The Musuem
Floor Plan

The Dennis Wheatley 'Museum' - DW's Library

Dennis Wheatley's Library - modern first editions
Anthony Powell

Powell’s ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’ series

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DW askes Harold Mortlake about Powell’s books

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Powell and DW were friends, and lunched together regularly at the St James's Club in the 1970s. Powell inscribed a number of his books for DW, and admired his bookplate.

DW may well have been pleased that in 1972, Powell wrote to him seeking his help with an aspect of the plot of one of the books in the ‘Dance to the Music of Time’ series, and DW is referred to in relatively glowing terms in Powell’s Journals. At one stage he mentions ‘The Dennis Wheatley category … of relatively intelligent men who write more or less conscious drivel.’, while later on he promotes him to ‘an intelligent man who writes absurd historical romances’.

As Phil Baker observed, for Powell this was high praise.

Perhaps his ultimate tribute to DW was that Powell loosely based the protagonist Valentine Beals in his final novel 'The Fisher King' (1986) on DW.

DW had fifteen of Powell’s books in his Library, all signed to him personally, including the twelve volumes of ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’.

The combined value of the ‘Dance’ series in Blackwell’s catalogue was £670.

DW’s set of the ‘A Dance to the Music of Time’ novels was sold at Christies New York (ex the Roger Rechler collection) in 2002 for US$ 19,120, or £ 12,235.

References: Office & Temporary Gentleman page 148
Phil Baker Page 11, Chapter 49, with quotations on page 590
For Powell seeking DW's help with the plot of one of the volumes in 'The Dance to the Music of Time' series, see the Blackwell's Catalogue, item 1694

Provenance : letter – Private collection