Read Essays Presented to Charles Williams by C.S. Lewis Dorothy L. Sayers J.R.R. Tolkien Owen Barfield Gervase Mathew W.H. Lewis Online


"In this book the reader is offered the work of one professional author, two dons, a solicitor, a friar, and a retired army officer; if he feels disposed to complain of hotch-potch (which incidentally is an excellent dish; consult the NOCTES AMBROSIANAE) I must reply that the variety displayed by this little group is far too small to represent the width of Charles Williams"In this book the reader is offered the work of one professional author, two dons, a solicitor, a friar, and a retired army officer; if he feels disposed to complain of hotch-potch (which incidentally is an excellent dish; consult the NOCTES AMBROSIANAE) I must reply that the variety displayed by this little group is far too small to represent the width of Charles Williams' friendships. Nor are we claiming to represent it. Voices from many parts of England - voices of people often very different from ourselves - would justly rebuke our presumption if we did. We know that he was as much theirs as ours: not only, nor even chiefly, because of his range and versatility, great though these were, but because, in every circle that he entered, he gave the whole man. I had almost said that he was at everyone's disposal, but those words would imply a passivity on his part, and all who knew him would find the implication ludicrous. You might as well say that an Atomic breaker on a Cornish beach is 'at the disposal' of all whom it sweeps off their feet. If the authors of this book were to put forward any claim, it would be, and that shyly, that they were for the last few years of his life a fairly permanent nucleus among his LITERARY friends. He read us his manuscripts and we read him ours: we smoked, talked, argued, and drank together (I must confess that with Miss Dorothy Sayers I have seen him drink only tea: but that was neither his fault nor hers)."Of many such talks this collection is not unrepresentative."...

Title : Essays Presented to Charles Williams
Author :
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ISBN : 9780802811172
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 146 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Essays Presented to Charles Williams Reviews

  • Emily Cait
    2019-04-23 02:17

    Contains an interesting essay in which Tolkien reflects on fairy-stories and 'fantasy'. This gets referenced by a lot of people who talk about 'fantasy literature' as a genre and is an interesting read.

  • Alan Lindsay
    2019-05-15 00:13

    In the fascinating mix of essays here is an overlooked gem by Own Barfield on poetic and legal language. In it he coins the word "Tarning," a term never picked up by the language but nonetheless needed by it: "saying one thing and meaning another," the basis of metaphor/poetry/meaning. How does one get "new" meaning out of words whose meanings have already been established? Not simply by recombining them into new sentences (an issue he doesn't address) but by transfering meanings metaphorically, as "law" moves from the realm of jursiprudence to the realm of science. (This again opens the way to an issue he does not broach of how the regularities of the universe will reflect back onto the realm of society in unintended support of tyranny.) One can disagree with Barfield's notion that words have meanings as strictly as he says they do, but understand at the same time that the reason that they do not is metaphor. Ultimately he reveals in a cogent argument that fiction is the basis in a most decisive way of fact. Certainly of knowledge. But this does not lead to false conclusion that fact is any less fact, that fact is fiction, as a result.

  • Volsung
    2019-04-23 02:27

    Some of these essays, contributed by several of Charles Williams' friends to commemorate his passing in 1945, have been republished elsewhere, but not all of them. The contents of this collection are:Preface, by C.S. Lewis1.'... And Telling you a Story': a Note on The Divine Comedy, by Dorothy Sayers2. On Fairy-Stories, by J. R. R. Tolkien3. On Stories, by C. S. Lewis4. Poetic Diction and Legal Fiction, by A. O. Barfield5. Marriage and Amour Courtois in Late-Fourteenth-Century England, by Gervase Mathew6. The Galleys of France, by W. H. Lewis Literary historians and fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis will note that all of these contributors except one were members of the Inklings. The exception, Dorothy Sayers, was furthermore acquainted with the Inklings, and a close friend of not only Williams, but also C.S. Lewis.Lewis' preface, which, in addition to providing commentary on Williams' life and writings, also references and discusses the Inklings, is also of interest.

  • J. Alfred
    2019-04-23 02:37

    This is a book of (mostly) tremendously worthwhile essays. Lewis' introduction is strong and touching and his essay "On Stories" is excellent. Dorothy Sayers' essay on the Divine Comedy is so good I want to read her translation of it (though I haven't been impressed with the original fiction of hers I've come across thus far). Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories" is as eccentric and witty as one could want, and at the end, when he discusses the ultimate purpose of stories (the "eucatastrophe"... the "fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as greif" ... a "gleam or echo of evangelium") gives, for me at least, a "glimpse" of the same sort. Barfield's and Mathew's essays are interesting but less than memorable. Major Lewis' (Jack's brother) essay is a pleasing (form, not content) little chunk of history on his great subject, 18th Century France. He's got a good crisp style and a well-honed sense of proper authorial intrusion. I look forward to reading his The Splendid Century one of these days.

  • Kate
    2019-05-07 20:37

    I just learned of this volume and today it found its way into my pile of library books. Though I had planned to do just a little more research before quitting for the day, I thew my required books aside and allowed myself to spend a few minutes with Lewis' preface. Although I'm sure I haven't read everything by Lewis, I have read a great deal (ranging from early diaries to literary criticism to apologetics to fiction), and I am gripped with the sheer delight of finding a collection that I did not know existed. With essays by two Lewises (Jack and Warnie), Tolkien, Sayers, Barfield, and Mathew, I feel like I've just received a small box of very excellent chocolate. Full review to follow, once I've parsed out each little morsel.

  • Philip
    2019-05-15 20:18

    This book was an excellent collection of essays on various subjects. Of all the essays in the book, I think the most valuable were Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories" and Lewis' "On Stories". These two speak about the value of the story as literature. Also, Sayers' "Note on the Divine Comedy" was also very good, and put a new perspective for me on the reading of Dante. Although I enjoyed the other essays as well, I found them more difficult to read.

  • Seth Holler
    2019-05-18 22:20

    Only read chapter 2, Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories". Really enjoyed his treatment of the third question, "What is the use of fairy stories?" Was also surprised to see how heavily he relied on Chesterton.(I read the charming preface on 8/30/10, in between two of Wms's novels: DESCENT INTO HELL and MANY DIMENSIONS. I also recently read, in OF OTHER WORLDS, CSL's "On Stories", a fine essay and chp. 3 of this collection.)

  • Danae
    2019-05-07 23:09

    This collection of essays was boring at times and interesting at others.I remember in Sayers' case, I was interested at first, but got bored as it went on.I generally enjoyed C. S. Lewis and Tolkien's essays.W. H. Lewis' essay was interesting and definitely written on an important subject, but it seemed so jarring after the others. The book definitely ended on a very sad note.

  • Jeremy
    2019-05-01 03:38

    I read Lewis's short preface (mostly on Williams and his unexpected death) on Aug. 20, 2016. I had read Tolkien's "On Fairy-stories" in another collection, sometime in 2009.Besides Lewis and Tolkien, other contributors include Dorothy Sayers, Owen Barfield, Gervase Mathew, and W. H. Lewis. W. H. Lewis is "Warnie" (Warren), Jack Lewis's brother.

  • Douglas Wilson
    2019-04-21 22:31


  • James Eckblad
    2019-05-05 23:13

    A collection of brilliant essays, especially those by Tolkien, Lewis and Sayers on 'what stories are and do.'