~The Inklings~

C.S. Lewis                                                                                          
J.R.R Tolkien     
                                                                                       Charles Williams





From around 1934 to 1949 an informal group of friends met weekly in Oxford, England, mainly to discuss literature and sometimes to read to each other from the various works that they themselves were writing.  The group has come to be called “The Inklings” and its most prominent members were C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and Charles Williams.  In the writings of these three we find a great diversity both in subject matter and approach.  Lewis has become famous for his children’s stories (The Chronicles of Narnia), his science fiction novels (The Ransom Trilogy), his insights into the life of the Christian (Screwtape Letters) and his approach to Christian apologetics (Mere Christianity). By profession Lewis was an Oxford don whose field of study was medieval and renaissance English literature.  Likewise Tolkien was an Oxford professor whose field was early English language and literature, but who gained enormous popularity through his fantasy works (The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings).  Williams worked as an editor at Oxford University Press and was perhaps best known during his lifetime for his series of novels which have been termed “metaphysical thrillers”. Of the three Williams is perhaps the most highly regarded as a literary artist for his poetry based on Arthur and the Matter of Britain.

There are many individual websites on C. S. Lewis, and many more on J. R. R. Tolkien, but almost nothing on Charles Williams, and again almost nothing which treats these three authors together. This site was developed from bibliographies, chronologies and notes that were compiled over a number of years in teaching a course on the Inklings. The site is designed as a reference tool to be used in examining these authors. Although anyone constructing such a site must be a “fan” on some level, the site is not meant to fulfill the peculiar needs of such a person. It is certainly a work in progress, as any website should be. Any correspondence concerning the site itself, or the people talked about therein is invited and welcome.   

Paul J. Spaeth
Director of the Library
St. Bonaventure University


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