Biographies of the Inklings:
Charles Williams

Born the 20th of September 1886 in London, Charles Williams was educated at St. Albans School Hertfordshire as a boy and was awarded a scholarship to University College London. He wasn’t able to get a degree there because of financial circumstances however, and he obtained a job at the Methodist bookroom. He was hired by the Oxford University Press as a proofreading assistant in 1908, and worked up to the position of editor.

Williams edited many notable works. He also wrote a few himself, including poetry, works of literary criticism, theology, history, biography, and tons of book reviews. His best known novels are War in Heaven (1930), Descent into Hell (1937), and All Hallows’ Eve (1945). They were described as supernatural thrillers by Williams’ fan, T.S. Eliot.

Other admirers of Williams were W.H. Auden and C.S. Lewis. Williams read Lewis’ Allegory of Love around the same time that Lewis read Williams’ The Place of the Lion, and the two of them both wrote a letter to the other, congratulating them and saying how much they’d enjoyed the book. The letters crossed in the mail and kindled an enduring friendship between the two men.

Oxford University Press moved its offices from London to Oxford when World War II broke out. Williams moved to Oxford as well. This enabled him to attend Inklings meetings regularly. He also began to give lectures at Oxford, and received an honorary M.A. degree. He died May 15 1945 and was buried in St. Cross Churchyard in Oxford.

Courtney McCullough
Author and Proofreader