Though my friend Colin Duriez’s book Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship is no longer new, the interview I did with him when the book came out in 2003 is still fun to read. Whether you are a casual reader of these authors or an aficionado, Duriez’s books about them are packed with revelations. See especially his various Handbooks on Lewis, Tolkien, and the Inklings authors who met for conversation in Lewis’s Oxford rooms. They are filled with non-trivial details–“meaty,” I’d say–and interpretive insights that help to contextualize and explain the works of these beloved authors.
J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: A Legendary Friendship
A new book reveals how these two famous friends conspired to bring myth and legend—and Truth—to modern readers.
Our world would be poorer without two other worlds: Narnia and Middle-earth. Yet if two young professors had not met at an otherwise ordinary Oxford faculty meeting in 1926, those wondrous lands would still be unknown to us.
British author Colin Duriez, who wrote the article “Tollers and Jack“ in issue #78 of Christian History, explains why this is so in his forthcoming book Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship (Hidden Spring). Duriez tells the story of how these two brilliant authors met, discovered their common love for mythical tales, and pledged to bring such stories into the mainstream of public reading taste. Continue reading →
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Tagged C S Lewis, Colin Duriez, fairy stories, fantasy, fantasy writing, friendship, J R R Tolkien, medievalism, Middle-earth, myth, Narnia, Oxford University, romanticism, story, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Inklings, The Lord of the Rings
Here’s that candy bowl of factoids we always put in the front of issues of Christian History. This one I co-wrote with my assistant editor, Steven Gertz. Steve is now studying (Islamic studies) at Oxford University, Tolkien’s alma mater. I love the story of how young Christopher Tolkien used to interrupt and correct his dad while J R R was reading the stories aloud:
J.R.R. Tolkien: Did You Know?
Windows on the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien
Chris Armstrong and Steven Gertz
Tolkien: “I am in fact a Hobbit”
In 1958, Tolkien wrote the following in a letter to a fan, Deborah Webster: “I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.” Continue reading →
One of my favorite issues to work on when I edited Christian History was issue 78 on J.R.R. Tolkien. Here’s my editor’s note from that one (I’ll also post the “Did You Know” column). I’m putting these posts in the “Medieval Wisdom for Modern Protestants” category because in writing that book, I’m using Tolkien, C S Lewis, and similar authors as guides into medieval faith.
From the Editor – He Gave Us Back Myth and with it, Truth
By the 1960s, “miracle” had been co-opted to sell mayonnaise, “spirit” came from bottles or pep bands, and “Passion” referred only to the national obsession with sex. Into this materialistic, secularized decade came a wondrous visitor: J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Continue reading →