A Selective Inklings Chronology
(Sept. 20) Charles Williams is born.
Williams' sister Edith is born.
(Jan. 3) John Ronald Reuel Tolkien born in Bloemfontein, South Africa
where his father was a branch manager with The Bank of Africa.
Dorothy Sayers is born.
Williams' family moves from London to St. Albans,
a small town 20 miles north-west of London in Hertfordshire.
Tolkien's brother Hilary is born.
(June 16) Warren Hamilton Lewis is born near Belfast, Ireland.
Tolkien's mother (Mabel) takes him and his brother to England for a holiday.
(Feb.) Tolkien's father (Arthur) dies of rheumatic fever in South Africa.
Tolkien's mother sets up housekeeping near Birmingham & undertakes her son's educations.
(Nov. 16) Clive Staples Lewis is born near Belfast, Ireland.
(Nov. 9) Owen Barfield is born in London.
Tolkien's mother & her two sons enter the Roman Catholic Church.
(Fall) Williams begins study at University College, London,
commuting by train from St. Albans.
Tolkien wins a scholarship to King Edward VII school in Birmingham.
Williams leaves University College (unfinished) because of lack of finances.
(Fall) Tolkien's mother dies; he is 12 years old.
The two brothers live with their Aunt Beatrice, & Fr. Francis Morgan becomes their guardian.
(April 21) Lewis family moves into “Little Lea”.
G. K. Chesterton publishes The Man Who Was Thursday.
Williams begins work at Oxford Press, London (at Amen Corner).
First meets his future wife Florence Conway.
Tolkien goes to live at a boarding house where he meets his future wife Edith Bratt,
beginning a difficult courtship through part of which they were forbidden to see each other.
(Aug. 23) Lewis’ mother (Florence) dies; he is 10 years old.
G. K. Chesterton publishes Orthodoxy.
Warren Lewis begins studies at Malvern College, lasting until the summer of 1913.
(Fall) Tolkien begins study at Exeter College, Oxford University.
Lewis attends Cherbourg Preparatory School in Malvern until 1913.
As a hobby Tolkien begins to work on two Elven languages (Quenya & Sindarin)
derived from a common antecedent (Eldarin).
Williams / The Silver Stair.
Humphrey Milford becomes head of Oxford Press.
(Sept.) Warren studies with W. T. Kirkpatrick in Surrey until December.
(Sept. 18) Lewis is enrolled at Malvern College, but stays only one year.
(Jan.) Tolkien's future wife Edith enters the Roman Catholic Church.
The two become formally engaged.
(Jan. 3) Warren Lewis enters the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst
[World War I begins June 28, 1914]
(Sept. 19) Lewis begins private studies with W. T. Kirkpatrick, continuing for three years.
Williams' first contact with A. E. Waite
when six of his poems are included in the Oxford Book of Mystical Verse.
Williams sends him his own book The Silver Stair.
Tolkien finishes his Oxford studies & is commissioned as a temporary lieutenant
in the 13th Reserve Batallion of the Lancaster Fusiliers.
(March 22) Tolkien marries Edith Bratt.
(June) He leaves for the war in France.
(Nov. 9) Returns to England suffering from trench fever,
recovering and serving the rest of the war in various places in England.
(Jan.) Tolkien begins writing the stories which will become The Silmarillion.
(April 12) Williams marries Florence Conway (nicknamed Michal) in St. Alban's Abbey.
(April 26) Lewis begins study at Oxford University.
(May) Lewis volunteers for army service, where he meets Paddy Moore.
(Sept. 17) Williams joins A. E. Waite's offshoot group from the “Golden Dawn”,
remaining active for about five years.
(Nov.) Tolkien's 1st child John is born.
(Nov. 7) Lewis is sent to France.
Williams / Poems of Conformity.
(Feb.) Lewis contracts trench fever, spending the month in a French hospital.
(April 15) Lewis is wounded during Battle of Arras, spending the rest of the war recovering.
(Sept.) Paddy Moore declared dead, after having been reported missing since March.
[World War I ends November 11, 1918]
(Nov.) Tolkien moves with his family to Oxford.
