impressions. The splash of a water-rat became an episode i n her suspended revelation. The bubbles r i s i n g from the movements of an ee l in the mud got mixed with the image of Mrs. Wotnot picking laurel-leaves. The f l i g h t of a sea-gull above t h e i r heads was a projection of Dangelis' escape from the s p e l l s of his false mistress. (708) 82 The p a r a l l e l s here are a l i t t l e too numerous f o r v e r i s i m i l i t u d e , but the passage Is a s i g n i f i c a n t one — expecially when related to the aforementioned episode where James' thoughts are compared with the rooks. The f i x i n g of a human character or emotion by symbolizing i t in some piece of natural description i s a tech-nique Powys derived from both Emily Bronte and Hardy, and did not use unconsciously. Wood and Stone i s unifi e d not only by i t s r i c h l y evoked se t t i n g but by a temporal pattern of seasonal progression, tr a c i n g the events of one summer from June to late August. Almost every chapter opens with a "set piece" of nature des-c r i p t i o n chronicling the changes i n nature, the new v a r i e t i e s of plants i n d i t c h and hedgerow, the pec u l i a r q u a l i t i e s of a i r and l i g h t on a p a r t i c u l a r day. This pattern may sometimes be f e l t to be obtrusive, an eff e c t of over-deliberate scene paint-ing, no matter good the actual painting. The descriptive pas-sages do more, however, than set the scene. They are never merely background to the actions they are part of i t , and l i t e r -a l l y colour i t and take colour from i t . Hence Powys' — Vennie*s — insistence upon the inte r a c t i o n of scene and event which v i t a l i z e s the descriptions. Throughout the novel weather, l i k e topography, i s seen to influence human behaviour. P a r t i c u l a r l y "at these peculiar seasons when Nature seems to pause and draw i n her breath, men and women fi n d i t hard to use or assert t h e i r normal powers of resistance" ( 5 3 7 ) . Peculiar q u a l i t i e s i n the external atmos-phere, e s p e c i a l l y approaching thunderstorms, precede s i n i s t e r 83 episodes in the romance (for example, 255. 370. 371) . The sun shines throughout the main part of the novel — a sun which i s associated with the blond, "well-constituted" Gladys and her counterpart Luke. However, i n the l a s t chapter, set in October and functioning as an epilogue, the sun children have been tamed by marriage and i t rains heavily at l a s t . Much of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c texture of Wood and Stone comes from i t s nature d e s c r i p t i o n . Most conversations between the characters are c a r e f u l l y set i n the context of t h e i r natural surroundings i we know where the characters are, what flowers are blooming there, what sounds and scents the characters are aware of as they converse (for example, 51 . 58 . 62, 7 0 ) . S i m i l a r l y , t h e i r movements about the v i l l a g e are pati e n t l y plotted. Care has been taken from the f i r s t chapter to estab-l i s h a clear sense of the topography of Nevilton and i t s surroundings, and landmarks such as Nevilton Park and Wild Pine Ridge a t t a i n s i g n i f i c a n c e through repeated mention. Like the other early novels, Wood and Stone was written in America and shows the loving absorption ln the Wessex landscape and natural d e t a i l that was the curious r e s u l t of Powys' e x i l e . Perhaps more curious, a tr i b u t e to his s p e c i a l power and i n d i v i d u a l -i t y as a n o v e l i s t , i s his marriage of r i c h symbolic s i g n i f i -cance with scrupulous attention to t h i s natural d e t a i l . This i s well seen i n the introductory depiction of the two h i l l s — so geographic, even economic, i n t h e i r precision, and yet so large and visionary i n t h e i r metaphoric/allegoric s i g n i f i c a n c e . The symbolic structure of Wood and Stone 84 centres around the opposition between the two h i l l s of Nevilton, and between the natural elements of earth, water, stone and wood. In the opening chapter, e n t i t l e d "Leo's H i l l " and devoted to an exposition of the e f f e c t s that h i l l has upon the l o c a l inhabitants, the concept of a s p i r i t u a l struggle between the two h i l l s i s set f o r t h . This struggle i s a manifestation of the professed theme of the novel, the question " i s the hidden and basic law of things, not Power but S a c r i f i c e , not Pride but Love?" ( v i i ) . Although i t . i s to Leo's H i l l rather than to the "Christian" h i l l that "the l i v e s and destinies of the people of Nevilton have come to gravitate" (1), the novel ends with the forces of Love and S a c r i f i c e at least p a r t i a l l y v i c t o r i o u s . The whole concept expounded i n t h i s chapter of there being a " s p i r i t u a l influence" (1) exerted by the h i l l s i s curiously s i m i l a r to the central idea of La Colline Insplree of Maurice Barres, published two years e a r l i e r . II est des lieux qui t i r e n t l^ame de ' sa lethargie, des l i e u x enveloppes, balgnes de mystere, £lus de toute eternite pour Stre le siege de 1'Amotion r e l i g i e u s e . . . . D'ou vient l a puissance de ces lieux? La d o i v e n t - i l s au souvenir de quelque grand f a i t historique, a l a beautfe" d'un s i t e exceptionnel, a l'emotlon des foules qui du fond des ages y vinrent s'emouvoir? Leur vertu est plus mystirleuse. E l l e prec€da leur g l o i r e et saurait y survivre. 2 (La Colline Insplree, 5 , 6) Barres stresses the elevating, i n s p i r i n g atmosphere of h i s "lieux ou s o u f f l e l ' e s p r i t " ( 7 ) , whereas the places d e s c r i b e d in Wood and Stone are almost a l l s i n i s t e r and d e b i l i t a t i n g 85 in t h e i r e f f e c t on the characters. Even Nevilton Mount, symbol of Christian s a c r i f i c e , traps Clavering i n i t s veget-ation and mocks him with the Carpe Diem motto of the f o l l y b u i l t on i t s summit. But whatever the differences i n the na-ture of t h e i r influences, t h e i r s p i r i t u a l power i s indicated and s i m i l a r questions are asked as to the sources of t h i s power. While Barres believes that t h i s power i s inherent i n the h i l l i t s e l f , independent of i t s human history, Powys tends to ascribe the s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t i e s of the h i l l s to events and associations of t h e i r past (2 , 133) . The "inspired h i l l " of Barres' novel has two summits, respectively consecrated to Rosmertha/Virgin Mary and to Wotan, l a t e r the castle of Vaudemont conceived as the "masculine" protector of the "female" shrine. Again, there i s a s i m i l a r i t y to the r e l i g i o u s and m i l i t a r y q u a l i t i e s ascribed to the two h i l l s of Wood and Stone. Probably too much should not be made of the p a r a l l e l s between these novels, since no d i r e c t influence can be demonstrated. H.P. Co l l i n s suspects that Wood and Stone was written consi-derably e a r l i e r than 1915 ( 4 3 ) . and i n any case the discovery of supernatural powers within a landscape i s i m p l i c i t i n the Gothic novels as well as i n Hardy's description of Egdon Heath. But the fact that the repository of these powers i n both novels should be a h i l l i s i n t e r e s t i n g , as i s the construction of both novels l n that they, l i k e The Return of the Native, open with extended descriptions of the countryside and specu-lations upon the re l a t i o n s h i p between i t s nature and that of i t s human inhabitants. Certainly, Powys was at t h i s time aware 86 of contemporary French l i t e r a t u r e , and the p o s s i b i l i t y of a di r e c t influence need not be discounted. Although Powys disclaimed any intention of imita t i n g Hardy, certain aspects of the landscape description i n Wood and Stone Inevitably r e c a l l the e a r l i e r n o v e l i s t . One of these i s the notion that a p a r t i c u l a r landscape concentrates i t s e l f and reveals most of i t s e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t y at some p a r t i c u l a r time of day. In f a c t , p r e c i s e l y at t h i s t r a n s i t i o n a l point of i t s n i g h t l y r o l l into darkness the great and p a r t i c u l a r glory of the Egdon waste began, and nobody could be said to understand the heath who had not been there at such a time. It could best be f e l t when i t could not c l e a r l y be seen, i t s complete ef f e c t and explanation l y i n g i n t h i s and the succeeding hours before the next dawn i then, and only then, did i t t e l l i t s true t a l e . . . . The place became f u l l of a watchful intentness now; f o r when other things sank brooding to sleep the heath appeared slowly to awake and l i s t e n . Every night i t s T i t a n i c form seemed to await something; but i t had waited thus, unmoved, during so many centuries, through the cri s e s of so many things, that i t could only be imagined to await one l a s t c r i s i s — the f i n a l overthrow. (The Return of the Native. 2 ,3) Every natural l o c a l i t y has i t s hour of sp e c i a l s e l f - a s s e r t i o n ; i t s hour, when the pec u l i a r q u a l i t i e s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which belong to i t emphasize themselves, and a t t a i n a sort of temporary apogee or culmination. It i s then that such l o c a l i t i e s — be they forests or moors, h i l l - s i d e s or valleys — seem to gather themselves together and bring themselves into focus, waiting expectantly, i t might almost seem, f o r some answering dramatic c r i s i s i n human a f f a i r s which should f i n d i n them an inevi t a b l e background. (Wood and Stone. 1 8 4 ) 87 Furthermore, the pessimism and i r o n i c asceticism of Hardy's declared preference f o r the dark Heath (3) seem to have been adopted by Powys in his attitude to the Nevilton landscape. Leo's H i l l , Wild Pine Ridge, Auber Lake, the Methodist church-yard, and even the very mud of the lanes are s i n i s t e r and i l l -intentioned. Most of the characters are h o s t i l e to t h e i r en-vironment; l i k e Eustacia Vye, they f e e l trapped by i t and seek escape — s i g n i f i c a n t l y enough — through Weymouth. But a l -though Powys seemed to enjoy adapting Hardy's pessimism as a romantic pose, i n Powys the attitude does remain only a pose. This can be noticed i n the fact that his landscapes have a grotesque, Gothic malignity which contrasts oddly with the stark and bleak landscapes at which Hardy excels. The descrip-tions of Egdon and Flintcomb Ash Farm convey a sense of the weariness and f u t i l i t y of l i f e . Human destiny and landscape both are shaped into bleak outlines by Hardy's pessimism. Powys' landscapes, on the other hand, always abound l n r i c h earth l i f e ; t h i s l i f e can be seen expressing i t s e l f in the clotted f e r t i l i t y and demonic energies of the landscape of Wood and Stone. The other l i t e r a r y influence most apparent i n Wood and  Stone i s that of the Gothic novel. Scenes l i k e the one at Auber Lake where the night-walkers are t e r r i f i e d by the screams of a demented g i r l owe much to Mrs. Radcliffe and her followers. As i n many Gothic novels, much of the f r i s s o n comes from the t e r r o r of a young woman compelled to venture into dark, wooded, s i n i s t e r and unfamiliar surroundings. Dangelis objects to the 88 macabre names of the area (Eadger's Bottom, Dead Man's Lane, etc., 259; the name of Auber Lake i s evidently derived from Poe's "Ulalume"). Even more Gothic, however i s the obsession of the author and some of his characters with churchyards. Clavering f a l l s asleep on a b i e r (182-3) and James Andersen f a l l s asleep leaning against a gravestone i n the same church-yard (50?); both episodes r e c a l l the night spent by Sergeant Troy i n Wetherbury churchyard. Luke Andersen jumps Hamlet-l i k e into a newly-dug grave (515). He and his brother "had a philosophical mania f o r these sepulchral places," (400) and v i s i t them on several occasions during the novel. Thus within the space of forty-eight hours the brothers Andersen had been together i n no less than three sepulchral enclosures. One might have supposed that the same destiny that made of t h e i r father a kind of modern Old Mortality — less pious, i t i s true, than his prototype, but not less addicted to invasions of the unprotesting dead — had made i t inevitable that the most c r i t i c a l moments of his sons' l i v e s should be passed i n the presence of these mute witnesses. (505) Vennie takes Mr. Clavering to one f o r a c r u c i a l conversation, Clavering spies on an Interview between Luke and Gladys in another; i t i s at James Andersen's funeral that Gladys i s rejected by Luke and discovered to Vennie. Lacrima and James hold a morbid conversation i n a place where unbaptized c h i l -dren used to be burled (202) . The omnipresent churchyard i s not the only reminder of death i n the Nevilton landscape. Powys makes frequent 89 mortuary references In his metaphors and nature des c r i p t i o n ! beech trunks are " l i k e s i l e n t p i l l a r s i n the crypt of a mauso-leum" (326) , a crowd on a h i l l i s " l i k e some great stream of voracious maggots, i n the body of a dead animal" ( 3 7 D . Macabre fancies are r i c h l y indulged. . . . mortality seems more palpably, more oppressively emphasized among the graves of Nevilton than i n other repositories of the dead. . . . to be buried in Nevilton clay has a p o s i t i v e element i n i t s dreadfulness. It i s not so much to be buried, as to be sucked i n , drawn down, devoured, absorbed. . . . (The tombstones) weigh down upon the poor r e l i c s consigned to t h e i r care, i n a hideous partnership with the clay that Is working i t s w i l l upon them. ( 6 , 7 ) The Nevilton landscape i s associated throughout with r e l i g i o n , f e r t i l i t y , dampness and death, and i s frequently contrasted with the landscape of I t a l y . "In our country we grow com between the f r u i t trees," said Lacrima. "Yes, com — " returned Andersen, "com and wine and o i l ' . Those are the natural, the b e a u t i f u l , products of earth. Things that are fed upon sun and a i r — not upon the bones of the dead! A l l these Nevilton places, however, luxuriant, seem to me to smell of death." (203) This morbid, almost h y s t e r i c a l , Insistence upon the rank, s i n i s t e r q u a l i t i e s of the vegetation and s o i l does eventually give the a i r of being consciously indulged l n — of being a l i t e r a r y pose. As an expression of James Andersen's mania It i s v a l i d , but one tends to suspect Powys of working up such 90 a mania in himself as well for the l i t e r a r y e f f e c t . Louis Wilkinson marks i n Powys a strong dash of the great poseur and actor, and Powys i n his Autobiography shows his own s e l f -awareness of t h i s t r a i t . As a lecturer, he no doubt benefitted from t h i s g i f t f o r imitation and exaggeration, but as a novel-i s t he was sometimes betrayed by i t . S p i r i t u a l c o n f l i c t between the two h i l l s of Nevilton i s not the only symbolic opposition i n Wood, and Stone. As the t i t l e suggests, Powys conceives an opposition as well between d i f f e r e n t forms of matter — between clay, wood, water, Leonian stone and marble. The t i t l e probably i s derived from a Victor-ian hymn which sees these two substances, as Edmund Gosse put i t , as "pec u l i a r l y l i a b l e to be bowed down to by the heathen in t h e i r blindness."-' What though the spicy breezes Blow soft o'er Ceylon's i s l e , Though every prospect pleases And only man i s v i l e , In vain with l a v i s h kindness The g i f t s of God are strown, The heathen l n his blindness Bows down to wood and stone. Bishop Reginal Heber (Hymns Ancient & Modern #522) As Christian orthodoxy plays a f a i r l y important role in the novel, the hold which the stone of Leo's H i l l has over the people of Nevilton may be seen as a sort of i d o l a t r y , reaching i t s apogee in the values and morals of the Homers. Gladys i s referred to frequently as "pagan" (24l, ?21), and also i s esp e c i a l l y i d e n t i f i e d with Leonian stone. 91 The sun-warmed s l a b s o f L e o n i a n s t o n e , upon w h i c h she had s o o f t e n b a s k e d i n v o l u p t u o u s c o n t e n t m e n t seemed d u m b l y t o e n c o u r a g e and s t i m u l a t e h e r i n t h i s h e a t h e n d e s i g n . How e n t i r e l y t h e y w e r e t h e a c c o m p l i c e s o f a l l t h a t was d o m i n a n t i n h e r d e s t i n y -- t h e s e y e l l o w b l o c k s o f s t o n e t h a t had s o e n r i c h e d h e r house!, T h e y a n s w e r e d t o h e r own b l o n d b e a u t y , t o h e r own s l u g g i s h r e m o r s e l e s s n e s s . (103) H e r f a t h e r t o o h a s a s e n s e o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h e s t o n e w h i c h i s , a s he i s , r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f c r u e l t y a nd p o wer. He a l w a y s seemed t o renew t h e f o r c e s o f h i s b e i n g ' when he v i s i t e d t h i s g r a s s - c o v e r e d r e p o s i t o r y o f h i s w e a l t h and i n f l u e n c e . L e o ' s H i l l s u i t e d h i s t e m p e r , and he f e l t a s t h o u g h he s u i t e d t h e t e m p e r o f L e o ' s H i l l . B e tween t h e man who e x p l o i t e d t h e s t o n e , and t h e g r e a t r e s e r v o i r o f t h e s t o n e he e x p l o i t e d , t h e r e seemed a n i l l i m i t a b l e a f f i n i t y . (372-3) A s i m i l a r a f f i n i t y f o r L e o n i a n s t o n e i s e x p r e s s e d , w i t h much l e s s s e l f - s a t i s f a c t i o n , by t h e u n h a p p y c a r v e r James A n d e r s e n . H a v i n g w o r k e d t h e s t o n e a l l h i s l i f e , he f e e l s h i m -s e l f a b o u t t o " t u r n t o s t o n e " (440, 4 4 3 ) . Mr. T a x a t e r a t t e m p t s t o d i s p e l h i s m o r b i d mood l n a p a s s a g e w h i c h i s t h e m a t i c a l l y c e n t r a l t o t h e n o v e l . "Remember, t h i s i s no l o n g e r t h e S t o n e Age. The p o w e r o f s t o n e was b r o k e n o n c e f o r a l l , when c e r t a i n women o f P a l e s t i n e f o u n d t h a t s t o n e , w h i c h we've a l l h e a r d o f , l i f t e d o u t o f i t s p l a c e ' . S i n c e t h e n i t i s t o wood --t h e wood o u t o f w h i c h H i s c r o s s was made — n o t t o s t o n e , t h a t we must l o o k . " ( 4 4 0 ) 92 A n d e r s e n r e m e m b e r s t h e a d m o n i t i o n , a n d a p p l i e s i t p r o p h e t i c a l l y t o h i s r i v a l , Q u i n c u n x . " H e i s a n a s h - r o o t , a t o u g h a s h - r o o t , " h e m u t t e r e d , " A n d t h a t ' s t h e r e a s o n h e h a s b e e n c h o s e n . T h e r e ' s n o t h i n g i n t h e w o r l d b u t t h e r o o t s o f t r e e s t h a t c a n u n d e r m i n e t h e p o w e r o f S t o n e * . T h e t r e e s c a n d o i t . T h e t r e e s w i l l d o i t . W h a t d i d t h a t C a t h o l i c s a y ? He s a i d i t w a s Wood a g a i n s t S t o n e . T h a t ' s t h e r e a s o n I c a n ' t h e l p h e r . I h a v e w o r k e d t o o l o n g a t S t o n e . I am t o o n e a r S t o n e . T h a t ' s t h e r e a s o n Q u i n c u n x h a s b e e n c h o s e n . S h e a n d I a r e u n d e r t h e p o w e r o f S t o n e , a n d we c a n ' t r e s i s t i t , a n y m o r e t h a n t h e e a r t h c a n ! B u t a s h - t r e e r o o t s c a n u n d e r m i n e a n y t h i n g . (463) T h u s w o o d , o r g a n i c m a t t e r w i t h i t s C h r i s t i a n c o n n o t a t i o n s a s t h e v e h i c l e o f S a c r i f i c e , b e c o m e s t h e h a l f - s u c c e s s f u l a d v e r s a r y o f t h e p a g a n , p i t i l e s s p o w e r o f s t o n e . N e v i l t o n M o u n t i s w o o d e d , w h e r e a s L e o ' s H i l l i s b a r e . T h e s y m b o l i s m i s n o t c o n s i s t e n t t h r o u g h o u t t h e n o v e l , h o w e v e r , a s i n t h e o p e n i n g c h a p t e r we a r e t o l d t h a t " t h e r a n k v e g e t a t i o n " o f N e v i l t o n c h u r c h y a r d " a s s i s t s t h e t r e a c h e r y " o f t h e c l a y a n d s t o n e s a b s o r b i n g man b a c k I n t o t h e e a r t h ( 7 ) . L a c r i m a a n d J a m e s a g r e e t h a t t h e N e v i l t o n o r c h a r d s " w e r e m a d e t o k e e p o u t t h e s u n a n d t h e w h o l e -s o m e a i r , " a n d t h a t " s h r u b b e r y i s t h e l a s t l i m i t o f d e p r e s s i o n a n d d e s o l a t i o n " (203) . O t h e r p o s s i b l e o p p o n e n t s o f L e o n i a n s a n d s t o n e a r e m a r b l e and t h e s e a . M r . T a x a t e r , f i n d i n g t h e S e l d o m s ' " o r c h a r d based on r o c k . . . a n a d m i r a b l e s y m b o l o f w h a t t h i s p l a c e r e p r e s e n t s , " p r o f e s s e s t h a t m a r b l e , t h e b u i l d i n g m a t e r i a l o f t h e L a t i n r a c e s , " i s t h e a p p r o p r i a t e m e d i u m o f c i v i l i z a t i o n ' s r e t o r t t o i n s t i n c t 93 a n d s a v a g e r y , " a n d c o u l d r e s i s t t h e " c o r r u p t i n g n a t u r a l f o r c e s " w h i c h p e r v a d e t h e N e v i l t o n l a n d s c a p e (209). I n Wej^mouth L e o n i a n s t o n e g i v e s p l a c e t o " n o b l e P o r t l a n d S t o n e " ( 5 3 0 ) , w h i c h i s " s o m u c h n e a r e r t o m a r b l e t h a n t o c l a y " t h a t Q u i n c i x n x b e -l i e v e s t h a t i n i t " l u r k e d s o m e o c c u l t t a l i s m a n r e a d y t o s a v e h i m f r o m e v e r y t h i n g c o n n e c t e d w i t h L e o ' s H i l l " (699). P o r t l a n d s t o n e i s i n d i r e c t c o n t a c t w i t h t h e s e a , w h i c h i s s e e n a s t h e u l t i m a t e r e a l i t y a n d v i c t o r o v e r t h e f o r c e s o f b o t h w o o d a n d s t o n e . S w i m m i n g n a k e d i n t h e o p e n s e a L u k e e x p e r i e n c e s a " l a r g e e m a n c i p a t i o n " (589), a n d f e e l s t h a t " i n t h e s o l i d e a r t h ' s e t e r n a l a n t a g o n i s t , w a s a p o w e r c a p a b l e o f d e s t r o y i n g e v e r y s i n i s t e r s p e l l " (590). V e n n i e , t o o , t h i n k s i n W e y m o u t h o f how " l o n g a f t e r t h e l a s t b l o c k o f L e o n i a n s t o n e h a d b e e n r e m o v e d f r o m I t s p l a c e . . . t h i s s a m e t i d e w o u l d f l i n g i t s e l f u p o n t h i s s a m e b e a c h . . . " (712, 713). A n o t h e r w a y o f s t u d y i n g t h e l a n d s c a p e o f Wood a n d S t o n e i s t o n o t e how v a r i o u s a r e t h e r e s p o n s e s t o i t b y d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e r o m a n c e . T h e c h i e f a d v o c a t e s o f w h a t s e e m s t o b e t h e a u t h o r ' s o w n p o i n t o f v i e w o n t h e h i l l s a r e J a m e s A n d e r s e n a n d V e n n i e . A l t h o u g h t h e s t o n e c a r v e r e x p r e s s e s h i s d a r k o p i n i o n s a b o u t t h e e v i l f o r c e i n L e o ' s H i l l w h i l e i n a d e r a n g e d s t a t e ( 4 4 0 , 472, 4 8 1 , 570), t h e y c o i n c i d e w i t h t h o s e o f t h e l u c i d V e n n i e (435-6, 568, 720). V e n n i e , J a m e s a n d L a c r i m a a r e e n c o u r a g e d b y t h e a m b i g u o u s T a x a t e r t o u n i t e l n t h e i r h o s t i l i t y t o t h e " c o r r u p t i n g n a t u r a l f o r c e s " o f t h e N e v i l t o n l a n d s c a p e a n d t o f o r m a " f r e e m a s o n r y o f t h e c h i l d r e n 94 of marble against the children of clay" (209) . While Vennie and James f e e l t h e i r greatest opposition to the stone of Leo's H i l l , Lacrima i s p a r t i c u l a r l y h o s t i l e to the vegetation and s o i l of Nevilton with i t s "sluggish f e r t i l i t y " which i s so a l i e n to her Latin s p i r i t (92, also 189, 295 and 4 2 1 ) . Other characters do not f e e l t h i s a l i e n a t i o n and h o s t i l i t y to the landscape, either because they delude themselves as to i t s nature or because t h e i r own natures are i n harmony with i t . In the l a t t e r group are the representatives of Power — Gladys and her father, who can Identify themselves with the stone, and Farmer Goring. "If Mr. Romer represented the occult power of the sandstone h i l l , his brother-in-law was the very epitome and culmination of the valley's inert clay" ( 9 3 - 4 ) . Luke Andersen, also, while he i s not cruel, admires and pos-sesses Power, and does not f e e l alienated from his environment. Like Gladys he i s blond and therefore i d e n t i f i e d both with the sun and with the golden sandstone. Mr. Wone and Mrs. Seldom share a sentimental evangelical i l l u s i o n about nature which offends the more perceptive characters. Fate could not, surely altogether betray her prayers, i n a place so brooded over by "the wings of the dove." In the exquisite hush of the afternoon the birds' r i c h voices seemed to take an almost l i t u r g i c a l tone —- as though they were the ministers of a great natural temple. To make a solemn request of a dear friend under such conditions was almost as though one were exacting a sacred vow under the very shadow of the a l t a r . So at least Valentia f e l t , as she uttered 95 her serious p e t i t i o n ; though i t may well be that Mr. Taxater, s k i l l e d in the mental d i s c i p l i n e of Saint Ignatius, knew better how to keep the d i s t r a c t i n g influences of mere "Nature," i n t h e i r proper secondary place. (53-9) Taxater promptly betrays the lady's confidence, demonstrating the Inadequacy of her optimism. Taxater i s the recipient of s i m i l a r opinions, clothed l n cant from the obnoxious Wone. I love t h i s b e a u t i f u l scenery, these luscious f i e l d s , these admirable woods. . . . I love the vegetables in the gardens. And I love to think . . . of these good g i f t s of the Heavenly Father as being the expression of His divine bounty. Yes, i f anywhere ln our revered country atheism and immorality are condemned by nature her s e l f , i t i s in Nevilton. The f i e l d s of Nevilton are l i k e the f i e l d s of Canaan, they are f u l l of the goodness of the Lord! (341) Wone i s rebuked by Vennie on the two occasions he expresses s i m i l a r views to her ( 3 ^ 6 - 8 , 4 7 8 ) , and the events of the elec-t i o n b e l i e his optimism as well. Clavering, on the other hand, i s well aware of the heathen and s i n i s t e r powers of Nature. In an extraordinary passage his i n t e r n a l c o n f l i c t with temptation i s expressed by his reck-less ascent through the brambles and clutching foliage of Nevilton Mount; "the bind-weed, which entwined i t s e l f round, many of the slenderer tree-stems, became a symbol of the power that a s s a i l e d him" ( 1 4 3 ) . Powys distinguishes men to whom "the influences of what we c a l l Nature are i n harmony with a l l that i s good i n them," from others, including Clavering, f o r °>6 whom Mature was magical, not mystical, and permeated "by a subtle d i f f u s i o n of something e v i l there . . . " (143). The dualism i m p l i c i t i n the book becomes e x p l i c i t i n Chapter VIII, the account of the battle between nature and Clavering*s soul. The r e l i g i o u s aspirations of characters such as Clavering and Vennie are resisted by the forces of nature, "the power of a l l these entangled growing things" f e l t by the p r i e s t "as a s i n -i s t e r heathen influence p u l l i n g him earthward" (143). No one view of nature emerges triumphant in Wood and Stone, although the weight of r e i t e r a t i o n supports the morbid fancies of Lacrima and James. Certainly the naive confidence of Mrs. Seldom and Wone i s d i s p e l l e d , but by the end of the novel the forces of S a c r i f i c e have thwarted at least some of the designs of the advocates of Power. Perhaps the ambiguous response of the inscrutable Mr. Taxater, who on one occasion expresses h o s t i l i t y to the "corrupting natural forces" of the Nevilton landscape (209) but on others i s sympathetic to these natural, pagan powers (71-6, ?21), comes closest to coping e f f e c t i v e l y with his surroundings. He controls his emotional response to Nature, and Is not mastered by i t , but yet retains an admiration f o r natural beauty (59, 73, 77, ?21). He i s , of course, sustained by his orthodoxy and so does not resign hope as read i l y as do the i r r e l i g i o u s James and the lapsed Lacrima. A l a s t point of view on the landscape of Wood and Stone i s that provided by Dangelis, a curiously Henry Jamesian figure f o r Powys to have created, and one through whom some of Powys' own methods are given a ra t i o n a l e . An American, and therefore 97 something of an outsider, Dangells i s more cosmopolitan than the Nevilton l o c a l s and has greater self-awareness than any-other character except Luke. In the Henry James t r a d i t i o n , however, his open nature i s educated by the perfidy i n love of which the c i t i z e n s of the older nation prove capable. As an American and as a painter, Dangells* response to the Nevilton landscape i s very d i f f e r e n t from that of the characters who have l i v e d there longer and are less able to escape from i t . The s i n i s t e r q u a l i t i e s of t h i s landscape do s t r i k e him upon oc-casion (especially in Chapter XII, "Auber Lake"). But on the whole his attitude i s one of aesthetic appreciation (127-130, 132-3, 213, 711). He i s on the side of neither Power nor S a c r i f i c e in the s p i r i t u a l warfare Powys conceives as being waged in Nevilton. He brought into the place a certain large and elemental indifference. To the c h i l d of the winds and storms of the Great Lakes as, so one might think, to the high fixed stars themselves, t h i s l o c a l s t r i f e of opposed mythologies must needs appear a matter of but t r i f l i n g importance. (122) Frequently during the course of the romance Powys contemplates the struggles and tragedies of Nevilton from the superior and i n d i f f e r e n t perspective of the stars (182, 193, 518, 5 9 7 - 8 ) . Dangells, whose name suggests t h i s Hardyesque perspective, functions at the end as a deus ex machlna. As an a r t i s t , Dangells and his meditations provide an i n t e r e s t i n g insight into how Powys saw his own treatment of 98 landscape. His a r t i s t i c purposes are s i m i l a r to what Powys seems to have attempted i n his f i c t i o n . What i n his soul he vaguely Imaged as his task, was an attempt to eliminate a l l mystic and symbolic attitudes from his works, and to catch, in t h e i r place, i f the i n s p i r a t i o n came to him, something of the l a v i s h p r o d i g a l i t y , superbly material, and yet possessed of ineffable v i s t a s , of the large careless evocations of nature h e r s e l f . His imaginative purpose, as i t defined I t s e l f more and more c l e a r l y i n his mind, during his s o l i t a r y return through the evening l i g h t , seemed to imply an attempted reproduction of those aspect of the human drama, l n such a place as t h i s , which carried upon t h e i r surface the a i r of things that could not happen otherwise, and over-brimmed and over-flowed a l l t r a d i t i o n a l d i s t i n c t i o n s . (132) While Powys hardly eliminated " a l l symbolic and mystic a t t i -tudes" from his work, the "l a v i s h p r o d i g a l i t y " of nature and a sense of "ineffable v i s t a s " are among his own f i n e s t q u a l i t i e s as a n o v e l i s t . There i s an a n t i c i p a t i o n of Wolf Solent in Dangelis' determination to f i n d poetry in "the great black heaps of cow-dung which alternated here with the golden lumps of drowsy buttercups" (133) . This note of generous acceptance characterizes the novels of Powys' maturity, but i s rarely heard amid the Gothic forebodings of Wood and Stone. Vennie Seldom remarks "I am a f r a i d right and wrong are more strangely mixed i n t h i s world than a l l that, Mr. Wone" (478), but t h i s recognition i s not f u l l y absorbed into the novels u n t i l Wolf Solent. Wood and Stone i s in i t s basic conception d u a l i s t i c , and Dangelis' tolerance i s not i t s p r e v a i l i n g v i s i o n . 99 In a l a t e r meditation on his a r t i s t i c alms, Dangells conceives of a picture which would take a well-known myth and "clothe the shadowy poetic outline of the c l a s s i c a l story with fragments and morsels of actual experience as one by one his Imaginative i n t e l l e c t absorbed them" (213). He chose those legendary episodes "which seemed most capable of lending them-selves to a h a l f - r e a l i s t i c , h a l f - f a n t a s t i c transmutation, of the people and places around him" (212-13). Wood and Stone, based as i t i s upon Montacute and containing, p a r t i c u l a r l y in the rel a t i o n s h i p of the Andersen brothers, elements of auto-biography, does thus "transmute" Powys' memories of the people and places around him i n an e a r l i e r period. Unlike the painter, he seems to have worked best with remembered rather than immediately present scenes, to have created out of "emotion 6 recollected i n t r a n q u i l i t y . " The transmutation i s of the phys-i c a l environment of his childhood, and of per s o n a l i t i e s such as Llewelyn, John William Williams (Taxater) and the Montacute crone Nancy Cooper ("Witch Bessie"). As yet, there i s no " c l a s s i c a l story" underlying the plot of Wood and Stone. C l a s s i c a l and mythological references remain fragmentary and decorative rather than i n t e g r a l . The passage i s , however, prophetic, f o r i t very closely defines the achievement of A Glastonbury Romance. 100 Chapter Four: Footnotes •••L For example, E.M. Forster's short stories such as "The Story of a Panic," "The C e l e s t i a l Omnibus" and "Other Kingdom", or Kenneth Grahame's essays i n Pagan Papers (London: Bodley Head, 1898). 2 Maurice Barres, La Colline Insplree (1912; rpt. Le Livre de Poche, no date given). 3 His One Hundred Best Books (New York: G. Arnold Shaw, 1916) includes f a i r l y recent works by Anatole France, Hemy de Gourmont and Paul Bourget. I have been unable to trace any reference to Barres. ^ Thomas Hardy. The Return of the Native (I878; r p t . New York: Norton, 1969). 5 Edmund Gose, Father and Son (190?; r p t . London: Penguin, 1970), p. 38. ^ See also Kenneth Hopkins, The Powys Brothers (London: Phonenix House, 1967), PP. 60-61. 