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Charles Williams: The Third Inkling

Tuesday 5 April 2016

1 Hour


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Poet, writer and academic Professor Grevel Lindop talks about the life and work of Charles Williams, a central and controversial member of the Inklings group of Oxford writers that included C S Lewis and J R R Tolkein.

Lindop has written the first full biography of Williams, a novelist, poet, theologian, magician and guru. He explains why Williams was the strangest, most multi-talented and most controversial of the group. Williams was a pioneering fantasy writer who still has a cult following today. C S Lewis thought his poems on King Arthur and the Holy Grail were among the best poetry of the 20th century. Williams was, however, a person of contradictions, a theologian who was also deeply involved in the occult, experimented with magic and practised erotically tinged rituals. He developed a theory of ‘romantic theology’ that aimed at an approach to God through sexual love.

Lindop is a former professor of romantic and early Victorian studies and author of The Opium-Eater: A Life of Thomas De Quincey, A Literary Guide to the Lake District, and Travels on the Dance Floor. He has also published six collections of poetry.