C. S. Lewis on The Lord of the Rings


With Tolkien, his Oxford colleague and close friend, C. S. Lewis was a founding member of the Inklings, a congenial group of intellectuals that also included Charles Williams and Owen Barfield. The friends met regularly but quite informally to enjoy good beer, good pipe tobacco, and, best of all, good talk. They often read to one another portions of works they were engaged in writing. At the time that Tolkien was writing The Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis was engaged in writing the masterful Oxford History of English Literature volume The Sixteenth Century and his brilliant critical study The Allegory of Love. Lewis was also a writer of fantasy — or, more precisely, what J. S. Ryan in his essay included in this volume calls “Christian romanticism.”

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