(Jan.) Lewis returns to Oxford as a student.
(Feb.) Tolkien begins work on the staff of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Lewis / Spirits in Bondage.
(Fall) Tolkien is appointed as a reader in English at Leeds University.
Second child Michael is born.
Williams / Divorce.
(Summer) Lewis has set up housekeeping with Mrs. Moore (nicknamed Minto),
and her daughter Maureen, lasting 30 years until her death in 1951.
(July 7) Lewis meets Owen Barfield.
Williams' only child Michael is born.
He begins to give evening lectures to supplement his income
(a practice he continues throughout his life).
Barfield joins the Anthroposophical Society.
Williams writes his Outlines of Romantic Theology, which is published posthumously.
Oxford Press moves down the street to Amen House.
Phyllis Jones becomes object of Williams' platonic affections for over a decade.
Tolkien appointed professor of English language at Leeds.
Third child Christopher is born.
Williams / Windows of Night.
(Fall) Tolkien appointed Rawlinson & Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon
at Oxford University, lasting until 1945.
Barfield leaves the Oxford area for London where he eventually practices the law.
Tolkien / Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Edited with E. V. Gordon).
(May) Lewis appointed to a fellowship in English language and literature
at Magdalen College, Oxford University, until 1954.
Lewis meets Tolkien.
Lewis becomes friends with Tolkien
and joins his group called the Kolbitar (Coalbiters)
reading through the Icelandic Sagas in the original language.
Barfield / Poetic Diction
Williams' father (Walter) dies.
Tolkien's 4th child Pricilla born.
(Sept. 25) Lewis' father, Albert, dies.
(July) Lewis purchases new home, "The Kilns", with Mrs. Moore and Maureen.
Agreement is made that Warren Lewis will move in also upon his retirement from the army.
Tolkien begins writing: The Hobbit.
Williams / Heroes and Kings, War in Heaven, Poetry at Present.
(Sept. 28) Lewis becomes a Christian.
Williams / Many Dimensions, The Place of the Lion.
The text of The Hobbit is in existence (at least up until the death of Smaug),
but it is not submitted to a publisher until 1936, & not published until 1937.
(Dec.) Warren Lewis retires from the army, and moves into The Kilns.
Williams / The Greater Trumps, The English Poetic Mind.
When an undergraduate literary club breaks up, Lewis transfers the name (The Inklings)
to his circle of friends that began gathering in his rooms at College, lasting until 1949.
Williams / Shadows of Ecstasy, Reason & Beauty in the Poetic Mind.
Lewis / The Pilgim's Regress.
Phyllis Jones marries and moves with her husband to Java.
Tolkien / Chaucer as a Philologist.
Williams and Lewis meet when Oxford Press publishes Lewis' Allegory of Love.
Writing and production of Williams' verse play Thomas Cranmer at Canterbury Cathedral.
Lewis / Allegory of Love.
Tolkien asked by publisher to produce a sequel to The Hobbit.
Williams / Descent into Hell.
Tolkien / The Hobbit, Beowulf: The Monster & the Critics.
Williams / Taliessin Through Logres, He Came Down from Heaven.
Lewis / Out of the Silent Planet.
[World War II starts in Europe September 1, 1939]
Oxford Press moves to Southfield House, Oxford.
(Sept. 7) Williams takes a room in Oxford, while his wife Florence decides to remain in London.
Tolkien gives lecture entitled "On Fairy-Stories" at St. Andrews University,
which was not published until 1947.
Williams / The Descent of the Dove.
Lewis / Rehabilitations & other Essays.
(Jan.) Williams gives a series of lectures at Oxford on Milton.
(Aug.) Maureen Moore marries Leonard J. Blake.
Lewis / The Problem of Pain.
(May 2—Nov. 28) Lewis's "Screwtape Letters" is serialized in The Guardian.
(Aug. 6—Sept. 6) Lewis gives 5 talks on BBC radio entitled
“Right & Wrong: A Clue to the Meaning of the Universe”
Williams / Religion & Love in Dante, Witchcraft.
