A collection of the best unpublished talks of the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society over 30 years: Rowan Williams's re-imagining of Lewis's cosmic trilogy; Elizabeth Anscombe's final word on Lewis's arguments for Christianity; Rev. Peter Bide's memories of marrying Lewis and Davidman at a hospital; Walter Hooper's notes on the origins of Narnia; and more. 288 pages, hardcover. Oxford University.
For over thirty years, the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society has met weekly in the medieval colleges of the University of Oxford. During that time, it has hosted as speakers nearly all those still living who were associated with the Inklings-the Oxford literary circle led by C. S. Lewis--as well as authors and thinkers of a prominence that nears Lewis's own.
C. S. Lewis and His Circle offers the reader a chance to join this unique group. Roger White has worked with Society past presidents Brendan and Judith Wolfe to select the most important talks, which are here made available to the wider public for the first time. They exemplify the best of traditional academic essays, thoughtful memoirs, and informal reminiscences about C. S. Lewis and his circle. The reader will reimagine Lewis's Cosmic Trilogy with former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, read philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe's final word on Lewis's arguments for Christianity, hear the Reverend Peter Bide's memories of marrying Lewis and Joy Davidman in an Oxford hospital, and learn about Lewis's Narnia Chronicles from his former secretary.
Representing the finest of both personal and scholarly engagement with C. S. Lewis and the Inklings, the talks collected here set a new tone for engagement with this iconic Oxford literary circle--a tone close to Lewis's own Oxford--bred sharpness and wryness, seasoned with good humor and genuine affection for C. S. Lewis and his circle.
Roger White is curator of the Inklings Special Collection for the University Libraries as well as Professor of Ministry for the Seminary at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California.
Judith Wolfe is Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Theology and the Arts at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She has published widely on C. S. Lewis and is the founding general editor of the Journal of Inklings Studies.
Brendan N. Wolfe is a Germanic philologist at Oxford, editor of the Journal of Inklings Studies, and past president and secretary of the C. S. Lewis Society of Oxford University.
"This book is a treat. Just when you might have thought there wasn't much more to say about Lewis, Tolkien, and their friends, we have a rich and diverse collection of reflections, reminiscences, expositions, and engagements from angles both expected and unexpected. By retaining the spoken style of the original contributions to the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society (not quite a new Inklings, not quite a new Socratic Club, but sharing the heritage of both), the editors give us the sense that we are there in Oxford, thinking through issues old and new, always being challenged to fresh visions of literature, faith, and a hundred other topics. There is here much to ponder, much to praise." --Rt. Revd. Prof. N. T. Wright, St. Mary's College, St. Andrews
"Among the many worthwhile studies of C. S. Lewis which have been published in recent years, this will prove to be among the most important. It gives us authentic and candid insights into his personal as well as his literary and scholastic life, adds significantly to our understanding of why his reputation continues to expand worldwide, and deepens his influence." --Aidan Mackey, Senior Fellow, G. K. Chesterton Institute
"The Oxford C. S. Lewis Society has always been a beacon for students of C. S. Lewis, his friends, and their shared vision. In this splendid collection, the editors share with us the choicest fruits of thirty years of scholarship and conversation. The result is an illuminating tribute to Lewis and an intellectual feast worthy of the liveliest of Inklings gatherings." --Carol Zaleski, co-author (with Philip Zaleski) of The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams
"The book is a treasure for Lewis fans. Highly recommended."--J. R. Griffin, Colorado State University, CHOICE
"The satisfactions of this volume are legion- far too numerous to be contained in this brief review. It is far better to find the book itself, along with a comfortable chair."--Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal