Tolkien, Lewis and The Inklings

Discussion in 'J.R.R. Tolkien : The Creator of Middle-earth' started by Rivendell_librarian, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Rivendell_librarian

    Rivendell_librarian Member

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    I went last year to an exhibition in Oxford (UK) of Tolkien artefacts including original maps and drawings. There was a catalogue book (which I've just finished reading) for the exhibition which includes a few essays by Tolkien experts, including one by John Garth about The Inklings, the club which included Tolkien, Lewis and other academics.

    It struck me how remarkable it was that two university dons at the same university (both avowed Christians) turned out to both be such influential writers of fantasy, and Lewis is also famous for his Christian apologetic books and wartime radio broadcasts. Somewhat appropriately Tolkien translated the book of Jonah for the Jerusalem Bible. We know they encouraged each other but it does seem more than just coincidence, and something that is unlikely to happen now. Maybe university dons are now too busy getting sponsorship for building projects etc.

    The exhibition is now on in New York (USA) and the book can be viewed here:



    The book shows that not only could Tolkien write he could draw and paint beautifully as well. As noted in the longer video, the book includes some reproductions in print of Tolkien's art for the first time.
     
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  2. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Active Member

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    Agree, it is more than coincidence. I have enjoyed both the dons' writings and have spent many a happy hour immersed in them. My life has been doubly enriched by both Lewis and Tolkien. I believe they were fated to become good friends and their friendship served to push the other creatively and spiritually. Well, perhaps there was a bit of serendipity in it and what a happy occurence for us all!