101 Chapter Five: A Glastonbury Romance A great change i s evident in Powys' basic attitude towards nature between the writ i n g of his f i r s t and his fourth novels. Although one group of characters i n the l a t e r book, the Norfolk-raised Crows, does f e e l a h o s t i l i t y to the Somerset landscape reminiscent of the attitude frequently taken in Wood  and Stone, the earth i s no longer viewed as a prison or a grave. A large part of the novel takes place in early spring; the emphasis i s on earth l i f e as fresh and d e l i c a t e , not heavy and cloying. It i s from his sensual nature and strong physical delight in the earth that the central figure of A Glastonbury  Romance, the prophet, healer and mystic John Geard, draws his power. Geard's dying thoughts are of "the green spring grass of the park at Montacute." A native of Montacute, the Nevilton of Wood and Stone, he feels none of the revulsion to the s o i l of his home that the characters of the e a r l i e r novel f e l t . While i n A Glastonbury Romance there are r e l a t i v e l y few set pieces of landscape description such as those with which each chapter of Wood and Stone began, the treatment of land-scape in the l a t e r novel i s more varied and r i c h . Perhaps the most s i g n i f i c a n t of these changes i s that l n the l a t e r novel, as in a l l Powys' major novels, the landscape i s seen almost always through the eyes of a p a r t i c u l a r character rather than described d i r e c t l y by an omniscient narrator. Thus the emo-t i o n a l and moral connotations which invar i a b l y are present in landscape descriptions have reference to the p a r t i c u l a r v i s i o n 102 and state of mind of the i n d i v i d u a l who observes them: the narrator no longer attempts to Impose his own impressions of the character of a given s e t t i n g or day as absolute. This i s quite i n accord with the philosophy of the novel as a whole i n i t s denial of absolutes and i t s stress on the v a l i d i t y of many d i f f e r e n t points of view. In his 1955 Preface to the novel Powys writes that "Its message i s that no one Receptacle of L i f e and no one Fountain of L i f e poured into that Receptacle can contain or explain what the world offers us,"'*' and i n the novel I t s e l f he asserts that "there i s no ultimate mystery!" (693, see below, pp. 5 0 - 5 D . Thus Nature enters A Glastonbury  Romance as i t penetrates the stream of consciousness of a p a r t i c u l a r character (for example, 54-5, 264-5, 283-4) rather than being described from an omniscient point of view. Char-acters, too, may be v i s u a l i z e d through nature imagery: "Sam's hulking form swayed l i k e a gnarled thorn bush i n a high wind" (214), "her eyes lingered f o r a moment, c l i n g i n g to Sam's, l i k e a goldfinch to a thistle-head" (390). But these compari-sons are not made into a l l e g o r i c a l equations as they were in Wood and Stone, where Quincunx was ash wood, Romer was Leonian stone and Goring was Nevilton clay. A Glastonbury Romance i s the f i r s t of Powys' novels to be set i n more than one l o c a l i t y j although Rodmoor opens l n London, the c i t y i s only s l i g h t l y evoked. Like John Crow, the reader i s brought to Glastonbury by way of Norfolk and Salisbury P l a i n , places which contrast greatly with the lush and sheltered Somerset town. This use of contrast heightens 103 t h e i n d i v i d u a l q u a l i t i e s o f t h e G l a s t o n b u r y l a n d s c a p e . N o r t h w o l d a n d S t o n e h e n g e b o t h a p p e a r a s b l e a k , h a r s h a n d r e a l -i s t i c c h a l l e n g e s t o t h e h a z y g l a m o u r a n d i l l u s i o n o f p i c t u r e s q u e G l a s t o n b u r y . T h e c o n t r a s t i s o f b i o g r a p h i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e a s w e l l : i n h i s A u t o b i o g r a p h y P o w y s m a k e s m u c h o f t h e d i s t i n c t i o n s h e s e n s e d b e t w e e n t h e p l a c e s h e v i s i t e d a s a c h i l d , i n c l u d i n g h i s g r a n d f a t h e r ' s h ome a t N o r t h w o l d , a n d h e w r i t e s l n h i s p r e f -a c e t o A G l a s t o n b u r y R o m a n c e t h a t f r o m t h e s a n d s a n d t h e w a t e r s , f r o m t h e r e e d s a n d t h e w a t e r s , o f t h e E a s t C o a s t , we may p a s s a s ray o w n N o r f o l k - b o r n m o t h e r p a s s e d , t o t h e m y s t e r i o u s s t o n e s o f S t o n e h e n g e a n d t h e n o t l e s s m y s t e r i o u s V a l e o f A v a l o n . ( x i l i ) T h e f i r s t t w o c h a p t e r s o f A G l a s t o n b u r y R o m a n c e a r e s e t i n N o r t h w o l d , a n d s o m e o f t h e p r o t a g o n i s t s r e t u r n t h e r e a t t h e e n d o f t h e y e a r w h i c h t h e n o v e l d e s c r i b e s . T h e r e a r e s i m i j a r -i t i e s b e t w e e n N o r f o l k a n d G l a s t o n b u r y l n t h a t t h e l a n d s c a p e o f b o t h i s m a r k e d b y w a t e r d i t c h e s o r r h y n e s ; b u t w h e r e a s t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f t h e e a s t e r n t o w n i s c l e a r a n d b r a c i n g , . G l a s t o n b u r y i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y v e i l e d i n h a z e o r m i s t . P o w y s s e e m s t o e n j o y , w h e n w r i t i n g o f a p l a c e s o c h a r g e d w i t h s e n t i m e n t a s G l a s t o n b u r y h a s b e e n , f i r s t m a k i n g a h o s t i l e a p p r o a c h t o i t t h r o u g h t h e s c e p t i c i s m o f t h e V i k i n g - d e s c e n d e d C r o w s . The f l a t , o p e n l a n d o f N o r t h w o l d s u i t s t h e C r o w s ' t e m p e r a m e n t a s t h e h i l l s a n d m i s t s o f G l a s t o n b u r y d o n o t . R a c i a l d i s t i n c t i o n s a r e a c c o r d e d i n t h i s n o v e l t h e s a m e s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a t t o p o -g r a p h i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n s a r e . 104 Stonehenge, which, f o r d i f f e r e n t reasons, appeals to both John and Mr. Evans, remains an u l t i m a t e mystery c h a l l e n g i n g both the c y n i c i s m of the Danes and the r e l i g i o s i t y a s s o c i a t e d with Glastonbury. Because i t s stones, a c c o r d i n g to M r . Evans, came o r i g i n a l l y from South Wales and i t was the c h i e f temple of the Druids ( 8 6 ) , Stonehenge i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the pagan C e l t i c m y steries and " s e c r e t s of l i f e " which are a l s o so important i n Powys* conception of Glastonbury. But i n the t h i r d chapter of the n o v e l Stonehenge i s seen through the eyes of the s c e p t i c a l John Crow, in whom "some a n c i e n t v e i n of o l d Danish p r o f a n i t y " ( 8 5 ) i s aroused by i t s over-powering presence. R e a c t i n g a g a i n s t Mr. Evans* p e d a n t i c reverence f o r the p l a c e , John i s n e v e r t h e l e s s g r e a t l y impressed by i t , and f e e l s drunken wi t h the magnetism emanating from i t ( 8 4 ) . He, however, sees Stonehenge as "very E n g l i s h , " r a t h e r than f u l l of C e l t i c mys-t e r i e s , and wishes to worship the stones simply because they are such m a g n i f i c e n t stones — not, as Mr. Evans does, because they hide some s e c r e t of l i f e . John's v i s i t to Stonehenge i s one of the most impressive scenes l n A Glastonbury Romance, n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g the humorous undercurrent of c o n f l i c t between the shameless John and the in d i g n a n t Mr. Evans, and i t may serve as an example of Powys' v a r i e t y of approaches to landscape. S e v e r a l i n c i d e n t s i n i t are developed d u r i n g the course of the n o v e l i n t o important themes. For example, the s u b j e c t of s u f f e r i n g i s c e n t r a l to the n o v e l , and the "Stonehenge" chapter begins by i d e n t i f y i n g John's exhaustion and p a i n w i t h the c o l o u r of the sky and 105 Salisbury P l a i n . John's weariness produces a kind of synthesia whereby his sensations of pain become associated with what he sees, with the landscape before him. The theme of su f f e r i n g i s thus Introduced to the novel, and at once i d e n t i f i e d with John's journey to Glastonbury; t r a v e l l i n g "towards the West Country was l i k e walking towards some mysterious c e l e s t i a l Fount wherin pain was transmuted into an unknown element" ( 9 9 ) . Salisbury Plain i s a strong contrast to the Norfolk land-scape of the preceding chapters. Like Norfolk i t i s f l a t and open, but i t i s bare and lacks the water ditches of both Norfolk and Glastonbury. The road across i t i s "bleak and un-frequented" (75)» thus the encounter with Mr. Evans takes on an eerie s i g n i f i c a n c e . Stonehenge i s the p o r t a l through which John enters the West Country, the land of magic and i l l u s i o n . John's sensation that the place i s "very English" perhaps implies i t s power over a l l the d i f f e r e n t r a c i a l strains --C e l t i c , Danish and Saxon -- which comprise the nation. Stonehenge has power and l i f e for both Mr. Evans and John, "the man from Wales and the man from Norfolk" ( 9 6 ) , although each interprets t h i s power d i f f e r e n t l y . Stonehenge, l i k e the towers of Glastonbury, i s one of the shrines of Cybele, monu-ments of man's b e l i e f in s p i r i t u a l forces greater than himself. "The powers of reason may number the Stones of Stonehenge and guess at the o r i g i n of the G r a i l of Glastonbury; but they can-not explain the mystery of the one, nor ask the required magic question of the other" (1174). The stones are seen at t w i l i g h t , when "the very indistinctness of the dying daylight served 106 also to enhance the lmpressiveness of the place" ( 8 9 ) . John's sense of i t s immensity and l i v i n g quality i s stressed; the i n d i v i d u a l stones are given t h e i r own characters, but in John's f i n a l sight of i t i t seems a whole, a single stone. As w i l l happen l a t e r , at the opening of the Saxon. Arch, present charac-ters appear as ghosts from the past; John seems l i k e "the ghost of a n e o l i t h i c slave" ( 8 9 ) staring at the gods of his masters. Past and present fuse in a "Cimmerian greyness" ( 8 9 ) which anticipates the mingling of ages and worlds to be found in Glastonbury. Other aspects of the landscape description in t h i s t h i r d chapter Include the focusing upon small d e t a i l s of nature as they obtrude into the mind of the protagonist, and the incan-tati o n of the names of v i l l a g e s along the route to Glastonbury as John and Mr. Evans pass them. This l a t t e r episode.is c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Powys' fascination with the i n d i v i d u a l qual-i t y of small places, and his awareness of t h e i r s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l connotations. The former lends humanity and r e a l -ism to the often rather f a n t a s t i c behaviour and speculations of his characters. Overwhelmed at his f i r s t sight of Stonehenge, John notices a few buds on a thorn branch. He remarks that i t is not dead yet, and Mr. Evans misunderstands him. The i n c i -dent is both poignant and appropriate, f o r Mr. Evans applies John's remark to the stone c i r c l e and expounds upon what they both f e e l about i t s power. As a miraculous sign given to Joseph of Arimathea, and a symbol of s p i r t u a l l i f e in death, the thorn tree has great h i s t o r i c and symbolic significance 10? in-the Glastonbury legend, and i t s appearance here i s the f i r s t of many ln the novel. The associations i t acquires here with new l i f e and with s p i r i t u a l powers are carried throughout the novel. E a r l i e r i n the chapter, John i s given a f e e l i n g of "almost sacred reassurance" by the sight of a newt i n a dew pond" (77). The dew pond i s also part of a recurrent symbolism ln the Romance, here a series of pools containing animal l i f e such as Harrod's mill-pond and the m i l l pool of Lydford where the great chub l i v e d . Powys' description of the newt in t h i s pond slowly sinking down into the blue-grey depths of the water clo s e l y resembles the r i t u a l i s t i c r i s i n g and submerging of the great f i s h into the blueish-grey water of Harrod's mill-pond des-cribed some f i f t y pages e a r l i e r . On both occasions John Is given a kind of ecstasy by the sight of this descent into the "mysterious luminosity" of the water (22). Before the capture of the chub, Geard also submerges himself into a pool of water (here the reddish water of Chalice Well) to enact his miracle of healing; i n death he again sinks slowly into the waters which embody f o r him the means of a t t a i n i n g s p i r i t u a l union with the Absolute. The water, i t s blue-grey colour, and the descent of the water animal into the depths are a l l important images in terms of the novel as a whole, as w i l l be shown l a t e r . They are associated with ecstasy, transfiguration and communication with the other world. Thus even an apparently i n s i g n i f i c a n t incident such as t h i s one of the newt in the dew pond can be seen to be i n t r i c a t e l y incorporated into the major 108 purposes of t h i s novel. Glastonbury i s the f i r s t town to be described in d e t a i l , under i t s true name, in Powys' novels. The movements of char-acters about i t s streets — S i l v e r , George, High,Chilkwell — are c a r e f u l l y plotted; various buildings such as the Abbot's Tribunal, the George and Pilgrims' Inn, Abbey House, St. John's Church, the Tithe Barn and Chalice House appear today much as Powys describes them. Most of the scenes in the novel are located p r e c i s e l y in or around the actual town. This accuracy is the more i n t e r e s t i n g when i t i s r e c a l l e d that Powys wrote the novel while l i v i n g i n New York State. He writes to his brother L i t t l e t o n , "I am going to s e t t l e doivn and write my new long romance with Glastonbury as a background -- so any pamph-lets you may pick up about Glastonbury or Wells or those parts 2 do'ee l e t me have them!" In t h i s recreation within a work of f i c t i o n of an actual and cl o s e l y described s e t t i n g one can find the influence of Scott and Dickens, whom Powys admired for t h e i r a b i l i t y to confer a romantic aura upon a r e a l i s t i c description of a contemporary place (see Autobiography, 60-61 and Visions and Revisions, 96, 9 9 ) . But Glastonbury i s a small town, and the f i e l d s and meadows which surround i t are as important a part of the environment of the novel as are the streets and buildings. Just west of the present town l i e s the hummocky s i t e of the p r e h i s t o r i c Lake V i l l a g e where Abel Twig l i v e s , where the Chub of Lydford is caught, and where the f i n a l confrontation between Geard and P h i l i p takes place. Queen's Sedgemoor and Nell's cottage 109 by Whltelake River l i e to the east of Glastonbury; Wookey Hole, centre of P h i l i p ' s aspirations, l i e s to the north. P a r t i c u l a r groupings of characters tend to be associated with each area, but Mr. Geard moves about them a l l . At the centre of the town, as of the novel, stand the Abbey Ruins, picturesque focus of the Christian legends of the place but also the source of mysterious, apocalyptic rumours. The other dominant feature of the landscape and a central image in the novel i s the Glastonbury Tor, surmounted by i t s tower. It appears here as a more v i t a l place than the ruins, for on i t occur two climactic events, the Pageant and the murder of Tom Barter. Powys i d e n t i f i e s i t with the c o n f l i c t between forces of good and e v i l , and between Pagan and Christian forces (96). He describes i t as the Home of Gwyn ap Nud, C e l t i c god of the underworld (264), but i t s tower i s dedicated to St. Michael, the archangel who wars against the enemies of God, and who "appears i n more places than one i n C e l t i c lands as 3 the supplanter of the dark powers." It i s on the Tor that Mr. Evans f i r s t makes an unsuccessful attempt to purge himself of his vice by undergoing c r u c i f i x i o n , i n the Pageant; i t i s on the Tor that he i s at l a s t purged by his revulsion at wit-nessing Tom's death. The deaths and near deaths which occur on the Tor r e c a l l the martyrdom of Abbot Whiting there (264); past and present are drawn together by t h e i r common location ln t h i s landscape charged with hi s t o r y and mystical symbolism. Glastonbury i s often held to be the "Insula AvalIonia" or Island of Apples where King Arthur was taken to be healed 110 of his wounds a f t e r his l a s t b a t t l e . Thus the water meadows and the apple orchards around Glastonbury are emphasized in Powys* descriptions. Rhys in a chapter of his Studies develops a theory that Glastonbury when i t was s t i l l an island might have been believed by the ancient Celts to be the realm of the dead which was either an island beyond the sea or a f a i r y castle on a mound l i k e the Glastonbury Tor (chapter XIV, p a r t i c u l a r l y 3 2 9 - 3 0 ) . The haze or watery vapour which characterizes the atmosphere of Glastonbury i n Powys' descriptions blurs the outlines of the landscape and gives i t that atmosphere of unreality which i s appropriate to a C e l t i c otherworld. Before them to the westward stretched the green water meadows, among which, a mile or so out of town, could be detected the wide Lake V i l l a g e Fen and even the l i t t l e shanty of Abel Twig; while to the southwest, beyond the fens, rose the blue-grey ridge of the low Polden h i l l s . A l l these were s o f t l y suffused by the c l o u d - l a t t i c e d vapour-filmed sun; a sun which, though r i d i n g at high noon, lacked the potency to dominate what i t bathed with that glamorous and watery l i g h t . (263) The treatment of landscape i n A Glastonbury Romance i s of course profoundly affected by the mythological p a r a l l e l s which Powys i s concerned to make. Indeed, i t i s lar g e l y subordinated to them, as i t never was in the e a r l i e r novels. In considering some subjects, such as the Tor and the images of water, i t Is impossible to separate the landscape image from the mythological connotations. Powys himself discusses the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two i n his 1955 Preface to the novel, and asserts that the book attempts to describe how I l l "a special myth, a unique t r a d i t i o n " has not only "stained, dyed, impregnated the atmosphere of this p a r t i c u l a r spot but has associated i t s e l f with every d e t a i l of i t s l o c a l history" ( x i , x i i ) . The G r a i l Legend, with the C e l t i c legends in which scholars have sought i t s sources, provides the mythological skeleton f o r t h i s novel. That the novel i s thus.controlled and given form by the legend i s arguably a major cause of i t s greatness. There i s an immense vari e t y of material in what Powys guessed must be "the longest English novel"-' but the complex threads of plots and characters are worked together into an a r t i s t i c whole by the reference of elements from a l l parts of the novel to the mythological dimension. The i n t r i c a t e and profound handling of the p a r a l l e l s between modem characters and s i t u a -tions and t h e i r counterparts in mythology can well bear compar-ison with the Homeric p a r a l l e l s i n Joyce's Ulysses. Indeed, G. Wilson Knight asserts that "his use of myth and legend, indigenously rooted i n his story's B r i t i s h l o c a l e , i s more convincing than Lawrence's Quetzalcoatl,or Joyce's use of the Cdyssey . . . . "^ By placing his novel within the Arthurian l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n , Powys f o r once works with symbols and myths which are comprehensible without reference to his personal biography. The great Pageant on Midsummer's Day, towards which the f i r s t part of the novel builds, might seem the l o g i c a l centre of the mythological structure of the novel, since i t i s intended to present the legendary history of Glastonbury. The Pageant 112 t u r n s out t o be, however, one of t h o s e c u r i o u s non-events i n which Powys d e l i g h t s . U n l i k e the m u c h - a n t i c i p a t e d wedding i n Weymouth Sands, the Pageant does t a k e p l a c e , but i t i s h a r d l y d e s c r i b e d a t a l l . More a t t e n t i o n i s p a i d t o p e r i p h e r a l events — : t h e r e a c t i o n s of v a r i o u s members of the a u d i e n c e , and a con-f r o n t a t i o n between p r o t e s t o r s and the p o l i c e . L i k e Mr. Geard, Powys chooses t o absent h i m s e l f from the a c t u a l performance. T h i s i s cut s h o r t by t h e c o l l a p s e of Mr. Evans d u r i n g the C r u c i f i x i o n s c e n e , and t h u s the l a t t e r p a r t o f the Pageant i s n e v e r performed. Some o f t h e r o l e s t a k e n i n t h e Pageant seem p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e , n o t a b l y the c h o i c e o f Crummie as the r e j e c t e d l a d y of S h a l o t t and Mr. Evans as the tormented C h r i s t . Other correspondences a r e m e r e l y v i g n e t t e s , such as the shamefaced r e t r e a t of the b o o t - b l a c k S t . P e t e r and the d e s p a i r of Judas enacted by the " c r a z y and g o o d - f o r - n o t h i n g " Mr. Booty "who used t o read Grimm's f a i r y t a l e s on t h e c r i c k e t f i e l d when h i s s i d e was i n " (623) . While t h e y have no g r e a t s i g n i f i c a n c e , t h e s e correspondences e n r i c h the n o v e l l i k e the t i n y background f i g u r e s i n one of the F l e m i s h genre p a i n t i n g s t o which Powys seems i n t h i s c h a p t e r t o be i n v i t i n g us t o compare h i s own work (618, 623) . T h i s a s p e c t of t h e Pageant i l l u s t r a t e s , however, a p r i n c i p a l means by which Powys e s t a b l i s h e s t h e m y t h i c d i m e n s i o n of h i s n o v e l : t h a t i s , t h r o u g h making c e r t a i n of h i s own char-a c t e r s and e p i s o d e s c o r r e s p o n d w i t h c h a r a c t e r s and e p i s o d e s i n Welsh, A r t h u r i a n and G r a i l mythology. Thus a g r e a t many o f 1 1 3 t h e c h a r a c t e r s i n A G l a s t o n b u r y R o m a n c e a r e p l a c e d i n s o m e s o r t o f r e l a t i o n s h i p t o a m y t h o l o g i c a l f i g u r e o r f i g u r e s . F o r s o m e , l i k e J o h n C r o w a n d Sam D e k k e r , t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p c o n s i s t s i n t h e i r h a v i n g a n e x p e r i e n c e d r a w n d i r e c t l y f r o m m y t h : J o h n s e e s K i n g A r t h u r ' s S w o r d , a n d Sam h a s a v i s i o n o f t h e H o l y G r a i l . T h e s e e x p e r i e n c e s a r e h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t e v e n t s i n t h e i r l i v e s , a n d i d e n t i f y t h e m w i t h i n t h e A r t h u r i a n p a t t e r n o f t h e b o o k , b u t Sam a n d J o h n a r e n o t t h e m s e l v e s c o u n t e r p a r t s o f a n y s p e c i f i c l e g e n d a r y f i g u r e s . T h e y e x p e r i e n c e m y t h i c e v e n t s , b u t a r e n o t t h e m s e l v e s s e e n i n t e r m s o f m y t h . J o h n s e e s A r t h u r ' s s w o r d b u t i s n o t A r t h u r o r h i s s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i v e . O t h e r c h a r a c t e r s , h o w e v e r , a r e d i r e c t l y c o m p a r e d w i t h m y t h o -l o g i c a l p e r s o n a g e s — M e r l i n , N i n e u e , C h a r o n o r D i s - - b y t h e a u t h o r , b y o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s , o r b y t h e i r own a c t i o n s . P h i l i p C r o w i s i d e n t i f i e d t h r o u g h o u t t h e n o v e l a s a d a r k g o d , t h e d e v i l o r t h e r u l e r o f t h e u n d e r w o r l d . A s t h e o w n e r o f b o t h t h e c a v e r n c a l l e d W o o k e y H o l e a n d a n a i r p l a n e , h e e x u l t s i n h i s p o w e r o v e r N a t u r e a n d d e s i r e s t o c o n q u e r t h e l a n d s c a p e w i t h f a c t o r i e s , m i n e s a n d r o a d s ( 2 2 5 ) . He i s o n e o f t h e t w o r i v a l k i n g s o f A v a l o n ( 1 1 6 2 ) ; h e s e e k s t o r u l e t h r o u g h e x e r c i s -i n g t h e p o w e r o f r e a s o n a n d s c i e n c e ( 2 2 6 , 1 1 6 5 ) w h e r e a s h i s c o u n t e r p a r t , G e a r d , d r a w s h i s p o w e r f r o m t h e n o n - r a t i o n a l ( 3 ^ 0 ) . P h i l i p d e s c e n d s i n t o h i s k i n g d o m , t h e u n d e r w o r l d o f W o o k e y H o l e w h i c h i s f u l l o f o b s c e n e a n d p h a l l i c s h a p e s ( 2 3 6 ) , t o r a v i s h h i s c o u s i n P e r s e p h o n e . H i s p o w e r o v e r h e r i s c o m p l e t e w h i l e t h e y a r e l n t h e c a v e s , b u t w h e n t h e y r e t u r n t o t h e s u r -f a c e a n d t h e d a y l i g h t h i s I n f l u e n c e w a n e s . M r . G e a r d , a l s o 114 descends into Wookey Hole, and while he sleeps there, overcome by a mental struggle against uncongenial forces of reason and contrivance, his r i v a l P h i l i p takes advantage of his absence to deal against him what Powys terms The Dolorous Blow ( 3 5 0 - 2 ) . Powys implies here a reference to the Solar Hero theories of his Arthurian authority, S i r John Rhys, which f i n d the god of 7 the underworld triumphant during the absence of sunlight. P h i l i p i n Wookey sees himself as "a s o l i t a r y magician, whose secret kingdom hidden in the bowels of the earth and guarded by i n v i s i b l e demons, was impenetrable to invasion as the p r i -vate thoughts i n his own mind were impenetrable" (236) . As he rows Persephone across the "Stygian flood" of the under-ground r i v e r i n Wookey, she addresses him as Charon, but his role i n terms of c l a s s i c a l myth i s rather that of Dis. In terms of Christian mythology P h i l i p appears as the d e v i l , both in his underground machinations and i n his a b i l i t y to f l y . "'That's P h i l i p Crow,' she thought to herself, trav-e l l i n g l i k e the d e v i l through the black r a i n ! He's off to Wookey Hole'" (210) . Mad Bet also i d e n t i f i e s P h i l i p i n his airplane with the d e v i l (633) . Much of P h i l i p ' s power i s based on the discovery i n Wookey of t i n or diabolus metallorum --the d e v i l of metals. "Are you a d e v i l ? " cries Persephone in Wookey Hole, and the echo answers her a f f i r m a t i v e l y (237). Persephone herself i s a more ambiguous f i g u r e . Apart from her underground ravishment, her role seems unrelated to that of her c l a s s i c a l namesake. She embodies the restlessness and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n of the sophisticated, emancipated woman, 115 l i k e Huxley's Myra Viveash or Lucy Tantamount; her love a f f a i r s are s t e r i l e and short-lived (324) . In the Pageant she movingly enacts the grieving Madonna, and appears l i k e "her own name-sake, the great Goddess of the Dead" (623) , but she acts from a perverse and neurotic i n s p i r a t i o n incongruous to t r a d i t i o n a l piety ( 6 3 5 - 7 ) . A truer i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the g i r l comes when she dreams herself a dryad (790-1) , or i s termed a maenad (636) , f o r she resembles Philippa Renshaw of Rodmoor in her bisexual, boyish q u a l i t i e s , her embracing of trees, and her i n a b i l i t y to be s a t i s f i e d with normal human love. Persephone i s addressed as Gawain's mistress, Lorie de l a Roche F l o r i e , by the admiring Angela, who herself i s iden-t i f i e d with Blodeuwedd, the flower-maiden of Math ap Mathonwy in the Mablnoglon. The l a t t e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n seems purely decorative, rather than thematically s i g n i f i c a n t , but the g i r l ' s romantic interest in the Welsh and Arthurian legends is an i r o n i c a l l y - t r e a t e d version of Mr. Evans' and Powys' own obsessions. Angela h e r s e l f , white-cheeked and cold to men, i s a figure of s t e r i l i t y , and her enthusiasm f o r the legends bores and alienates her beloved Perse. It i s a type of the pretty, pseudo-romantic, superstitious fancy which so i r r i t a t e s the cyni c a l r e a l i s t John Crow, as i t lacks the harsh, grim quality with which he associates true Romance ( 2 0 ) . Many other minor characters i n A Glastonbury Romance have t h e i r proportions enlarged by a comparison with archetypal or legendary figures. Eudoxia, the smooth-skinned paramour of W i l l Zoyland, i s compared to "the damosel Linet, of the 1 1 6 Castle Perilous" (864). Penny Pitches i s an "arch-sorceress," with her great stove which i s " l i k e a world in i t s e l f " (385) and her cauldron. Cauldrons have an important role i n C e l t i c mythology; t h e i r food-giving and l i f e - r e s t o r i n g properties have encouraged t h e i r being taken f o r a prototype and source g of the G r a i l . Penny's cauldron i s one of the g r a i l manifes-tations i n th i s novel, along with Mother Legge's s i l v e r bowl and the gold christening cup. In describing Penny's cauldron Powys makes a curious, seemingly pedantic and i r r e l e v a n t , reference to the theories of Rhys. Penny and Wetherwax des-cribe the soup cooked in the cauldron as "gorlas," which Powys explains may be a corruption of the C e l t i c word gorlasser, "a dark-blue, l i v i d colour . . . used to describe a mysterious •corpse-god' or 'Rex Semi-mortuus• i n the old Cymric mythology" (203). There i s no apparent connection between the corpse-god and Penny's soup, but thi s reference to gorlas may be sugges-ti v e of the pagan mythic t r a d i t i o n s which l i v e on among the common people of Glastonbury, side by side with the s o p h i s t i -cated legends popular among the gentry such as Miss Drew and Angela. The contrast between the Christianized surface of Glastonbury l i f e and i t s pagan substrata i s evident i n the scene of the choir supper, where they are harmonized by the tolerance of Mat Dekker. Wetherwax, whose s a t y r - l i k e q u a l i t i e s are elsewhere noted (390), appears at thi s feast as a colossal gnome, goblin or ogre (385); his sub-human appearance and interest l n lechery r e c a l l Images of the pagan f e r t i l i t y cults 117 which preceded C h r i s t i a n i t y . Yet his presence in the Glastonbury vicarage i s not incongruous, because i t is the p e c u l i a r i t y of the place to draw together many forms of r e l i g i o u s worship (for example, 291) . In his Preface to a l a t e r edition of A Glastonbury Romance Powys remarks that what r e a l l y a l l u r e d me about the Holy G r a i l were the unholy elements in both i t s history and i t s mystery: i n other words the unquestionable fact that i t was much older than C h r i s t i a n i t y I t s e l f . C h r i s t i a n i t y I n s t i n c t i v e l y clutched at i t as an i d e a l receptacle f o r the blood of the Redeemer: but i t has other levels of reception in i t s sacrosanct g r i l l a g e , and i t remains a dedicated symbolic centre f o r a l l those primordial cosmic •fetishes*. . . . (Preface to 1955 e d i t i o n , x i i i ) Another of the peasant characters, Young Tewsy, i s seen in terms successively of c l a s s i c a l , C e l t i c and Christian legends. The doorkeeper at the bawdy house of Mother Legge, he i s c a l l e d "a sort of Psychopompus, or inverted Charon of Limbo" (413). On the day of Mr. Geard's miracle at Chalice H i l l , however, Tewsy catches the celebrated f i s h , the Chub of Lydford. His employer, Mother Legge, craves possession of the f i s h and r e c a l l s an ancient Glastonbury saying, 1 i When Chub of Lydford do speak l i k e human On grass where Joseph has broken bread, Be i t man or be i t woman, In the Isle of Glaston t h e y ' l l raise the Dead. ( 7 6 3 ) The capture of the f i s h i s related both to the miraculous heal-ing of Mother Legge's niece, T i t t l e Petherton, that day, and the subsequent r a i s i n g to l i f e of the dead c h i l d by Mr. Geard. 118 The f i s h i s a symbol of f e r t i l i t y , healing and the resurrected Christ; the doggerel seems to relate i t also to the G r a i l legend and hence to the maimed Fisher King. Young Tewsy i s an u n l i k e l y representative of the Fisher King. Eut Mr. Evans finds i t apt that he was the one to catch this f i s h , perhaps because of his connection with f e r t i l i t y as gatekeeper for the bawdy house or perhaps because his s i m p l i c i t y makes him a kind of holy f o o l . The event inspires Evans to a prophetic rapture on the search of the mystic Fisher Kings f o r "that which exists in the moment of timeless time" when the Cauldron and the Spear, G r a i l and Sword became one ( 7 7 2 ) . Sam Dekker, present at the capture of the great f i s h , does indeed l a t e r experience a v i s i o n such as Evans describes, when he i s pierced with pain as by a sword and sees the G r a i l ( 9 8 2 ) . Tewsy eventually leaves Mother Legge's establishment to become gatekeeper at that of Mr. Geard at Chalice Well. "From Camelot to Chalice HI111" r e f l e c t s Lord P. sardonically. "Well . . . that's how t h i s world wags'." ( 9 ^ 2 ) . The t r a n s i t i o n i s not, however, an incongruous one in Powys' Glastonbury, where eros and r e l i g i o n are closely linked. The s a t y r - l i k e Mr. Wetherwax working f o r the v i c a r and Tewsy's passing from Mother Legge's to the sacred well are instances of a thematic rela t i o n s h i p between the two which runs throughout the novel. A climax of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s reached when Cordelia uses her e r o t i c powers to dive r t Mr. Evans from the pursuit of his own damnation. Glastonbury i t s e l f i s conducive to both e r o t i c and r e l i g i o u s forces. 1 1 9 ... the presence of the G r a i l i n that spot has the e ffect of digging deep channels f o r the amorous l i f e of those who touch i t s s o i l . • • • The G r a i l of Glastonbury — and th i s i s why Mr. Geard was e n t i r e l y j u s t i f i e d i n making i t the centre of his new r e l i g i o u s cult — just because of i t s timeless association with the F i r s t Cause had the p e c u l i a r i t y of exc i t i n g human souls to concentrate t h e i r eroticism upon one single i d e a l object, as Sam f o r instance has done in becoming a mediaeval lover of his tortured God-Man; while i t excited others, among whom was John Crow, to concentrate upon one r e a l human being. (818) Mystical b e l i e f and sensuality are combined i n the person of John Geard. The o f f i c i a l representative of sensuality ln the novel, and also the closest female counterpart to Mr. Geard, i s the procuress, Mother Legge. Her authority i s great ( ^ 9 3 - 5 , 8 7 8 - 9 ) , and she Is on f a m i l i a r terms with Geard, P h i l i p Crow and even the Marquis of P. Her house of i l l repute i s named Camelot, which r e c a l l s the d i s i l l u s i o n e d promiscuity which characterizes that c i t y i n Tennyson's "Last Tournament;" but the name comes from that of i t s former owners, the Camel family ( 5 0 6 ) , who also owned the great s i l v e r bowl which i s another one of the G r a i l images i n t h i s novel. The v i l l a g e s of West and Queen Camel are near Cadbury Camp, which has long been i d e n t i f i e d as a possible s i t e of Arthur's Camelot; they l i e between Glastonbury and Montacute. The s i l v e r Camel bowl i s evidently reputed to have mag-i c a l powers — probably connected with f e r t i l i t y -- which are known to Mother Legge, Mr. Evans and Jennie Morgan ( 5 1 3 ) . 120 The bowl Is a powerful symbolic presence l n the novel, but i t s meaning i s only hinted at and never c l e a r l y revealed. It i s the centre of the annual party at Mother Legge's on Easter Monday, a party associated with the pre-Christian f e r t i l i t y r i t e s subsumed into the t r a d i t i o n s of Easter. Mr. Evans declared that t h i s Easter Monday party was the l a s t surviving r e l i c of some ancient Druidic custom of Religious P r o s t i t u t i o n ; that there was even something of the kind i n the Arthurian days. . . (494) A dionysiac element i s implied also l n the unusual mingling of s o c i a l classes, which i s elsewhere as well associated with Mother Legge's presence (493, 495, 879, 942). The entry of the s i l v e r bowl causes a change of mood in the party (512), and Mr. Evans makes a f r a n t i c e f f o r t to ensure that Cordelia should be the f i r s t to drink from i t . When N e l l , instead, drinks f i r s t , Jenny Morgan, whose name and Welsh o r i g i n associ-ate her.with Morgan Le Fay whom Mr. Evans had invoked in connection with the party (494) , explains that there i s "won-drous witchcraft" i n the bowl (513). Later the "maddening power" of Nell's beauty and " f a t a l p a s s i v i t y " i s i d e n t i f i e d with t h i s drink from the Camel Bowl (961) . Nell's c h i l d f l o u r i s h e s , but Cordelia's i s s t i l l b o r n . Like Penny Pitches, Mother Legge i s c a l l e d a sorceress, and presides over her bowl as Penny Pitches reigns at the Vicarage kitchen party on Maundy Thursday. But while Penny's cauldron i s the C e l t i c cauldron of plenty, feasting a l l the guests and never becoming empty, Mother Legge i s ungenerous 121 w i t h f o o d (495). She e x c e l s i n s t e a d i n t h e q u a n t i t y and q u a l -i t y o f t h e d r i n k d i s p e n s e d f r o m h e r c e l e b r a t e d b o w l , w h i c h l a y s a g l a m o u r o v e r t h e s c e n e o f t h e p a r t y . . . . t h e w h o l e s c e n e swam and s h i m m e r e d b e f o r e h i m i n an i n c r e d i b l e l u x u r y o f s i g n i f i c a n c e . P e o p l e a n d o b j e c t s a s J o h n now l o o k e d a t them seemed t r a n s f e r r e d f r o m t h e c o n f u s e d d y n a m i c s c r a m b l e o f l i f e i n t o s o m e t h i n g j u s t b e n e a t h l i f e ; s o m e t h i n g t h a t was t h e r e a l l t h e t i m e , b u t t h a t n e e d e d a few g l a s s e s o f B r l d g e w a t e r P u n c h t o e n a b l e i t t o s t e a l s i l e n t l y f o r t h a n d show i t s e l f a s t h e e t e r n a l e s s e n c e . (506) T h i s i n s i g h t i n t o " s o m e t h i n g j u s t b e n e a t h l i f e " i s what Mr. E v a n s s e e k s t h r o u g h h i s r e s e a r c h i n t o W e l s h myth ( ? 7 2 , 843, 1105); t h e p u n c h p r o v i d e s a n e a s i e r , t h o u g h t e m p o r a r y , Q means o f a t t a i n i n g i t . M o t h e r Legge i s a k i n d o f i n c a r n a t i o n o f t h e f e m i n i n e p r i n c i p l e , a n i m p o r t a n t f i g u r e i n a town w h i c h i s i t s e l f s a i d t o be d o m i n a t e d by a " F e m i n i n e E m a n a t i o n " (1046). A t h e r p a r t y , s h e u t i l i z e s h e r f i r e "as a s e c o n d o r s u p e r - f e m a l e " (505) t o a i d h e r i n r u l i n g o v e r h e r g u e s t s . She i s a huge woman, whose p r e s e n c e a n d o c c u p a t i o n e n a b l e h e r t o t r a n s c e n d s o c i a l b a r r i e r s . H e r o c c u p a t i o n , t h a t o f P r o c u r e s s , i s s e e n by J o h n Crow a s a m o t h e r l y one i n t h a t i t p r o v i d e s men w i t h an e s c a p e f r o m t h e i r s e n s e o f c o s m i c i s o l a t i o n . He f i n d s M o t h e r L e gge "a k i n d o f m y s t i c a l M o t h e r -- l i k e one o f t h e M o t h e r s i n F a u s t " (512), who p r o v i d e s s e c u r i t y a n d p r o t e c t s h e r g u e s t s f r o m t h e i r f e a r o f t h e unknown. (The moon, on t h e o t h e r h a n d , i s s e e n a s " t h e t u t e l a r y m i s t r e s s o f a l l s t e r i l e p a s s i o n s , o f a l l w i l d r e v o l t s a g a i n s t ' t h e M o t h e r s , ' t h a t h a v e l e d t h e v i r g i n s o f 122 prophecy to shatter t h i s world's laws" (285). The moon i s associated i n t h i s passage with powers of imagination and mysticism; she i s horned, l i k e the Cybele of the closing pas-sages of the novel. There i s no d i r e c t opposition between Mother Legge and Mr. Geard, or other representatives of the s p i r i t u a l aspects of l i f e ; Powys implies that a l l exist and a l l are necessary.) When the rainstorm breaks and she draws her curtains, she i s seen as a great mother comforting a crowd of frightened children, protecting them from the "Something more meanacing than ordinary r a i n , " from "some monstrous invasion , . . from some unearthly 'questing Beast'" of darkness and chaos (511-12, 523). What does enter the party at thi s point i s Mr. Geard, coming to the aid of the tormented T i t t l e Petherton. His powers are frightening i n that they seem to break the laws of nature, but he bursts out of the darkness and rain not to threaten but to save. With his a r r i v a l , the Camel Bowl i s given a. Christian s i g n i f i c a n c e as w e l l . Geard assumes T i t t l e ' s pain himself, as Christ took upon himself the sufferings of humanity in His Passion. In his anguish Geard begins the cry of Christ in Golgotha, "Let this cup --" (524), at the same time dashing the s i l v e r bowl to the ground. Mother Legge's bowl thus becomes the symbolic cup of su f f e r i n g drunk by the Saviour i n Passion Week, and hence the G r a i l I t s e l f . Into the s i l v e r bowl, then, Powys has drawn C e l t i c , pagan and Cnristian symbolism, the symbolism which Rhys and Loomls fi n d in the G r a i l t r a d i t i o n . 