The Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams
When: Six Saturdays from 7 September to 12 October
1.00pm till 3pm
Where: large meeting room, Fitzroy Public Library
In this course we will read and discuss excerpts from the writings of these three most widely read members of the Inklings, a group of Oxford academics and their friends who met regularly in the forties and fifties to read their works to one another and discuss them convivially. The Inklings were the first to hear drafts from Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Lewis’ The Narnia Chronicles, and the poetry, essays and novels of Charles Williams, a less well-known figure who still commands a loyal following (among whom I count myself!). Individually and collectively, the Inklings embodied an extraordinary range of intellectual and literary tastes and styles, and they shared a profound urge to explore issues of faith and metaphysics with both imaginative flair and theological rigor. The wide appeal of Tolkien’s and Lewis’ popular fictions speaks for itself, and Williams’ more esoteric novels and Arthurian poetry have won a smaller but devoted audience.
I will assemble a reader for this course, comprising short fiction, essays and excerpts from longer works by Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams, which I will make available as a PDF to enrolled students ahead of the first session. I can also provide hard copy at no extra charge.
Let me know if you’d like to attend, via the “contact us” link on the MLS homepage.