One of Tolkien’s closest friends was C.S. Lewis; fellow writer and member of the Inklings. He is best known for his fictional work, particularly his Chronicles of Narnia, which have been adapted to theater, radio, cinema, and television. His death was little publicized, due to it occurring on the 22nd of November, 1963: the same date that President Kennedy was assassinated. In 2013, he’s to be honored with a memorial in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey, on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Somewhat less well known than Tolkien and Lewis is Charles Williams, a man who had a tremendous influence on at least one of Lewis’s novels. A London native forced by the war to move to Oxford, he joined the Inklings and soon found kindred spirits. Chiefly remembered as a novelist who wrote supernatural thrillers set in the contemporary world, it was at the Inklings’ meetings that he read aloud and was able to improve the draft of his final published novel, All Hallows’ Eve.

The other members were a varied group, and included a priest, a lawyer, a soldier, and a doctor. As Lewis said, “The Inklings are now very well provided.” Although Dorothy Sayers is sometimes thought to be an Inkling, she never attended any of the meetings, and in fact was merely friends with Lewis and Williams.

I don’t believe that, since the Inklings, there has been such a group of men who have influenced literature so much. They inspired, encouraged, and motivated each other to pursue great things. The Inklings have been the inspiration for many literary discussion groups since then, and will continue to be so.

Una Mariah
Submissions Assistant