The Inklings were a gathering of friends -- all of them British, male, and Christian, most of them teachers at or otherwise affiliated with Oxford University, many of them creative writers and lovers of imaginative literature -- who met usually on Thursday evenings in C.S. Lewis's and J.R.R. Tolkien's college rooms in Oxford during the 1930s and 1940s for readings and criticism of their own work, and for general conversation. "Properly speaking," wrote W.H. Lewis, one of their number, the Inklings "was neither a club nor a literary society, though it partook of the nature of both. There were no rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections." An overlapping group gathered on Tuesday (later Monday) mornings in various Oxford pubs, usually but not always the Eagle and Child, better known as the Bird and Baby, between the 1940s and 1963. Some amazing literature grew out of this remarkable group of writers and we are the fortunate recipients of their imaginations and experiences.
--David Bratman, Mythopoeic Society 2003
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.
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.
"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."