The Fellowship

Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy and Righteous Symeon the God-Receiver and the Holy Prophetess Anna
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski

Zalesky__Fellowship_Square.jpegPROBABLY the most comprehensive examination of the Inklings to date. The Zaleskis accomplish the formidable task of creating substantial portraits of Tolkien, Lewis, Barfield, and Williams, all the while weaving them into a coherent and provocative chronicle of the Inklings as a whole. But the Zaleskis aren’t solely concerned with “the Four”—along the way, they provide fascinating miniatures of some of the less well-known members: Lewis’s brother Warren, the Catholic priest and Byzantinist Gervase Mathew, the poet and novelist John Wain, the Chaucerian scholar Neville Coghill, the classicist Colin Hardie, Anglican priest at Magdalen Adam Fox, the medievalist J. A. W. Bennett, the Oxford don and close friend of both Tolkien and Lewis Hugo Dyson, and intermittently the mystery writer, Dante scholar, and sometime Christian apologist Dorothy Sayers. As historians of Christian spirituality and mysticism and comparative religion, the authors bring gifts to the task unique backgrounds not usually associated with Inkling scholars. Ethan Gilsdorf of the Boston Globe gets it right: “A fascinating overview of this ‘intellectual orchestra’ . . . A captivating story of young writers finding their literary footing while trying to rectify competing desires for happiness, love, fame, and faith.”

656 pp. paper $17.00

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  • Daniel Brake
    commented 2018-02-04 11:01:09 -0600
    A great book. Really eye opening to the various and different personalities, motives, and psychologies of the group so often assumed to be of one mind.