Father Adam
by
T. F. Powys

edited by
IAN ROBINSON
with an essay on the tale’s genesis by
ELAINE MENCHER

 

Father Adam is the first of Powys’s mature tales, developing the startling idea that we might live by obeying the Ten Commandments—and telling seriously and funnily of the complications that leads to when Adam meets Eva. In 1990, when the Brynmill Press first published Father Adam, The Times described it as “elegant and amusing, profound and sparse … both a parable and a brief delight”. The text for this first paperback edition has now been handsomely reset and provided with a new and detailed account by Elaine Mencher of the genesis of Father Adam that sheds light on the extraordinarily long and complex development of T. F. Powys’s leading shoots of ideas. The case is supported by the printing in full of a number of intriguing minor texts and two short stories, all previously unpublished and themselves of considerable interest.

ISBN 978 0 907839 85 9
paperback 152 pp. 8.40

 

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Review

The Use of English Vol. 54, No. 3 (Summer 2003)

Father Adam, by T. F. Powys, edited by Ian Robinson. (The Brynmill Press Ltd, £8.40)—delightfully produced edition of Powys’s first mature tale which is a must for anyone interested in the mordant and yet sympathetically ironic vision of the English rural scene. The tragedy of innocence in the preacher of the Ten Commandments, Father Adam, looks forward to the story, “The Box of Sweets”, and the overwhelming vision of Ralph Crew, a young man who believes his calling to be “that of reforming and regenerating the people of the whole world”, is an early suggestion of Powys’s bleakly comic masterpiece, Mr Weston’s Good Wine.

 

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