A Dance To the Music Of Time

by Powell, Anthony

A Dance to the Music of Time is a twelve-volume series of novels by Anthony Powell. One of the longest works of fiction in literature, the work is often published as four volumes of three novels each. The title, A Dance to the Music of Time, was inspired by Nicolas Poussin’s painting of the same name, which depicts the four seasons as nymphs dancing in a circle while a winged Father Time plays the harp.

The epic work is narrated through the memories of Nick Jenkins, an “everyman” recalling the people he met over the previous half-century. Yet A Dance to the Music of Time is less about Jenkins and more about the metropolitan circles he inhabits. Beginning with the end of World War I and ending with the turbulence of the 1960s, the novels highlight encounters between friends and lovers who drift apart but continue to reencounter each other over time. Apart from a trip to France, some time in Ireland, and an interval in Venice, the series mainly takes place in England and is often read as a reflection of the country’s social history.

In its entirety, A Dance to the Music of Time is composed of the following novels: A Question of Upbringing (1951), A Buyer's Market (1952), The Acceptance World (1955), At Lady Molly's (1957), Casanova's Chinese Restaurant (1960), The Kindly Ones (1962), The Valley of Bones (1964), The Soldier's Art (1966), The Military Philosophers (1968), Books Do Furnish a Room (1971), Temporary Kings (1973), and Hearing Secret Harmonies (1975).

The books were a great success in both Britain and America upon their publication. The series is ranked 43rd on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century. It is also listed on TIME’s “100 Best Novels” (since 1923) and the Telegraph’s list of the 20 best British and Irish novels of all time.

First Edition Identification

William Heinemann is the original publisher of the A Dance to the Music of Time novels. Published from 1951 through 1975, all twelve first editions in the set are uniformly bound in dark red cloth with spines lettered in gilt in black title blocks.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

University of Chicago Press, publisher of the US editions of A Dance to the Music of Time, put a seasonal nymph from Poussin’s original work on the spine of each of its four volumes. 

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A Dance to the Music of Time.
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A Dance to the Music of Time.

by POWELL, Anthony.

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1951-75
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London: William Heinemann Ltd,, 1951-75. Increasingly warm inscriptions to a pre-eminent bibliophile and "fellow infantryman" First editions, first impressions, an exceptional association set of the complete novel sequence. Each volume is inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to his friend, the auctioneer and historian Anthony Hobson (1921-2014); the latter nine are inscribed to Hobson and his… Read more about this item
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Dance to the Music of Time (four volume set)

Dance to the Music of Time (four volume set)

by POWELL, Anthony.

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1976
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Hardcover
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Boston:: Little, Brown,. Near Fine in Near Fine dust jacket. 1976. Hardcover. Complete in four volumes - three books in each volume. First Movement: A Question of Upbringing, A Buyer's Market, The Acceptance World. Second Movement: At Lady Molly's, Casanova's Chinese Restaurant, The Kindly Ones. Third Movement: The Valley of Bones,… Read more about this item
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A Dance to the Music of Time.
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A Dance to the Music of Time.

by POWELL, Anthony.

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1951-75
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London: William Heinemann Ltd,, 1951-75. The English Proust First editions, first impressions, of the complete set of the author's celebrated novel sequence, likened by Evelyn Waugh to "a continuous frieze in high relief, deep cut and detailed" (Waugh, p. 548). Covering more than 50 years in the life of Nicholas Jenkins, the novel "is less about Jenkins than about… Read more about this item
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[A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME; comprised of:]  A Question of Upbringing; A Buyer's Market; The Acceptance World; At Lady Molly's; Casanova's Chinese Restaurant; The Kindly Ones; The Valley of Bones; The Soldier's Art; The Military Philosophers; Books do Furnish a Room; Temporary Kings; Hearing Secret Harmonies

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New York; London; Boston: Charles Scribner's Sons; William Heinemann, LTD; Little, Brown, and Company, 1951-1975. Together 12 volumes. All First Edition, a mixed set. Books 1, 4, 8, & 11 being first American editions and books 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, & 12 being first British editions. 8vo, Each title is in… Read more about this item
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A Dance to the Music of Time (3 vols.)
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A Dance to the Music of Time (3 vols.)

by Anthony Powell

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1965
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New York, NY: Berkley Medallion, 1965. Three volumes. Paperbacks. Very Good. Bindings are tight, volumes are age-toned overall with minor edge wear to covers and holes punched through lower right corners. Ownership name inside each front cover, else unmarked. Photos are of the copies here at Barbed Wire Books.
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Dance to the Music of Time: The Soldier's Art; Books Do Furnish a Room; Temporary Kings; Hearing Secret Harmonies
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Dance to the Music of Time: The Soldier's Art; Books Do Furnish a Room; Temporary Kings; Hearing Secret Harmonies

by Powell, Anthony

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1st Edition
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London: Heinemann. The eighth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth novels in the "Dance to the Music of Time" series. All first editions, first printings with no inscriptions. The original dust jackets are unclipped and protected by clear, removable covers. Minor wear only. Four nice books that would be a good contribution towards building the set of twelve that make up the… Read more about this item
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A Dance to the Music of Time - Buyer's Market

by Anthony Powell (Author), Simon Russell Beale (Reader)

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Library edition
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1997
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Cassette
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9781855499768
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Marlborough, Wiltshire: Cover to Cover Cassettes Ltd, 1997. Library edition. Cassette. Very Good. in the original box, from a private collection played once or twice. Hard to find unabridged audio book, read by Simon Russell Beale. Beale gave an acclaimed performance as Kenneth Widmerpool in the Channel 4 mini-series based on the work. Of the two unabridged… Read more about this item
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A Dance to the Music of Time