123 Mr. Geard i s the central figure in the mythological structure of A Glastonbury Romance, as he i s the central f i g -ure of the novel as a whole. He i s i d e n t i f i e d throughout the novel with ancient gods of the underworld or another dimen-sion — Cronos (3^2), Pwyll Pen Annwn, Bran (1120) and Gwyn ap Nud! (596, 5 9 9 ) . Elsewhere he i s seen as T i r e s l a s i n the Under-world (925) . The Marquis, r e f e r r i n g to Geard, inadvertently finds himself uttering the name "Caer S l d i , " which refers to the C e l t i c otherworld. It i s from th i s other dimension that Geard draws his power, and to i t he eventually commits himself in his death by water. Animal imagery occurs frequently i n Powys* descriptions of G e a r d j ^ h i s sensuality i s of a natural, animal kind just as his mysticism i s e n t i r e l y i n s t i n c t i v e and unselfconscious. He appears as "some n e o l i t h i c beast-god, paramour perhaps of the Witch of Wookey!" (92?). Three times, as well, he i s i d e n t i f i e d with the Questing Beast of the Arthurian legends. In the extra-ordinary scene at Mother Legge*s party, where i t i s f e l t that some threatening, unnatural power i s t r y i n g to break into the f i r e - l i t s e curity of the room, t h i s power i s named as "some unearthly 'questing Beast'" (523) . The party i s then disrupted by the a r r i v a l of Geard, who accomplishes an unnatural but beneficient healing of a sick woman. Again, when rescuing the Marquis from an enraged mob, Geard i s likened to the Questing Beast, as panting noises, " d i f f e r e n t from mere human breathings, rose from his tormented lungs" (600) . The t h i r d occasion upon which he i s likened to the Questing Beast i s also a miraculous 124 rescue, the f i n a l healing of T i t t i e Petherton at Chalice Well. Beast-like cries are made by Geard i n his empathy with the sufferer, as on other occasions he i s the medium f o r the cries of Christ and Merlin (524, 461; see also 1157-8). It i s with the figure of Merlin that Mr. Geard i s primar-i l y associated. He refuses to allow the representation of Merlin i n his Pageant, f o r what John understands to be the reason that while f o r the world at large Christ was by f a r the more sacred, here, in Glastonbury, where he disappeared from view, Merlin must always be the 'numen' or the 'Tremendum Mysterium' that can be second to none. (594) Geard p a r a l l e l s his own career with that of Merlin. As a Christian Geard considers himself a "miracle-worker" wheras Merlin was a "magic monger"; Merlin vanished with "his heathen G r a i l , " but Geard w i l l show the world that the r e a l G r a i l s t i l l e xists i n Glastonbury (471). Geard's sympathetic powers, which enable him to work his miracles, give the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of him with Merlin a dimension lacking i n the other mythological cor-respondences of the novel t because Geard i s aware of and i n touch with the supernatural, i t i s possible f o r him to have di r e c t experience of the personality of Merlin himself. In the magnificent Chapter Fifteen, "Mark's Court," Geard senses in himself the torment of the imprisoned Merlin and, as he cured T i t t i e Petherton, he manages to utter a prayer f o r Merlin which apparently brings about some sort of r e l i e f and release (463). Geard as Merlin requires a Nineue, and he i s matched with 125 two — lady Rachel and his daughter Crummie. In "Mark's Court" i t i s Rachel who responds to Geard's involuntary cry of "Nineue! Nineue'." Caught up i n the psychic tension of Geard's night in the haunted room, she seems to undergo something of the same sublimation of herself into the mythic role which Geard exper-iences. Her words have a double meaning: "I heard you c a l l . . . and I had to come," she whispered (464) . E a r l i e r her hy s t e r i c a l laughter had caused the name of Nineue to pass into Geard's mind, just as i t causes her father i n v o l u n t a r i l y to speak the name of Caer S i d i , the otherworld i n which Merlin, l i k e Gwair, was imprisoned (453, 454 ) . At the end of his struggle i n Merlin's chamber Geard finds that "the two Beings, the old Magician's paramour, and this sweet young creature . . . had at l a s t merged i n each other " (470). In a dream of Geard, Rachel and Crummie are mingled to-gether with the image of Nineue (791). Crummie i s elsewhere described as Nineue (1016), and has an i n t u i t i o n that her father craves "another me, someone l i k e me, only of course much more ex c i t i n g , down there i n Hades" (1025). Geard's fascination with death Is represented i n th i s image of Nineue, who lures him out of thi s world. As he drowns he has a v i s i o n of embracing th i s "incarnate Sweetness that was his daughter and yet not his daughter" ( 1 1 7 1 ) . 1 1 This sweetness had e a r l i e r been i d e n t i f i e d with Rachel and the night in Merlin's chamber. His dying v i s i o n of the G r a i l enables Geard to embrace Nineue in the b e l i e f that he i s embracing "the very L i f e of L i f e " (1171). But whether or not his self-immolation does result in 126 the attainment of more l i f e , the Esplumeoir of Mr. Evans' mystical broodings, Powys perhaps wisely leaves unresolved. The other major character of A Glastonbury Romance i d e n t i -fied with Merlin i s the antiquarian, Mr. Evans, who i s writing a book on the great magician. Tormented by a s a d i s t i c obses-sion, Evans searches f o r a release from his manias in the gnomic and prophetic fragments of ancient Welsh poetry. Like Powys himself, he finds i n these fragments clues to eternal mysteries, insights into "th i s basic Secret of L i f e , that our Bards expressed in poems l i k e The Harrying of Annwn . . . " ( 8 4 4 - 4 5 ) . P a r t i c u l a r l y he i s fascinated by the word Esplumeoir, which refers to the disappearance of Merlin, the f i n a l state of Being into which he passed (1048). Glastonbury i s to him Yr Echwyd, the t w i l i g h t land on the borders of the C e l t i c otherworld ( 7 7 1 ) and the s i t e of Merlin's passing, and Evans apparently hopes to find there that "knot of the opposites" ( 7 7 2 ) or fragment of the Absolute sought there by the mystical Fisher Kings ( 1 1 0 5 ) . S t r i v i n g to express eternal mysteries, Mr. Evans i s always obscure, and frequently incoherent ( 7 7 1 - 7 2 , 843, 8 4 5 ) ; his scholarly Welsh mysticism i s counteracted by the earthy cynicism of John Crow (for example, 82 - 8 7 ) . Evans i s fascinated by one vi o l e n t episode i n Merlin's l i f e , when the magician tore a stag's a n t l e r from i t s head to use as a weapon. The memory of th i s scene acts as a stimulant to Evans' vice (104l). Just before he succumbs to his s a d i s t i c mania and determines to be an accessory to murder, he turns over In his mind another passage from his l i f e of Merlin about 12? the Dolorous Blow (1048). This mythic event, the wounding of the Fisher King which r e s u l t s in the barrenness of his king-dom, i s symbolized f o r Mr. Evans by the projected murder of John Crow with an iron bar (10?1). As he describes Merlin weighed down by knowledge of the Dolorous Blow, Mr. Evans feels himself burdened with too much knowledge of e v i l . His p a r t i a l salvation eventually comes about, not through the discovery of any ancient C e l t i c secret, but as the result of his wife's courageous gesture. Cordelia and Mad Bet are both seen by Mr. Evans as the G r a i l Messenger, the female figure which corresponds f o r him to the Nineue of Mr. Geard. Both- are ugly women; Bet i s i d e n t i f i e d by Evans with the s a t i s -faction of his s a d i s t i c cravings (522, 831, 1071) while Cordelia represents normal e r o t i c love (831, 8 3 6 ) . The triumph of t h i s l a t t e r force, together with the revulsion occasioned by the sight of the Blow i t s e l f , emasculates Evans and ages him (1104-5). i n a f i n e piece of irony, he becomes himself the Fisher King incapacitated by the Dolorous Blow. The Arthurian p a r a l l e l s of A Glastonbury Romance are to be found i n the thematic structure of the novel, In the organi-zation of certain episodes, as well as in the creation of character. A good example of how Powys uses an Arthurian subject to point a thematic rel a t i o n s h i p between various events and characters of his own i s to be found i n an early chapter (chapter 12), "The Dolorous Blow." The t i t l e and subject have l i t t l e to do, however, with the l a t e r use of the "Dolorous Blow" p a r a l l e l i n the account of Mr. Evans' temptation. In 128 chapter 12 the subject i s the wasteland myth, which i s set in contrast to the subject of the preceding chapter e n t i t l e d "Consummation." The chapter concerns i t s e l f with s t e r i l i t y on several d i f f e r e n t levels — physical, s o c i o l o g i c a l , moral, aesthetic and mystical. Its references to T . S . E l i o t ' s poem (published ten years previously) and to the anthropologists, p a r t i c u l a r l y Frazer, seem conscious and deliberate (for example, 351). Chapter Eleven, "Consummation," describes with insight and f e e l i n g the consummation of a deep, normal e r o t i c love; ln contrast, the twelfth chapter begins with the "morning-a f t e r " disgust f e l t by the boyish Percy towards her lover. It's these nights that are so awful. Oh, why are men made as they are? . , . I s t h i s shrinking, t h i s loathing, something that every g i r l f e e l s ? (322) The morning i s c h i l l y ; the g i r l f e e l s a physical shrinking and tightening of her f l e s h which i s the opposite of the sen-sations of N e l l i n her passionate response to the embrace of Sam described at the end of the preceding chapter. Percy avoids P h i l i p , and a b a r r i e r arises between them. "Her pose was withdrawn, chaste, reserved, remote, her face cold and pale . . . " (325). P h i l i p r e f l e c t s that she w i l l never bear him a c h i l d , that she i s "not the maternal type" (324). In the next episode Sam Dekker, who has just begotten a c h i l d , i s set by his father on the path of renunciation and asceticism. He walks with his father over a piece of land which " l n the heat of his frenzies and his fancies, Mr. Evans 129 had got so f a r as to persuade himself . . . was the actual s i t e of that Terre Gastee, of the medieval romances . . . " (326) . In his Autobiography, Powys describes the obsession with sex, i s o l a t e d from the rest of human f e e l i n g , as "a land  of fever, whose purlieus and borders are the ghastliest of a l l 'Terres Gastees'" ( 3 2 ) . The Dekkers are out to reprove a boy for waylaying and taunting passing females on t h i s piece of waste common. The unchivalrous behaviour of the boy comically p a r a l l e l s that of Balin, dealer of the Dolorous Blow in Book II of Malory's Tale of King Arthur. But the Dekkers themselves, Powys notes with irony, are indulging l n a b a s i c a l l y s i m i l a r type of sex-abuse (327) , which revolves around the father's e f f o r t s to make Sam renounce the " f l e s h l y s i n " which he himself Is so greatly tempted by ( 3 3 0 ) . Renunciation of the natural sexual i n s t i n c t and a resultant unnatural obsession with sex is thus the theme of both these f i r s t episodes i n the chapter. The t h i r d episode, the discussion between John Crow and the poet Athling, touches on the theme of s t e r i l i t y from the aesthetic point of view; John i s repulsed by Athling's senten-tious c r i t i c a l theories although he l i k e s the poetry i t s e l f . It i s i n the culminating episode of the chapter — the descent of Geard in t o Wookey Hole and his consequent absence from the Tribunal meeting — that the wasteland theme i s f u l l y developed. Its import here i s s p i r i t u a l and mystical. Geard's struggle Is against r a t i o n a l i t y , and i n t h i s subterranean domain of his s c i e n t i f i c foe Geard's own powers leave him. "No sign of l i f e was there, no grassblade, no insect, no b i r d . 130 He was alone with the m e t a l l i c elements out of which a l l o r g a n i c e n t i t i e s are formed." (3i!+0) P h i l i p triumphs i n Geard's absence, and Powys f i n d s the event a pr o f o u n d l y c o n s e q u e n t i a l one: " . . . Bloody Johnny and h i s ambiguous G r a i l r e c e i v e d a Dolorous Blow from which i t appeared p o s s i b l e t h a t n e i t h e r of them might r e c o v e r " (351). The non-event of Geard's speech rep r e s e n t s a p o s s i b i l i t y , a p o t e n t i a l i t y of s p i r i t u a l communi-c a t i o n and union, which i s thwarted. Glastonbury i s s t i r r e d to respond to Geard's communication, and i s l e f t u n s a t i s f i e d (351). Powys' use here of s e x u a l imagery, h i s r e f e r e n c e s to the "strange s p r i n g thunder . . . that brought n e i t h e r r a i n nor l i g h t n i n g " , the Golden Bough, and the "handful of dust" (351, 12 see "The Waste L a n d " l . 30) a l l d i r e c t l y evoke E l i o t ' s poem "The Waste Land" which a l s o t r e a t s the themes of p h y s i c a l and s p i r i t u a l s t e r i l i t y i n contemporary England, and uses the A r t h u r i a n images as i n t e r p r e t e d by the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s . Like E l i o t ' s poem, Powys' chapter opens w i t h s e v e r a l v i g n e t t e s i l l u s t r a t i v e of contemporary s t e r i l i t y . Persephone Spear r e -sembles E l i o t ' s h y a c i n t h g i r l , and the oth e r women of the poem ( " a l l the women are one woman", E l i o t ' s note t c 1. 218) i n t h e i r common I n a b i l i t y to f i n d s e x u a l and. s p i r i t u a l f u l f i l m e n t . E l i o t ' s poem begins with A p r i l , the " c r u e l e s t month," i n which the s t i r r i n g s of ge n e r a t i o n are r e s i s t e d and thwarted by man, f o r example i n the d i a l o g u e on a b o r t i o n . E l i o t ' s opening l i n e s (1-7) are r e c a l l e d l n Powys' "The g e n e r a t i v e nerve of Her body had descended i n t o Her womb, but a l l t o no purpose!" (351) . 131 E l s e w h e r e i n t h e n o v e l P o w y s n a m e s t h e t o w e r s o f G l a s t o n b u r y , c o m p a r i n g t h e m w i t h t h o s e o f Rome a n d J e r u s a l e m , m u c h a s E l i o t e v o k e d t h e t o w e r s o f t h e g r e a t c i t i e s i n a p a s s a g e d e a l i n g , l i k e P o w y s ' , w i t h s p i r i t u a l q u e s t a n d n a t u r a l c a t a s t r o p h e . A c e n t r a l i m a g e i n E l i o t ' s p o e m i s r a i n , o r t h e l a c k o f i t , a n d t h e t h u n d e r w h i c h p r e c e d e s i t (11. 32?, 3 9 9 ) . D u r i n g H r . G e a r d ' s f a t e f u l s l e e p , w h i c h P o w y s c o m p a r e s w i t h t h a t o f C r o n o s i n t h e a n c i e n t B r i t i s h I s l e s o f t h e D e a d (3^2), p o r t e n -t o u s c l o u d r a c k s g a t h e r f r o m t h e h i l l s o f W a l e s ( a l w a y s i n P o w y s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s p i r i t u a l p o w e r s a n d m y s t e r i e s ) , a n d t h u n d e r i s h e a r d . T h e a b s e n c e o f w a t e r i n E l i o t ' s p o e m i n d i -c a t e s s p i r i t u a l s t e r i l i t y , a n d t h e f a i l u r e o f t h e s e c l o u d s a n d t h u n d e r t o b r i n g r a i n h a s t h e s a m e s y m b o l i c f u n c t i o n . T h e s e h e a v y , j a g g e d c l o u d s , t h i s f i r s t o f A p r i l n i g h t , w e r e l i k e t h e e v i l c l o u d s s p o k e n o f i n t h e S c r i p t u r e s , f o r t h e y w e r e ' c l o u d s w i t h o u t w a t e r . ' T h e y d o m i n a t e t h e d a y (351 ) , a s t h e a b s e n c e o f r a i n i s s t r e s s e d i n " T h e W a s t e L a n d " 5 t h e c r o w d ' s a n x i o u s e x p e c t a n c y o f G e a r d i n t h e T r i b u n a l i s p a r a l l e l e d b y i t s a n x i o u s e x p e c t a n c y o f a r a i n s t o r m (3^6-47). T h e r a i n , l i k e G e a r d , d o e s n o t a p p e a r , a n d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f s o m e s i g n i f i c a n t s p i r i t u a l a w a k e n i n g i n G l a s t o n b u r y i s l o s t . I n a l a t e r c h a p t e r , " T h e S i l v e r B o w l " , B e a r d ' s a p p e a r a n c e i s a g a i n h e r a l d e d b y r a i n ; o n t h i s o c c a s i o n h e d o e s a r r i v e , a n d p e r f o r m s a m i r a c l e o f h e a l i n g . B o t h e p i s o d e s a s s o c i a t e t h e r a i n a n d G e a r d w i t h a n u n d e f i n a b l e s p i r i t u a l m y s t e r y : " . . . s o m e t h i n g d e e p h a d b e e n s t i r r e d u p , r e a d y t o r e s p o n d 132 to Geard of Glastonbury's communication, and . . . t h i s Some-thing had been suppressed. . ." (351) . The noise of the rain seemed now to be steadily increasing in that room of g l i t t e r i n g l i g h t s and black curtains. Nor was i t only N e l l Zoyland who f e l t aware of i t as something coming upon them a l l from outside — from f a r outside — coming over the wide-drenched moors, over the hissing muddy ditches, over the sobbing reeds, over the s a l t -marshes; coming from somewhere unearthly, somewhere beyond the natural'. (517) This i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the coming of rain with s p i r i t u a l forces beyond Nature — i n Christian terms, Grace — i s a central image in Powys' novel as i t i s in E l i o t ' s poem. Cordelia's experience on Chalice H i l l , where she finds the power to love and cope with Mr. Evans, i s climaxed by a heavy rainstorm (209-10, see also 523). The great tree was t e l l i n g the h i l l s i d e that there was rain upon the wind; but i t was t e l l i n g Cordelia something else'. Then a l l was absolutely s t i l l ; and in that s t i l l n e s s , a s t i l l n e s s l i k e the t e r r i b l e s t i l l n e s s of uttermost s t r a i n in t r a v a i l , there came the f i r s t cry of b i r t h , the f a l l of a single drop of rain . . . . Her f e e l i n g at that moment was that some deep psychic chain had been broken in her inmost being . . . . She waited for a minute or two with upturned head and closed eyes, l e t t i n g the water stream upon her face. (210) Water in Powys' novels has always tended to be a force of purgation and renewal. Luke Anderson and Rook Ashover sought escape and s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n by immersing themselves in the sea. As with them and E l i o t ' s Phonecian s a i l o r , Geard's quest f o r the Absolute leads him to undergo death by water. 133 In the apparently deliberate correspondences to E l i o t ' s G r a i l poem, Powys does no violence to the underlying symbolic structure of the Romance, because this structure can be traced throughout his work. Nor does the Wasteland Imagery of A Glastonbury Romance derive exclusively, or even primarily, from E l i o t , since Powys was f a m i l i a r with the Arthurian mater-i a l s and with secondary scholarship, such as the work of Rhys, which E l i o t does not draw from. But the allusi o n s to E l i o t , l i k e those to Rhys, Frazer, Dante, Malory and the Mabinogion, add another layer to the past-conscious and r i c h l y a l l u s i v e texture of t h i s novel. King Arthur's Sword i s a second major mythological sub-ject integrated into the structure of A Glastonbury Romance; Powys associates i t with pain and the problem of e v i l . In Chapter Thirteen, "King Arthur's Sword," he approaches the subject of s u f f e r i n g through several d i f f e r e n t episodes just as ln the preceding chapter he used encounters between a number of d i f f e r e n t characters to elaborate the concept of the wasteland. In the opening episode Mr. Evans, against his own w i l l , t r i e s to indicate to Cordelia the nature and extent of the e v i l which he senses within himself, and asks i f "there are forms of e v i l so horr i b l e that nothing can wash them out?" (36l), Because he struggles so grimly against i t , Evans' vice causes him extreme mental anguish even though i t never results in the i n f l i c t i o n of physical s u f f e r i n g upon others. The second episode of the chapter humorously records prophecies of e v i l made by the old Bartholomew Jones, who hears 134 "moaning and groanings i n they Ruings." Something be coming upon our town . . . . "Pis coming; and a l l these changes of Mayors, and p r o c l a i m i n g s of F a i r s , be the outward s i g n s , as Catechism do say, of some Holy T e r r o r . (366) However q u a i n t l y u t t e r e d , o l d Jones' forebodings of e v i l are an important p r e p a r a t i o n f o r what i s to come l a t e r i n the n o v e l . L a t e r the s e t t i n g f o r Jones' prophecies i s the scene of a v i o l e n t c h i l d r e n ' s q u a r r e l , witnessed by John Crow who takes "a wicked p l e a s u r e " i n i t (376) . The venom of which the c h i l -dren prove capable i s another v a r i a t i o n on the theme of e v i l which runs throughout t h i s chapter as i t does, more d i f f u s e l y , through the whole n o v e l . What i s unique about Powys' h a n d l i n g of t h i s theme Is h i s a b i l i t y t o see e v i l i n j u x t a p o s i t i o n w i t h the comic and the t r i v i a l . Although i t i s concerned throughout w i t h s u f f e r i n g and the I n f l i c t i o n of s u f f e r i n g , t h i s i s o f t e n a humorous chapter. Mr. Evans desperate confes-s i o n i s r e a l and c o n v i n c i n g , but we remain aware with C o r d e l i a of the man's comic and endearing awkwardness. The a t t e n t i o n to p h y s i c a l d e t a i l , to how the scene l o o k s , t o how Mr. Evans backs up i n t o a bureau while e x p r e s s i n g h i s c o n v i c t i o n of h i s damnation, conveys a great sense of humanity and r e a l i t y . S i m i l a r l y , the c h i l d r e n ' s q u a r r e l reduces to comic perspec-t i v e the c r u e l t i e s and obsessions of t h e i r e l d e r s -- Jenny's d e g r a d a t i o n , Robinson's hatred of P h i l i p , the i l l e g i t i m a c y of N e l l y . 135 •They c a l l I bastie, Bastie. They did run a f t e r I i n dinner-hour yesterday, t i l l I b i t Amy Brown's wrist so she bled awful had.' 'They mustn't tease you, Nelly, and you musn't bite people's hands,' murmured John he l p l e s s l y , thinking to himself that i f , when Bloody Johnny got on his nerves, he could bite him, 'so that he bled awful bad,' i t would be an immense cle a r i n g of the a i r . (379) Leaning over Pomparles Bridge, John Crow sees the grinning s k u l l of a dead cat i n the mud and i s provoked to a fury of protest against "whatever Power i t was that was responsible for the creation of such sens i t i v e nerves in such a t o r t u r i n g world" ( 3 7 D , His rage awakens some force which Powys con-ceives of as l i n g e r i n g on t h i s spot where King Arthur threw away his sword Excalibur. It i s doubtless these violent storms of intense f e e l i n g in great magnetic human perso n a l i t i e s that are responsible f o r many of the supernatural occurrences vouched f o r by hist o r y and so crudely questioned by s c o f f i n g h i s t o r i a n s . (370) In the extremity of his anger, John sees an object resembling a sword shearing the a i r and f a l l i n g in the mud below him. He i s i r r a t i o n a l l y convinced that what he has seen i s Arthur's sword, and feels that "something had touched him from beyond the l i m i t s of the known" (373) . Despite his s c e p t i c a l nature, John's gesture of imaginative sympathy with the su f f e r i n g of the cat, made ln that p a r t i c u l a r l y emotion-charged place, brings about f o r him a visionary experience. Arthur's casting away of his sword and John's v i s i o n of i t both f a l l into the 136 pattern of s i g n i f i c a n t events which Powys sees as recurring in a s p i r a l , l i n k i n g present and past, myth and modern r e a l i t y ( 351 ) . The v i s i o n i s the central episode of a chapter concerned with e v i l , s u f f e r i n g , and man's protest against them. The association of the image of the sword with the theme of empathy with s u f f e r i n g occurs elsewhere l n the novel as well, notably i n Sam Dekker's v i s i o n of the G r a i l in Chapter Twenty-Eight. Living as an a s c e t i c , labouring among the hos-t i l e poor and befriending outcasts, Sam becomes preoccupied with the pain and purposeless s u f f e r i n g of men. When he does see the G r a i l his v i s i o n i s "accompanied by a crashing pain," as of "a sharp, long-shaped thing p i e r c i n g his guts" (981). It i s likened to a spear, p i e r c i n g the bowels (982), and there-fore suggests the Spear of Longinus with which the guardian of the G r a i l was dealt the Dolorous Blow. This spear image was e a r l i e r used in Geard's miraculous cure of T i t t l e Petherton: "his arrows of thought now became a spear — the Bleeding Lance of the oldest legends of Carbonek -- and with an actual tremor of his upraised, naked arms he f e l t himself to be plunging t h i s formidable weapon into that worst enemy of a l l women I" ( 7 39 ) . The spear and sword are often i d e n t i f i e d with 13 each other in anthropological studies of the G r a i l legend. G. Wilson Knight, and Powys himself l n his Preface to the 1955 edition of A Glastonbury Romance, point out the connection between the anal p i e r c i n g which Sam feels and his v i s i o n of the G r a i l . 137 Only those who have caught the secret which Rabelais more than anyone else reveals to us, the secret of the conjunction of the p a r t i c u l a r and extreme grossness of our excremental func-tions i n connection with our sexual functions are on the right track to encompass t h i s receding horizon where the beyond-thought loses I t s e l f in the beyond-words.^ As long weapons fo r i n f l i c t i n g pain, the sword seen by John and the spear f e l t by Sam are related also to the iron bar imagined and f i n a l l y witnessed by Mr. Evans. Evan's obses-sion with t h i s weapon, his craving to watch i t crush someone's s k u l l , i s the obverse of John's and Sam's sympathy fo r the victims of s u f f e r i n g . As able as they are to imagine the f u l l extent of the pain i n f l i c t e d , Evans finds perverse e r o t i c plea-sure in envisioning i t . The d i f f e r e n t responses of the three men to the weapon as an image of pain admirably i l l u s t r a t e s the range of Powys*. creation. The three men have previously been grouped together, and the contrasts between t h e i r d i f f e r -ent attitudes to experience studied, during t h e i r conversation on the Tor (263-65) . Evans, the reluctant sadist, i s excited by the weapon as bearer of pain; although he desires something outside nature to break through and redeem him (362) , he i s denied a visionary experience and i s redeemed instead by the natural love of his wife. P o t e n t i a l l y a sentimental s i t u a t i o n , Evans' redemption becomes m o r e x r e a l l s t i c a l l y pathetic as Powys i r o n i c a l l y shows that when the man i s purged of his vice he loses with i t most of his v i t a l i t y . The weapon becomes a source of ecstasy f o r Sam Dekker as well, but in a very d i f f e r e n t way. Unlike Mr. Geard, or even 138 the superstitious John Crow, Sam Dekker i s no natural, mystic: "there was more mysticism ln John Crow's l i t t l e finger — f o r a l l his s c e p t i c a l perversity — than in Sam's whole body" (977). But Sam's quest f o r sanctity, his empathy with and e f f o r t s to r e l i e v e s u f f e r i n g , prepare him f o r a v i s i o n of the G r a i l accompanied by a vicarious sensation of being pierced by the sword of Longinus. Through embracing the pain of other people, as he and Mr. Geard do, they are enabled to become healers, and achieve an underlying s p i r i t u a l peace. John Crow's v i s i o n of King Arthur's sword i s attributed to both his p i t y f o r the cat and his Arthurian researches (371). His response to i t , however, i s unlike Sam's j o y f u l c r e d u l i t y , gratitude and unwittingly comical e f f o r t s to share his experience with other people. John seeks r a t i o n a l explan-ations f o r i t (373), and searches the mud f o r tangible evidence. He confides his experience only to Mary and Mr. Evans. U l t i -mately, however, he may be said to reject i t s very essence, refusing to allow what he has seen to disturb his own sceptic-ism and his h o s t i l i t y to the transcendental powers of Glastonbury. . . . John's thoughts kept hovering around that s t a r t l i n g episode of the milk-white sword with the dark handle. 'I don't care what they do; I don't care what signs and omens they f l i n g down; I don't care how much I i n f u r i a t e them . . . . I'm going to blow t h i s whole unhealthy business sky-high.' (380) He r e f l e c t s with pleasure that "that damned Sword was r e a l l y 139 made of t i n t " (383) This perseverance in his s c e p t i c a l con-tempt impoverishes John. He and Mary leave Glastonbury carry-ing "the corpse of t h e i r s t i l l b o r n never-returning opportunity of touching the Eternal i n the enchanted s o i l where the Eternal once sank down into time" (1113). Linking landscape and mythology, t h i s phrase, "the enchan-ted s o i l where the Eternal once sank down Into time," i s the key to Powys' conception of Glastonbury, the G r a i l , and hence to the central subject of the Novel. As romance, i t engages i t s characters in a quest f o r what i s variously described as the "opportunity of touching the Eternal" (1113), a "fragment of the Absolute" ( ? 8 l , 789, 1170), "the basic Secret of L i f e " (843-44) and a "by-product of some vast planetary reservoir of an unknown force" (1047). A symbol f o r a l l of these, uniting pagan and Christian (789) . the G r a i l represents man's achieve-ment of union with the other, the numinous, the au dela. Powys sees Glastonbury as the centre of both the Christian G r a i l cult and the pre-Christian cults from which i t stemmed (843), and considers It as one of those p e c u l i a r l y i n s p i r i n g l o c a l i t i e s , l i k e Nevilton Mount in Wood and Stone, where a concentration of r e l i g i o u s emotion has f o r centuries been focussed. "Gener-ations of mankind, aeons of past races, have . . . made Glastonbury miraculous" (291, see also 764) . Mr. Evans hopes to see Glastonbury restored to what he conceives as i t s ancient status as an Urbs Beata where the pilgrim may be s p i r i t u a l l y purged (837) . Geard's desire i s s i m i l a r : Glastonbury i s to be the centre of a completely new l i f e (456) where men other than 140 himself might discern as he does "a borderland of the miraculous round everthing that existed (1171). In the closing passages of the novel Glastonbury i s seen as one of the r e s t i n g places of the goddess Cybele, a stronghold of the imaginative, the i r r a t i o n a l , the s p i r i t u a l , the "madness of Faith" set against the powers of reason, science and materialism (1173-?4). Glastonbury i s associated with water, t w i l i g h t , death and the female. The association with water i s partly geographical: the town was once under water, the s i t e of a Lake V i l l a g e as we are frequently reminded, and i s surrounded by water meadows. An atmosphere of bluish vapour c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y surrounds i t (108, 694, 1141, see also 263, 1045 and Saturnism Quest, 35-36). Water, the source of l i f e (1158), becomes f o r Geard a means of seeking the s p i r i t u a l — in his cult of the Chalice Well and eventually i n his self-chosen death by drowning. Powys presents a technical, psychological explanation f o r Geard's suicide, a t t r i b u t i n g i t to a desire to return to water as the "great maternal womb of a l l organic e a r t h - l i f e " (1158). But the s p i r i t u a l dimension of the death i s more s i g n i f i c a n t than i t s Freudian one: Geard has sought to "get into closer contact with his i n v i s i b l e Master than was possible i n t h i s 'muddy vesture' of e a r t h - l i f e : " (1159). The great Flood which drowns Geard and his town i s an apocalyptic image, d i f f i c u l t to interpret because of i t s wealth of possible meanings. G. Wilson Knight relates i t to both the sub-world and the super-world of our various human delineations, and to the 141 great beyond, eter n i t y as against time; and to the cleansing of an agonised world. It i s a f e a r f u l invasion . . . of l i f e as we know i t by a power non-human and s i n i s t e r . . . . ^ Although the towers of Cybele, symbols of man's quest f o r s p i r i t u a l enlightenment, stand out against the flood, the waters themselves seem also to be an embodiment of those mys-terious powers which have challenged human complacency and science throughout the novel, and f i n a l l y are embraced by Geard. One of the great Images of the book i s Geard in his coracle, borne away by the r i v e r current within the greater flood. The current bears him to the corpse of the airplane where he w i l l rescue the semi-paralyzed P h i l i p and commit him-s e l f to the water. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of water with death, and s p i r i t u a l l i f e -in death, i s evident i n Geard's drowning, l n the other deaths caused by the flood, in the resus c i t a t i o n of the dead c h i l d at Chalice Well and In the two Wookey Hole scenes where Geard and P h i l i p cross the underground r i v e r to commune with powers which -I s respectively negate and confirm t h e i r own natures. Glastonbury Is the t r a d i t i o n a l location of Avalon, the mysterious land where the dying Arthur was taken to be healed of his wounds and to await his return. According to Mr. Evans, i t i s also "the Gwlad-yr-Hav, the Elysian Death-Fields of the Cymric t r i b e s , " and "yr Echwyd, the land of Annwn, the land of twilight and death, where the shores are of Mortuorum Mare, the Sea of the Departed" (771, 789, see also 1052). The blue haze around Glastonbury, l i k e the t w i l i g h t , blurs the d i s t i n c t i o n s between 142 Christian and pagan, Celt and Saxon, past and present, l i v i n g and dead. At the opening of the Saxon Arch, John Crow envisions a crowd of ghosts from Glastonbury's past, separated from him by a "Cimmerian mist" (921, 923). Glastonbury i s a place of tr a n s i t i o n and touching, and i s p e c u l i a r l y conducive to s p i r i -t u al i n s i g h t ; i t i s thi s q u a l i t y of the town which Geard and Mr. Evans seek to exploit and which the Crows struggle against (for example 456, 764, 837 and 350, 697, 759, 760, 7 7 8 - 8 ) . Glastonbury Is seen as a person, a l i v i n g woman. Morgan Nelly, Mad Bet and the Dekkers agree that the true way to see Glastonbury i s not as an economic, s o c i a l or p o l i t i c a l e n t i t y but as a personality, which r e s i s t s these l i m i t i n g c l a s s i f i -cations (561, 1045). Paul Trent, who as a native of S c i l l y i s considered to have s p e c i a l perception (839, 1045), r e a l i z e s in a moment that the p o l i t i c a l and commercial e f f o r t s within Glastonbury are missing the point of l i f e and of the nature of t h e i r town. A f e e l i n g stole over him as i f a l l the way down i t s long history Glastonbury, the Feminine Person, l i k e Mary at the feet of the Master, had been waiting f o r the fuss to cease, f o r the voices to subside, f o r the dust to sink down . . . . Could It be possible that the secret of e c s t a t i c human happiness only arrived, when a l l outward machinery of l i f e was suspended, a l l p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y held i n abeyance? (1046) The women of Glastonbury are sympathetic to the G r a i l legend, and to the s p i r i t u a l forces of the town, whereas the men of the novel tend to be h o s t i l e to i t (778). Mary Crow's change 143 of attitude towards Glastonbury a f t e r her marriage i s described in sea imagery ( 7 7 9 ) , l i n k i n g the female associations of Glastonbury with the sea as they are linked i n the passages about Geard's death also (1158). The feminine i s conceived as that "which forever i s waiting, watching, l i s t e n i n g , dreaming, ln a trance of mindless p a s s i v i t y f o r something that never quite comes" (1046): l i k e the water, tw i l i g h t and death images, the feminine q u a l i t i e s of Glastonbury indicate r e c e p t i v i t y to the s p i r i t u a l and the non-rational. This conception of Glastonbury as a l i v i n g person (723) i s also central to Powys treatment of history i n the novel. In references to the pre- C e l t i c aboriginals ( 7 8 8 ) , the Lake V i l l a g e , the Romans, the Saxons, the Arthurian t r a d i t i o n s , the Monmouth r e b e l l i o n and Judge Jeffreys (for example 3 6 7 , 1044) Powys evokes a l l of what the place has been in actual history and i n the imaginations of men. Glastonbury thus seen as a whole, past and present, reduces much of the a c t i v i t y of her modem I n d u s t r i a l and p o l i t i c a l leaders to t r i v i a l i t y . When his daughter reminds P h i l i p of the Lake V i l l a g e , he i s uncom-for t a b l e . Yes, i t was ce r t a i n l y a queer thing that t h i s grass should have been covered with a brackish expanse of water in those old days 5 but It was not a thing he cared to think about. In some subtle way i t seemed to make his present a c t i v i t i e s less important, (758-59) Mr. Evans finds the machinations of the "philosophical trium-v i r a t e " absurd. 