Latest Issue

The passing of Powell

He was the last literary lion of his generation and contrary to the accusations of snobbery he had a profoundly democratic literary instinct

By Ferdinand Mount   June 2000

At three in the morning, Anthony Powell took a turn for the worse, and the doctor was summoned. He was new, youngish and he turned out to be called Powell too. While they were waiting, the novelist’s elder son, film director Tristram Powell, chatted to Dr Powell about what part of Wales his ancestors came from. It was a typical Powellian moment: unexpected, genealogical, comical, melancholy. Tony Powell died later that night, quietly, at a great age (94) after a long period of frailty, surrounded by his two sons and his wife Violet to whom he had been married for…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect