Brilliant location, dreamy atmosphere and the perils of a rather full stomach…
I know I shouldn’t admit this…
And I promise it’s no reflection on the speaker or event - rather more I think it’s location and what I ate for breakfast (large English).
Oh, and the weather too.
But it was beautifully sunny, the talk was held in the Bodleian’s Divinity School and thanks to the bacon-and-eggs I scoffed earlier, I was filled with a general sense of well-being.
Consequently - and none of the above are any excuse - I dropped off for a few minutes during Professor Grevel Lindop’s talk on the life and works of Charles Williams, an apparently ‘controversial’ member of the Inkling group of Oxford writers which of course included JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.
It was a fascinating talk about a man who frankly seemed a bit too ‘tightly wound’ - he was in fact a secret occultist who practised erotically tinged rituals…
A c-o-m-p-l-i-c-a-t-e-d individual then.
Professor Lindop however was animated and clearly passionate about his subject matter, setting the scene brilliantly by asking us all to travel back to February 5th, 1940, when Williams first addressed his students in - yes, you’ve guessed it - the Divinity School.
Sadly however he was playing to a very small audience (and a git at the back whose eyes I fear were rolling).