144 . . . when a person touches . . . t h i s basic Secret of L i f e , that our Bards expressed i n poems l i k e The Harrying of Annwn, these external arrangements of Society — capitalism or communism — seem unimportant. (845) Powys' al l u s i o n s to Glastonbury's past relate what i s happen-ing ln the novel to the wide sweep of human history, and they also serve as a touchstone of the ultimate s i g n i f i c a n c e of human concerns. History gives perspective; i t confirms, also, the peculiar nature of Glastonbury as a centre of r e l i g i o u s emotion and s p i r i t u a l discovery. Mr. Geard's miracles on Chalice H i l l are explained at one point as being due to his extraordinary animal magnetism enabling him "to tap a reservoir of miraculous power" (738). Powys imagines a "psycho-chemical force" gathered about the well which had been the scene of such a continuous series of mystic r i t e s , going back to the n e o l i t h i c men of the Lake V i l l a g e , If not to the s t i l l more mysterious race that preceded them, that there had come to hang about i t a thick aura of magical vi b r a t i o n s . (737-38) E a r l i e r statements about Pomparles Bridge (369-70) and Lake Vi l l a g e F i e l d (764) also put forth t h i s theory that a concen-t r a t i o n of strong human feelings in one place can give the atmosphere of that place power to a f f e c t the thoughts and f e e l -ings of other humans who come there. The topography of Glastonbury, r e l i g i o u s centre f o r d i f f e r e n t c i v i l i z a t i o n s , contains unique reservoirs of such power. 145 Everyone who came to t h i s spot seemed to draw something from i t , attracted by a magnetism too powerful f o r anyone to r e s i s t , but as d i f f e r e n t people approached i t they changed i t s chemistry, though not i t s essence, by t h e i r own i d e n t i t y , so that upon none of them i t had the same psychic e f f e c t . (112) Just as Glastonbury's past lends other dimensions and perspectives to the modern events recorded l n the Homance, these modern events themselves become part of the cycle of human experience, and can be seen as containing a l l that exper-ience within themselves. That i s to say, i t i s possible to find the timeless i n one moment of the present, and this i s what Powys i n some of his scenes achieves. . . . f o r history i s a pattern Of timeless moments. So, while the l i g h t f a i l s On a winter's afternoon, ln a secluded chapel History i s now and England. CLittle Gldding," V) Powys seems to be t r y i n g to create t h i s sense of the timeless moment, or of time frozen i n an e c s t a t i c perception, through his many references to painting. In some instances a particu-l a r grouping of characters i s intensely v i s u a l i z e d , seen as an allegory of something constant in human experience. Mr. Evans, Sam and John Crow, seated l n a row on the h i l l t o p together, "represented — i n Remorse, i n Renunciation, i n Roguery — everything that separates our race from nature" (264). As Mr. Geard watches the three Zoylands, they f a l l f o r him "into a symbolic group of human countenances," and become "to him an a l l e g o r i c a l picture, r i c h with Rembrandt-like chiaroscuro, of 1 4 6 the three ages of the journeying human psyche" ( 4 4 0 ) . Many comparisons are made between scenes of the novel and paintings — most frequently Dutch or Flemish p o r t r a i t s and landscapes ( 3 5 3 , 3 7 8 , 4 3 1 , 4 4 0 , 462, 5 7 8 , 6 1 8 , 620, 623, 7 4 6 , 1161). For two lovers a chance framing by an open doorway "turned the scene they now looked on into a curious 'work of a r t ' , i s o l a t -ing i t from the rest of Nature, and giving i t a symbolic s i g n i -ficance" ( 5 5 4 - 5 5 ) . Like E l i o t ' s Four Quartets, A Glastonbury Romance i s concerned with the timeless moments of s p i r i t u a l v i s i o n within the changes of the seasonal cycle, and the r e l a t i o n s h i p between time and place. The action of the novel takes place within one year and ten days, the part about Glastonbury exactly one yearJ the novel begins on March f i f t h , John Crow's walk takes him eight days a f t e r he leaves Northwold on the seventh, and the flood occurs on the f i f t e e n t h of March i n the next year. The book thus moves ln a cycle from one spring s o l s t i c e to the next. The changes encompassed within that time — the b i r t h s , love-making, marriages, sickness, healing and deaths — are part of the la r g e r cycle of nature 5 the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l changes in the town, too, are part of a pattern which Powys sees from an h i s t o r i c a l and sometimes a prophetic perspective (for example, 5 0 6 ) . Glastonbury i t s e l f , l i k e Powys* novel about i t , i s a microcosm wherein can be seen an image of the larger world, the eternal human s i t u a t i o n , and f a i n t r e f l e c t i o n s of what may be the forces and gods of a s p i r i t u a l world outside the l i m i t s 14? of our comprehension. It was as i f £Geard i n Death} had ceased to belong to our world of looking-glass pantomine wherein we are driven to worship we know not what, and had slipped down among the gods and taken his place among those who cast t h e i r own mysterious r e f l e c t i o n s i n the Glastonbury of our bewilderment. (1171) The pun, unusual f o r Powys, points his theme i Glastonbury i s a glass or mirror wherein we see shapes and shadows of a r e a l i t y which always evades our understanding. Its landscape and i t s myths are shrines of Cybele, the goddess who upholds the cause "of the unseen against the seen, of the weak against the strong, of that which i s not, and yet i s against that which i s , and yet i s not " (1174). This mystery and uncertainty are at the heart of A Glastonbury Romance, because they are funda-mental to Powys' conception of the universe. As we have read e a r l i e r , Powys writes of his Romance that "Its message i s that no one Receptacle of L i f e and no one Fountain of L i f e poured into that Receptacle can contain or explain what the 17 world offers us." ' Thus the central image of the Glastonbury legends, the G r a i l , remains ambiguous and of no cl e a r s i g n i f i c a n c e in the novel. Mary and Sam see i t , but the former t e l l s no one of her experience and the l a t t e r i s unable to i n t e r e s t anyone i n hi s . Mr. Geard also sees the G r a i l , i n i t s mysterious f i f t h form, but i t i s a dying v i s i o n which can not be communicated. Evidently, then, the Arthurian materials provide no key or code 148 to unlock the meaning of the novel. "There i s no ultimate mystery!" Powys asserted. "The Mystery of Mysteries i s Person-a l i t y , a l i v i n g person, and there i s that i n personality, which i s undetermined, unaccountable, changing at every second!" ( 6 9 3 ) It i s the personality of Glastonbury as a whole* comprised of i t s landscape, i t s legends, i t s h i s t o r i c a l past and i t s chang-ing present, which l i e s at the heart of the novel and of Powys' achievement. The Arthurian references, linked as they almost always are with the l o c a l topography, serve as the focus f o r certain chapters and themes. But the Romance i s not based upon systematic mythological correspondences In the manner of Joyce's Ulysses, nor does It set i t s e l f within a d e f i n i t e r e l i g i o u s t r a d i t i o n as does Charles William's use of the G r a i l material i n War l n Heaven. The mythological allus i o n s are c a r e f u l l y worked into the composition of Powys' novel, and add resonance to many of i t s characters and episodes, but ultimately impose no clear meaning or interpretation upon i t . 149 Chapter Five» Footnotes 1 John Cowper Powys, A Glastonbury Romance (Londont Macdonald, 1955), x i i l . 2 Essays, ed. B. Humfrey, Appendix I (b), p. 325. 3 Rhys, Studies. p. 339 ^ See Rhys, Studies, p. 334 or Loomis, C e l t i c Myth, p. 191. ^ Letter to L i t t l e t o n Powys, Feb. 6, 1932, quoted in Essays, ed. B. Humfrey, Appendix I (b), p. 331. ^ G. Wilson Knight, "Lawrence, Joyce and Powys, "Essays  ln C r i t i c i s m, 11 #4 (Oct. 1961), p. 4 l 4 . 7 Rhys, Studies, pp. 14, 17, 231, 233. Geard should not, however, be equated with the Solar Hero since he too i s often seen as a dark god. 8 See Rhys, Studies, Chapter XIII and Loomis, C e l t i c Myth, Book 3 , "The Cult of the G r a i l , " e s p e c i a l l y p. 139. 9 Rhys finds the o r i g i n of the G r a i l in the sacred vessel found ln many mythologies l n which i s brewed a drink which intoxicates, inspires and exhilarates those who drink i t . (Studies, p. 327, Hibbert Lectures, pp. 286-8?, 296-99, 356-60). 1 0 pp. 287, 292, 340, 3 4 l , 424, 441, 458, 467, 473, 524, I I 6 9 , see also G. Wilson Knight, Satumlan Quest, p. 38 . 1 1 See Loomis, C e l t i c Myth, p. 191 on the healing of Arthur in Avallonia by his daughter. 1 2 T. S. E l i o t , "The Waste Land," Collected Poems 1909-1962 (London 1 Faber, I 9 6 3). Future references w i l l be to thi s e d i t i o n . 13 For example, Jessie Weston, op. c i t . , Chapter VI, "The Symbols." Preface to 1955 Macdonald e d i t i o n , xv. See also G. Wilson Knight, "Lawrence, Joyce and Powys," op. c i t . , 403-417. 150 G . W i l s o n K n i g h t , S a t u r n i a n Quest, p . 4 l . 1 6 See Rhys, S t u d i e s , Chapter XV. P r e f a c e t o 1955 Macdonald e d i t i o n , x i i i , see a l s o Timothy Hyman, "Powys' World Book," a paper r e a d t o t h e Powys S o c i e t y , London, 1970. 151 Chapter Six "A Monstrous Grotesquenesst" Maiden Castle During the summers of 193^ to 1937 there were archeolog-i c a l excavations held at the n e o l i t h i c earthwork of Mai-Dun, or Maiden Castle, two miles southwest of Dorchester. Hardy had written a short story about a clandestine excavation there in the l a s t century,^ and the modem digs provided Powys with a focus f o r his seventh novel. In t h i s "Dorchester romance" the l o c a l landscape, i t s Roman history, and the c u l t l c vestiges of primitive c i v i l i z a t i o n unearthed at Maiden Castle work to-gether to polarize and disturb the thoughts of some of i t s contemporary inhabitants. Powys* use of myth l n t h i s novel i s both simpler and more obscure than i t was i n A Glastonbury  Romance, since Maiden Castle i s not structured around a famil-i a r body of legends such as the G r a i l myth but instead refers exclusively to modem scholarly interpretations of the old Welsh fragments which so i n e f f e c t u a l l y preoccupied Mr. Evans in the e a r l i e r novel. The pattern of mythology to which Maiden  Castle refers Is thus much smaller than i t was ln A Glastonbury  Romance; the novel as a whole i s of a smaller dimension, and i t s concerns are b a s i c a l l y personal rather than apocalyptic. The mythological obsessions of Uryen are treated i r o n i c a l l y , and the c r e d i b i l i t y of the mythological dimension of the novel i s constantly under doubt. It w i l l indeed be argued that Powys uses the chief characters of Maiden Castle to dramatize and mock the p e c u l i a r i t i e s of his own behaviour and his private 152 maniasj the self-dramatizing and s e l f - c r i t i c a l exaggerations of the Autobiography, written just before t h i s novel, are here translated into f i c t i o n . In i t s treatment of landscape, however, Maiden Castle bears considerable resemblance to A Glastonbury Romance and Weymouth Sands, the novels which immediately preceded i t . They are the three Powys novels which are centred upon i n d i v i -dual towns, and constantly evoke t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c atmosphere, t h e i r topography, t h e i r monuments and the events of t h e i r h i s t o r y . As i n Glastonbury and Weymouth, the near presence of water In Dorchester i s emphasized. Because water f o r Powys i s associated with the a f t e r l i f e and another dimension, these "watery" towns have a p e c u l i a r l y Cimmerian q u a l i t y ; they l i n k this v i s i b l e world with another, s p i r i t u a l or ghostly one. The struggles of the characters f o r s p i r i t u a l enlightenment are abetted by t h e i r environment. Dorchester seemed to have a magical power over Dud's imag-i n a t i o n . He began tapping levels i n his conscious-ness that he had not known he possessed. The moment that he sat down at that table l n front of those old roofs the s p i r i t of the past seemed to obsess him. (112) Uryen finds Maiden Castle a re s e r v o i r of the same sort of s p i r i t u a l power that Mr. Geard believed was stored i n Glastonbury (1?^, 233. 329). One aspect of Powys' use of nature which i s esp e c i a l l y s t r i k i n g i n t h i s novel, although not unique to i t , i s the curious but f o r c e f u l s i m i l e s wherein people are seen i n terms 153 of plants or landscape. These Images may be comical or quaint t . . . he closed his sentence with a desperate and yet awkward rush, l i k e the f i n a l and squawking plunge of the coal-man's ducks into the water. (195) Dud thrusts "his f i s t s so v i o l e n t l y into the depths of his trouser pockets that the trunk of his body came to resemble a knotted tree with a protruding bole bulging out on e i t h e r side." (201) Others mix humour with Gothic horror! . . . the s a t i s f a c t i o n of his mental desire seemed to him then l i k e a d e l i r i o u s worm feeding upon the vegetation-roots of the world, a worm r i s i n g up from that black water — that was the primal gulf of space — to feed forever upon c e l e s t i a l duok-weed! (211) Perhaps the most moving of these comparisons i s that of the distraught Nancy's face to a landscape which has been under flood-waterj the s i m i l e r e c a l l s the pathos of some of the flood scenes at the end of A Glastonbury Romance (for example 1145-46). Slowly, and as i f by some power beyond her w i l l , her soft features returned to t h e i r normal expression! each wry curve, each wretched twist smoothing themselves out, not so much as shadows i n water a f t e r t h e i r d i s p e r s a l by a flung stone, as shapes i n a flooded landscape when the waters have subsided. But such shapes, returned though they are to l i g h t and a i r , carry upon them an Indescrib-able f i l m , the ashen-grey deposit of t h e i r long submersion. (274) 154 Comical or pathetic, these natural similes strengthen the relationship implied throughout the novel between man and his physical surroundings. People, animals, plants, buildings — the animate and the inanimate features of the landscape --share i n the same kind of un d e r - l i f e , the same kind of ultimate r e a l i t y ; t h i s sharing gives them a visionary unity s i m i l a r to that found i n the paintings of Samuel Palmer. It i s t h i s f e e l i n g towards landscape which a f t e r Wizzie's departure makes Dud mingle his memories of her body with the features of the landscape around him (486). The process i s carried further i n Porlus, where Merlin at times takes the apparent form of a beast, a tree or a rock, and in the late novels among whose active characters are a moth, a club, an apple and a fountain ( A t l a n t i s , The Mountains of the Moon, A l l or Nothing). In Maiden Castle, which remains within the r e a l i s t i c mode of f i c t i o n , t h i s sense of the underlying unity of a l l matter i s conveyed largely through the similes and images of nature. It never occurred to her to suspect that the sweet e x c i t i n g glow about Uryen's inter e s t i n her was l i k e the d a l l y i n g of a rock-plant with the caresses of the wooing sun — d a l l i a n c e that was Impossible save f o r i t s root i n the stone out of which i t grew. (352) There Is even less pure description of nature i n Maiden  Castle than there was i n A Glastonbury Romance, which i s per-haps what leads G. Wilson Knight and Malcolm Elwln to f e e l that 2 l n t h i s novel "we are l i t t l e aware of Dorchester as a town." (Saturnlan Quest p. 51, see also Elwin's Prefatory Note to the 155 1966 Macdonald edition of Maiden Castle). On the contrary, the town i s v i v i d l y and frequently depicted, but always through the medium of the consciousness of one of i t s characters. We see Dorchester in the l a s t three chapters through the perceptive but unsentimental eyes of Wizzie, who responds as warmly to her own sensations about Dorchester and Its past (343-44, 393) as she i s cold to Dud's enthusiasm. But Dud i s the chief centre of consciousness i n the novel 1 he i s a fine observer, s e n s i t i v e to nature and h i s t o r i c a l l y aware. "'Dorchester's one of the most i n t e r e s t i n g towns i n England,' he said to himself. ' I t ' l l be a wicked thing i f I don't do justice to i t l n Mary Planning'" (199-200). Whatever Dud's success, Powys does do ju s t i c e to Dorchester as i t i s observed by Dud and Wizzie. The novel i s firm l y located i n the r e a l town 1 the very streets and buildings may be i d e n t i f i e d . The Icen Way i s made as memorable to the reader as any thoroughfare i n Glastonbury or Weymouth 1 we are t o l d repeat-edly about Dud's a t t r a c t i o n to i t s h i s t o r i c name, Wizzie's impatience with his notions about "Itching Street," and the disputes between them as to whether or not they s h a l l go along i t (289, 298, 343-44). The Weymouth road i s presented i n even greater d e t a i l ; i t i s the s e t t i n g f o r much of the action of Chapters One and Eight, and Dud returns along i t at the close of the novel. Brewery, railway st a t i o n , f a i r - f i e l d , Maumbury Rings, and cemetery are remarked each time characters pass them on t h i s road, and the l a s t three places are from the outset associated with major themes of the novel — Wizzie's 156 abduction, the s u f f e r i n g of Mary Channlng, and death. South Street and the chestnuts of South Walks, the Cenotaph and i t s r a i l i n g s where Nance collapsed, Glyde Path Lane, High East Street, St. Peter's Church, the Hardy and Barnes statues, Fri a r y Lane, Hangman's Cottage and many other streets and monuments are mentioned often during the course of the book, and many acquire symbolic associations with p a r t i c u l a r char-acters or events. The p r i n c i p a l landscape Images i n Maiden Castle are the cemetery, the r i v e r , the scummy pond and Mai-dun i t s e l f 5 they are a l l related to the main themes of the novel. Dud's reason f o r moving to Dorchester, and the goal of the f i r s t of his many walks, i s the cemetery on the Weymouth Road. Here he seeks the graves of his mother and wife, and hopes to solve "the ultimate meaning of death i t s e l f " (20). Of course Dud never succeeds, but the themes of death, the a f t e r l i f e , and the s i n i s t e r father who may be intending to supplant Dud i n the remaining grave-plot are r e c a l l e d at many points through-out the novel. Dud makes his f i r s t v i s i t to the cemetery on A l l Soul's Day. There he meets Nance, and he returns there with her one year l a t e r a f t e r she has been the means of bring-ing him together with his father and with Wizzie. Death, and the borders between t h i s world and the s p i r i -t u a l world, i s the predominant theme of Maiden Castle. As in A Glastonbury Romance, water i s the means and/or symbol of t r a n s i t i o n between these worlds. Thus Dorchester, the Camp on the Waters (197), contains many images of death and t r a n s i t i o n . 157 These are mostly i d e n t i f i e d with the River Frome, along which the characters of the novel frequently walk and which separ-ates Glymes from the town. On the f i r s t morning Dud catches sight of the Frome from his room, remembering that Hardy com-pared i t i n i t s clearness to "a t r i b u t a r y of the c e l e s t i a l Water of L i f e " (24), and thereupon decides to v i s i t his dead r e l a t i v e s l n the cemetery. Later, as he walks by the eerie r i v e r path which passes the Hangman's Cottage and i s over-shadowed by the prison, he f e e l s surrounded by water, and imagines a subtle confederacy between the r i v e r , the rain and the descending darkness (70). When Dud passes the same place on another night "the rush of the water through the weir sounded i n the s t i l l night l i k e the rush of the waters of death" (184). A pathway i n the r a i n i s seen as "a phantasmal r i v e r f o r ghosts to gather at, a r i v e r where a crowd of limbo-weary s p i r i t s might wave beseeching arms" (402). The refer-ence i s to Odysseus i n the underworld but also to the hymn which Dud l a t e r chants nervously, having heard i t ln the Dorchester s t r e e t s i S h a l l - we - gather - at - the Riv- ver, the Beautiful, the Beautiful Ri - ver, s h a l l we gather at the Ri - ver, that flows by the throne of God? (438-39) Dorchester, a rainy town, witnesses the "mystic encounter of water with water" (71) i n those "moments l n the place when the waters 'under the firmament' rose to meet the waters 'above the firmament* and Deep c a l l e d to Deep" (403). The very sleep 158 of i t s inhabitants i s compared to a "great underworld sea" which i s "the everlasting other side of the turmoil of l i f e " and "a state of being that resembled death . . . " (475, see also 8 8 - 8 9 ) . As well as the r a i n , the r i v e r , the water meadows and the drainage ditches, Dorchester has a great underground r i v e r which supplies i t s drinking water (71) . In a passage of his Studies i n the Arthurian Legend to which Powys makes Dud r e f e r elsewhere (252), S i r John Rhys describes the C e l t i c concept of the E e l River, the mighty r i v e r which separates this 3 world from the Court of Death or Otherworld. Whereas the t r a n s i t i o n between the worlds was presented i n A Glastonbury  Romance through the image of the great flood, i n Maiden Castle i t i s the r i v e r s — above and below ground — which are the Images of t h i s t r a n s i t i o n . "What a place f o r running water t h i s i s ! " murmurs Dud, and Thuella responds, "There's always water! Never an end to the water!" (71) . Dorchester i s Indeed "under the water-sign" (73) and to Dud, whose coming there has "coincided with the l i f t i n g of a great sluice-dam l n his emotional fate" (73) , i t i s lucky to l i v e i n such a place when the world i s moving into the zodiacal sign of Aquarius ( 197-98) . His meetings with the sweetly mysterious figure of Droit the Drowner he regards as equally propitious. Whatever t h e i r associations with death, the water images of t h i s novel are less fearsome and overwhelming than the flood which drowned Glastonbury. There are no miraculous wells or unnatural catastrophes; rather, the flowing waters symbolize the natural passage of l i f e into death and the 159 unknown. In a mood of chastened acceptance, the novel wit-nesses the t r a n s i t o r y nature of human l i f e and human happiness. Watching the r a i n through a sick-room window Wizzie sees the "universe £as it} was to the eye of Heraclitus . . . s p e c t r a l epitomes of the flowing away of a l l things." She f e e l s as i f a boy's face seen through the r a i n "were d r i f t i n g on the same f a t a l tide that was bearing her own l i f e into the unknown," and hopes that she w i l l not die on such a night (402 -03) . Although i t too i s a water image, and resembles the Lenty Pond which exerted a morbid, deathward a t t r a c t i o n upon Wolf Solent, the scummy pond of Maiden Castle i s associated with eros rather than with death. In a passage which r e c a l l s Donne's "Ecstasie," Dud and Thuella enjoy a "magnetic i n t e r -change" of e r o t i c delight which i s increased rather than diminished by the absence of physical expression. These cere-b r a l lovers perch on the steep bank above the pond, c l i n g i n g to hedge-roots to prevent themselves from s l i p p i n g i n . The pond i s deep, i t s surface covered with green slime, and the precarious p o s i t i o n of the man and woman above i t p a r a l l e l s the precarious perversity of t h e i r avoidance of the "deep-waters" of normal love. Powys enjoys playing with the symbolic and l i t e r a r y properties of his image of the slimy pond, into whose dark water i t i s certain that John Bunyan would have prec i p i t a t e d them both, and out of whose green slime i t i s equally certain that Dante would have called f o r t h a cartload of horned d e v i l s , of scratching, 160 b i t i n g , scaly d e v i l s , of f o u l , stinking, obscene d e v i l s , to switch them o f f to h e l l . (212) Out of the slimy pond Powys would himself have c a l l e d f o r t h , in his early novels, some s i n i s t e r eidola and ominous emana-ti o n s , and at least one mad and sardonic hero would have pre-c i p i t a t e d himself into i t . But now the Gothicism of these early novels has been tempered by humour, and a more o r i g i n a l apprehension of the mishaps which b e f a l l men. Powys c a r e f u l l y prepares f o r Dud's meeting with Thuella i n a series of i r o n i c a l recognitions of his mingled a t t r a c t i o n and h o s t i l i t y to her. No sooner has he vowed that the " v i l e l arva" w i l l "never catch D. No-man" (202) than he receives her l e t t e r and rushes off in a desperate hurry not to miss her. The e r o t i c tension of t h e i r dalliance beside the pond i s heightened both by the awkward-ness of t h e i r physical p o s i t i o n and by preliminary d i f f i c u l t i e s — Thuella forgets her hat and Dud, fetching i t , i s embarrassed by three loquacious old men and an i n q u i s i t i v e t e r r i e r . "How grotesque,' he thought, i n the detached portion of his mind, 'are the situations we get i n t o ! I must remember t h i s i n the story of my Mary. People i n books are l u c k i e r than in l i f e . Every l i f e , i f the truth were known, contains episodes of a monstrous grotesqueness.' (211) A comparison between th i s scummy pond episode and the episode at Auber Lake in Wood and Stone reveals the "booklshness" of the early novels, which r e l y upon Gothic extremes, i n contrast to the mellowness and human understanding achieved by the l a t e r 161 novels. Auber Lake i s unrelievedly the abode of blackness, madness and t e r r o r ; Lacrlma appeals to the V i r g i n against i t s e v i l influence. Lenty Pond, too, witnesses unnatural events, and Wolf nearly succumbs to i t s appeal to suicid e . Dud indulges in a fantasy about a worm in the slime and black water, but the pond exerts no p u l l to se l f - d e s t r u c t i o n . Like the ash tree, which he imagines deriving pleasure from the contact of i t s roots and branches with the water and a i r , Dud enjoys his pecu-l i a r encounter with Thuella and his fantasies about the pond. The p o t e n t i a l l y h o r r i b l e image i s accepted and enjoyed, rather than feared. Thus the scummy pond episode i s a good example of Powys' maturity, i n i t s f i n e blending of human emotion with a p a r t i c u l a r landscape, l n i t s placing of i t s characters' s i t u -ation within the context of past l i t e r a t u r e s , and in the s e l f -c r i t i c a l awareness which enables i t to undercut melodrama with r e a l i s t i c humour. The greatest of the landscape Images in the novel i s , of course, Maiden Castle i t s e l f . Only two of the novel's nine episodes a c t u a l l y take place at the earthwork, and i t i s not described u n t i l Dud goes there with Uryen half-way through the book. Nevertheless, the presence of the place i s f e l t through-out the novel, as the re s u l t of Uryen's absorption i n i t and the impression he conveys of i t s mysterious powers. The ghost-wind from Maiden Castle r a t t l e s the chimneys at Glymes, and the ghost-smell which lingers there passes into the Antelope dining-room ( 2 2 7 ) . Dud and his father approach Maiden Castle as pilgri m s : 162 the road to i t i s described as a "long, st r a i g h t , pilgrim's road" (230) and they come to "a gate across the way, with instructions on i t , worthy of Pilgrim's Progress, about not wandering from the path . . . " (235) . The image i s appropriate, since the earthwork, with i t s temple and c u l t i c statuary, i s the centre and shrine of Uryen's personal r e l i g i o n . A myster-ious power and l i v i n g q u a l i t y are emphasized in the descrip-tions of Maiden Castle, and conveyed i n Thuella*s painting of i t (329) . In his description of Dud's reaction to Maiden Castle Powys apparently borrows an image from Hardy's story, "A Tryst at an Ancient Earthwork." Hardy's narrator sees the earth-work as an "enormous many-limbed organism of antediluvian time . . . l y i n g l i f e l e s s . . . " (1?4). To Dud the road to It goes as straight as i f t h i s mystical c i t y of Dunim, had been an antediluvian monster — a monster compared with whom Leviathan himself were but a field-mouse — whose long straight dragon's tongue lay supine as a s t r i p of seaweed so that the Beings i t Intended to swallow might advance at ease along i t , undeterred by any d i s t r a c t i o n from advancing to t h e i r doom. (230) He sees the earthwork i n other monstrous Images as well, as the s h e l l of the Kraken, or the "vast planetary Tortoise, upon whose curved back . . . rested the p i l l a r of creation," or "the mysterious nest of some gigantic jurasslc-age b i r d -dragon . . . even now hatching i t s portentous egg." (230) The metaphors a l l emphasize the si z e of Maiden Castle, and an 163 antiquity so great that i t seems timeless. They a l l suggest, too, a q u a l i t y of expectancy! we are waiting f o r the egg to hatch, the Kraken to f i n d i t s mate, and the dragon to swallow i t s prey. This q u a l i t y of expectancy i s important i n Uryen's conception of Maiden Castle, f o r he believes that at certain times the place i t s e l f comes to l i f e ( 1 ? 4 , 2 0 1 , 3 2 9 ) . Powys i may have derived the hint f o r t h i s theory, as w e l l , from Hardy's story. Hardy's narrator, approaching the place in the dark, finds that "the castle looms out o f f [ s l c j t n e shade by degrees, l i k e a thing waking up and asking what I want there." But the notion of a part of the landscape having a l i f e of i t s own i s found often enough l n both Hardy and Powys — i n the description of Egdon Heath at the of The Return of  the Native, f o r example, and i n John and Mr. Evans' recogni-t i o n that Stonehenge was "not quite dead" (A Glastonbury Romance, 8 2 ) . As Maiden Castle i s the centre of Uryen's fantasies about himself, based upon his recognition of l i v i n g , mystical powers stored within the earthwork, i t thus l i n k s the mytho-l o g i c a l preoccupations of the novel with the Dorset landscape which gives the novel so much of i t s texture and character. While the major landscape Images of Maiden Castle may w e l l be studied i n terms of t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l connotations, the novel i s less concerned with any one of them than with the portrayal of the town of Dorchester as a whole. Dud, the w r i t e r of h i s t o r i c a l romances, i s acutely aware both of the h i s t o r i c a l past witnessed by the streets and buildings of Dorchester and of the sights, sounds and smells which combine 164 to make the atmosphere of the modern town. As was Indicated e a r l i e r , Dorchester i s made v i v i d l y present i n every chapter of t h i s novel. An unusual e f f o r t has been made to indicate i t s a u r al atmosphere, and to show how the soundscape retains some noises which l i n k modem Dorchester with the past just as the old names and buildings do. This i s the subject of some of the novel's opening passages. Milk-carts made t h e i r pleasant c l a t t e r ; while the sound of the hoofs of the horses that drew these reassuring equipages, echoing between the walis, seemed to gather the centuries together with a f a m i l i a r continuity of unbroken t r a d i t i o n that was not disturbed when an occasional bus or car came down the s t r e e t . (15) Later when Dud i s described at his writing desk, looking at the old roofs of Dorchester, he becomes obsessed by the s p i r i t of the past. The sound of church b e l l s , and the various kinds of street t r a f f i c , a f f e c t him s i m i l a r l y , and the sound of human feet on the pavement impresses him with the poignancy of human history (112-14). On two occasions the sounds of the clock chiming In the Com Exchange tower (15) and the b e l l s of Fordington Church (113), respectively, suggest to Dud the "intimations of hope against hope" which through the centuries have enabled men to bear t h e i r personal tragedies. Through t h i s evocation of sound, the essence of Dorchester i s very lar g e l y conveyed. The newspaper vendor's cry of "Ech -of." and the Shakespearean cries of the l o c a l "funny man" evoke the street l i f e of a Dorchester evening (269-?0). 165 On a midsummer Sunday afternoon the town i s brought to l i f e i n terms of i t s sounds — the Salvation Army band, the laugh of an old gentleman, the tramp of sol d i e r s from the barracks, and the b e l l s of St. Peter's (341-43). The sounds of the town on a weekday at tea-time are s i m i l a r l y d etailed (409). The night sounds Dud hears from his bedroom are as c a r e f u l l y described as the morning ones were. How well he had come to know the f a m i l i a r noises of the night that entered that Friary-Lane bedroom! Intermittent they might be, but there was seldom an e n t i r e l y new one. The stamping of a strange horse i n the Kings' Arms stable, the cry of a wandering sea-bird come higher up the Frome than i t s wont, the hum of a voyaging airplane driven closer to the roofs of Dorchester than was t h e i r wont — such were the exceptions; but every night he could hear the long-drawn-out whistle of some heavy luggage-train as i t emerged from the Poundbury tunnel, every night he could hear certain p a r t i c u l a r human steps . . . that passed down Friary Lane between two and three i n the early morning; and f i n a l l y there were the harsh-sweet rook-cries at dawn, and the chattering of the sparrows above the Kings' Arms tap-room. (188) With the street sounds, Powys blends the sounds of nature, and p a r t i c u l a r l y the cries of bir d s . "The nesting rooks i n the high elms of Acland House garden were making a f i n e cawing, and into t h i s l e v e l of r u s t i c clamour the town-noises ascended l i k e voluble dust blending with a e r i a l orchestration" (199). Progress i s represented by the sound of the airplane, which gives so much pleasure to the o p t i m i s t i c Claudius but to which Dud decides he prefers the sound of the ducks. The airplane lacks f o r him the magical childhood associations which the 166 t r a i n whistle evokes (188, 2 3 6 ) . The f i n a l sound in the book i s that of the airplane, but again Dud rejects i t , affirming that "The future's not everything" (495). Dud i s often found sympathizing with natural sounds, ln opposition to other char-acters who f i n d t h e i r t h e orizing interrupted by them. He notes that "These people with fixed ideas can't bear i t when r e a l i t y barks or quacks at them" (251).