By Grevel Lindop

ISBN-10: 0199284156

ISBN-13: 9780199284153

This is often the 1st complete biography of Charles Williams (1886-1945), a unprecedented and arguable determine who used to be a vital member of the Inklings--the staff of Oxford writers that integrated C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Charles Williams--novelist, poet, theologian, magician and guru--was the strangest, so much multi-talented, and such a lot debatable member of the crowd.

He was once a pioneering fable author, who nonetheless has a cult following. C.S. Lewis proposal his poems on King Arthur and the Holy Grail have been among the finest poetry of the 20 th century for "the hovering and beautiful novelty in their method, and their profound wisdom." yet Williams used to be jam-packed with contradictions. An influential theologian, Williams was once additionally deeply considering the occult, experimenting largely with magic, training erotically-tinged rituals, and buying a following of committed disciples.

Membership of the Inklings, whom he joined on the outbreak of the second one global warfare, was once purely the ultimate part in a outstanding occupation. From a negative historical past in working-class London, Charles Williams rose to develop into an influential writer, a winning dramatist, and an leading edge literary critic. His neighbors and admirers incorporated T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, and the younger Philip Larkin.

A charismatic character, he held left-wing political beliefs, and believed that the Christian church buildings had dangerously undervalued sexuality. To redress the stability, he built a "Romantic Theology," aiming at an method of God via sexual love. He grew to become the main well-liked lecturer in wartime Oxford, influencing a iteration of younger writers prior to loss of life all of sudden on the peak of his powers.

This biography attracts on a wealth of records, letters and personal papers, many by no means sooner than opened to researchers, and on greater than twenty interviews with those who knew Williams. It vividly recreates the unusual and dramatic lifetime of this unusual, uneasy genius, of whom Eliot wrote, "For him there has been no frontier among the cloth and the religious world."

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Extra resources for Charles Williams: The Third Inkling

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11 Walter perhaps became ‘Christian’ to please his bride. He practised his religion conscientiously, but showed no interest in religious ideas. Like many thoughtful late Victorians, he may have seen Christianity chiefly as a moral code with Jesus as its heroic, but human, founder. Still, from now on the Williamses would be a sober, churchgoing family, and Charles Walter Stansby Williams was baptized at St Anne’s, Finsbury Park, on 7 November 1886, when he was seven weeks old. Edith was born two years later.

In full conversational flight: Charles Williams sketched by an unknown artist Plate 30. Charles Williams reading: drawing by Anne Spalding, 1942 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 08/09/15, SPi Plate 31. Gerry Hopkins at 9 South Parks Road, by Anne Spalding, 1942 Plate 32. Ruth Spalding, drawn by Anne Spalding, 1942 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 08/09/15, SPi Plate 33. Lois Lang-Sims: Drawing by Chattie Salaman Plate 34. At work, with the inevitable cigarette: unknown artist OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 08/09/15, SPi Plate 35.

Walter was not the only author in the family. Five miles away, at Leyton on London’s eastern outskirts, lived Charles’s uncle and aunt, Charles and Alice Wall. 15 But her brother Charles Wall (1860–1943) provided a link with the world of learning. 17 He wrote books on church architecture and local history, illustrated with his own drawings, and was an authority on prehistoric monuments, contributing chapters on early earthworks to the authoritative Victoria County Histories. Wall’s religious inclinations were High Church.

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Charles Williams: The Third Inkling by Grevel Lindop


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