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John S. Monagan - Anthony Powell Collection 2

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS341

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The John Monagan/Anthony Powell Collection 2 consists mainly of correspondence between Violet Powell and John Monagan spanning the years 1978 to 2001. The collection also contains manuscripts, correspondence, and articles regarding the life and works of Anthony Powell. Containing just one original postcard from Anthony Powell to John Monagan, the bulk of the correspondence in the collection is written by Violet Powell and is accompanied by copies of Monagan's letters to the Powells. There are also a few letters written by the sons, Tristram and John. Of the other letters written to Monagan regarding Powell, correspondents of note include Powell scholars Nicholas Birns and Hilary Spurling. There is one signed letter from Colin Powell, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. The collection includes manuscripts written by Monagan describing his visits to the Chantry in 1984 and 1988. Also contained here are letters written by Monagan to editors in response to printed articles regarding Powell. In addition to the Monagan manuscripts are three by Nicholas Birns including his for Understanding Anthony Powell. Rounding out the collection are materials from the Anthony Powell Society keeping record of the organization's activities and including a copy of Monagan's book, The Master and the Congressman. One highlight of the collection is the series of 25 photographs taken by the Monagans during their visit to the Chantry in May 1984. It was from one of these photos that a postcard was made for the Powell Society featuring Anthony Powell and his cat, Trelawney. Finally, materials are included from the Georgetown University Library exhibition and symposium celebrating the Anthony Powell centennial in 2005.

SERIES SYNOPSIS: The John Monagan/Anthony Powell Collection 2 is arranged into six series.

SERIES: 1. Powell Family Correspondence DESCRIPTION: This series contains correspondence written between John Monagan and the Powell Family. The majority of the letters are written by Monagan and Violet Powell, but there are a few letters written by Tristram and John Powell. There is one postcard written by Anthony Powell to John Monagan. The correspondence is arranged chronologically.

SERIES: 2. Correspondence Regarding Anthony Powell DESCRIPTION: This series contains correspondence written to and from John Monagan regarding Anthony Powell. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by Monagan's correspondents.

SERIES: 3. Manuscripts DESCRIPTION: This series contains manuscript material regarding Anthony Powell written by John Monagan and others. The Monagan manuscripts and notes are arranged first in the series by date. The manuscripts written by others follow in alphabetical order.

SERIES: 4. Anthony Powell Society DESCRIPTION: This series contains material regarding the Anthony Powell Society including correspondence, newsletters and information about conferences. The series also includes one folder of material from the Anthony Powell Washington DC Fan Club.

SERIES: 5. Printed Articles DESCRIPTION: This series contains printed articles regarding Anthony Powell. The articles are arranged chronologically.

SERIES: 6. Photographs and Sound Recording DESCRIPTION: This series contains photographs of the Powell family and related subjects. Some photographs are contained elsewhere in the collection if they accompany specific correspondence. Photographs used in the Centennial Exhibition at Georgetown University Library are included here along with a sound recording of the symposium.


  • 1970 - 2005
  • Majority of material found within 1985 - 2005

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Anthony Dymoke Powell was born on December 21, 1905, in London, England. His father, Philip Lionel William Powell was an army officer, and his mother was Maud Mary Wells-Dymoke. Powell was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, where he earned his B.A., 1926; and M.A., 1944. His academic honors include a D.Litt. from the universities of Sussex (1971), Kent and Leceister (1976), Oxford (1980), and Bristol (1982). Powell's career as a writer was launched in 1931 with the publication of his first novel, Afternoon Men. His publisher was Duckworth and Co. Ltd., with whom he was affiliated from 1926 to 1935. In 1936, Powell was a scriptwriter for Warner Brothers of Great Britain. During World War II, Powell served in the Welch Regiment infantry from 1939 to 1941; the Intelligence Corps, from 1941-1945; and as liaison officer at the British War Office. His military honors include ranking as a major, receiving the Order of the White Lion (Czechoslovakia), the Order of Leopold II (Belgium), and the Oaken Crown and Croix de Guerre (Luxembourg).

As a man of letters Powell was also an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and of the Modern Language Society. He was a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, London (1962-76), and a member of the London Travellers' Club. Other outstanding awards and honors conferred on Powell include, Commander of Order of the British Empire (1956); Companion of Honor (1988); the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (1958) for At Lady Molly's; the W.H. Smith Fiction Award (1974) for Temporary Kings; the Bennett Award for the Hudson Review; and the T.S. Eliot Award from the Ingersoll Foundation (1984) both for body of work. Powell is duly famous for his series of novels under the overall title, A Dance to the Music of Time (first British publication from 1951-1975). His other long work consists of memoirs entitled, To Keep the Ball Rolling: the Memoirs of Anthony Powell (first British publication 1976-1982) and Journals (1995). For a complete listing of Powell's works refer to Anthony Powell: A Bibliography by George Lilley (1993). Anthony Powell and Lady Violet Pakenham were married on December 1, 1934. Born March 13, 1912, she was the daughter of the fifth Earl of Longford. They had two sons, Tristram and John. The family resided at their Somerset home, the Chantry. Anthony Powell died on March 28, 2000. Violet Powell died January 12, 2002. [Biographical Source: Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Volume 32.]

John Stephen Monagan was born December 23, 1911, in Waterbury, New Haven County, Connecticut. He received his early education at Driggs, St. Mary's and Crosby high schools in Waterbury. He received his Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1933, and later attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1937. In 1938 he was admitted to the Connecticut bar and commenced the practice of law in his home town of Waterbury the same year. Mr. Monagan has held numerous significant commercial and political positions including president of the Waterbury Board of Aldermen, 1940 to 1943; mayor of Waterbury, 1943 to 1948; member of the board of directors of the Waterbury Savings Bank; delegate at the Democratic National Conventions, 1944, 1948, 1960, 1964, and 1968. He was for many years a congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives (D-Conn.) and was elected to the Eighty-sixth and to the six succeeding congresses (January 3, 1959 to January 3, 1973). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1972 to the Ninety-third Congress, and resumed the practice of law. An accomplished writer, Mr. Monagan also has several published works to his name, including Behind the Iron Curtain and in Selected Countries of Western Europe (U.S. Congress House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1963); Horace: Priest of the Poor (1985); The Grand Panjandrum: Mellow Year of Justice Holmes (1988); From Green Road to Cracker Hill, Waterbury Memories with John Monagan (videotaped lecture given in Waterbury, Connecticut, 1991); One Man's View of Bauby's Corner (1994); and The Master and the Congressman (2003). John Monagan died October 23, 2005. He and his wife, Rosemary Brady Monagan, had five children.


2.25 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


John S. Monagan - Anthony Powell Collection 2
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057