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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…

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