Lady Violet Powell (13 March 1912 – 12 January 2002), born Violet Georgiana Pakenham, was a writer and critic. Her husband was author Anthony Powell.
Life and career
Lady Violet was the third daughter of Thomas Pakenham, 5th Earl of Longford and Lady Mary Julia Child Villiers (daughter of Victor Child-Villiers, 7th Earl of Jersey). She was educated at St Margaret's School, Bushey.
A member of a highly literary family, Lady Violet's brothers were Edward Pakenham and Frank Pakenham, while her sisters included Lady Pansy Lamb and Mary Pakenham. She was herself a distinguished memoirist and biographer. Her The Life of a Provincial Lady (1988), on the life of E. M. Delafield, has been called by one critic "one of the best literary biographies of a British writer in the twentieth century". Those who knew the couple well believed that Lady Violet made significant contributions to the richness, depth and polish of her husband's work. She also wrote a biography of the English novelist Flora Annie Steel.
Some of her books are:
- The Album of Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time
- A Compton-Burnett Compendium
- A Jane Austen Compendium: The Six Major Novels
- The Constant Novelist: A Study of Margaret Kennedy, 1896–1967
- Flora Annie Steel: Novelist of India
- The Irish Cousins: The Books and Background of Somerville and Ross
- The Life of a Provincial Lady: A Study of E.M. Delafield and Her Works
- Margaret, Countess of Jersey: A Biography
- A Substantial Ghost: The Literary Adventures of Maude ffoulkes
- Five Out of Six: An Autobiography (a reference to her birth order amongst her siblings)
- Within the Family Circle: An Autobiography
- The Departure Platform: An Autobiography
- A Stone in the Shade: Last Memoirs
- "Lady Violet Powell". 15 Jan 2002. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- Nicholas Birns, Understanding Anthony Powell (2004), p. 7
- Mannsaker, Frances M. (Autumn 1982). "Flora Annie Steel, Novelist of India by Violet Powell". Victorian Studies. 26 (1): 105–106. doi:10.2307/3827506.
- Taylor, D.J. (10 August 2013). "A Stone in the Shade, by Violet Powell - review". Spectator. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
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