Charles Williams: The Third Inkling

Hardcover | November 29, 2015

byGrevel Lindop

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This is the first full biography of Charles Williams (1886-1945), an extraordinary and controversial figure who was a central member of the Inklings - the group of Oxford writers that included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Charles Williams - novelist, poet, theologian, magician and guru - wasthe strangest, most multi-talented, and most controversial member of the group. He was a pioneering fantasy writer, who still has a cult following. C.S. Lewis thought his poems on King Arthur and the Holy Grail were among the best poetry of the twentieth century for "the soaring and gorgeous novelty of their technique, and their profound wisdom". But Williams was full ofcontradictions. An influential theologian, Williams was also deeply involved in the occult, experimenting extensively with magic, practising erotically-tinged rituals, and acquiring a following of devoted disciples. Membership of the Inklings, whom he joined at the outbreak of the Second World War, was only the final phase in a remarkable career. From a poor background in working-class London, Charles Williams rose to become an influential publisher, a successful dramatist, and an innovative literary critic.His friends and admirers included T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, and the young Philip Larkin.A charismatic personality, he held left-wing political views, and believed that the Christian churches had dangerously undervalued sexuality. To redress the balance, he developed a "Romantic Theology", aiming at an approach to God through sexual love. He became the most admired lecturer in wartimeOxford, influencing a generation of young writers before dying suddenly at the height of his powers.This biography draws on a wealth of documents, letters and private papers, many never before opened to researchers, and on more than twenty interviews with people who knew Williams. It vividly recreates the bizarre and dramatic life of this strange, uneasy genius, of whom Eliot wrote, "For him therewas no frontier between the material and the spiritual world."

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This is the first full biography of Charles Williams (1886-1945), an extraordinary and controversial figure who was a central member of the Inklings - the group of Oxford writers that included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Charles Williams - novelist, poet, theologian, magician and guru - wasthe strangest, most multi-talented, and mos...

Grevel Lindop was formerly Professor of Romantic and Early Victorian Studies at the University of Manchester. His previous books include The Opium-Eater: A Life of Thomas De Quincey; A Literary Guide to the Lake District; Travels on the Dance Floor, which was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week; and a twenty-one volume edition of The Works ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:528 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:November 29, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199284156

ISBN - 13:9780199284153

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPrologue1. From Holloway to Silvania2. 'The Most Talkative Uoung Man'3. The Silver Stair4. 'Marriages are made in Heaven'5. The Initiate6. 'The Satanist'7. 'Why the Devil does anyone ever get married?'8. Romantic Theology9. Phyllis10. 'I can't do without you - I can't'11. Substitution12. Novels and the Poetic Mind13. 'They Saved My Life by Three Hours'14. 'I'm Becoming a Myth to Myself'15. 'The Staff Work of the Omnipotence'16. The Order of the Co-Inherence17. 'A Kind of Parody of London'18. 'Bitter Is the Brew of Exchange'19. A Pioneer for the Young Poets20. 'It Is Not Yet Too Late'21. 'Into the Province of Death'Epilogue