^ The unfortunate Uryen i s not only barked at while he i s attempting to expound his mystical theories; he must compete at Maiden Castle with the outbursts of a lark, which emphasizes f o r Dud "what seemed to him the shocking grotesqueness of his father's t a l k " (247). The natural song of the larks makes nonsense out of Uryen's own attempts at s p i r i t u a l f l i g h t , and he "cast an almost savage glance towards the sky as i f the sun were d e l i b e r a t e l y p e l t i n g him with lark-music . . . " (251). Wizzle, too, i s i r r i t a t e d by the sound of the larks (377)» only Dud enjoys them, because he hears t h e i r song as the essence of l i f e rather than as a d i s t r a c t i o n from i t . Much more than Glastonbury, Weymouth or any of Powys' other towns, Dorchester i s imagined l n t h i s novel through i t s hist o r y . There are innumerable references to the past of Dorchester, to the history of various buildings, and to the way i n which the atmosphere of antiquity and continuity stimu-lates the imagination of the n o v e l i s t Dud. His creative work flourishes i n the "aura of t h i s old Roman-British town, with i t s layers upon layers of human memories, semi-historic and p r e h i s t o r i c . . . . " (112). Presumably Dorchester had a 16? somewhat s i m i l a r influence upon Powys himself, who f o r once was ac t u a l l y l i v i n g i n the town while he wrote about i t , and indeed shortly thereafter began to write h i s t o r i c a l novels. Certainly i t i s l n the past of Dorchester that Uryen finds his i n s p i r a t i o n , and although Dud i s equally attracted to the observation of nature and human nature l n the present, his work grows out of his sense of the past. Impressions from the past come to Dud ln a p a r t i c u l a r wayi they appear as " r e a l i t y caught under a purged l i g h t f a l l i n g on the less transient gestures of our race" (196) . It i s t h i s q u a l i t y of "winnowed r e a l i t y " which a t t r a c t s him i n Dorchester's vestiges of the past (see 3 9 0 ) . He i s interested less i n great events than i n ordinary human experience, i n monuments less than i n cottages and l i t t l e bridges (26 - 2 7 , 113) . Watching the circus near Maumbury Rings he muses on "the queer contin-ui t y of things" (29), that circuses should s t i l l be held where the Romans held them, but with t h e i r bloodthirsty q u a l i t i e s now so d r a s t i c a l l y diminished. The h i s t o r i c a l event with which Dud i s p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned i n Dorchester i s the execution of Mary Channing i n the eighteenth century, but his interest and observation are by no means confined to that century. Different h i s t o r i c a l periods and d i f f e r e n t attitudes to his t o r y are, however, represented in the novel. The Cast of Characters l i s t e d at the beginning of the book makes i t appar-ent at the outset that many- of these characters exist i n terms of t h e i r opinions and a t t i t u d e s , l i k e the people in a book by Thomas Love Peacock rather than plausible inhabitants of 168 a southern English town. Claudius idea l i z e s Dorchester's Roman past, and believes i n communism, science and progress. Teucer Wye i s a p l a t o n l s t and admires the Ideals of ancient Greece. His son Dumbell, on the other hand, i s a humourous caricature of a single-minded amateur s c i e n t i s t with no under-standing of the rest of l i f e . A shrewder man, though just as ignorant of c u l t u r a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l values, Mr. Cumber the newspaper magnate seeks to exploit the past; he i s interested not i n f i n d i n g the truth but l n obtaining popular a r t i c l e s f o r his newspapers. Although so many of these characters are created i n terms of p a r t i c u l a r attitudes to hi s t o r y and human experience, they do not remain merely mouthpieces f o r t h e i r own points of view. Teucer Wye and Claudius are both shown i n situations where they f i n d i t necessary to bend t h e i r philosophical p r i n c i p l e s to accommodate human needs. Despite t h e i r f a n t a s t i c and symbolic names, Dud No-Man and Uryen are much more complex characters than the others; but they too hold certain extreme positions which c o n f l i c t with each other's and with those of the other men. Dud, the h i s t o r i c a l n o v e l i s t and Uryen, the fanatic who makes his studies of myth and anthropology into a private r e l i g i o n with himself as i t s saviour-god, are two more examples of ways of approaching h i s t o r y . What i s perhaps most s i g n i f i c a n t about t h i s range of opinions, however, i s that Powys' characters govern t h e i r personal l i v e s according to t h e i r b e l i e f s . Claudius takes to manual labour, Teucer Wye preaches Plato to the holiday-makers at the excavation-site, 169 Dud l i t e r a l l y sees his environment almost e n t i r e l y ln terms of i t s h i s t o r i c a l connotations, and Uryen makes his C e l t i c researches the basis of his whole " l i f e - i l l u s i o n . " The episode where the major characters of Maiden Castle climb up the earthwork to view three images discovered i n recent excavations there shows the interaction of the various approaches to hist o r y and human experience which Powys' char-acters exemplify. The images are apparently representations of Caridwen, the Welsh earth or mother goddess, a headless male which may be the dark d i v i n i t y , and a beast figure, which even the unsympathetic Wizzie finds s i m i l a r to Dud's bed-post carving (373)• The women pronounce ho opinions about these statues, but are emotionally disturbed by them. Claudius and Teucer Wye dispute over whether the statues are Roman or Greek in o r i g i n . Dumbell uses Claudius' praise of Roman c i v i l i z a t i o n to proclaim his Fascist recognition of our need f o r a modern Caesar. Teucer Wye, the Pla t o n l s t , explains that "these precious discoveries must not bind us to earth" (37^) as they are merely "symbols of the soul, and of the soul's journey from one l e v e l of s p i r i t u a l beauty to another" and there i s nothing divine i n matter I t s e l f (367) . Only Uryen remains s i l e n t i n the presence of the images, his "massive lineaments . . . transformed by the Object on that rude wooden stand" (370) . He sees the statues as not only a subject f o r i n t e l -l e c t u a l debate, but as a confirmation of his own b e l i e f s about his Identity and the meaning of l i f e . While the male characters of Maiden Castle represent 170 various philosophical approaches to l i f e and the past, the women have a timeless q u a l i t y . They are e n t i r e l y taken up with t h e i r present l i v e s and make no self-conscious e f f o r t to place themselves within t h e i r own conceptions of the h i s t o r i c a l process. Wizzle i s i r r i t a t e d by Dud's delight l n the past and by his often clumsy attempts to make himself and Wizzle a part of i t . He l i k e s to walk down the Icen Way and discourse about i t ; he refers to himself as the Bronze Age captor of the Stone Age Wizzle; he wishes to have a bonfire to celebrate Midsummer Eve i n the old heathen way. A l l t h i s pretence, which i s at the heart of Dud's l i f e - i l l u s i o n , exasperates Wizzle, as she can not and w i l l not understand I t . 'They're a l l the same, these men! They can't take things as they are. They have to l i n k them up with what other men have done and said and fussed about i n the olden days. I'm getting sick of i t . * And with the weight of the burning sun on her head there came over her a f i e r c e revulsion against a l l these thick, crushing, heavy burdens of cruel a n t i q u i t y . (368) Dud i s l n many ways a caricature Of Powys himself, and he shares his creator's philosophical f l u i d i t y , scepticism, love of old, f a m i l i a r things and nature, and d i s t r u s t of "pro-gress." Other characters confide t h e i r theories to him, f o r he does not often openly contradict them, but neither Is he convinced by any of them. He i s openly h o s t i l e to his father's theories, f i n d i n g them bizarre and the physical presence of his father i s repugnant. The philosophy to which he clings Is a determination to hold to his own soul, his "Identity, i n the 171 midst of the flowing away, an i d e n t i t y that rested on what a l l the while was behind t h i s universal f l u x , " and a conviction that r e a l i t y l i e s within us, not outside us ( 4 8 5 ) . Although he rejects Claudius* ideas, Dud finds them troubling. Claudius believes i n science and progress, although he i s quite unlike the power-loving ma t e r i a l i s t s of e a r l i e r novels -- Mr. Homer, P h i l i p Crow and Dog Cattistock. Described as "a well-to-do a s c e t i c philanthropist with a passionate devotion to Communism" ( 13) , he demonstrates his f a i t h by him-s e l f becoming a manual labourer i t h i s s a c r i f i c e , and his resultant i l l n e s s , give him pathos and d i g n i t y , and make him much more than a mouthpiece f o r an h i s t o r i c a l a t t i t u d e . His Communism i s rooted i n a materialism abhorrent to Powys* own understanding of l i f e , but i t i s redeemed by i t s compassion f o r the poor. Claudius sees the past as serving the r a t i o n a l i s t i c , economic purposes of the present. Maiden Castle i s to be ex-cavated, f o r there are "large gaps . . . i n the h i s t o r y of Evolution that must be f i l l e d . . . . The more you know about what was, the f a s t e r you can create what w i l l be." (125-26) Claudius' attitude to Maiden Castle appears inadequate when set against the visionary approach of Uryen or even the imag-inati v e sympathy of Dud. He praises the s c i e n t i f i c s p i r i t of modem archaeology, "getting r i d of a l l the old romantic non-sense and studying the way our ancestors obtained t h e i r food-supply and t h e i r water-supply . . . " (164); he i s mistakenly convinced that the image and temple found on Maiden Castle are those of the respectable Roman goddess of wisdom. 172 Uryen*s r e t o r t t o Claudius i s perhaps the most c o n v i n c i n g speech he makes i n the n o v e l . While Claudius i s a t t r a c t e d to the Roman h i s t o r y o f Dorchester, i n i t s p r a c t i c a l and r a t i o n a l approach to l i f e , Uryen concerns h i m s e l f w i t h the r e l i g i o n of the yet e a r l i e r c i v i l i z a t i o n s which b u i l t Mai-Dun. He b e l i e v e s i n dark powers whose worship i n v o l v e s e r o s , s a c r i f i c e and s u f -f e r i n g , and which he a s s e r t s s t i l l manifest themselves both i n prophets l i k e h i m s e l f and i n such a n c i e n t worshipping p l a c e s as Mai-Dun. "They have l i f e i n them t h a t can be r e v i v e d " (167). The power w i t h i n him, he c l a i m s , i s "the o l d magic of the mind" (252); h i s a t t i t u d e t o the excavations i s t h a t "the t r u t h o f l i f e ' s i n the i m a g i n a t i o n , not i n ashes and urns" (250) . He f e e l s a d e s t i n y l a i d upon h i m s e l f "to reach the l i f e behind l i f e , " and came to t h i s knowledge of h i s t r u e nature through "fumbling about i n the r o o t s o f the past . . ." (249). No c a t a c l y s m i c event ever occurs to prove Uryen r i g h t , but the s t r e n g t h and i n d i v i d u a l i t y o f h i s nature i n s p i r e awe i n the o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s . His own l o s s of c o n v i c t i o n i n h i s l i f e - i l l u s i o n , which comes about as the r e s u l t of p u b l i s h i n g h i s t h e o r i e s , does not render the t h e o r i e s themselves imptent before the m a t e r i a l i s m of C l a u d i u s , the i d e a l i s m o f Teucer Wye o r the s c e p t i c i s m of Dud. One f e e l s t h a t Uryen, a g r e a t e r man than they, has attempted g r e a t e r t h i n g s and f a i l e d . Uryen i s the c e n t r a l f i g u r e to whom the m y t h o l o g i c a l r e f e r e n c e s o f Maiden C a s t l e are r e l a t e d . L i k e Geard and Mr. Evans o f A Glastonbury Romance, he i s engaged i n "a w i l d search f o r the l i f e behind l i f e " (496), and t h i s s e arch he 173 conducts by r e l a t i n g himself to certain fragments of old Welsh mythology as he and S i r John Rhys interpret them. Mythological a l l u s i o n s throughout the novel are often applied to characters other than Uryen, but ultimately they are t i e d together and given meaning i n his obsessions. Whatever meaning they are given, however, i s even less coherent and explicable than that of the Arthurian references i n A Glastonbury Romance. Basic-a l l y they r e f e r to Uryen*s hiraeth, his sense of another and greater r e a l i t y and his longing to break through into i t . Because of the antiquity of the Welsh materials, and t h e i r half-caught a l l u s i o n s to an otherworld whose threshold i s often crossed i n the legends, they appeal to Uryen, and Powys as well, as containing some secret of l i f e , some clue as to what may be the mysterious r i t e s of passage into that otherworld. The mythological images of Maiden Castle are r e l a t i v e l y few, i n comparison with those of A Glastonbury Romance t the major ones are the corpse-god, Dor-Marth — the heraldic beast or f a m i l i a r , f i r e , the cauldron or bowl, and the statuary found at Maiden Castle, including the Taurus Trigarnus. As well, there are peripheral references to characters other than Uryen i n terms of mythology. Thuella i s seen throughout as a lamia, a creature which has no d i r e c t p a r a l l e l i n Welsh myth-ology, but which well indicates the p e c u l i a r a t t r a c t i o n of the g i r l and her sometimes venomous nature (63, 64, 143, 202, 2 0 5 ) . ^ Her t h i n , l i t h e figure i s "an unhealthy d i s t o r t i o n , a deformity, a sickness of nature" (214). She i s also call e d Circe, f o r her a b i l i t y to charm people against t h e i r better 174 Judgements (67) . Yet l i k e Keats' Lamia, Thuella's treacherous beauty has pathos and can command much sympathy. Jenny, her s i s t e r , i s seen as another animal, a horse; Dud nicknames her the "Horse-head" because of her f a c i a l features, and compares her with an image of the great Phrygian Mother ( 9 7 ) . Although Powys does not mention t h i s , the C e l t i c goddess Epona i s a horse goddess.'' Jennie admires Wizzle i n i t i a l l y f o r her horse-manship, and encourages her not to give up her r i d i n g . Wizzie herself i s c a l l e d "a natural daughter . . . of the earth-goddess Caridwen" (364) , and her passion f o r Uryen i s compared to "the sacred stream that rose from the l i f e -giving Cauldron of Caridwen" (447) . Both references seem, however, to show how Uryen sees everything i n terms of myth-ology, rather than i n d i c a t i n g anything about Wizzie other than her earthy v i t a l i t y ; i n t h i s novel there i s no female equiva-lent to Caridwen i n the sense that Uryen and "Dor-Marth" cor-respond to the headless man and the beast statues found at Maiden Castle. More meaningful, i n an i r o n i c or sardonic way, are the comparisons of Dud to the Cerne Giant (26, 29 , 250, 268). Dud carries a s t i c k which resembles the club of the great figure carved i n p r e h i s t o r i c times out of the chalk downs north of Dorchester. But the Giant i s perpetually i n a state of p h a l l i c excitement which the impotent Dud never achieves. The dominant impression which Dud receives of Uryen at t h e i r f i r s t meeting i s of "a h a l f - v i t a l i z e d corpse, a being that 'but usurped' his l i f e , a seml-mortuus, an e n t i t y only 175 'half there'" (55). He i s a large man, but i s flabby and p a l l i d . He emits "a sweetish-sickly odour" which resembles "the smell of a corpse" (56). Later Dud wonders i f "the man's death-thoughts . . . produce an actual smell of death?" (253) . When he denounces Wizzie and Thuella, admitting the loss of his l i f e - i l l u s i o n , the features of his face lose t h e i r shape and become decomposed l i k e the face of a corpse (469). Seek-ing to break through the b a r r i e r between t h i s world and the otherworld, Uryen appropriates to himself a qu a l i t y of death-i n - l i f e . His lack of external v i t a l i t y i s perhaps a measure of the depth of his i n t e r i o r l i f e . Dud decides upon t h e i r second meeting that Uryen i s god-like as well as corpse-like, that he i s i n fact a rex semlmortuus or corpse-god such as he had read about " l n some work on the r e l i g i o n of the ancient C e l t s " 8 ( 166) . In Welsh history and legend, Urien of Rheged was a great Brythonic leader, praised l n the Book of T a l i e s i n and the Red o Book of Hergest. In a number of ways the description of Uryen In Maiden Castle corresponds to the account of Urien and his congeners, interpreted as euhemerized versions of the C e l t i c god of the underworld, given by S i r John Rhys i n Studies  ln the Arthurian Legend. This i s a work to which both Dud and Uryen himself make reference (115-16, 166, 252-54, 467), and from which Uryen evidently derived the notion that he was him-s e l f the dark d i v i n i t y , lord of Yr Echwydd. Rhys draws a p a r a l l e l between the head of Urien described in the englynlon of Llywarch Hen from the Red Book of Hergest. and the head of 176 Bran ln the Mablnogion, both of which heads were severed from their bodies. Dud is struck when he f i r s t meets Uryen by "the majestic proportions of his head;" his features are "nothing less than tremendous," and the head reminds Dud "of some gigan-t i c bust he had seen once . . . " (55) • Dud imagines the bust to have been Greek or Roman, but Rhys comments on the many monumental representations of the head of the sable divinity made familiar to us by Gaulish archaeology, 1 0 and i t would seem more li k e l y that the statue which Dud remembers was Celtic. Certainly, the emphasis laid by Powys on Uryen's great head, as distinct from his slovenly body, seems intended to suggest this attribute of the dark divinity discussed by Rhys (369-71). Another of the mythic Urien's attributes was a "black crow or raven on his breast"."''1 As the Welsh word for "crow is bran, Rhys postulates the identification of Urien with the god Bran who might have been so named because of a similar attribute. One of Enoch Quirm's bizarre notions is that "certain just distinguishable birth-marks or scaly disfigure-ments" (25^) on his own chest are the mark of the crow, "the seal of Uryen" (255, see also 2 5 8 ) . On the breast of the male statue found at Maiden Castle he sees similar markings, which Claudius thinks are armour but which Uryen takes as confirma-tion that the statue is a representation of the power of which he himself is an Incarnation (381). Urien and his congenor Uthr Ben are described by Rhys as being of swarthy complexion. Powys' Uryen is also dark-skinned (55, 5 6 ) . As in Rhys' mythology the dark divinity i s the foe 177 of the sun hero (259), so Uryen i s ho s t i l e to the sun. He casts savage glances at i t (251) and declares, "I've been the Power that's older than a l l t h i s damned sunshine, the Power that's older than a l l these new gods, the Power that's deepest of a l l , f or i t ' s got Death in i t as well as l i f e " (252) . The mythic Urien i s lord of i r Echwydd, land of twilight and i l l u s i o n . When he i s k i l l e d , his castles f a l l to the ground 12 and his realm i s exposed as the abode of desolation. Powys may well have had the collapse of Yr Echwydd, as Rhys relates i t , i n mind when he makes Glymes become uninhabitable immed-i a t e l y a f t e r Uryen's death (487) . Indeed, shortly thereafter a l l traces of the dwellings on that spot vanish, l i k e the van-ishing of the seven cantrevs of Dyved in the Mabinogi of Manawydan, whom Rhys also terms another dark d i v i n i t y r u l i n g 13 a realm under enchantment (53) . Uryen's obsessions are of course related to his Welsh background, and to his interest in Welsh l i t e r a t u r e . Struck by Nancy's assertion that half of the books in Uryen's study are in Welsh (154), Dud presses f o r further Information about the Welsh origins of the man to whom he already senses that he i s related, thus finding himself "a double-dyed Welshman." Wales i s i d e n t i f i e d l n this novel, as i t was in A Glastonbury  Roman ce, with supernatural knowledge and powers, with a mys-terious otherworld, and with the a f t e r l i f e . Most of the mythological images in the novel are related in some way to Wales. Maiden Castle was erected by the Britons who f l e d to Wales from the Saxonst the images found there are C e l t i c , not 178 Roman as Claudius mistakenly supposes (390) . Uryen l i v e s across a r i v e r ; t h i s may perhaps be equated with the waters crossed by the Welsh god Bran which Rhys sees as d i v i d i n g t h i s world and the abode of the dead. 1' 1 Most s i g n i f i c a n t of the mythological images, however, i s that of Dor-Marth and i t s companion, the heraldic beast heads which decorate the posts of the ancient bed which Dud inherited from his Welsh mother. He learns that these beast heads were carved also on the orna-mental gates of his ancestral estate i n Wales, which i s how they are pictured on the ottoman coyer which his mother worked. Their image recurs again In the beast statue unearthed i n the excavations at Maiden Castle described l n Chapter Eight. As an ancient C e l t i c cult object, the beast heads thus show a continuity of b e l i e f through several thousand years from the carving of the Mai-Dun image to Cornelia Smith's needlework version of i t . Both Uryen and Dud endow Dor-Marth with a personal iden-t i t y and a t t r i b u t e to i t some sort of psychic force» Uryen a f t e r his collapse displays a passionate attachment to i t (448-49, ^95)» and Dud imagines i t a d e v i l , taking on his own worst q u a l i t i e s and preying on Mona's corpse. Wizzie loathes i t (187, 448-49, 4 6 3 ) . Uryen links the bedpost heads to the cult of the ambiguous Welsh saint or god Derfel, whose worship became confused with that of his beast or f a m i l i a r (431-32) . Derfel and his horse as s i n i s t e r objects of an e r o t i c cult reappear i n Owen Glendower. The heraldic head i t s e l f becomes a f a m i l i a r f o r Uryen. "'It — He — I — always had some 179 creature that was the body of our longing, of our hlraeth. of our desire to break through and to pass — • " (449). When Uryen gives Dud the second head he grants Dud the knowledge of his paternity, and f u l f i l s a notion Dud had e a r l i e r had that his father might be "some great Welsh noble-man, who claimed to be descended from S i r Pellemore" (129, see 241-42). For Dud the beast heads also represent some sort of contact with the inanimate world, but he rejects Uryen's idea that they can be the means of breaking through to some further dimension of r e a l i t y . And the thought came t o him, as he contemplated t h e i r obscene b e a s t - f a c e s , t h a t a l l t h i s t a l k o f Enoch's about the prophets and t h e i r non-human • f a m i l i a r s ' a p p l i e d i n h i s own case to what he got out of the Inanimate. 'Yes,' he thought, ' t h a t ' s what you a r e , you two, you're a l l the Inanimates on e a r t h i n which man's l o v e - l o n g i n g l o s e s I t s e l f , and i n which i t f i n d s I t s e l f . There's not a s t i c k o r stone l n t h i s p l a c e i n t o which some l o n e l y s p i r i t hasn't poured the tragedy of h i s u n s a t i s f i e d d e s i r e . He thought t h i s 'groaning and t r a v a i l i n g ' o f the l o n g i n g i n us could break through the b a r r i e r . But th e r e i s no b a r r i e r ! We couldn't t h i n k of a b a r r i e r i f t h e r e weren't something i n us a l r e a d y o u t s i d e i t ! (493) At the b e g i n n i n g of the n o v e l Dud s p e c u l a t e s about the i d e n t i t y o f the bedpost head (17) . I t embodies f o r him both good and e v i l , but most of a l l a "F a u s t i a n ' d e s i r e ' t o penetrate and enjoy — even i n f o r b i d d e n d i r e c t i o n s — the huge mystery of the Cosmos" (18). As the n o v e l goes on, and Dud becomes more and more Involved l n the r e a l world (249, 2 6 l ) , the bedpost head takes on a more s i n i s t e r aspect as i t i s i d e n t i f i e d w i t h 180 "the brooding imagination of his childhood" (17)$ his curious re l a t i o n s h i p with his •Mona-wraith' (18, 103), and his pre-vious s o l i t a r y l i f e . He describes i t frequently as a monster or demon, and sees i t at one point as a sin-eater to himself (116-17). The beast head provides Powys with another occasion f o r an obscure a l l u s i o n to the theories of S i r John Rhys. Rhys finds a l i n k between the Questing Beast pursued by Pellenore in Malory, the hunting hound of Gwyn ap Nud, and a hound named Dormarth described l n the twelfth century Black Bood of  Carmarthen. He further finds an etymological source f o r "Dor-marth" i n old Welsh words f o r "door" and "death". Thus the 15 name may mean "Door of Death" or "Hunter of Dead Souls." When he f i r s t v i s i t s his family's graves i n the Dorchester cemetery Dud sees the beast head as a door of death. . . . between him and that fragment of l e v e l grass there hovered the f a m i l i a r bed-post with i t s heraldic head, and leaning against t h i s object there wavered dimly, as i f about to vanish forever through the wide gates of Hades, the form of his unravished maid. ( 3 D Nancy t e l l s Dud that we should v i s i t the graves of our dead in order to set them free (36), and Dud's v i s i t to Mona's grave does seem to have t h i s e f f e c t . Her wraith ceases to v i s i t him and he becomes involved instead with the l i v i n g . Presumably her s p i r i t did indeed pass through the gates into Hades. The gates of Hades i n the quotation may be i d e n t i f i e d 181 with the gateposts embroidered by the Welshwoman on the ottoman-cover, and the park-gates of the estate where she and Uryen l i v e d as children. If they are the "door of death," the estate which l i e s beyond them must be that otherworld, that Annwn, Hades or Yr Echwydd of which Uryen believes he i s l o r d . His b e l i e f i s thus given much j u s t i f i c a t i o n i f indeed he and Cornelia were, as he claims, descendents of the lords of that estate (241). If the Hound of Hades, the Questing Beast and Dud's bedpost heads are the same, then Uryen who owns the bed-posts i s Lord of Hades and also Malory's Pellenore who must follow the beast which i s his Quest, the "search f o r the l i f e behind l i f e " (496). As Derfel and his horse were confounded into one, so Uryen himself becomes the beast through which he seeks v i c a r -iously to break into the otherworld (495). At the outset Dud imagines him as a beast (58, see also 208). A f t e r his outburst to Wizzie and Thuella, as he crosses the ambiguous threshold between the two houses of Glymes Uryen drops to a l l fours, t e r r i f y i n g Wizzie. "Her fancy conjured up a s i n i s t e r connec-t i o n between the way he had hugged that e v i l thing [the beast head] and the way he had come down that passage" (474). She i s unable to r i d her mind of the image of the "huge beastlike figure on a l l fours advancing with such unnatural speed down that dim passage" (473-74), and imagines i t pursuing her for-ever down endless corridors. Dud too indulges l n a fantasy that Uryen i s "the l i v i n g incarnation of his mother's 'Questing Beast'" (145). While 182 l i s t e n i n g f o r the man to knock at the door on the threshold between the two Glymes houses, Dud finds the word "Dor-Marth" rushing into his brain, much as the Marquis of P. i n A Glastonbury Romance had found himself spontaneously utte r i n g the name "Caer S l d i . " Later he can not help muttering "Dor-Marth" as he follows Uryen across the same "unliv e l y threshold" (145-46). These associations of the Glymes door with the door of death or threshold of Hades support the suggestion that Glymes resembles Yr Echwydd i n f a l l i n g into d i s s o l u t i o n at the death of i t s dark lord (see above, 27-28). Uryen's death, seen through Dud's eyes, brings about f o r the tormented mystic the attainment of that f o r which he had apparently spent the l a s t part of his l i f e searching. Iron-i c a l l y , i t i s i n the course of nature, not through any s p i r i t u a l endeavour, that he passes indeed into the t w i l i g h t realm, and f o r once his son i s with him in a mood of sympathy and r e c e p t i v i t y . "The mysterious *yr Echwydd,' of which the man was always t a l k i n g , had no need now to be beseiged by violence*, It was here, i t was around them both, i t was them both, and a l l t h e i r accumulated experience with i t " (483). What Uryen a c t u a l l y achieves in death remains, l i k e the achievement of Geard, ambiguousi Powys does not purport, i n the context of a r e a l i s t i c novel, to decide the fate of a character's soul a f t e r death. Thus Uryen's expression i s one which Dud cannot in t e r p r e t . It would seem that the r e a l i t y to which Uryen f i n a l l y does break through i s one which transcends the neces-s i t y f o r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s and i l l u s i o n s . "I am . . . what I am. 183 So i t ' s a l l r i g h t , It doesn't matter" (484). The male figure found at Maiden Castle, as was suggested previously, confirms f o r Uryen his b e l i e f i n the early C e l t i c d i v i n i t i e s , and his sense of i d e n t i t y with them. When pressed by the Cumbers f o r an explanation of the headless figure, Uryen c r i e s desperately "He's the Devil'," (391) . And so he Is, Inasmuch as the C e l t i c lord of the Underworld corresponds to the Devi l of Christian mythology. Dud sees himself and his father symbolized i n another statue found previously at the earthwork — that of the Tauros Trigarnus, a b u l l with two human torsos impaled on i t s horns and a t h i r d on i t s t a i l . Uryen describes i t as one of the "visions of l i f e that suggest our being Impaled on the horns and t a i l of darkness" (167), and Dud imagines then that he hears his ancient bed creaking. The b u l l emblematizes f o r Dud his undesired connection with Uryen. In the scene at Maiden Castle where Dud i s forced against his w i l l to recognize Uryen as his father, he rebels against t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n of likeness and attr i b u t e s to the Powers of Mai-Dun a malevolent wish to fuse the two men together. "Was that what was meant by that h o r r i b l e 'votive o f f e r i n g ' of the men impaled on the b u l l ? " (249, see also 257) . The Ce l t i c dark d i v i n i t y of whom Uryen believes himself to be a reincarnation i s i d e n t i f i e d by Rhys with the b u l l . 1 ^ These images, derived from Rhys and C e l t i c myth, of the r i v e r , the p r e h i s t o r i c f o r t with i t s c u l t i c mysteries, the corpse god and the Door of Death are a l l related to the central obsession of the novel with death, the a f t e r l i f e , and the 184 borders between th i s world and another, s p i r i t u a l or Cimmerian world, Uryen's e f f o r t to penetrate the mysteries of the other-world takes other forms as well, notably his herbalism, and his attempts to use the a t t r a c t i o n of Thuella to Wizzle, cul-minating i n t h e i r wild rush through the embers of the Midsummer bonfire. Uryen i s a s k i l l e d h e r b a l i s t , and i s able to relieve his wife's heart condition. At Thuella's "cloud-party" on Candlemas Evening, he prepares a brew with elderberry wine which seems to cast an enchantment over the party s i m i l a r to that cast by Mother Legge's Brldgewater Punch i n A Glastonbury  Romance. Uryen appears as a sorcerer, bending over his magic bowl, with Thuella as some sort of witch or attendant s p i r i t . The wine a f f e c t s everyone at the party ( l66)s i t i s "more deeply coloured as well as more heavily scented than any wine he had ever tasted . . . " (161). The mixing of the wine i s accompanied by the r i s i n g of a strange wind, predicted by Uryen and referred to by the Glymes people as t h e i r "ghost wind." It makes an uncanny sound; Dud hears i t "with the kind of shock that our animal nature receives when i t touches the Unknown" ( 158) . Reputed to have followed Uryen from Shaftesbury, as the wind evidently follows him home from Mai-Dun, t h i s strange noise of the "ghost wind" i s another of the peculiar a t t r i b u t e s of Uryen which can be explained r a t i o n a l l y but which Powys gathers to form a mysterious aura about his troubled prophet. There are many images of f i r e In Maiden Castle. Among the Indoor f i r e s are those i n Dud's room which are to him 185 "the landscape of his heart's desire" (23) , the f i r e s in the rooms of Claudius and Uryen when they are i l l , and the f i r e in Jenny's stove into which Teucer Wye h e r o i c a l l y casts his Plato i n an e f f o r t to persuade Jenny that human love i s of greater value than abstract p r i n c i p l e s (415-16). Dud and Uryen l i g h t a lantern l n the barn where Uryen symbolically restores to Dud the beast head of his patrimony: Dud's clumsiness causes Uryen to cry out against the p o s s i b i l i t y of f i r e (170-71). Candlemas, the day on which t h i s encounter takes place, i s a f e s t i v a l associated with f i r e l i g h t . The culminating f i r e image of the book i s the bonfire b u i l t by Dud at Maiden Castle on Midsummer's Eve. Everyone present responds to the f i r e : the men theorize over i t s symbolism, and the women react in a more emotional way. Even the r a t i o n a l i s t Claudius i s struck by the "weird struggle between sun and f i r e " (380) as Mai-Dun l i f t s up as i t must have done over four thousand years before in the time of the Images "the work of the fire-substance produced by man, towards the f a r - o f f l i v i n g body of the great-est fire-mystery we know" (383) . Uryen passes through the f i r e with the two g i r l s , an act reminiscent of the C e l t i c r i t u a l s of Beltane and Samhain when passage through f i r e s s i g -n i f i e d t r a n s i t i o n to the otherworld. Disturbed by the strange sight of the flames in sunlight, the bonfire watchers f i n d themselves magnetically united in a surge of h o s t i l i t y against Dud. Powys supposes that had they been contemporaries of the makers of the images found in 186 Maiden Castle, they would have flung Dud into his own flames (38?). He becomes f o r a few minutes the scapegoat of the group; the attack on him i s a muted modern version of the human s a c r i f i c e s formerly held at Mai-Dun, just as the circus had been seen by Dud as a tamer version of the old Roman ones. This picture of Dud as discomfitted v i c t i m and scapegoat i s a central one to the int e r p r e t a t i o n of Maiden Castle. The use of myth i n the novel, and the meaning of the novel as a whole, must be understood i n terms of the s a t i r i c s e l f -projection which i s i t s motive force. Like Dud, Powys had recently come to l i v e l n Dorchester, a town with many family associations, and was attempting to write a novel which drew upon the h i s t o r i c a l background of the place. Dud's clumsiness, his devotion to his sensations, his manias f o r the past and fo r certain f a m i l i a r objects, his hatred of cruelty and v i v i -section, his walking-sticks, his botanical enthusiasms and his avoidance of the normal human forms of self-defence are a l l q u a l i t i e s unsparingly analysed by Powys himself i n his Auto-biography. In the figure of Dud these q u a l i t i e s are pushed further, to the point of caricature; his name from the outset Implies a s a t i r i c a l approach. In his more hapless moments, and e s p e c i a l l y when we see him from Wizzie's point of view, Dud No-Man resembles a J.C. Powys p o r t r a i t by Louis Wilkinson — p a r t i c u l a r l y the Jack Welsh of The Buffoon. Although he loves f i r e s , Dud i s "the worst maker of f i r e s in Dorset. He had no notion of the natural laws that regulate t h i s Promethean a c t i v i t y and a f t e r ten years of blundering he s t i l l made the 187 same mistakes" ( 2 3 ) . This i s t y p i c a l of the tone taken by the novel to Dud; the author treats him with sympathy and humour, but as something of a f o o l . His attitudes and i l l u -sions are constantly being undercut. His d i g n i t y i s never spared; we see into his e f f o r t s to r a t i o n a l i z e , to deceive himself, to i d e a l i z e his motives (20, 173) . He appears as c h i l d i s h , even babyish ( 3 8 6 , 4 3 9 ) . His g i r l leaves him, his novel i s rejected, t h i r d - r a t e blackmailers take a l l his money. If the f o i b l e s of Dud are shown l i t t l e mercy, Uryen i s made not only very eccentric but p h y s i c a l l y repulsive. As the mythological a l l u s i o n s of the novel centre around him, i t i s Important to decide how f a r he, too, i s a s a t i r i c s e l f - p r o j e c -t i o n of the author. Like Powys, he i s fascinated by the mythological theories of S i r John Rhys, and he pores as Powys did over obscure Welsh texts. He bears less physical resem-blance to Powys than his son does, but his obeisances at Maiden Castle r e c a l l those Powys describes himself performing on his morning walks (Autobiography. 