(Jan. 11—Feb. 15) Lewis gives 5 talks on BBC radio entitled "What Christians Believe"
(Sept. 20—Nov. 8) Lewis gives 12 talks on BBC radio entitled "Christian Behavior"
Williams / The Forgiveness of Sins.
Lewis / The Screwtape Letters, Preface to Paradise Lost, Broadcast Talks.
Tolkien / Leaf by Niggle.
Oxford University gives Williams an honorary degree.
(Feb.) Lewis gives Riddell Memorial Lecture at Durham
(later published as The Abolition of Man).
Williams / The Figure of Beatrice.
Lewis / Perelandra, The Abolition of Man, Christian Behavior.
(Feb. 22—April 4) Lewis gives 7 talks on BBC radio entitled
“Beyond Personality: The Christian View of God”
Williams / The Region of the Summer Stars.
Lewis / Beyond Personality.
[World War II ends in Europe May 9, 1945]
(May 15) Charles Williams dies.
Tolkien appointed Merton Professor of English language and literature
at Oxford University, lasting until his retirement in 1959.
[World War II ends in the Pacific September 2, 1945]
Williams / All Hallow’s Eve.
Lewis / That Hideous Strength, The Great Divorce.
(June) Lewis receives honorary Doctorate of Divinity from St. Andrews University.
Lewis rejected for the Merton Chair of English Literature at Oxford University.
Tolkien / The Fellowship of the Ring.
Lewis / Miracles, George MacDonald: An Anthology.
Williams' mother dies.
Tolkien completes a final version of The Lord of the Rings after over 10 years of work.
It will not be published until 1954-55.
(Oct.) Last recorded Thursday evening meetings of The Inklings.
Lewis / The Weight of Glory.
(Jan.) Lewis receives first letter from Joy Davidman Gresham.
(April) Mrs. Moore admitted to a nursing home.
Lewis / The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.
(Jan. 12) Mrs. Moore dies.
(Feb.) Lewis in nominated, but narrowly beaten by Cecil Day-Lewis
for the Oxford Chair of Poetry.
Lewis / Prince Caspian.
(Sept. 24) Lewis meets Joy for the first time in Oxford.
Lewis / The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Mere Christianity.
(Dec.) Joy stays at The Kilns with her two sons.
Lewis / The Silver Chair.
(June) Lewis appointed to the chair of Medieval and Renaissance English
at Magdalene College, Cambridge University, but not leaving Oxford until the end of the year.
(Aug.) Joy divorces her then husband William Gresham.
Lewis / The Horse & His Boy, English Literature in the 16th Century.
Tolkien / The Fellowship of the Ring.
(Aug.) Joy and her two sons move to England.
Lewis / The Magician's Nephew, Surprised by Joy.
Tolkien / The Two Towers, The Return of the King.
(April 23) Lewis marries Joy at the Oxford registry office in a civil service.
(Oct.) Joy diagnosed with cancer.
Lewis / The Last Battle, Till We Have Faces.
(March 21) Lewis and Joy are married by Anglican clergyman Peter Bide
in her hospital room in Oxford.
(Sept.) Joy's health begins to improve.
(Dec. 17) Dorothy Sayers dies.
Lewis / Reflections on the Psalms.
(April) Lewis and Joy take a trip to Greece, with Roger L. Green & wife.
(July 13) Lewis' wife Joy dies.
Lewis / The Four Loves, Studies in Words, The World's Last Night.
Lewis / A Grief Observed, An Experiment in Criticism.
Lewis / They Asked Me for a Paper.
Tolkien / Ancrene Wisse.
(Nov. 22) Clive Staples Lewis dies at The Kilns.
Williams / Collected Plays
Unauthorized Ace Books publication of: The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien / The Lord of the Rings (Standard Ed.)
Tolkien and family move to a house near Bournemouth to escape the flood of fans.
(Nov.) Tolkien's wife Edith dies.
Tolkien made CBE.
Tolkien made an honorary fellow of Merton College, Oxford University.
(April 9) Warren Lewis dies at "The Kilns".
(Sept. 2) J. R. R. Tolkien dies.
Tolkien / The Silmarillion (which he wanted published before The Lord of the Rings).
PJS [rev. 7/06]