The Inklings

WITHOUT DOUBT, Lewis’s creative and theological genius was stimulated by his weekly meetings with the “Inklings,” a collection of thinkers and friends who gathered regularly to critique each other’s writing and to discuss current events and life in general.

The name of the group was transferred from a defunct Oxford literary society, in which Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien had been members, to a group of friends who gathered in Lewis’s rooms at Magdalen College every Thursday night.

Usually present were C.S. Lewis, Warren Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dr. R.E. Havard, and Charles Williams. Other attenders included Nevill Coghill, Hugo Dyson, Owen Barfield, and Adam Fox.

A focus of the meetings was the reading aloud of works in progress for criticism. Inklings heard and discussed first drafts of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Lewis’s The Great Divorce, and Warren Lewis’s book on Louis XIV. In addition, they read and critiqued their own poetry and that of others. Lively discussions ensued on such topics as education, pain, horror comics, and who was the most important man in various countries. Much disagreement is reported to have occurred, and members sometimes expressed intense dislike for each other’s work.

The Inklings began meeting in Lewis’s rooms around 1933 and continued that Thursday evening tradition until 1950. Tuesday morning gatherings at the Eagle and Child public house (known as the Bird and Baby) continued until Lewis’s death.

By the Editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #7 in 1985]

Next articles

C.S. Lewis: Recommended Resources

More reading about C.S. Lewis.

the Editors

Personal Correspondence

Lewis’s private correspondence was as prolific as his writing for publication. Here are some samples of his letters.

C. S. Lewis

Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

Young Jonathan Edwards drew up a list of resolutions.

Mark Noll

Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening: From the Publisher

Introduction to this issue on Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening.

the Editor
Show more

Subscribe to magazine

Subscription to Christian History magazine is on a donation basis


Support us

Christian History Institute (CHI) is a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation founded in 1982. Your donations support the continuation of this ministry


Subscribe to daily emails

Containing today’s events, devotional, quote and stories