5 8 7 ) . Certainly his obsession with Welsh myth, and his i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of himself with what he reads, are extreme versions of Powys' own tendencies. But Uryen's s p i r i t u a l e f f o r t s evidently come to nothing. He i s unable to gain even the respect of his son for them, and the two g i r l s who do admire him make no attempt to understand his ideas. He i s treated with universal Incomprehension or d i s b e l i e f . He eventually doubts himself, and so collapses along with his l i f e - i l l u s i o n . Those around him agree that i t was w r i t i n g f o r the newspapers, the declaration to the world 188 of his private and deeply-felt ideas, which caused him to doubt them himself and f e e l himself betrayed. Like Uryen, Powys in Maiden Castle exposes himself and his l i f e - i l l u s i o n s i n p r i n t . But l n order to protect himself from the type of reaction Uryen experienced, he becomes his own s a t i r i s t and c r i t i c . Dud's e c c e n t r i c i t i e s and s e l f i s h -ness are openly derided by the other characters. Uryen's Welsh and mythological obsessions are i n turn scorned by Duds i they are exaggerated and grotesque, beyond any dramatic pos-ture which Powys himself ever assumed. The scene at Maiden Castle i n Chapter Five shows the father declaiming his deepest b e l i e f s and l i f e i l l u s i o n s to a son who rejects and mocks them. The scene has no r e a l p a r a l l e l i n the rel a t i o n s h i p of Powys with his own father* rather, i t seems to be a confrontation between two d i f f e r e n t aspects of Powys' own nature. The future author of Obstinate Cymric and demonstrative worshipper of stones i s observed with the cool and s c e p t i c a l eye of the other side of his personality. Maiden Castle i s a novel rooted in self-mockery and doubt. Characterization l n the book, p a r t i c u l a r l y the mythological associations of Uryen, can only be understood through a recognition that Powys has here been c a l l i n g out a l l of his own fantasies, including his dalliance with Platonism and Communism, and exposing t h e i r f o l l i e s himself. Nevertheless, although Dud and Uryen are mocked, there i s throughout the book an undertone of serious respect f o r t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y . Even the delusions of Uryen have some 189 tangible evidence to support them; both he and Dud a t t r a c t the other characters, and hold them by the force of t h e i r o r i g i n a l ideas and p e r s o n a l i t i e s . At t h i s middle period of his l i f e , when he returns to England a f t e r three decades i n America, Powys seems to doubt and c r i t i c i z e himself i n many ways. Maiden Castle can be seen, with the Autobiography which appeared two years before, as a defensive acknowledgement of those q u a l i t i e s l n himself which c r i t i c s were most l i k e l y to r i d i -cule. But he retains the conviction of his childhood, the f e e l i n g that he i s a magician "with a l i v i n g power over matter and over nature" (Autobiography, 11), and the knowledge that "the truth of l i f e ' s i n the imagination, not i n ashes and urns I" (Maiden Castle, 250). It i s not s u r p r i s i n g that the hero of the next novel to be studied, Owen Glendower, i s a magician himself. The key to the ambiguous problem of Uryen's claims i s to be found i n one of the passages of the Autobiog-raphy i n which Powys describes his b e l i e f i n his magical powers. "What I f e e l now, and with what seems to me my very deepest i n t e l l e c t , i s that any imaginative i l l u s i o n by which a person h a l f l i v e s any mythology i n which a person half believes i s truer, ' i n the only sense in which truth matters,' than the most authenticated s c i e n t i f i c f a c t s " ( 6 l ) . 190 Chapter Six* Footnotes 1 Thomas Hardy, "A -Tryst l n an Ancient Earthwork," A Changed Man (Londont Macmillan, 1913). 2 G. Wilson Knight, Saturnlan Quest, p. 51; Elwin, Prefatory Note to Maiden "Castle (Londont Macdonald, 1966). 3 Rhys, Studies. p. 157, see also p. 56 . ^ Hardy, "A Tryst," p. 175. 5 There are three disruptive t e r r i e r s in Maiden Castle» the b i t c h t e r r i e r who detects Thuella*s presence at the scummy pond, the Scotch t e r r i e r who disturbs Uryen's revelations at Maiden Castle, and the I r i s h t e r r i e r who barks at the Maiden Castle statues. ^ Powys was a great admirer of Keats and wrote a book (unpublished) on him; the lamia and the Cronos figures which recur i n Powys* novels may show the influence of Keats. •7 See Proinsias MacCana, C e l t i c Mythology (Londoni Hamlyn, 1970), pp. 55, 8 3 . 8 The work presumably was Rhys, Studies. p. 257. 9 Thomas Parry, A History of Welsh Literature, trans. Idris B e l l (Oxfordt Clarendon Press, 1955), PP. 1 - 3 , 15, 16. 1 0 Rhys, Studies, p. 256. 1 1 Ibid., p. 256. ^ 2 Rhys, Studies, 259, see also the account from the Prologue to Chretien's Conte du Graal about the disappearance of the court of the Rich Fisher and the wasteland which replaced i t , which Rhys suggests may contain "an undertone of mourning over the decadence of the c u l t of the chthonlc d i v i n i t i e s , " Studies. 247. x 3 See Rhys, Studies, pp. 291, 295. 1^ Ibid., pp. 249-50, see also pp. 56, 157. ^ I b i d . , pp. 15^-58, see Maiden C a s t l e , pp. 114-16. I 6 I b i d . , p. 243. 191 Chapter Seven "The Past i s the E t e r n a l " i Owen Glendower Although published only four years a f t e r the very personal and introverted Maiden Castle. Owen Glendower i s probably the least subjective of Powys' novels. The two male protagonists of Owen Glendower are placed again i n what amounts to a father-son r e l a t i o n s h i p , as they were in Maiden Castle, and to some extent they may be considered as representing the p o l a r i t i e s of mysticism and rationalism. But there i s v i r t u a l l y nc para-l l e l between the relat i o n s h i p of Rhisiart to Owen and that of Powys with his own father. Neither Rhisiart nor Owen i s a s e l f - p o r t r a i t of Powys: Rhisiart's self-confidence, p o l i t i c a l ambitions and Norman legalism d i s t i n g u i s h him from the t y p i c a l "Powys-hero" -- the wavering and neurotic Adrian Sorio, Rook Ashover, Wolf Solent, John Crow, Magnus Muir and Dud NoMan — and the occult interests of Uryen bear more s i m i l a r i t y to those of Powys than the c r y s t a l b a l l gazing and other necromantic practices of Owen do. Distant i n time and space from the world of Powys' boyhood, Owen Glendower contains fewer autobiograph-i c a l elements than any of the preceding novels. It i s thus better able to stand as an independent work, requiring less p r i o r acquaintance with i t s author's personality and theories. One reason f o r the comparatively objective character of Owen Glendower i s , of course, i t s h i s t o r i c a l s e t t i n g . The increasing concern with the h i s t o r i c a l and legendary past which Powys demonstrated i n Maiden Castle determines the 192 h i s t o r i c a l character of most of his subsequent f i c t i o n . The distancing of his characters from the modern world, and the necessity of imagining them in such a d i f f e r e n t frame of ref e r -ence, evidently a s s i s t s Powys to abstract himself from them. Famlliary themes and psychological t r a i t s are carried over from Powys' Wessex novels — sadism, v i v i s e c t i o n , the cult of sensations but the p o l i t i c a l , diplomatic, n a t i o n a l i s t and even r e l i g i o u s ambitions of the characters are quite a new sort of area f o r Powys to exert his powers of psychological penetration upon; these new subjects and themes are imposed by the choice of h i s t o r i c a l material. A further influence towards o b j e c t i v i t y i n Owen Glendower i s i t s geographical s e t t i n g . A l l of Powys' novels up u n t i l now, with the exception of Rodmoor, describe the Dorset and South Somerset landscapes of t h e i r author's boyhood. Even Rodmoor i s concerned with an area f a m i l i a r to Powys as a c h i l d . Thus memory and recollected emotion play a large part in the recreation of these landscapes. When Powys went to l i v e i n Wales, i n 1 9 3 ^ , he moved to an area which in terms of his actual experience was completely u n f a m i l i a r i the landscapes bore l i t t l e resemblance to those of Wessex, and the people were of another r a c i a l character altogether. Like R h i s i a r t , Powys had since his youth made Wales the centre of his aspira-ti o n s , fantasies, and his private myth of who he was. But only l n t h i s very cerebral sense could Wales be considered his home. The process of adjustment to l i v i n g i n Wales, of recon-c i l i n g the i d e a l with the actual, must often have been 193 d i f f i c u l t ; t h e r e i s u n d o u b t e d l y an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l element i n Powys' account of R h i s i a r t ' s d i f f i c u l t i e s i n a d a p t i n g t o t h e l a n d of h i s f a t h e r s . But c e r t a i n l y the change from a l a n d s c a p e f i l l e d w i t h p e r s o n a l memories t o one charged i n s t e a d by i d e a s d e r i v e d from r e a d i n g and i m a g i n a t i o n encouraged Powys i n h i s detachment and o b j e c t i v i t y towards h i s new sub-j e c t m a t t e r . T h i s detachment, so d i f f e r e n t from the i n t r o v e r t e d and p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r of Maiden C a s t l e , i s one n o t i c e a b l e q u a l -i t y o f the new n o v e l e f f e c t e d by i t s Welsh and h i s t o r i c a l s e t t i n g . A n o t h e r i s the v a r i e t y i t a c h i e v e s — i n p e r s o n a l -i t i e s , o p i n i o n s , c o l o u r s , s e t t i n g s . Only A G l a s t o n b u r y  Romance i s r i c h e r i n t h e v a r i e t y of i t s c h a r a c t e r s , and i n Owen Glendower t h e i r p h y s i c a l appearance i s more v i v i d l y evoked t h r o u g h c o l o u r f u l v i s u a l d e s c r i p t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y o f eyes and h a i r . Most i m p o r t a n t , f o r the f i r s t t i me i n Powys t h e n o v e l i s not c e n t e r e d i n one p a r t i c u l a r l o c a t i o n . I n s t e a d , i t s scenes t a k e p l a c e i n y e t o t h e r , s l i g h t l y des-c r i b e d , a r e a s o f England and Wales. The reason f o r t h i s change of scene i s a t l e a s t p a r t l y h i s t o r i c a l . Powys was concerned t o d e s c r i b e Owen's r e b e l l i o n , and t o show changes i n t h e c h a r a c t e r s of h i s p r i n c i p a l f i g u r e s o v e r some y e a r s ; thus t o e n f o r c e a u n i t y o f p l a c e upon the m a t e r i a l of h i s n o v e l would have been an e x c e e d i n g l y a r t i f i c i a l and r e s t r i c t i v e d e v i c e . The wide time span, l i k e t h e v a r i e d l a n d s c a p e s o f t h e n o v e l , marks a change from the t e c h n i q u e o f Powys' p r e v i o u s n o v e l s . 194 VJhile no one s e t t i n g i n Owen Glendower has quite the sustained atmospheric power which i s conveyed by the landscapes of A Glastonbury Romance, Weymouth Sands and Porius, the varied landscapes of Owen Glendower are in keeping with the kind of h i s t o r i c a l overview of the period and s i t u a t i o n which Powys i s t r y i n g to present. By moving from place to place about Wales and the borders Powys conveys a sense of what did constitute Wales i n the f i f t e e n t h century, just as the curious personages about Owen's court convey a sense of the variety of Welsh s o c i a l and psychological types. Variety i s i n a sense part of Powy's o b j e c t i v i t y here: no one atmosphere i s allowed to dominate. The variety of landscapes in Owen Glendower results in a somewhat d i f f e r e n t sort of use of landscape symbolism. In the preceding novels, with t h e i r single settings, i n d i v i d u a l elements of the landscape took on symbolic properties. In Wood and Stone the two h i l l s represented Power and S a c r i f i c e , and the thorny wood was a tangible symbol of Clavering's temptation and confusion. A more complex use of the tech-nique developed the legendary connotations of d i f f e r e n t s i t e s around Glastonbury and t h e i r modern p a r a l l e l s . In Owen  Glendower, however, i t i s not i n d i v i d u a l elements of a land-scape but the landscape as a whole which takes on a s p e c i f i c symbolism. The settings of Dlnas Bran and Myndd-y-Gaer repre-sent contrasting aspects of human experience, as do the I 195 Forests of Tywyn and Harlech. The ef f e c t of imbuing an entire landscape with a p a r t i c u l a r symbolic value i s unlike that obtained by attaching symbolism to various elements within a single landscape. Powys attempted a combination of the two techniques l n A Glastonbury Romance, as he entered hazy, mystic Glastonbury by way of the less compromising Northwold and Stonehenge, and then developed the mythic associations of various s i t e s within Glastonbury i t s e l f . But whereas the two preliminary settings of A Glastonbury Romance are i n t r o -duced f o r purposes of preparation and contrast only, the various settings of Owen Glendower are more equally weighted against each other. Different places represent d i f f e r e n t attitudes to l i f e , or d i f f e r e n t strains within the national character. Since Owen Glendower i s concerned with Wales conceived as a united and independent e n t i t y , t h i s new treatment of landscape seems p a r t i c u l a r l y appropriate* various physical aspects of the country, from north to south and east to west, can be presented i n terms of t h e i r auras, t h e i r h i s t o r i e s and t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r myths. In t h i s chapter the mythological all u s i o n s w i l l be studied c h i e f l y i n the context of the p a r t i c -u l a r landscape s e t t i n g l n which they occur, since i t s legendary associations are an i n t r i n s i c part of the atmosphere of each place, while at the same time the great Welsh myths are a common heritage of a l l parts of the country and l i n k them to-gether. Powys t r i e s to make his account of Owen a symbol f o r a l l of Wales, l i k e the Pendragon chant which draws together 196 the d i f f e r e n t elements of the nation as i t c a l l s upon "a past so high and remote that a l l modern d i v i s i o n s and dissensions were lo s t i n the unity of i t s ancestral grandeur" ( ? 0 5 ) . The f i r s t , and perhaps the major, landscape symbol i n Owen Glendower i s the half-ruined castle of Dinas Bran. The castle has a s t r i k i n g and romantic location on the summit of one of those cone-shaped h i l l s which p a r t i c u l a r l y seized Powys' imagination. Dinas Bran was a h i l l f o r t before i t was a cast l e , and guarded the upper waters of the sacred r i v e r Dyfrdwy. 1 It i s i n the heart of the ancient princedom of Powys, from whose rulers Owen Glendower was descended. Powys draws upon several legends in his presentation of Dinas Bran. The castle takes i t s name from the C e l t i c god Bran, who figures often among the mythological a l l u s i o n s in t h i s novel. The name also means i n Welsh "the crow". Dinas Bran i s the s i t e of the romantic legend of the Princess Myfanwy, whose lover was murdered by her jealous husband. In the novel the lover's skeleton i s purportedly s t i l l chained at the foot of the Ladies' Tower. F i n a l l y , the castle has a private s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r Rhisiart i n that one of his own ancestors had betrayed i t to the English. It i s a symbol of Rhisiart's aspirations that Dinas Bran appears i n the novel. While the Bran legends do not mean as much to him as they do to Owen, Rhisiart's adolescent fantasies centre around his rela t i o n s h i p to the c a s t l e . He sees himself as defending and rescuing the Princess Myfanwy, and as redeem-ing his family's honour which was stained by the treachery of 197 his ancestor. When Rhlslart comes to Wales, Dinas Bran i s the central symbol of his l i f e - i l l u s i o n , the "mystic terminus of every v i s t a of his imagination" ( 9 ) . As the novel opens, his attitude to the castle i s that of a very young man -- romantic, i d e a l i s t i c , rather conceited, and vague about his actual pur-poses. The te s t i n g , maturing and mellowing of Rhisiart i s i l l u s t r a t e d through his changing rela t i o n s h i p to the c a s t l e . The towers of Dinas Bran preside over the te s t i n g of Rhisiart on several d i f f e r e n t occasions, including his attempts to rescue Huw, Tegolln and Simon and to r e s i s t the lures of Lowri and the Tower l a d i e s . When he f i n a l l y enters the castle, he does so not as a conqueror but as a hostage; a closer acquaintance with the castle and.its denizens makes Rhisiart r e a l i z e his l i m i t a t i o n s as a m i l i t a r y hero. Nonetheless, a genuine courage and s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e are proved i n the drawing of his sword to defend Huw, his re f u s a l to abnegate his masculine w i l l to the wishes of the Tower la d i e s , and his escape from the castle with Owen. These episodes, and his experiences with Lowri, indicate the t r a i t s which are to develop i n the mature Rh i s i a r t . Although raised outside Wales, Rhisiart has a profound sense of being a Welshman, and his f e e l i n g f o r Wales i s at f i r s t centred upon the image of Dinas Bran which he has cher-ished since childhood. At the opening of the novel considerable tension i s generated by his apprehension that the r e a l i t y of Dinas Bran may prove less s a t i s f y i n g than the id e a l image on which his imagination had been nourished. That i t does not 198 may be i n part due to the obvious l i m i t a t i o n s of that imagin-ation, and also i n part the fortunate accident of season and l i g h t which casts a glamour over the h i l l f o r t r e s s . In a moment of awed recognition, Rhisiart finds that Dinas Bran was "not l e s s , i t was more, than the picture he had i n his mind" (12). This f i r s t sight of the castle enables him to fuse f o r a moment the i d e a l with the act u a l . The tension between the seen and the unseen, the material and the s p i r i t u a l , i s to become a major theme of Owen Glendower, developed more drama-t i c a l l y i n the struggles of Owen himself. But f o r the moment of Rhisiart's v i s i o n the tension i s resolved, and the possi-b i l i t y of such a resolution, however momentary, illuminates the s p i r i t u a l struggles of the rest of the novel. The castle becomes an archetype "of a l l the refuges and a l l the sanctu-aries of the s p i r i t , untouched by time" (12). When Rhisiart goes to l i v e as a hostage i n Dinas Bran, his i d e a l castle separates i t s e l f once more from the r e a l i t y . The imaginary one l i f t e d i t s e l f clean out of th i s draughty mad-house of broken stones . . . and limned i t s e l f on those f l y i n g cloud-wracks of the mind's horizon that no madness could touch and no burning blacken. (261) Dinas Bran i s the home of Lowri, a Circean and serpentine woman (60, 64, 68, 249) who causes Rhisiart to i d e n t i f y the f i r e s of Dinas Bran with the burning of l u s t (254-259). The i n t e r i o r of the castle appears to him as a labyrinth, a "vast, Int r i c a t e world of masonry" (258), where many choices are 199 offered him and snares l a i d f o r him. Although by an exertion of his w i l l Rhisiart i s able to maintain his l i b e r t y from Luned and the c i r c l e of F f r a i d ferch Gloyw, he escapes Lowri only by luck. Before he enters the castle he has a v i s i o n of Owen, blending into the figure of Bran the Blessed, who of f e r s him "an alternate destiny" to that of the followers of Derfel — Iolo Goch, Crach and Rhys Gethin (257) . But Rhisiart finds Bran-worship, as practised in the Ladies' Tower, too cloying; neither i s he attracted by the extremities of the Derfel c u l t . "He r e c a l l e d how clear and simple his purpose had been when he dug his crusader's sword into the t u r f at his f i r s t sight of Dinas Bran. 'Something's gone wrong with me,' he said to him-s e l f . 'These women have confused my mind'" (299) . Rhisiart at one point has a v i s i o n of Dinas Bran as i s o -lated from the rest of the world, and "not as s o l i d l y material as other places" (275) . Like Glastonbury, i t appears as one of those s i t e s of continued disturbance of the human s p i r i t , a place i n which matter i s malleable by the mind (275). Its towers appear at the close of Owen Glendower l i k e the towers of Cybele at the end of A Glastonbury Romance, "magical and majestic" (931), to the Rhisiart who now knows "with Welsh knowledge that the things which are seen are unessential com-pared with the things that are unseen" (934) . Before Rh i s i a r t meets Owen Glendower, he wonders i f t h i s prince might be "the man of destiny who would people with free warriors — l i k e f i e r y shapes from a vasty deep — the towering battlements of the old castle of t h e i r race" ( 1 0 ) . 200 When the meeting does come about, Owen "took his place, e a s i l y , n a t u r a l l y and with a f a t a l inevitableness, on the ramparts of Dinas Bran and gathered into himself t h e i r mystic enchantment (122) . R h i s i a r t ' s f e e l i n g f o r Dinas Bran, as the object of his personal l o y a l t y and symbol of Wales, i s transferred to the person of Owen. Later, Rhisiart's love f o r Catherine i s referred to as "his new Dinas Bran" (501) . Thus although Dinas Bran does p e r i o d i c a l l y re-enter the narrative as a symbol of a s p i r i t u a l i d e a l , a f t e r the f i r s t few chapters i t s symbolic force i s taken over by the l i v i n g figures of Owen and his daughter. In t h i s way, Rh i s i a r t resembles Dud, who i s attracted to an i d e a l i z e d place and then i s drawn almost against his w i l l into the l i v e s of i t s Inhabitants. Glyndyfrdwy, the stronghold where Rhisiart f i r s t finds Glendower and his family, i s b u i l t around an ancient mound. The mound may be seen as a smaller version of the conical h i l l which i s such an important feature of the Powysian landscape. Powys describes these "gorsedd" mounds, r e l i c s of a very early C e l t i c or p r e - C e l t i c culture, as "centres i n Wales, as doubt-less in ancient Greece, of mystical entombings f o r the dead and of magic enchantments f o r the l i v i n g " (112). They appear in Welsh mythology as places of t r a n s i t i o n between th i s world and the otherworld; such, f o r example, i s Gorsedd Arberth where Rhiannon appears to Pwyll in the f i r s t t a l e of the Mabinogion. In t h i s novel other such mounds are mentioned at Llangollen, Sycharth, Mathrafal, Tywyn, Narberth and Mynydd-y-Gaer. It i s the mound at Glyndyfrdwy which i s the most important here, 201 however, because through i t Rhisiart receives early intimations of the occult forces upon which Glendower can draw, and exper-iences something of the primitive sensation of supernatural awe which i s part of his heritage as a Welshman (see 131-32, 9 3 4 ) . The mound seems to be connected with Derfel, a pagan f e r t i l i t y god: mysterious moaning sounds issue from i t , which are taken by spme to be Derfel c a l l i n g f o r a new bride (210). Owen was once compelled to act the part of Derfel inside the mound ( 3 9 7 ) i and while l i s t e n i n g f o r the moans Meredith con-fesses that his father i s believed by his family to have com-mitted himself to Derfel (205) . At the end of the novel Owen explains that the mound at Glyndyfrdwy covered one of the "indestructible and indiscoverable" hiding places of the ancient race which preceded Cunedda and the Brythons i n Wales ( 8 8 2 - 8 3 ) . Owen makes the underground dwellings of these early peoples into a metaphor f o r the s p i r i t u a l sinking of the Welsh race Into i t s past and the depths of i t s own soul: t h i s theme i s developed more f u l l y l n the context of Mathrafal and Mynydd-y-Gaer. The Forests of Tywyn provide f o r R h i s i a r t , as Dinas Bran did, a kind of t e s t i n g ground. Like Dinas Bran, the forests are labyrinthine and Rhisiart fears to lose his way, to take the wrong turning ( 5 9 9 ) . The danger of Tywyn comes not from the lusts of a Lowri or the seductive influence of a Ladies' Tower but from the f a t a l p a s s i v i t y and hopelessness which i t s vegetation seems to exude. Famous f o r i t s funguses, with t h e i r mortuary odour, and f o r a perpetually autumnal atmosphere, 202 the Forests of Tywyn are "well adapted to suck the l i f e out of young hearts" (601). The elusive and stunted Elllw ferch Rhys i s " t h e i r natural and congenital o f f s p r i n g " (601). Among these forests Rhisiart loses h is usual Norman capacity f o r decisive action, and with i t loses the g i r l he loves. The forests are in South Wales, which i s seen, as Glastonbury was, to be a place of t w i l i g h t and i l l u s i o n ; t h e i r atmosphere i s congenial to Owen but a l i e n to Rh i s i a r t , who prefers the heroic, c h i v a l -r i c t r a d i t i o n s of the North to the mystic glamour of the South (563-64). Powys describes these forests as the p a r t i c u l a r home of the ancient forest people, who f l e d to t h e i r shadows from the conquering Brythons. What Owen conceives to be the l i f e secret of the ancient peoples, and what he himself incor-porates into his own f i n a l v i s i o n of Wales' destiny, i s the es s e n t i a l s p i r i t of Tywyn — escape and endurance (563-64, 5 8 9 ) . The atmosphere of Harlech, where Owen's court moves a f t e r Catherine's marriage, i s quite d i f f e r e n t . In the chapters set at Harlech the focus s h i f t s from Rhisiart's love a f f a i r s to Owen's m i l i t a r y fortunes and his concept of how Wales' destiny may be f u l f i l l e d . Instead of the damp, mouldering atmosphere of the for e s t s , the emphasis here Is on sunlight, moonlight and sea a i r . Jutting out as i t does on a promontory of land over the sea, Harlech appears " l i k e a towering sea-city" ( 6 ? 1 ) , such as the one the otherworld often appears to be in C e l t i c legends. Like Dinas Bran, i t s Immensity and i s o l a t i o n make i t into a world of i t s own (618). It too i s maze-like (618, 6 7 1 ) , but the i n d i v i d u a l who c h i e f l y i s tested and tempted i n the 203 labyrinth Is Owen rather than R h i s i a r t . We are shown Owen's anxiety over his French a l l i a n c e , his decision to humiliate and banish R h i s i a r t , his passion f o r Tegolin, and his eventual renunciation of both the Maid and his chances of ultimate v i c -tory. The peculiar temptation offered by Harlech i s that of magic. Iago declares that "This castle's been his r u i n ! There's something about t h i s castle that's enervated him and turned him from war to magic" (?48). It Is at Harlech that Owen heeds the ambiguous prophecies of Hopkin ap Thomas which lead to his m i l i t a r y downfall. Although not named a f t e r the god, Harlech has perhaps even more legendary associations with Bran than Dinas Bran has, and c e r t a i n l y i n t h i s novel the figure of the great giant i s evoked most often at Harlech. In the Mablnoglon It i s at Harlech that Bran receives the embassy of Matholwch, and to Harlech his followers return bearing his head. There are a number of deliberate echoes of the second branch of the Mablnoglon, the legend of "Branwen ferch L l y r " , i n the chapters about Harlech. Owen and his companions watch the approach of two ships from the same place where Bran and his court watched the approach of the Ir i s h f l e e t . Like Bran wading across to Ireland with his musicians on his back, the giant Broch o' Meifod wades into the sea to rescue the chimpanzee, and Powys* characters are not slow to notice the resemblance (632-33) , 781) . Harlech i s "soaked i n sea-water legends" (643), not only of Bran but of Manawydan fab L l y r (64-5), and the Birds of Rhlannon. These birds, which sang i n Harlech to the Company of the 204 Blessed Head of Bran, In Owen Glendower are said to f a l l s i l e n t forever when the castle i s overcome by the English ( 8 ? 6 ) . Harlech i s described as "the most ancient as well as the most romantic stronghold i n the land" ( 6 l 8 ) , but Powys seems to f i n d the primal heart of Wales, and of his novel, in Mathrafal. The ancient seat of the princes of Powys and one 2 of the three royal residences of Wales, Mathrafal i s believed by Powys' Glendower to have been as well the centre of a very early c i v i l i z a t i o n . This c i v i l i z a t i o n was i n Powys' view a golden age, a peaceful kingdom where justice prevailed and worship was bloodless ( 4 1 5 , 5^3» 9 1 7 ) . Mathrafal i s of "an antiquity that staggered comprehension;" i t s early inhabitants "must have known secrets beyond the understanding of our fathers" ( 4 1 3 ) . It i s f o r these secrets that Owen searches the ancient bardic and prophetic books. Although Morg ferch Lug, herself a descendant of the ancient race, condemns Owen as a pure-blooded Brython, Owen eventually demonstrates that he has the blood of the older people also i n his veins ( 8 8 9 , 9 1 7 ) . A central episode i n the novel i s Owen's journey to Mathrafal and his visionary experience there. He undertakes t h i s journey Immediately a f t e r his coronation, when he has symbolically shattered his c r y s t a l b a l l i both of these acts are highly s i g n i f i c a n t ln Powys* conception of Glendower. Henceforward his s p i r i t u a l exploration w i l l be into the past; his f i r s t act as a prince i s to prevent himself from attempting to control the future, and then to make a pilgrimage to the 205 symbolic ruins of the ancient kingdom. Mathrafal i s the p r i n c i -pal symbol i n Owen Glendower of that great, l o s t c i v i l i z a t i o n which Owen believes holds the secret of Wales' true destiny. He d e l i b e r a t e l y chooses to sink — downwards and backwards --into the past, into introspection and a s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t passi-v i t y , rather than to pursue his occult attempts to know and to Influence the future. The future he associates with p o l i -t i c a l and temporal, rather than s p i r i t u a l , power. At the moment of revelation i n Mathrafal Owen cries "The Past i s the Eternal'." (415) In a sense his subsequent actions may be seen as an e f f o r t to make himself part of the past, to establish his s p i r i t u a l and symbolic si g n i f i c a n c e f o r e t e r n i t y , rather than to grasp at success in the immediate future. For thi s kind of ambition, the grass-grown but s t i l l monumental ruins of Mathrafal are an appropriate symbol, and they are the image with which Powys chooses to close his romance (938). The l a s t of the series of ruined fortresses in Owen  Glendower i s Mynydd-y-Gaer, a p r e h i s t o r i c h i l l - f o r t r e s s across the Dyfrdwy from Corwen. Owen explains to his grandson that beneath the Gaer i s a network of underground passages which, with s i m i l a r passages at Glyndyfrdwy and Mathrafal, composed the secret hiding places of the ancient peoples. They form, quite l i t e r a l l y , an underworld equivalent of Annwn in the Welsh legends, and of thi s underworld Owen does indeed become Lord (891, 93^). The p r e h i s t o r i c , underground labyrinth i s as appropriate a symbol f o r Owen's understanding of l i f e as that other h i l l f o r t r e s s on the Dyfrdwy, Dinas Bran, was f o r the 2 0 6 romantic idealism and e r o t i c complexities of Rhisiart's nature. The secret passages of Mynydd-y-Gaer correspond to the deep parts of the soul into which Owen would penetrate. At Mynydd-y-Gaer, as at Mathrafal, Owen seeks out the sacred place of the most ancient inhabitants of Wales, and on i t s a l t a r stone makes his symbolic gesture of casting off a l l forms of power but the s p i r i t u a l . S p i r i t u a l triumph i n the midst of p o l i t i c a l defeat i s Glendower's vis i o n of his own destiny, and that of his nation. This i s the secret revealed to him by the study of the or i g i n of his people. . . . why shouldn't the whole race of Welshmen increase i t s power by sinking inwards, rather than by winning external v i c t o r i e s ? . . . What I'm doing now . . . i s what a l l Welshmen can do who've got the least drop of . . . the ancient people's blood i n t h e i r veins, sink, that's to say, into the 'Secret Passage' of our race. In choosing to end his l i f e i n Mynydd-y-Gaer Owen makes com-plete his assertion of a f f i n i t y with the ancient people, and with what he believes to be t h e i r secrets of l i f e . It i s Interesting to observe that while the sense of place i s very Important in Owen Glendower, the places them-selves are r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e described. Rich as a whole in vi s u a l d e s cription, this novel makes r e l a t i v e l y few attempts to. give a detailed v i s u a l impression of the various landscapes ln which i t i s set. Their atmosphere i s conveyed c h i e f l y through t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l and mythological connotations, and through t h e i r psychological effects on Powys' characters. This i s in contrast to the r i c h landscape descriptions of the 20? e a r l i e r novels. i' Roland Mathias in an essay on Owen Glendower declares that "the landscape of Wales and i t s myth-impregnation . . . d i d not a f f o r d J.C.P. the degree of sustenance which he had read-3 i l y obtained from the chalklands of his childhood." He holds that the Welsh landscape did not r e a l l y impress i t s e l f on Powys' imagination, and that his descriptions of the places of the novel are in consequence scanty and commonplace. They lack the atmospheric power of the landscape descriptions in the Dorset novels and lack any unique appreciative v i s i o n of Wales. It i s true that the descriptions of Dinas Bran, Mathrafal, the Forests of Tywyn and the rest involve a great deal of theorizing upon t h e i r r a c i a l and s p i r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e , and that there i s l i t t l e v i s u a l recreation of these places. The few extended pieces of actual landscape description in the novel — f o r example the view from Dinas Bran (324) and the sunrise before Bryn Glas (546-49) — are not concerned with the major landscape images in the novel. These major images are the castles and p r e h i s t o r i c fortresses, and the d i s t i n c -tions between the landscapes in which they are set are Implied rather than le n g t h i l y described. One possible expla-nation f o r t h i s r e l a t i v e paucity of landscape description i s , of course, that Powys was now l i v i n g in the midst of the scenes he was describing, and thus perhaps f e l t less need or less a b i l i t y to c a l l them up out of his imagination and put them on paper. Nonetheless, the i n d i v i d u a l character of the Welsh 208 landscape does impress i t s e l f upon and a f f e c t the course of the novel. Mathlas notes how "the rough masculine nature of the Welsh t e r r a i n , " unlike the female undulations of Wessex, resisted invasion and helped to keep the Welsh isol a t e d and separate. This i s very close to the point made by Powys' Glendower. The very geography of the land and i t s c l i m a t i c p e c u l i a r i t i e s , the very nature of i t s mountains and r i v e r s , the very f a l l i n g and l i f t i n g of the mists that waver above them, a l l lend themselves, to a degree unknown in any other earthly region, to what might be c a l l e d the mythology of escape. This i s the secret of the land. (889) The a r t i s t i c , C e l t i c soul of Elphin i s repelled by the f l a t , monotonous scenery of England: "I have to have some re a l scenery, romantic, ex c i t i n g , distinguished, l i k e our mountains and moors, before I can Invent my heraldic symbols and compose my cynghaneddlon" (808). At several points i n the novel i t i s observed that Owen's chance of m i l i t a r y success rests in his using the p e c u l i a r l y wild character of the Welsh t e r r a i n by ambushing and confusing the invading armies. Although, f o r the reasons discussed e a r l i e r , no single l o c a l i t y dominates Owen Glendower as the Wessex novels were dominated, Powys does convey a sense of the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of Welsh landscapes and places, and does use them with symbolic power and for clear thematic purposes. The image of the labyrinth i s p a r t i c u l a r l y successful, as i t l i n k s the various c a s t l e s , forests and underground fortresses, and relates them as well to the central theme of 209 escape, of defeat transformed into s p i r i t u a l v i c t o r y . Owen explains that he intends to mix his soul with the landscape, and thus teach"the whole race of Welshmen to increase i t s power by sinking inwards, rather than by winning external v i c t o r i e s " (914). This interpretation of the Welsh landscape i s an i n d i v i d u a l , and perhaps an Idiosyncratic one, but i t pervades a l l the d i f f e r e n t landscapes and l o c a l i t i e s of the novel and integrates them into Powys' own concept of the s p i r i -t u a l destiny of Wales. Like the landscape, the legends of Wales are seen by Powys as containing within themselves the same elusive essence of the Welsh character (889) . Landscape and myth are nowhere more closely united by Powys than in t h i s novel, set in such legend-soaked places as Dinas Bran, Harlech and the Forests of Tywyn. But the greater variety of landscapes with which mytho-l o g i c a l episodes may be i d e n t i f i e d , and the frequent obscurity of the a l l u s i o n s , makes the mythological structure of Owen  Glendower less clear and coherent than that of A Glastonbury  Romance. As was the case l n the e a r l i e r novel, the mythological references l n Owen Glendower are suggestive and decoratively enriching, but they do not provide any master key for i n t e r -preting the book. Most of the mythological a l l u s i o n s in Owen Glendower are to Welsh legends, which i s of course appropriate in a work so concerned with the idea of Wales and the national character. There are a few references to c l a s s i c a l