A Dance to the Music of Time

by Anthony Powell

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Edge wear to the jacket. Brief notation on the fep. Front hinge cracked but the binding is still good. Pages unmarked. Clipped newspaper obituaries laid in.
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A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

by Anthony Powell

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1st Edition Thus
Published
1995
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Paperback
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9780226677149
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Benson, Vermont, USA
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Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. 1st Edition Thus. Paperback. Very Good. Later Printing. Shelf wear, light soiling to page edges, a dog-eared page. The first three novels in the twelve novel sequence A Dance to the Music of Time: A Question of Upbringing; A Buyer's Market; The Acceptance World. We specialize in the works of and… Read more about this item
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A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME

A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME

by Powell, Anthony

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1951
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London: Heinemann, 1951. Complete in twelve volumes, totalling approximately 3,000 pages; cr. 8vo; red cloth, spines blocked in black and lettered in gilt, edges of boards sometimes lightly rubbed or a trifle bruised, a couple of the spines lightly worn, A Buyer's Market damp marked (around spine and at bottom fore-corner of lower board); dust wrappers, designed by Broome-Lynne… Read more about this item
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A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement (Dance to the Music of Time)

by Anthony Powell

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April 1995
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Trade Paperback
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9780226677149
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Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA
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University Of Chicago Press, April 1995. Trade Paperback. Used Good. We carry new and used books in our storefront. We want you to be satisfied with your purchase. Please contact us if you have questions regarding this item.
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A Dance to the Music of Time : Second Movement

A Dance to the Music of Time : Second Movement

by Anthony Powell

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1995
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Paperback
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9780226677163
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University of Chicago Press, 1995. Paperback. Good. Disclaimer:A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend… Read more about this item
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A Dance to the Music of Time (Volume 1: Spring)

A Dance to the Music of Time (Volume 1: Spring)

by Anthony Powell

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2006
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London: The Folio Society, 2006. First Folio Printing. Hardcover Hardcover. Fine Condition. 24cm x 17cm. xvi, 496 pages, illustrations, some colour. Quarter red cloth, illustrated papered boards, gilt lettering, slipcase. A Question of Upbringing; A Buyer's Market; The Acceptance World. Introduction by William Trevor. Shipped Weight: 1.30 kilos. BZDB407 Fiction; Unbranded Anthony Powell A Dance… Read more about this item
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A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

by Powell, Anthony

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1st
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1995
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Softcover
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9780226677149
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Pittsford, New York, USA
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Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Fine copy. 1995. 1st. softcover. 8vo, 718 pp., First printing of this new softcover edition. .
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A Dance to the Music of Time: A Question of Upbringing a Buyer's Market the Acceptance World

A Dance to the Music of Time: A Question of Upbringing a Buyer's Market the Acceptance World

by Anthony Powell

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Used - Good
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No Dust Jacket
Published
1955
Binding
ISBN
9780823209453
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Newtown, New South Wales, AUS
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Boston, Toronto: Little, Brown, and Company, 1955 The cover has a little wear. The page edges are lightly tanned. The endpapers have marks from insect damage. 214 pages. Books listed here are not stored at the shop. Please contact us if you want to pick up a book from Newtown.. Hardcover. Good/No Dust Jacket.
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A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

by Powell, Anthony

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9780226677149
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Frederick, Maryland, USA
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University of Chicago Press. Used - Good. Good condition. A copy that has been read but remains intact. May contain markings such as bookplates, stamps, limited notes and highlighting, or a few light stains.
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A Dance To The Music Of Time (3 Books In One)  A Question of Upbringing, a  Buyer's Market, the Acceptance World

A Dance To The Music Of Time (3 Books In One) A Question of Upbringing, a Buyer's Market, the Acceptance World

by Powell Anthony

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Used - Very Good in Very Good- dust jacket
Edition
First Edition; Fifth Printing
Published
1955
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Hard Cover
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Vars, Ontario, CAN
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Boston, Mass: Little, Brown and Company. Very Good in Very Good- dust jacket. 1955. First Edition; Fifth Printing. Hard Cover. Black hard covers / gilt lettering on spine. This is an ex-library book with a pocket and library stamps, the spine ends are bumped and there is masking tape on the cover from the DJ. Clean text with… Read more about this item
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A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

by Anthony Powell

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Published
1995-05
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9780226677149
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Wake Forest , North Carolina, USA
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Likely unread. Tight square spine, crisp pages, no writing, no rips/creases/folds. Has a light coffee stain on top page edge near spine.
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Dance to the Music of Time: Third Movement
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Dance to the Music of Time: Third Movement

by Anthony Powell

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Used - Very Good
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Good
Published
1971-06
ISBN
9780316715461
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Spring Branch, Texas, USA
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VG/G. Jacket in mylar. 2nd printing, foxing to top edge and spine face, rub to spine face, marker line on endpaper
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A Dance to the Music of Time
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A Dance to the Music of Time

by Powell, Anthony

Condition
Used - Very good, 1st thus edition, unclipped d/j (in protective sleeve); cream boards (small dents on cover and spine); gilt on brown
Edition
1st thus
Published
1964
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H/b
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Maidenhead, Berkshire, GBR
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London: Reprint Society / Heinemann, 1964. 1st thus. h/b. Very good, 1st thus edition, unclipped d/j (in protective sleeve); cream boards (small dents on cover and spine); gilt on brown panel spine titling; text block firm (slight forward lean); pages unmarked.. 8vo (230 x 150 / 9"" x 6""). A compilation edition comprised of the first three books… Read more about this item
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