The novels of John Cowper Powys are like none other, combining the romantic extravagance and comic exuberance of the great nineteenth-century novelists with the self-conscious depth and introspection of the great Modernists. "Maiden Castle" is the story of Dud No-man, a historical novelist widowed after a year-long unconsummated marriage to a woman who continues to haunt him. Inspired by pity and his own deep loneliness, Dud takes Wizzie Ravelston, an itinerant circus performer, into his home and heart. Yet even as the characters in Dorchester struggle with the perplexities of love, desire, and faith, it is the looming fortress of "Maiden Castle" that exerts the otherworldly force that irrevocably determines the course of their lives.
John Cowper Powys (1872-1963) lived in the U.S. as well as his native England, and was the author of ten novels, including "Porius", "A Glastonbury Romance" and "Weymouth Sands" (all published by Duckworth), as well as many works of criticism and philosophy.