mythology, such as usually accompany the C e l t i c a l l u s i o n s i n e a r l i e r novels, but 210 i t i s pointed out that not many Welshmen of the early f i f t e e n t h century had much opportunity to become acquainted with the c l a s s i c s and even the Oxford-educated would know only fragments of Homer (201) . Therefore, since almost a l l the mythological al l u s i o n s i n t h i s novel are made through the medium of one or other of the characters, references to the c l a s s i c s are avoided. The majority of the Welsh a l l u s i o n s are to figures from the Mablnoglon i there are approximately f i f t y of these a l l u s i o n s , but they do not seem to work together i n any thematic way other than those already suggested. Many of the a l l u s i o n s occur in the thoughts of R h i s i a r t , whose imaginative l i f e i s based upon the stories t o l d him i n childhood by a Welsh nurse. Powys thus stresses the f o l k aspect of these t a l e s , and t h e i r o r a l transmission. Bran the Blessed i s the figure most often referred t o i he Is associated with forces of peace, mercy and s a c r i f i c e , and represents the "good" side of the Welsh character. Opposed to Bran the Blessed i s the obscure and s i n i s t e r presence of Derfel Gadarn, worshipped by the frenzied Crach and the blood-t h i r s t y Rhys Gethin (257) . Owen i s conceived as being obliged to choose between the two gods or saints (257, 291, 3 0 0 ) . Apparently he chooses Bran, since he has Derfel's prophet murdered and r e l i e s on Broch o* Melfod who i s several times compared to Bran (4?2, 632-33, 78I), but t h i s decision i s never made e x p l i c i t . Abbot Oust explains that Derfel i s a pagan f e r t i l i t y god whom C h r i s t i a n i t y had wisely canonized as a s a i n t . In the 211 novel his worship remains, however, thoroughly pagan i n form: i t i s given as the motivation f o r the de f l o r a t i o n of v i r g i n s and the unspeakable practices of Lowri and her cohorts a f t e r Bryn Glas. The cult of Derfel figured i n Maiden Castle as a type of s t e r i l e love by means of which the mystic might break through into another dimension of r e a l i t y (Maiden Castle, 432, 449). However, the D e r f e l i t e s of Owen Glendower are not pre-occupied with s p i r i t u a l longings. The b e s t i a l aspect of t h e i r worship i s emphasized: they frequently confound the god with his horse. There i s a powerful, obscene image of Derfel's prophet Orach, l i k e "the image of a beast-god i n p r e h i s t o r i c a r t , " c a l l i n g upon Gwyn ap Nud before battle (533-34). The Derfel theme l n Owen Glendower indicates a dark, ugly s t r a i n In the primitive Wales which i s otherwise i d e a l i z e d as a bloodless, much-enduring c i v i l i z a t i o n . There are also a number of Arthurian references in Owen  Glendower, but these function c h i e f l y as isolated images rather than to provide a pattern of s i g n i f i c a n t correspondences as they did l n A Glastonbury Romance. They are associated par-t i c u l a r l y with the picturesque aspects of war, and suggest how the romances influenced concepts of c h i v a l r y . The comparison with Arthur does, however, enrich Powys' conception of Glendower and i t indicates how Glendower within his own l i f e t i m e attains the mythic status held by Arthur (809, 810, 814, 871, 912). With some j u s t i f i c a t i o n , Roland Mathias c r i t i c i z e s Powys' use of the Welsh legends as being inconsistent and incoherent. He suggests, f o r example, that the several promising references 212 to Pryderi and the enchanted wasteland might have been developed into a c o n t r o l l i n g metaphor fo r the whole novel. However, i t should now be evident that such t i d y symbolism i s not Powys'way of handling his mythological material. Such a metaphor may predominate l n one chapter, as i n the Dolorous Elow chapter of A Glastonbury Romance, but no novel a f t e r Wood and Stone i s controlled by a clea r symbolic equation. Such an equation would give c l a r i t y to the novel, but i s Incom-patible with Powys' conception of the world as a multlverse without any "ultimate meaning" (see above Chapter V, pp. 148) There i s , however, an important consistency in the mytho-l o g i c a l a l l u s i o n s of Owen Glendower, and that l i e s i n fact that they are almost a l l made by the characters themselves. Powys i s in t h i s novel very concerned with the ideas of time and history, and with how the present and future are shaped by the past. This i s an e s s e n t i a l element i n his p o r t r a i t of Owen, a man who i s quite consciously turning himself into a legend and a symbol f o r his people. Throughout the novel he and R h i s i a r t , and occasionally other characters as well, see themselves and t h e i r present situations as copies of arche-types i n the Welsh legends. When he i s repulsed at the gate of Glyndyfrdwy by a churlis h porter, Rhisiart Is consoled by the remembrance of Kilhwch being treated In the same manner upon his a r r i v a l at Arthur's court (11?). The mythological p a r a l l e l i s turned to a revelation of the romanticizing and self-dramatizing strains i n Rhisiart's nature. Owen's f a t a l -ism and his obsession with the prophecies of his race are 213 i l l u s t r a t e d by h i s f e a r s t h a t h i s French a l l i a n c e goes a g a i n s t the i n s u l a r s e c u r i t y guaranteed by the b u r i a l o f Bran's head l n London ( 8 0 9 ) . Owen Glendower i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d from o t h e r modern n o v e l s which use m y t h o l o g i c a l equations by t h i s e f f o r t t o make the c h a r a c t e r s themselves the source o f the awareness of the eq u a t i o n s . Leopold Bloom does not t h i n k o f h i m s e l f as U l y s s e s , but the s e l f - c o n s c i o u s Owen d e l i b e r a t e l y f a s h i o n s h i m s e l f a f t e r A r t h u r and P w y l l Pen Annwn. T h i s tendency o f Powys' c h a r a c t e r s to view the present and f u t u r e through the medium of legends from the past i s one form of t h e i r , perhaps a n a c h r o n i s t i c , sense of t h e i r own p o s i -t i o n i n the f l u x of h i s t o r y . There are a great many a n t i c i -p a t i o n s o f the f u t u r e , and of how t h e i r present w i l l appear t o the f u t u r e ; these a n t i c i p a t i o n s are o f t e n i r o n i c a l l y set up, as f o r example R h i s i a r t ' s s c o r n f u l amusement a t Brut's evan-g e l i c a l c o n v i c t i o n t h a t a l l Wales would one day read i t s B i b l e (342, see a l s o 3^. 368, 391. 627, 738, 915) . A c u r i o u s perspec-t i v e i s achieved by the awareness of Powys' c h a r a c t e r s t h a t they w i l l themselves be the s u b j e c t s of the m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of f u t u r e h i s t o r i e s . "'Are a l l events l n the great world l i k e t h i s , ' the boy thought, 'so d i f f e r e n t from what the h i s t o r i a n s say?'" (40) . Powys seeks t o grasp i n t h i s n o v e l not the h i s t o r i c a l f a c t s , whatever these may be, but "the Immortal essence which — i n the t i m e l e s s — l a y behind e v e r y t h i n g that happened i n time, and was the t r u t h of i t , and the r e a l i t y of i t , and, i f . you were o n l y a bard great enough to c a t c h i t , e x i s t e d i n 214 both the f u t u r e and the past a t the same moment!" (660) . Powys would probably not c l a i m to be such a bard h i m s e l f , but the r e f e r e n c e s t o Shakespeare's v e r s i o n of the Glendower r e v o l t i l l u s t r a t e h i s conception of an Imaginative apprehension of a t i m e l e s s t r u t h , and i t seems t h a t Owen Glendower i s a l s o an attempt to grasp such a t r u t h . Although Hotspur i s dead and Shakespeare not to be born f o r almost two c e n t u r i e s , R h i s i a r t has a v i s i o n a t the s i g n i n g o f the T r i p a r t i t e Indenture of how t h i s scene w i l l be r e c r e a t e d i n Henry the Fourth, Part One; the v i s i o n makes the scene before him appear t o him u n r e a l , i n "remote p e r s p e c t i v e , as i f i t had a l l happened before and would happen a g a i n " (663) . The i m a g i n a t i v e r e a l i t y i n Shakespeare's p l a y m a g i c a l l y enables i t t o transcend time, and t o become more r e a l than the h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y . Through these r e f e r e n c e s to Shakespeare, and more p a r t i c u -l a r l y through h i s a l l u s i o n s t o mythology, Powys i m p l i e s a hidden o r i n n e r r e a l i t y e x i s t i n g i n some f o u r t h dimension which i s i t s e l f a t r u t h s u p e r i o r to h i s t o r i c a l t r u t h . ^ Owen's s a c r i -f i c e o f h i m s e l f , i n the r o l e l a i d upon him by I o l o Goch and o t h e r s , b r i n g s about h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n t o a mythic f i g u r e : hence the r i t u a l s urrounding h i s appearance and a c t i o n s (391 - 9 2 , 592). In A Glastonbury Romance and Maiden C a s t l e the g r e a t e r r e a l i t y o r f o u r t h dimension was rep r e s e n t e d by Annwn, the C e l t i c o t h e r w o r l d . Owen i s compared to P w y l l , Lord of Annwn (757, 891, 925, 934), and l n h i s underground d w e l l i n g a t the Gaer a t t a i n s transcendent s p i r i t u a l powers. He possesses the a b i l i t y to f l i n g h i s s o u l " i n t o a d i f f e r e n t r e g i o n " (140), t o "escape 215 into Annwn, into . . . the world outside the world" (916-17). Like another of the divine heroes of the Mablnoglon, Bran the Blessed, Owen then makes himself a bridge by means of which the people of his race may also cross over into the world across the sea. The old description of Bran serves well as a motto f o r the s a c r i f i c i a l role of Owen as Powys conceives hims "A vo  pen b i t pont, . . . He who i s the head, he w i l l be the bridge" (258) . Thus the h i s t o r i c a l figure of Owen and the mythological figures from Wales' more distant past are merged through Powys' own metaphysical apprehension of experience. Chapter Seven: Footnotes 1 J.E. Lloyd, A History of Wales, trans. H. Idrl s B e l l (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1955), P. 244. 2 Ibid., p. 249. 3 Roland Mathias, "The S a c r i f i c i a l Prince i A Study of Owen Glendower," Essays, ed. Humfrey, p. 243. ^ Ibid., p. 244. •5 See John Brebner, "Owen Glendoweri The Pursuit of the Fourth Dimension," Anglo-Welsh Review, Vol. 18, no. 42 (Feb. 1970), 207-16. 217 Chapter Eight "This huge, composite earth-creature" i Porlus Although Porlus i s , l i k e Owen Glendower, an h i s t o r i c a l novel, i t d i f f e r s from i t s predecessor i n the treatment of both history and the novel form. In the ten years which elapsed between the publication of Owen Glendower and Porlus, Powys had moved a long way towards that complete break with the t r a d i t i o n a l novel form which characterizes the fantasies written i n his e i g h t i e s . Some of the inconsequences and loose ends of Porlus may be at t r i b u t a b l e to the d r a s t i c excisions which Powys* publishers obliged him to make i n the o r i g i n a l manuscript. However, although contrary to his usual practice Powys did revise t h i s novel, one must conclude from the pres-ence of the same t r a i t s i n his subsequent f i c t i o n that most of the s t y l i s t i c and s t r u c t u r a l p e c u l i a r i t i e s of Porlus were i n t e n t i o n a l . In t h i s novel T a l l e s s l n propounds the al l - a c c e p t i n g , antl-monlstic world view which makes Porlus, even more than the preceding novels, depart from the dramatic and purposive structure of the t r a d i t i o n a l novel i he proclaims The *I f e e l * without question, the *I am* without purpose, The 'It i s ' that leads nowhere, the l i f e with no climax, The 'Enough* that leads forward to no consummation, The answer to a l l things, that yet answers nothing. (417-18) A novel whose many climaxes amount to no climax, and which denies.the p o s s i b i l i t y of any ultimate purpose, answer or 218 consummation, r e f u s e s t o f u l f i l those e x p e c t a t i o n s which the p l o t s of h i s t o r i c a l n o v e l s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y s a t i s f i e d . Furthermore, P o r i u s ignores the d i s t i n c t i o n s u s u a l l y made between h i s t o r y , legend and myth» h i s t o r i c a l and fabulous c h a r a c t e r s mingle f r e e l y . No more i s p r o v i s i o n made f o r a r a t i o n a l e x p l a n a t i o n of the s u p e r n a t u r a l events which o c c u r : miraculous h e a l i n g s by Geard, the ghost wind of Uryen and even the a s t r a l p r o j e c t i o n s i n Owen Glendower could be accommodated w i t h i n the framework o f the r e a l i s t i c n o v e l , but the f i n a l events o f P o r i u s — M e r l i n ' s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the owl i n t o a g i r l who f l i e s away, and the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n of P o r i u s from Snowdon t o Harlech — a r e pure magic. In h i s l a s t y e a r s , Powys turned from the s t r i c t u r e s and d i s c i p l i n e s o f the n o v e l form to the f r e e r i f l e s s s u b s t a n t i a l world o f f a n t a s y , where h i s whimsies and p h i l o s o p h i e s could be expressed without check. The propagandist f a n t a s y Morwyn was w r i t t e n even before Owen  Glendower, and P o r i u s balances p r e c a r i o u s l y between the two modes. Po r i u s i s , even i n terms of the o t h e r n o v e l s of Powys, both a remarkably r i c h and a remarkably f r u s t r a t i n g book. The wealth of i t s landscape and atmospheric d e s c r i p t i o n s con-t r a s t s w i t h the p a u c i t y o f these i n Owen Glendower; and the m y t h o l o g i c a l a l l u s i o n s a r e more numerous than ever. But these a l l u s i o n s are o f t e n more l a c k i n g than ever i n any c l e a r s i g -n i f i c a n c e , and the u n f u l f i l l e d promises which Roland Mathias complains o f l n Owen Glendower a r e even more n o t i c e a b l e here. As he juggl e s w i t h the gre a t m e t a p h y s i c a l q u e s t i o n s of Time, 219 Space and Free W i l l , Powys often hardly troubles to clothe his speculations i n the personality of the character who i s purportedly u t t e r i n g them. Dramatic events and profound themes are announced with great excitement, then vanish and do not reappear. Like the characters, the reader of Porlus i s often i n danger of getting l o s t i n i t s primeval f o r e s t s , or sinking forever into i t s swamps. Nonetheless, e f f o r t expended on following the patterns of imagery i n Porlus, and observing the in t e r a c t i o n between the mythological references and PoWys' metaphysical concerns, i s admirably rewarded. Perhaps because of i t s very density and occasional Incoherence, the book i s e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y suc-c e s s f u l i n evoking the dark and primitive landscape of Arthurian B r i t a i n . The landscape plays a major part i n Porlus, but i t i s depicted with a powerful r e s t r a i n t . Colour symbolism i s used to great e f f e c t . The sky i s described more often than the earth, and the landscape as a whole i s much wilder than any Powys had previously dealt with. Mythological p a r a l l e l s are perhaps even more r i c h l y used than they were i n A Glastonbury Romance, and the actual appearance of figures such as T a l i e s s l n and Merlin, who had long been i n the background of Powys' works, gives t h i s novel an a d d i t i o n a l dimension. While no attempt i s being made to give an ultimate interpre-t a t i o n of Powys' metaphysics, a study of the role of land-scape and the nature of the mythological a l l u s i o n s i n the text does provide a useful way into t h i s profound and complex work. 220 While much i n Porius points to the kind of fantasy-novel that occupied Powys in his l a s t years, Porius does resemble the early novels i n i t s concern with a single l o c a l i t y and with a detailed study of the sensations of a few characters within a b r i e f time-span. The complex elongations and concen-trations of time with which Owen Glendower experiments are replaced i n Porius by an intense focus upon a single week, and the mounted campaigns of Owen Glendower are replaced by short and laborious expeditions on foot through the forests around what i s now the town of Corwen. Thus, since the nature images and symbolic s i t e s i n Porius are confined to a small area, they are handled more as they were i n Maiden Castle, A Glastonbury Romance and Wood and Stone. Different features within a single landscape are studied in d e t a i l , each taking on an i n d i v i d u a l symbolism. Powys has a greater interest i n conveying natural d e t a i l s -- the p a r t i c u l a r way the sun i s obscured by mist, the look of a certain moss on a stone, the a c t i v i t i e s of an insect — than he has i n the photographic recreation of landscape panoramas. There was an ins u b s t a n t i a l -i t y about some of the settings of Owen Glendower, as the res u l t of i n s u f f i c i e n t d e scription; the s e t t i n g , f o r example, of Chapters XIII and XIV at Owen's fortress i n Snowdon, never quite becomes r e a l to the reader. This i s not the case i n Porius, where a small piece of the countryside may once again, as l n the early novels, be created gradually, i n d e t a i l , and with great conviction. By the time he wrote Porius, Powys had come to know the 221 Corwen area very well, and the places i n the novel such as the Gaer, the r i v e r and i t s ford, and the Fountain of St. Julian were v i s i t e d on his d a i l y walks. The detailed knowledge of the area which he thus obtained restores to t h i s Welsh novel some of the richness of l o c a l atmosphere which characterizes his Wessex novels. He describes q u a l i t i e s of the landscape and of atmospheric phenomena which are peculiar to t h i s part of North Wales (5 , 29, 137, 2 6 5 ) . Not only Is the Corwen area i t s e l f described i n great d e t a i l ; i t i s also set, within the larger context of i t s geographical and geological position in North Wales, overlooking the f e r t i l e v a l l e y of the Dyfrdwy (Dee) which flows east to the English p l a i n s , and surrounded by the Berwyns and the great mountain ranges of E r y r i (Snowdon) and Cader I d r i s . . . . an echo carried those two s y l l a b l e s . . . over the lake, over the dead Brother's c e l l , over the Cave of Mithras, over the deserted camp, over the rock-ridges towards the Cader, over the shrine of T y s i l i o Sand, over the church of Collen Sant [•.now Llangollen] , t i l l they died away beyond the deserted u n l i t h a l l of Pengwern [Shrewsbury], among the ruined heights and the grassy howwos, haunted by owls and badgers and wolves and foxes, of Porius Manlius's vanished Uriconlum. (585) This kind of overview of the landscape resembles the passages i n which the h i s t o r i c a l present of the novel i s set in the context of past and future c i v i l i z a t i o n s , and suggests f o r the novel a perspective and s i g n i f i c a n c e beyond those events with which i t i s immediately concerned. Such a land-scape perspective i s used also at the end of Owen Glendower. 222 where the two ancient ravens observe Meredith walking over the Berwyns away from his father's pyre, and continue t h e i r own symbolic f l i g h t to Mathrafal. Porlus opens with a view of the landscape from that very Mynydd-y-Gaer where Owen died. The landscape perspective establishes at the outset the h i s t o r i c a l perspective of the novel as well, as Porlus muses on h i s t o r i c a l aspects of the scene before him. We learn that the Ederynion Valley below was " s t i l l covered by the abo r i g i n a l f o r e s t " (1) but had quite recently received i t s name from a son of the Brythonic con-queror, Cunedda. The market v i l l a g e across the r i v e r from the Gaer has recently been renamed Corwen (15) . a Christian name replacing the former "Ford of Mithras," and i t s f i r s t church is|being constructed. Christian, Mithraic and Roman altera t i o n s to the landscape l i e beside s t i l l very meaningful monuments of the older past, such as the Path of the Dead and the p r e h i s t o r i c earth-work c a l l e d y Grug. The landscape of Porlus i s a major means through which the h i s t o r i c a l dimension i s conveyed. Here they both stared at the r i v e r ; and f o r his part Porlus couldn't help n o t i c i n g how the massive paving stones of the ancient highway between Uriconlum and Mona were as l i t t l e worn by the three hundred years of the rule of Rome as the water of the goddess-r i v e r was affected by the purgings and baptisms of the two hundred years of the rule of Christ. (37) Landscape becomes the means, i n the f i r s t chapter of Porlus, whereby not only the h i s t o r i c a l but also the r a c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , r e l i g i o u s and personal themes of the novel are 223 suggested. The image of the Prince, leaning over the b a t t l e -ments of his h i l l - f o r t r e s s and looking out on the land below, holds the novel together during those f i r s t sixteen pages which are so amazingly f i l l e d with disparate pieces of back-ground information. As Porius notices certain landmarks and atmospheric conditions, they suggest to him p e r s o n a l i t i e s and subjects on which he then muses. The v a l l e y I t s e l f suggests the Romano-Brythonic conquest which gave i t i t s name; the Mound and the Path of the Dead provoke thoughts of the c o n f l i c t between the Gwyddyl-fflchti and the forest people. St. Julian's Fountain i s associated with Brother John and Pelagianism. The swamp reminds Porius of Morvran's murder by Christian fana-t i c s , and the subsequent disappearance of the corpse. The theme of the Cewri i s introduced, with s i n i s t e r and super-natural overtones, by the emphasis upon the unearthly q u a l i t y of the midst which comes from t h e i r home i n the Cader and the mystery of the corpse-snatching from the swamp where the mourners found "those huge marks l n the new-fallen snow that the forest people swore were gigantic f o o t p r i n t s ! " (9). So much i s accomplished by Powys' handling of landscape in t h i s f i r s t chapter that some closer analysis of i t i s p r o f i t a b l e . The chapter i s e n t i t l e d "The Watch-Tower," and opens with a description of Porius standing upon "the low square tower above the Southern Gate of Mynnydd-y-Gaer" (1) and looking down upon the densely forested r i v e r v a l l e y below. Porius remains upon th i s tower during most of the chapter, his only movement being from the southern to the north-western 224 parapet. The change i n his posi t i o n , and i n his view of the landscape, has a s i g n i f i c a n t psychological e f f e c t upon him. Looking south, he was led to think of the two women who dom-inate his l i f e and of the causes of the c o n f l i c t between them which now p u l l s him apart; looking north, however, he i s reminded of quite another aspect of his l i f e . Arrived at t h i s north-western parapet, Porius sur-veyed the stretch of country now before him with an a i r that made him seem a d i f f e r e n t man. What i n fact he now contemplated was a landscape associated in his mind with nothing but adventure and f r i e n d -ship. With t h i s view before him he could forget a l l women and a l l gods. (12) The north has masculine associations, while the south has feminine ones. Looking north-west, Porius i s swept in imagin-ation to the mysterious mountain-ranges of E r y r l ; he looks as well towards the lake-fountain of St. Ju l i a n , the home of his fri e n d and teacher Brother John. Thus the view suggests adven-ture and uncomplicated masculine companionship. To the south, however, Porius sees the dwellings of his various r e l a t i v e s , around the township of Corwen, and i s obliged to think of the quarrels which divide them. Ty Cerrig (the Stone House) which i s the home of his betrothed, Ogof-y-Gawr (the Giant's Cave) which i s the home of the three p r i n -cesses who are his great aunts, the Cave of Mithras where his foster-brother worships and the Church of St, Julian a l l l i e i n the d i r e c t i o n of his gaze, on the opposite bank of the r i v e r . The buildings represent the various r a c i a l and r e l i -gious factions competing f o r Porius' support. The r i v e r 225 Dyfrdwy, which also i s i n his l i n e of v i s i o n , i s i t s e l f both a woman and a goddess 5 i t i s the "mother of r i v e r s , " s t i l l worshipped by many of the natives including Porius' great-aunt Tonwen. The r i v e r and i t s f e r t i l e , cultivated v a l l e y represent the female, maternal s p i r i t which i s the counterpart of the masculine nature of the mountains to the north. Rising from the r i v e r Is a mist, which "unaffected by the wind or sun assumes, weak creature as i t i s , the dominant and mastering control of a whole unreturning day" ( 5 ) . This a b i l i t y of the f a i n t mist to dominate despite i t s weakness i s l a t e r to be developed as the great c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the forest people who l i v e beside the r i v e r (219, 659, see Chapter VII, 16, 17, 2 0 ) . The mist lends a strange colour to the stu b b l e - f i e l d s , and indeed t h i s straw or stubble-coloured mist becomes one of the novel's p r i n c i p a l images, associated with Cader I d r i s , with the Cewriand with Merlin and a l l that he represents. At t h i s point, however, the mist and stubble-colour reminds Porius of his betrothed, Morfydd, whose skin sometimes assumes t h i s t i n t . To him, "the sight of t h i s s t u b b l e - f i e l d colour burdening the mist calle d up i n him a l l those old f a m i l i a r feelings with which . . . he was wont to quiet her emotion" (10) and hence Porlus draws from the sight "an inflow of strength" enabling him "to get a certain hum-orous pleasure from the confused and c o n f l i c t i n g currents of fate" (11) . The mist i n t h i s chapter i s imagined as creating and carrying the colour of the stubble-fields (4, 6, 9, 1 0 ) ; l a t e r i n the novel the mist assumes the straw-colour i t s e l f , 226 and Powys develops the connotations of death which i t has here in the references to the "dead s t u b b l e - f i e l d shadow" beneath Morfydd's skin and the "ivory-coloured essence of ghostly corn" which i s "the l i f e - s a p of a dying goddess" (10). The mist has yet another effect» i t sets apart, and co gives symbolic si g n i f i c a n c e to, the p a r t i c u l a r dwellings which exert major influences on Porius. Such images of i s o l a t i o n , which turn a town or h i l l - f o r t r e s s into a microcosm, recur throughout Powys' novels. Those novels which deal with a single town or v i l l a g e do indeed treat i t as a self-contained image of the greater world. At the end of A Glastonbury  Romance the town becomes quite l i t e r a l l y the Insula Avallonia of the legends, as the flood waters detach i t from the surround-ing countryside. In Owen Glendower both Dinas Bran and Harlech are imagined as l i t t l e worlds unto themselves (see above, Chapter VII,199, 2 0 2 ) . The pattern i s repeated i n Porius' v i s i o n of Corwen i n the mist. As Porius bent now over the rampart of his watch-tower, i t seemed to him that the ghostly colour from those f a r - o f f s t u b b l e - f i e l d s , which the grey shoulders of the mist had been carrying a l l that October afternoon, had been unloaded above those dwellings he knew so well, above the palace of the Princesses, above the Church of Christ, above the house of his betrothed, and hung suspended there, i s o l a t i n g from a l l the rest of the world those dwellings that i n t h e i r harmonies and t h e i r discords, i n t h e i r manias and mysteries, made up the f a t a l ghost-bread of his l i f e ! (9) A l l t h i s i s seen through the eyes of the Prince» the ranging view of the physical world about the tower i s h i s , 227 and he, quite l i t e r a l l y , brings i t into focus. As his eyes scan the v a l l e y , Powys makes us aware, not only of the external landscape and the symbolic associations d i f f e r e n t elements possess but how that landscape penetrates into and then passes out of the mind of the beholder: how, while there, i t displaces or i s displaced by images called up out of his imagination. Porius has been looking at the r i v e r - v a l l e y and the forest but disturbing thoughts, p a r t l y evoked by the sight of the landscape, cause his imagination to summon up other sights which then blot out e n t i r e l y his awareness of the external world. As his awareness of these imaginary v i s t a s fades, however, his consciousness gradually returns to the landscape at which he has apparently been looking a l l the time. The passages in which th i s experience i s described are an excel-lent example of Powys' continuing Interest i n the d e t a i l s of the operation of human consciousness: t h i s fascination with how the mind shapes and perceives experience i s the basis not only of Wolf Solent and the Autobiography, but even of so late a work as Porlus. Then a l l of a sudden, as happens with human consciousness when important decisions are being made, there occurred a vanishing away of the open space i n the forest at which — with his small greenish-yellow eyes screwed up — he had been gazing so long, and i n i t s place rose the banquet-h a l l of the Gaer and the image of his f o s t e r brother . . . . But Porius found i t easier to c a l l up the image of the emperor's Henog than to dismiss i t when called up; and with that curious second consciousness that was always flapping i t s f a n t a s t i c and reckless wings inside his muscular frame, while i t watched with detached amusement his thoughts and sensations, 228 he noted now how the autumnal forest before him, with i t s varying shades, where lay the Swamp of the Gwyddyl-Ffichti and the Path of the Dead, which had disappeared as he conjured up the scene between Rhun and the Henog, now began coming backt only coming back piecemeal and i n a r b i t r a r y fragments, so that i t was through an umbrageous mist of vege-t a t i o n , out of which every now and then some p a r t i c u l a r oasis of f a m i l i a r shape and colour would outline i t s e l f f o r a moment only to re-dissolve, that he pondered on the grey visage, the long pointed nose, and the black gown of the h i s t o r i a n . (13-14) There may be more than a coincidental resemblance i n thi s f i r s t chapter of Porius to Yeat's poem "The Tower." Like the novel, "The Tower" takes as i t s s t a r t i n g point the figure of a man — here the poet — looking out over the battlements of a watch-tower. He c a l l s up from the landscape below him remembered or imagined figures who enact the c o n f l i c t s which make up the hist o r y of the place. Although the images called up by Porius do not group themselves into dramatic s t o r i e s as do Yeats* Mrs. French, the "peasant g i r l commended by a song," and Hanrahan, they represent the same sense of layers of human his t o r y , r a c i a l minglings and half-forgotten personal tragedies which Yeats also seeks to evoke from a p a r t i c u l a r landscape. I pace upon the battlements and stare Cn the foundations of a house, or where Tree, l i k e a sooty finger, s t a r t s from the earth; And send imagination forth Under the day's d e c l i n i n g beam, and c a l l Images and memories From ruin or from ancient trees, ^ For I would ask a question of them a l l . Both the poet and the n o v e l i s t use the image of a watchtower looking out over a landscape i n which they have made t h e i r 229 homes to a i d them i n t h e i r imaginative probing of t h e i r coun-try's past and i t s meaning f o r the present. Yeats and Powys both have a central b e l i e f i n the creative powers of the human imagination, which Informs t h e i r attitudes towards mythology and to some extent towards landscape as w e l l . In the l a t e r Yeats, as l n Powys, h i s t o r i c a l and mythological properties of a landscape predominate over the p i c t o r i a l ; the landscape Images are elemental, sparely evoked, and invested with a tremendous symbolism. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g that when Porius contemplates l i b e r a t i n g himself from the personal and p o l i t i c a l entanglements of his position as a public figure In a s t r i f e - r i d d e n C e l t i c land, he conceives of t h i s l i b e r a t i o n i n the Yeatsian image of a journey to Byzantium (for example, 63, 64). The p a r a l l e l to the way Byzantium serves Yeats as an image of escape and a r t i s t i c i n t e g r i t y Is perhaps not coincidental. Powys was of course f a m i l i a r with the work of 2 Yeats, although he evidently preferred the early poetry. There Is another Yeatsian p a r a l l e l i n t h i s f i r s t chapter of Porlus. Porlus meditates on the Pelagian idea which i s to become one of the novel's great themes; "Neither L i f e nor Death nor Love nor Hate nor Angels nor Devils nor Mind nor Matter nor Present nor Past — no, nor even the Blessed T r i n i t y I t s e l f — has any power to meddle with the i n d i v i d u a l human w i l l . . ." (16)-. The idea suggests a l a t e r passage i n "The Tower" where Yeats, a f t e r r e j e c t i n g the a u t h o r i t i e s of Plato and Plotlnus, c r i e s Death and L i f e were not T i l l man made up the whole, 230 Made lock, stock and barrel Out of his b i t t e r soul, Aye, sun and moon and star, a l l , And further add to that That, being dead, we r i s e , Dream ar-d so create ~ Trans lunar Paradise.-' The Pelagian idea, as Powys Interprets i t , of the freedom of the human w i l l and power of the human imagination to create t h e i r own destiny i s a strengthening and l i b e r a t i n g influence upon Porius throughout the novel. In the s p i r i t of the poet of "The Tower" he thinks The Mithras B u l l might bellow and bleed t i l l i t broke the adamantine chains of every t r a d i t i o n i n the world! The important thing was the human imagination that defied I t t the human Imagination that defied not only the B u l l and the Slayer of the B u l l , but the Crucified and the slayer of the Crucified, yea! and a l l the God-Bearers and a l l the God-Slayers from the beginning of the world unto t h i s hour! The human imagination must never be robbed of i t s power to t e l l I t s e l f other s t o r i e s , and thus to create.a d i f f e r e n t future. (43-44) Throughout Porius potent landscape Images abound. These may be grouped roughly into water images, earth images — the forest caves and mountain ranges, and atmospheric or sky images, the GwyddylSwamp, i s a s i n i s t e r l o c a l i t y associated throughout not only with the h o s t i l i t y of the Gwyddyl-Ffictl t r i b e s to forest people and Brythons a l i k e , but also with the murder of Morvran. The Fountain of St. J u l i a n , a c t u a l l y a small lake, i s the s i t e of Brother John's wattle hut and a former home of Pelagius. Into the waters of the fountain the Druid plunges the p h a l l i c A f rican spear i n the ancient ceremony 231 of the Fisher-King. Another feminine water image, the River Dyfrdwy, u n i f i e s a l l the landscape images of the novel as i t runs across north Wales from west of Lake Tegid (Bala) through Edeyrnion to the English borders. When Merlin calms the s t r i f e between Arthur's s o l d i e r s and the forest people by u n i t i n g them i n the term "Cymry", Powys describes the word echoing up the length of the r i v e r to the a b o r i g i n a l heart of Wales: the r i v e r , l i k e the word Cymry, encompasses and binds together the Welsh people. . . . i t was caught up l n a thundering shout from thousands of e c s t a t i c throats — C y m r y ! Cymry! Cymry! Cymry! — and went echoing away over Saint Julian's water towards the up-tide current of the Divine River, the current that ran unchanged through the centre of Tegid's Lake, echoing f a r away on the further side of that lake, echoing up the gorges and tarns and precipices of the Cader i t s e l f , whence and whither these monstrous shapes of the true aboriginals of Ynys Prydein had, as so many now believed, a c t u a l l y come and gone. (490) The r i v e r i s sacred to the forest people, and t h e i r Princess Tonwen i s described l n the act of worshipping i t (32?