Sunday, June 21, 2015
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski
The authors are religious scholars and this massive portrait of "The Inklings" ---- an informal coterie of intellectuals that flourished in Oxford from the 1930s into the early 1960s --- focuses on the religious and philosophical elements in the works of Christian apologist C.S. Lewis, mythmaker and philologist J.R.R.Tolkien, philosopher Owen Barfield, and publisher and supernaturalist CharlesWilliams, There were various other members of the group who came and went through the years, but these four were the nucleus.
They were shaped by their experiences of World War I, their Christian faith, their interest in the ancient history, languages and stories of the British Isles, and their taste in literature. Barfield and Williams are figures of minor interest, and even Lewis's star has faded in the fifty years since his death. Of all the Inklings, Tolkien is the one who has lasted. His great works of fantasy, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Simarillion, and his contributions to the field of Old English languages and literature, continue to engage readers and scholars. Millions of readers around the world have been captivated by the spell of Tolkien's world-making. There is little magic and much minutiae in this earnest effort, but at least the bibliography is excellent.
Click HERE to read the review from the Los Angeles Times.
Click HERE to read the review from the Seattle Times.
Click HERE to read the review in the Harvard Magazine.