Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

UK Affinity Group whose considerable fame in fantasy (especially Christian Fantasy) reflects that of its principal figures: C S Lewis, J R R Tolkien and Charles Williams. The Inklings (the name was borrowed from a former undergraduate club) took shape in the 1930s during informal meetings in Lewis's rooms at Magdalen College, Oxford. Members' work in progress – including drafts of Lewis's The Screwtape Letters (1942), Williams's All Hallows' Eve (1945) and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955) – were read aloud and criticized. Their Tuesday lunchtime sessions in the "Bird and Baby" pub (nickname for the Eagle and Child) became a well known part of the Oxford scene during and after WWII. The Inklings' core period was perhaps that from Williams's 1939 arrival in Oxford to his death in 1945; the workshop meetings faded out in 1949, shortly before LOTR's completion. Other members included Christopher Tolkien (1924-    ) and Owen Barfield (1898-1997), whose relevant writing is assembled as Owen Barfield on C.S. Lewis (coll 1990) ed G B Tennyson. [DRL]

further reading: The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J R R Tolkien, Charles Williams and Their Friends (1978) by Humphrey Carpenter (1946-    ).

see also: Mythopoeic Awards; Mythopoeic Society.

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.