-28). It i s conceived of as feminine and maternal: i t i s the great River-Mother (42) or Blessed Mother (319) . Porius v i s u a l i z e s the s p i r i t of the r i v e r as an alder stump which bears a grotesque resemblance to the flanks of a gigantic woman, and the r i v e r whose source i s near Cader Idris i s thus i d e n t i f i e d with Porius' craving f o r his female counterpart, the a b o r i g i n a l giantess (42). The great primeval forest which covers the v a l l e y of the Dyfrdwy i s also a maternal image. To the natives of Edeyrnion the forest Is a place of "maternal 232 shelter" with i t s "huge protective trees" (19). At the opening of the novel i t i s set l n contrast to the watchtower of Myndd-y-Gaer, and functions as an emblem of the complicated l i f e of action and decisions into which Porius must shortly descend. From the tower, where he i s temporarily i n a condition of s t a t i s and can contemplate wide horizons below him, the Prince must go down into "the darkening f o r e s t " and follow i t s labyrinthine paths into a world of confusion, cross-purposes and c o n f l i c t . When he does eventually descend with Bhun into the forest, the two men must force t h e i r way through tangled undergrowth (20), and they change t h e i r d i r e c t i o n many times before Porius eventually reaches his o r i g i n a l goal (143). The forests have also a magical and evasive aspect (105)» the forest-people survive by the techniques of secrecy and escape, which are p e c u l i a r l y adapted to the nature of the forests i n which they l i v e (11?, 155, 219, 659). They can merge completely into the trees, and surround t h e i r enemies unseen (121, 219). The character of the forests and fores t -people i s developed from the description given by Powys i n Owen Glendower of the Forests of Tywyn. And as Owen, discov-ering "the ancient people's blood" i n his veins, learned to "sink back into the secret passages of his race" (Owen  Glendower, 914-15), so the forest-people i n Porius are repre-sented as masters of the art of conquering through evasion and submission, abjuring a l l force. They are always defeated, but always unconquerable (11?). Their art of adaptation i s opposed to the warlike arts of the Brythons and Romans, whose 233 strength i s i n t h e i r fortresses and m i l i t a r y campaigns. But i t i s suggested that "the future of us a l l , from Ludd's Town to the Ford of Mithras, i s r e a l l y i n the hands of our fores t -people . . . . They can't be defeated, f o r they just sink back into themselves" (219). The l i f e - i n - d e a t h cry of the forest people might have been c a l l e d a battle cry, save that i t was l i f t e d up i n the strength of a magic that declared i t s e l f able to destroy a l l powers that ruled by force . . . . None heard i t without being forced to f e e l that while the planet lasted the sound of t h i s cry could never be altogether hushed. (659-60) This opposition set up between the woods of the forest-people and the stone fortresses of t h e i r ostensible conquerors i s a consistent development of Powys* treatment of the symbols of wood and stone i n his f i r s t novel. In Wood and Stone the power and cruelty of the Homers were I d e n t i f i e d with the stone of Leo's H i l l , while the passive, evasive and submissive char-acters were associated with wood. The wood of the Cross and the roots of trees are the forces which break the power of stone, and Quincunx, the "tough ash-root," eventually outwits the stone-quarry owners (Wood and Stone. 463, see above, Chapter IV, 15-18). Beyond the surrounding forests r i s e the mountains. Two distant mountain ranges are given symbolic roles i n Porlus: both l i e i n the west, on the f a r horizon f o r the dwellers of Edeyrnion. To Porlus these inaccessible ranges represent romance and a f u l f i l l m e n t of his nature d i s t i n c t from the 234 normal tenor of his l i f e around Mynydd-y-Gaer. In each of the two climaxes of his l i f e described i n the novel he journeys to these mountains and there proves his strength i n a superhuman feat. In his accomplishment of these journeys and tasks Porius bears more resemblance to the t r a d i t i o n a l mythic hero than i s usual f o r the heroes of Powys' novels. The mountain journeys and marvellous accomplishments indicate how mythic events and fantasy increasingly supplant realism i n Powys' f i c t i o n . Cader I d r l s , l y i n g f a r to the south-west of Edeyrnlon, i s reputed by the forest-people to be the home of aboriginal giants (9, 13, 14, 15, 18). As such, the mountains are a source of superstitious t e r r o r to the forest-people; however, Rhun and Porius, who have some giants' blood in t h e i r ancestry, are less f e a r f u l (19). Porius, indeed, l i k e his uncle Brochvael and Morfydd, i s strangely attracted to the idea of the giants and t h e i r home. Their appearance at St. Julian's Fountain during the Feast of the Sowing i s heralded by a c h i l l "of a unique and unnatural kind" and "the rapid a r r i v a l upon the scene from the d i r e c t i o n of Cader Idris of a wet, cold, clammy, straw-coloured mist" (485). The mist and the giants both become i d e n t i f i e d with the Cader during the course of the novel, i n a powerfully-handled building up of associations. Eventually Porius sees the Cewri and follows them up into the f o o t h i l l s of t h e i r home i n Cader I d r l s . There Porius consum-mates the union with the giantess which he has craved a l l his l i f e , and finds a completion and a "magnetic r e c i p r o c i t y " which he could never experience with an ordinary woman. But 235 the Cader also becomes the death-place of these l a s t survivors of the giant race. In one of the most v i v i d landscape images of the novel, the eyes of the drowned Cewri stare up at Porius through t h e i r tangled h a i r and blood i n a fathomless pool of green water. The image returns frequently to Porius, and becomes his "voyage into another world, his v i s i t to Caer S i d i " (538) . The mountains of E r y r i have a less d e f i n i t e range of associations i n the novel than does Cader I d r i s . When Porius turns northward towards them at the opening of the novel, they suggest to him mystery and adventure ( 12) . They are the high-est peaks i n Wales, and i t i s on the highest of them, Y Wyddfa (the Tomb), that Merlin submits to his entombment by Nineue. Apparently Merlin, as "the l a t e s t incarnation of the god of the Golden Age," has been resurrected from Y Wyddfa before (276, 5 2 1 ) . The peak i s one of the four great gates into Annwn, the world of the dead, and the stone from which Porius rescues Merlin covers a chasm leading Into a bottomless abyss (677-79). The i s o l a t i o n of the summit of t h i s great peak, where Powys himself had once climbed (Autobiography, 174), i s used to express the i s o l a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l conscious-ness i n the immensity of time and space. On t h i s mountain, Porlus passes outside the normal apprehension of time and space* as he climbs the peak he has the sensation of "crossing with each step he took great gaping gulfs and jagged chasms of time . . as i f i t were something he had had to accomplish aeons of time ago . . . " ( 6 7 3 K The imagery of the mountains, 236 with t h e i r hare rocks, chasms, clouds, solitude, silence and icy mists i s used by Powys to evoke the timeless, metaphysical issues which t h e i r novel struggles to express. In d i r e c t contrast to the mountain heights are the sub-terranean places. There are a remarkable number of caves, or underground dwellings i n Porius; they indicate the proximity of the characters to the earth, and to the primitive way of l i f e . Only the Brythons, Romans and Christians l i v e ln houses, huts or tents. A l l the representatives of the older races and r e l i g i o n s l i v e and/or worship i n caves. The basic force of the cave image i s i n the sense of enclosure, of being folded around by the earth. Like the r i v e r and the f o r e s t , the cave i s thus a great maternal image. Merlin c a l l s upon Mother Earth to give him her counsel and assistance (282-87, 2 9 8 - 9 9 , 306), and the Welsh earth-goddess, Ceridwen, i s worshipped in the Cave of the Avanc. Porius refers to his habit of mental detachment as "cavoseniargizing," which suggests the image of a cave. The giants reputedly l i v e d i n mountain caves, and a cave i n Craig Hen, the Old Rock, serves them as a hiding place. The palace of the Modrybedd, hereditary rulers of the forest-people, i s i n Ogof-y-Gawr or the Giant's Cave. The ancient Cadawg, son of the fabulous B r i t i s h king Gorthevyr the Blessed, l i v e s i n a cave named a f t e r a p r e h i s t o r i c monster, the Avanc, which had taken refuge there " i n the days of the f i r s t human intruders" (314). This image of the Avanc, which occurs several times i n the novel (140, 163, ^ 5 6 ) , i s used to 237 describe the appearance of the l a s t of the Druids, a man who also l i v e s underground and i s r a r e l y seen by even his followers (248), Rhun performs the mysteries of his ancient r i t e i n the Cave of Mithras, Although i t has been reconsecrated to Christian worship, the cave-chapel of Mynydd-y-Gaer was o r i g -i n a l l y a shrine to the legendary giant king Rhitta Gawr, and s t i l l contains his r e l i c s . From i t s ancient function, "thi s rock-cavern had gathered into I t s e l f , f o l d upon tremendous f o l d , the h i e r a r c h i c mantle of the sacred terrors of aeons of time" (603). The cults and r i t e s which are associated with a l l these caves have one thing i n commoni they are on the verge of ex t i n c t i o n . The l a s t of the Cewri are Incarcerated in an underwater f i s s u r e i n the rock: the l a s t Druid and the l a s t of the Modrybedd die l n Ogof-y-Gawr, leaving no successors to continue the t r a d i t i o n s of t h e i r worship, Cadawg also dies without issue, l i k e the.Avanc who inhabited the cave before him, Rhun's Mithreaum i s undisturbed, but we know that Mithra-worship i n B r i t a i n did not long survive the departure of the Roman legions. Only one cave, or f i s s u r e l n the earth, becomes a symbol of r e b i r t h rather than e x t i n c t i o n . This i s the tomb of Merlin/ Cronos, on the summit of Snowdon. "There are many gods," concludes Porius at the end of the novel, "and I have served a great one" (682). The measure of Merlin's greatness i s shown by his a b i l i t y , unique among the pagan d e i t i e s of the novel, to r i s e again from his cave-tomb and conquer death. 238 The concept of a god imprisoned i n the earth, awaiting resur-rection and promising new l i f e or a second Age of Gold with i t , i s common to c l a s s i c a l myth, C h r i s t i a n i t y and the vege-t a t i o n cults as well. The close Christian p a r a l l e l Is perhaps curious, i n view of Powys* intense h o s t i l i t y to both orthodox 4 and evangelical C h r i s t i a n i t y in t h i s novel. Merlin, unlike Christ, does not r i s e from his tomb unaided; Porius r o l l s away the stone, and revives Cronos with another blow from the thunderbolt of Zeus. The t r a d i t i o n a l mythological concept of the revived deity i s blended here with a Welsh legend about a great sleeper buried under the peak of Snowdon. In t h i s impressive close of his novel, Powys thus brings together a fundamental mythological pattern, a s p e c i f i c l o c a l legend and the connotations of a unique landscape and u n i f i e s them into an image of great power. In the figure of Merlin Powys also t i e s together a l l the earth images, and some of the water Images, of his novel. Merlin's eyes are cavernous ( 2 7 4 ) , and he i s buried In and resurrected from an enclosed f i s s u r e l n the rock of a mountain-top. He i s supremely at home in the forest, and exerts a magical a t t r a c t i o n upon i t s creatures. At times of c r i s i s , he crouches close to the earth (299, 4 8 1 ) — r e c a l l i n g the e a r l i e r magician figures of Geard and Uryen who also drew t h e i r strength from intimate physical contact with the earth. But the great scene where Merlin in a trance muses upon his Saturnlan destiny takes place on the River Dyfrdwy. Merlin appeals to the Earth Mother through the medium of the r i v e r 239 goddess (281). Thus the elements of earth and water are i d e n t i f i e d with each other. Green i s the colour of e a r t h - l i f e , and also sometimes of water, while black i s associated with death. Merlin, who i s lord of nature and eventually triumphs over death, i s repeat-edly described as having green-black eyes (270, 274, 279, 281). In the natural world t h i s green-black colour i s f e a r f u l . The Gwyddyl Swamp, which sends up a corpse-like odour, i s a "world of greenish-black d i s s o l u t i o n " (219). Porius fears, as he sinks i n the mud around the green rushes and black pools of St. Julian's Fountain, that he w i l l "be carried down into some f a i n t l y - l i t greenish-black underworld" (143). The forest i s "a tangled mass of black-green Cimmerian t w i l i g h t " (633) . This green-black colour i s thus associated with fungus and vegetable decay (220), with the swampy mingling of water and earth, and with death and the underworld. Decay, death and the mysterious world which l i e s beyond death are feared by humans although, or perhaps because, they are part of the inevitable cycle of nature. Porius, thinking of the "blood-clotted greenness" of the death-pool of the Cewri, i s f i l l e d with a sense of "the t e r r o r and the horror of the truth of Nature" (583) . But Nature and death as well are eventually overcome by Merlin, he of the cavernous green-black eyes who promises to the "innumerable weak and t e r r i f i e d " creatures of the earth a second Age of Gold (681). The subtle power of colour to enrich images of earth and water carr i e s over into images of sky. The sky i s quite as 240 important an element of the landscape of Porius as the earth i s . The two dominant sky images are moon and mist. Charac-t e r i s t i c l i g h t and atmosphere i n t h i s part of Edeyrnion are said to depend p a r t i c u l a r l y upon the mist drawn up from the r i v e r ( 5 , 2 6 5 ) . This mist gathers associations and import as the novel develops. It i s associated above a l l with the Cewri of Cader I d r i s . The stubble-colour which Porius f i r s t sees in the d i r e c t i o n of the Cader as a phenomenon d i s t i n c t from the mist l a t e r becomes an i n t r i n s i c part of the mist which shrouds the figures of the Cewri ( 4 2 6 , 4 4 4 , 4 8 5 - 8 6 , 4 9 7 , 5 1 7 ) . Its unnatural c h i l l and corpse-like odour d i f f e r e n t i a t e the straw-coloured mist from the "natural" mist ( 1 0 9 ) . At the beginning of the chapter XV, "Myrddin Wyllt", Powys d i s t i n g -uishes between d i f f e r e n t types of mist, and describes t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n with sunlight and moonlight. The mist most char-a c t e r i s t i c of the Corwen area has a q u a l i t y of enchantment, and acts as a "magical transformer" of the landscape ( 2 6 5 , 2 6 7 ) . It i s the mist, blown into f a n t a s t i c shapes by the wind, which give Morfydd a revelation about her own nature as a woman ( 6 1 8 - 1 9 ) . In the f i n a l consummation of t h e i r love l n the novel Porius f e e l s Morfydd's body as "a deep r i c h gathered-up cloud of undulating mist, a cloud of sea-mist and land-mist, a cloud of earth-vapour and sea-foam" which he i s p i e r c i n g as "a quivering shaft of palpable l i g h t " ( 6 3 8 ) . The scene of Merlin's rescue by Porlus on Snowdon takes place in a grey, i c y mist, pierced at one point by a shaft of sun-l i g h t which illuminates the death-mound of Merlin/Cronos 24l ( 6 7 2 - 7 3 ) . At the conclusion of the novel, Porius i s surrounded by a heavy sea-mist at Harlech (682). Although sunlight penetrating through mist i s an impor-tant image in the novel, the moon i s an even more powerful image. The appearance of the moon i s usually s i n i s t e r , por-tentous of the battles, deaths and supernatural occurrences which take place. In the early chapters, the moon i s seen as "shapeless" ( 1 1 9 , 128, 1 3 7 ) and "weird and ominous" ln t h i s shapelessness ( 3 4 5 ) . On the day before the f a t a l Feast of the Sowing the moon ris e s red, which the Jewish doctor i n t e r -prets as portending blood. ( 3 ? 4 - 7 6 ) . Later in the same evening the moon appears to Porius as "unsympathetic" and "coldly remote" ( 4 0 3 ) . The associations of the moon with e v i l and death culminate in a passage where Powys' old f a n t a s t i c Gothicism seems to reassert i t s e l f . Morfydd finds Rhun weep-ing i n the "primeval shrine" of the Gaer chapel. Although the moon I t s e l f was i n v i s i b l e i t was impos-s i b l e not to f e e l the unearthly influence of moonlight. There was indeed a weird atmosphere l n the place that was almost l i k e the atmosphere that hangs about a corpse. A ghost h e r s e l f , the i n v i s i b l e moon seemed to have sucked our the whole inward l i f e , the p i t h , the sap, the blood-juice, of t h i s heart of the old Gaer f o r t r e s s . In some odd way the Gaer I t s e l f seemed to have been detached by a magnetic p u l l of moon-suction from the rest of the earth, as i f the moon were anxious to draw i t into h e r s e l f so that i t might soothe the i c y ache of one of her hollow breasts of extinct craters. And i f the moon were thus sucking the blood from the Gaer, she seemed to be doing the same thing to a couple of f a i n t barely perceptible stars that were just v i s i b l e to Morfydd through the arrow-slit window. These stars appeared to be receding and receding under the compulsion of some secret purpose of t h e i r own into an i n f i n i t y of moon-sucked, l i f e - d r a i n e d , corpse-grey space. 242 The l a s t appearance of the moon i n the novel, however, i s as the medium of enchantment. On the night of his entomb-ment by Nineue, Merlin performs a miracle. The landscape i s bathed i n an "indescribable" l i g h t which i s neither daylight nor darkness, because although the moon Is i n v i s i b l e i t s l i g h t mysteriously disperses the darkness. Indeed i t was just because the body of the moon was hidden that t h i s e f f e c t of enchantment became so prominent. It was as i f an occult e n t i t y , to which common speech gave the name of 'moonlight,' was now being s o f t l y d iffused from a l l the pores of the old earth's patient skin. And not only from the earth's skin did i t pour f o r t h . From exposed roots, from bare branches, from naked rocks, from precipitous gorges, from s i l v e r y stretches of river-water, from mountain summits and ferny slopes, there rose, in a sacred silence a l l i t s own, t h i s magic element, an emanation which, once having emerged, floated away among the zodiacal signs, to dim by i t s native luminosity the g l i t t e r i n g pin-pricks of galaxies of stars too remote f o r thought. (652) In t h i s atmosphere, where the element of a i r i s " f i l l e d with the mystery of moonlight" (653)? Merlin recreates Blodeuwedd, a creature of "moon-daisy eyes" (657) and "moonlit beauty" (656) who i s formed to respond to and to r e a l i z e "the desper-ate Imaginations of youthful longings and hopeless l u s t s " (657) . The mythological subjects of Porlus are manifold. Although i t i s set i n the Arthurian period of B r i t i s h h i s t o r y — October, 499 — the novel i s curiously l i t t l e concerned with the Arthurian subjects which so exercise Powys' imagination i n A Glastonbury Romance. Strangely enough, i t i s c l a s s i c a l mythology with C e l t i c overtones which dominates, even over the apparently more appropriate C e l t i c and Arthurian themes. 243 Norse myths also enter the narrative at a few points, but t h e i r contribution i s less s i g n i f i c a n t . The combination of C l a s s i c a l , C e l t i c , Arthurian and Norse mythologies i s not, however, a coincidental or haphazard one. Powys i s concerned in Porius to give a sense of the r a c i a l mixtures and p o l i t i c a l struggles which were taking place at this c r u c i a l period ln B r i t i s h h i s t o r y . It has already been seen how he used land-scape to represent d i f f e r e n t elements in the r a c i a l and p o l i t i c a l struggle; mythology, too, serves t h i s purpose of recreating the atmosphere of an age in which Iberian, Brython, Gwyddyl, Pict and Roman, Druidlsm, Mlthraism, Pelagianlsm, Christian orthodoxy, Nordic pagan worship and even a c l a s s i c -a l l y - i n f l u e n c e d scepticism a l l vied f o r supremacy. As i t s introduction explains, the novel seeks to show a world l i k e our own, from which "the old gods are departing" ( x i ) . The prophetic v i s i o n of Porius, that a l l forms of b e l i e f are r e l a -t i v e and t r a n s i t o r y , i s achieved very largely through the r i c h and various accumulation of a l l u s i o n s to the many d i f -ferent mythological and r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s of the characters of the novel. Though Norse myths play a r e l a t i v e l y s l i g h t part, i t i s not an unimportant one, f o r they are linked to the Saxon invaders whose Inherited myths and r e l i g i o n were Nordic. The Saxon band attacking Arthur i s frightened off by the sudden and unearthly appearance of the grey-haired Tonwen astride the grey horse: in t h e i r surprise, the Norsemen take her to be one of the Valkyrie, and assume that Wotan has turned against them 244 ( 3 4 8 ) . Later when the powerful Porius tears up a tree to use as a club against Gunhorst, the Saxon has "a strange, almost mystical f e e l i n g that he, with some kind of superior weapon, had been f o r thousands of years contending against t h i s man whose strength was i n his arms, and who l i k e the giants of Jotunheim could f i g h t with his bare hands" ( 5 7 7 ) . These allusio n s to Norse myth have the same quality which was char-a c t e r i s t i c of the mythological a l l u s i o n s of Owen Glendower; that i s , they occur within the consciousness of an Individual character, and are revelatory of his p a r t i c u l a r way of seeing himself i n terms of the archetypes of his race (see above, Chapter VII, 2 3-24). The a l l u s i o n s have the add i t i o n a l e f f e c t of increasing the dimensions of the characters of the novel. Tonwen and Porlus, so perceived by the Saxons, become larger than l i f e : the archetypal q u a l i t y conferred on them increases t h e i r resonance. It increases also our sense of the world of the novel as a primal world, on the border between the mythic and the h i s t o r i c . The world of Porlus i s one ln which h i s t o r -i c a l personages l i k e the elder Porlus, serai-historical personages l i k e Arthur and T a l i e s s i n , and characters of pure myth such as Merlin and the Cewri can mingle with each other, and thus i t seems appropriate that even the wholly "human" characters should take on a supernatural dimension in the eyes of other characters. The c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s of the novel, too, are frequently matched to the perceptions of the character through whom they are made. This Is p a r t i c u l a r l y the case with Brochvael, the scholar who has t r a v e l l e d much in the c l a s s i c a l world, and 245 can conceive of no greater pleasure than to s i t down with a new manuscript of Aristophanes ( 4 39 ) . Through Brochvael, and his classically-educated daughter Morfydd, many comparisons are made between Greek and Roman l i t e r a t u r e and the contem-porary s i t u a t i o n i n Wales ( 1 5 1 , 1 6 5 , 243, 2 5 1 , 5 9 4 , 6 1 1 , 6 2 1 , 6 2 3 , 6 3 3 , 6 3 7 ) . At one point l n the narrative Brochvael even encounters a g i r l named S i b y l l a who conducts him as the S y b i l did Aeneas into a subterranean world ( 2 2 7 , 2 3 7 , 2 3 9 , see 1 6 3 ) . The c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s occur with reference to other charac-ters as wel l . Merlin i s compared to Hermes conducting a pair of souls to H e l l ( 4 12 ) , and Neb appears l i k e a statue of that same god ( 5 4 ? ) . Gunta i s compared to I r i s ( 5 5 3 ) and T a l i e s s i n to T i r e s i a s ( 4 1 0 ) . The vine decorations in Porius' marriage tent suggest "Thessaly rather than Edeyrnion" and frequent reference i s made to the theory of the Greek o r i g i n of the Brythonic t r i b e s ( 1 1 2 , 1 6 5 , 2 5 1 ) . Even Cadawg the Disinher-i t e d quotes Horace, and compares the urn of Horace's poem to the sacred C e l t i c cauldrons of wisdom and r e b i r t h ( 3 2 0 - 2 1 ) . Powys' treatment of Merlin emphasizes the metaphysical aspects of Cronos, the c l a s s i c a l d e i t y with whom Powys has chosen to i d e n t i f y Merlin, rather than his role as Arthur's counsellor. The Cronos theme, and the teme of metamorphosis are both central to the novel, as w i l l be seen l a t e r , and both are e s s e n t i a l l y derived from c l a s s i c a l myth. Paradoxically, the c l a s s i c a l world seems much closer in Porius than does the Arthurian world of the medieval romances. Porius plans a journey to Byzantium; Dion Dionides, the Greek 246 sea-captain, brings a manuscript of Aristophanes; Brochvael and Morfydd spend much time reading the c l a s s i c a l authors and see t h e i r l i v e s at least p a r t i a l l y l n terms of that reading. C l a s s i c a l mythology i n the world of Porius i s at least as Important as the indigenous legends i n shaping the imagination of almost every one of the novel's major characters. The c l a s s i c a l myths provide them with images, with sources of comparison, and with suggestions of a larger dimension to t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r concerns. The importance of t h i s c l a s s i c a l c u l t u r a l influence i n f i f t h century B r i t a i n i s made credible through Powys' empha-s i s upon the Immense impression l e f t by the Roman occupation — an impression not yet effaced by the waves of barbarian invasions. In t h i s sense, the Dark Ages have not quite begun in Edeyrnion, hence the r u l i n g C e l t i c families quote Homer and V i r g i l and educate t h e i r o f f s p r i n g i n the c l a s s i c s . And as was previously suggested, the c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s and similes are usually made by or with reference to characters who are themselves f a m i l i a r with the c l a s s i c s . Here Porius makes an i n t e r e s t i n g contrast to Owen Glendower f o r the e a r l i e r novel, although dealing with a supposedly much more cultured and c i v i l i z e d Wales, contains few c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s and makes a point of i n d i c a t i n g the lack of knowledge of the c l a s s i c s among even the most educated Welshmen. The prevalence of c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s in Porlus also no doubt has something to do with Powys' increasing absorption i n the ancient world i i n the eight years a f t e r the publication 247 of Porius Powys wrote two books using the Homeric mythology — A t l a n t i s and Homer and the Aether, and read Homer d a i l y . ^ The c l a s s i c a l dimension i n Porius i s an i n t e r e s t i n g and o r i g -i n a l enrichment of Powys* conception of the Arthurian world. The Arthurian world always fascinated Powyst i t i s , at l e a s t , unexpected that, when he came to write a novel l n which the people of that world might appear i n t h e i r own persons rather than as suggestive shadows, he should give them sur-p r i s i n g l y l i t t l e substance. Nineue, Merlin, Arthur, Mordred and Galahad a l l appear but, with the exception of Merlin, none of them i s very much developed and a l l take subordinate roles to the Invented characters. In t h i s sense Powys i s consis-tent with the treatment of myth i n his e a r l i e r novels, such as A Glastonbury Romance; the psychology of the invented characters i s a l l important, and the mythological references are used suggestively to add certain depths and dimensions to t h i s psychological study rather than being worked into an elaborate and consistent pattern of t h e i r own. Thus even when given the opportunity for a d i r e c t and extended descrip-tion of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of Merlin with Nineue, Powys chooses to keep that strange a f f a i r in the shadows and to expand instead upon the relationships of Porius, Rhun and Morfydd. Arthur i s a much less v i v i d figure than Prince Einlon, and the humorous undercutting of the t r a d i t i o n a l l y i d e a l i z e d Galahad remains only a vignette. Perhaps Powys was wise i n not attempting a f u l l - s c a l e version of the Arthurian figures in Porius. They have always 248 functioned in his novels as suggestive rather than c l e a r l y -developed symbols, and they undoubtedly derive much of t h e i r potency from his leaving t h e i r meaning i m p l i c i t . Because the p r i n c i p a l Arthurian figures have such r i c h l i t e r a r y associ-ations i t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r a modern writer to portray them d i r e c t l y without reducing t h e i r dimensions, making them f l a t and tawdry. T.H. White succeeds by being d e l i b e r a t e l y out-rageous and whimsical; generally, the most e f f e c t i v e modern treatments of the Arthurian materials appear not l n prose but ln the complex and a l l u s i v e poetry of E l i o t , Charles Williams and David Jones. A cancelled chapter of Porlus which i s s t i l l extant in the typescript of the novel (in the possession of Mr. E.E. B l s s e l l of Ashorne, Warwickshire) develops the figure of Galahad somewhat, and encourages speculation that the novel ln i t s uncut form might have given more s i g n i f i c a n t develop-ment of other Arthurian figures as w e l l . In the published version Galahad appears as a "red-headed young f o o l " (424) who, when injured in b a t t l e keeps up "a loud, s e l f - p i t y i n g monologue interspersed with groans and lamentations" (474). Like the other young Arthurian knights camped at St. Julian's Fountain, he i s a soft-skinned dandy and a coward who meets a c r i s i s by bursting into tears (477-80). In the cancelled chapter, however, Powys puts a d i f f e r e n t interpretation upon the nature of the prince. Hearing T a l l e s s l n r e c i t e some lines of poetry about the imprisonment of the mysterious Gwalr in Caer S i d i , the Henog has an i n s p i r a t i o n that Galahad himself 249 i s none other than the mysterious Gwair, "a soul so haunted by the memory of one f a t a l incarnation that a l l subsequent ones become nothing but recurrent stages i n one long desperate struggle to forget" (1394 of t y p e s c r i p t ) . Like Uryen, Galahad i s thus something of a l o s t soul, seeking to "break through" to another dimension and to expunge an inhuman weight of s u f f e r i n g which he f o r some reason has been c a l l e d upon to bear. On the threshold of Uryen's house Dud found himself i n v o l u n t a r i l y uttering the words of Caer S i d i , as did the Marquis on the threshold of Merlin's chamber in Mark's Court. The concepts of reincarnation and the transmigration of souls are bound up f o r Powys i n the image of the otherworld prison of Caer S i d i . As the figure of Galahad remains a minor one l n the novel, i t would seem to be his subsequent position ln the Arthurian legends which suggests t h i s connection with Caer S i d i rather than any extraordinary q u a l i t i e s in the man him-s e l f such as were possessed by Geard and Uryen. Thus although i t i s i n t r i g u i n g , the connection of Galahad with Gwair remains so undeveloped as to be almost meaningless, and the excision of the reference was probably not a great loss to the novel. However, these passages describing the Henog's notion that Galahad i s a reincarnation of Gwair, do contain an in t e r -esting i l l u s t r a t i o n of Powys' attitude towards myth. After . putting forward his theory about Galahad, the Henog then sug-gests that his fri e n d the French poet Cretinloy might a l l o t to the unhappy prince a s p e c i a l part to play in the Christian mysteries. Such a b e l i e f might ennoble and redeem the prince, 250 and grant him peace of mind. Thus, i t i s implied, the figure of Galahad, the G r a i l Questor, came into being. Elsewhere the Henog explains that many fables " i n r e a l i t y are f a r more . . . revealing of Nature's secrets than many v e r i f i e d facts and unquestionable events" (423-24). Although the Henog sup-ports the cause of History over those of Poetry and Prophecy (537), his conception of h i s t o r i c a l truth i s a very broad one and leaves generous room f o r the imaginative truth con-veyed through legend. The figure of Galahad which the Henog wishes to create ultimately has a greater reali t y , because of i t s proximity to the archetype of the questing hero, than does the actual unpromising youth upon whom thi s imaginative creation i s b u i l t . Powys had Introduced th i s approach to h i s t o r i c a l versus imaginative truth in the account of the signing of the T r i p a r t i t e Indenture in Owen Glendower (see above Chapter VII, 2 5 - 2 6 ) . Merlin, s i m i l a r l y , in his reverie ln Chapter XV questions whether he a c t u a l l y remembers his l i f e as Cronos or whether i t i s just that Homer, "that old Aeolian Henog, imagined i t so strongly about him that i t had forced him to imagine i t about himself" (284) . The Henog's quarrels with Merlin and with T a l i e s s l n are ultimately I n s i g n i f i c a n t since he, l i k e them, i s concerned with an Imaginative recreation of experience which does not d i f f e r greatly from t h e i r poetry and prophecy. The roots of the Arthurian legend are, i t seems now f a i r l y well agreed among scholars, to be found in C e l t i c mythology; th i s was the view held by S i r John Rhys, and also 251 by Powys in his f i c t i o n a l treatments of the legends. In Porius as i n the preceding novels there i s no c l e a r demarcation made between the Arthurian and the more primitive C e l t i c worlds. Such characters as Merlin and T a l i e s s l n belong to both. The "Hanes T a l i e s s i n , " version of the Mablnoglon along with early Arthurian t a l e s such as "The Lady of the Fountain," "Peredur" and "Geraint," describes T a l i e s s i n as the servant and bard of Owain ap Urien, but does not associate t h i s l a t t e r personage with Arthur's court. Powys follows Tennyson, and Charles Williams, i n placing T a l i e s s i n among the retinue of Arthur, although the eccentric, casual and primitive rel a t i o n s h i p of Powys' T a l i e s s i n to his o f f i c i a l position i s very unlike the formal role of the bard i n I d y l l s of the King. S i m i l a r l y , the figure pf Gwendydd, Merlin's s i s t e r , i s taken from an early Welsh poem in the Red Book of Hergest which purports to be a dialogue between Merlin and Gwendydd. The suggestion f o r her character here i s taken up by Powys, and his Gwendydd becomes one of the most memorable minor characters of the novel. Most of the references in Porius to early Welsh myths, p a r t i c u l a r l y to the figures of the Mablnoglon, are casual a l l u s i o n s , not f u l l y developed symbolically. Passing mention made of the sea-god Dylan (507), Arlanrod (291), the mist conjured up by Caswallawn (148), the pigs of Annwn (106, 505) and the Coranians (2, 12, 15 and others) show an easy famil-i a r i t y with Welsh mythology which i s appropriate to the loca-t i o n and period of the novel, and enriches i t s texture. Some of the references are more s i g n i f i c a n t , however, and Increase 252 in resonance as the novel proceeds. Such are the references to Pryderi, the "good" god of the south who was k i l l e d by the e v i l magic of the northern god Gwydlon. Powys puts forward a curious theory that the forest people of northern Wales had acquired crazy and p a i n f u l and repulsive manias, and had been burdened by insane obligations, because of these old gods of t h e i r s . In place of being a proud memory or a storehouse of fabulous beauty t h e i r ancient r e l i g i o n had become f o r them a dark horri b l e sensitive bruise l y i n g at the bottom of t h e i r soul . . . (389) The southerners, however, have no such "inbred i n h i b i t i o n " to make them reluctant to think of t h e i r gods, f o r these gods are kinder than "the older, darker, less human d e i t i e s of the magical north" (390) . The d i s t i n c t i o n between north and south i s an i n t e r e s t i n g one. Certainly, the rulers of southern Wales i n the four branches of the Mablnoglon do appear to be kinder and more just r u l e r s than the crafty Gwydlon and the other potentates of the north. In Porlus Arthur, Merlin and t h e i r followers apparently come from the south, and are i d e n t i f i e d with a more benign rule than the anarchic warring of the r a c i a l factions i n the north would permit. However, the d i s t i n c t i o n i s not developed. It i s also curious that in Porlus the north i s "magical," when in Owen Glendower the north was c h l v a l r i c and m i l i t a r y while the south represented magic and i l l u s i o n (see above Chapter VII, 2 0 2 ) , The beneficent southern gods Pwyll and his son Pryderi are associated as well with death and the underworld (56, 253 257. 497, 505, 526, 669) * Pwyll's t i t l e i s Pen Annwn. They are thus to be identified, with Merlin, who l i k e them i s a beneficent god from the south defeated, l i k e Pryderi, by magic and t r i c k e r y l n the north and buried under a mound. Merlin Is described as "a f a r more powerful deity than any son of Pwy11-Pen-Annwn (669) , but l i k e Pwyll he too i s "Pen Annwn, Head of Hades" (490) . The massive dark head of Merlin which makes Brochvael think of the phrase "Pen Annwn" r e c a l l s also the great head of Uryen Quirm. With Uryen, Merlin ln Porius Is compared as well to Bran the Blessed, another god from the Mablnoglon associated with the underworld. The a l l