The Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Friends

Owen Barfield

"Barfield is known widely for his explorations of human consciousness, the history of language, the origins of poetic effect, and the interactionof the disciplines, especially literature and the hard sciences. This book presents Barfield as a writer of imaginative literature.

"In the stories, one finds both post-war displacement and Bloomsburian ironies. In the two short novels, Barfield gives us two stunning versions of the Apocalypse. In his poetry, he explores the varieties of human experience, often in radical relation to the past...."

Lord David Cecil
"Not much about Jane Austen's personality can be gleaned from her works. It is from her letters, from the evidence of the friends and relations, and above all from a knowledge of the kind of life led and ideas held by the society she was born into, that we are to know her."
Roger Lancelyn Green

"King Arthur is one of the greatest legends of all time. From the magical moment when Arthur releases the sword in the stone to the quest for the Holy Grail and the final tragedy of the Last Battle, Roger Lancelyn Green brings the enchanting world of King Arthur stunningly to life."

Charles Williams
"The short-lived but remarkable correspondence presented in Letters to Lalage took place toward the end of Charles Williams' life. Louis Lang-Sims was not the first young woman to seek his help or to fall beneath his spell. When she wrote to him in September 1943 L. Williams had already had numerous admirers, pupils, and disciples who looked to him for counsel, for advice, and most especially, for encouragement. His affinity with Louis Lang-Sims was not surprising. Some thirty years younger than he was, she was in due course herself to become a forceful and individual writer whose literary output, though relatively small, was almost as varied as Williams' own. In Lois Lang-Sims' writings, as in those of Charles Williams, a variety of literary forms embody a singleness of imaginative vision. But at the time of their first meeting she was only twenty-six years old and, according to her autobiographical a Time to be Born, in a state of great mental and emotional confusion. Now, nearly fifty years later, she presents the letters Williams wrote to her, together with her own comments on a relationship that was to come to such an abrupt, and in some respects disturbing, end."
C.S. Lewis

Born in Ireland in 1898, C.S. Lewis gained a triple First at Oxford and was Fellow and Tutor at Magdalen College from 1925-54, where he was a contemporary of J.R.R. Tolkien, among others. In 1954 he became Professor of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge. One of the most gifted and influential Christian writers of our time, he is also celebrated for his Narnia Chronicles and his literary criticism and science fiction.

In this book Lewis tells of his search for joy, a spiritual journey that led him from the Christianity of his early youth into atheism and then back to Christianity.

Roger Lancelyn Green

"Some of the oldest and most famous stories in the world--the adventures of Perseus, the labors of Heracles, the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts--are vividly retold in this single, connected narrative of the Heroic Age, from the coming of the Immortals to the first fall of Troy. With fresh dialogue and a brisk pace, the myths of this version are enthrallingly vivid."

Geoffrey Chaucer, translated into modern English by Nevill Coghill

"A retelling of the medieval poem about a group of travelers on a pilgrimage to Canterbury and the tales they tell each other. With their astonishing diversity of tone and subject matter, The Canterbury Tales have become one of the touchstones of medieval literature. Translated here into modern English, these tales of a motley crowd of pilgrims drawn from all walks of life-from knight to nun, miller to monk-reveal a picture of English life in the fourteenth century that is as robust as it is representative."

C.S. Lewis

Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil -- what more could any reader ask for in one book? The book that has it all is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, written in 1949 by Clive Staples Lewis. But Lewis did not stop there. Six more books followed, and together they became known as The Chronicles of Narnia.

For the past fifty years, The Chronicles of Narnia have transcended the fantasy genre to become part of the canon of classic literature. Each of the seven books is a masterpiece, drawing the reader into a land where magic meets reality, and the result is a fictional world whose scope has fascinated generations.

C.S. Lewis
"C. S. Lewis takes us on a profound journey through both heaven and hell in this engaging allegorical tale. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis introduces us to supernatural beings who will change the way we think about good and evil."
J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.

J.R.R. Tolkien

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell, by chance, into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

From his fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, Sauron's power spread far and wide. He gathered all the Great Rings to him, but ever he searched far and wide for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

On his eleventy-first birthday Bilbo disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest --- to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom. The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard, Merry, Pippin, and Sam, Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas the Elf, Boromir of Gondor, and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.

C.S. Lewis

A "Positively Diabolical" Correspondence

"My dear Wormwood,"
So begins this product of C.S. Lewis's wickedly funny imagination, a correspondence between two devils, Screwtape and his young nephew, Wormwood. As the senior fiend advises his young apprentice in leading humanity astray, Lewis delves into questions about good and evil, temptation, repentance, and grace, offering knowledge and guidance to all who are trying to live good Christian lives.

E.R. Eddison

And the Lord Goldry spake: "We, the lords of Demon-land, do utterly scorn thee, Gorice XI., for the greatest of dastards, in that thou basely fleddest and forsookest us, thy sworn confederates, in the sea battle against the Ghouls. Our swords, which in that battle ended so great a curse and peril to all this world, are not bent nor broken. They shall be sheathed in the bowels of thee and thy minions, Corsus to wit, and Corund, and then: sons, and Corinius, and what other evildoers harbour in waterish Witchland, sooner than one little sea-pink growing on the cliffs of Demonland shall do thee obeisance."

"This is the book that shaped the landscape of contemporary science fiction. J. R. R. Tolkien acclaimed its author as "the greatest and most convincing writer of 'invented worlds' that I have read." Written in the best traditions of Homeric epics, Norse sagas, and Arthurian myths, it recounts compelling tales of warriors and witches."