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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Post Script to: "Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?"

Another excellent blog by Sir Bowie. Please make sure to read it below for this Post Script to make sense. I'm not adding any thoughts, just a few more pictures to enhance the visuals of these great writers. It was a truly humble experience to "walk their walk, talk their talk, and drink in the atmosphere, literally and figuratively, that made their minds tick!

The Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford, where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien would gather to share a pint, a laugh and their latest ideas and writing.

C.S. Lewis' home at the end of Lewis Close in Oxfordshire

Narnia, the land behind C.S. Lewis' house. This is the bench on which he wrote outside and also told his story to family, friends and neighborhood children.

A view of the lake from the Bench in Narnia.

One of the many wooded paths around the lake in Narnia. You can feel the characters come to life while you take the hike!

Shakespeare's house in Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire

Sir Hook the Bard of Warrick
(P.S. Again, make sure to read Sir Bowie's Blog below!)


  1. Great Addition.

    According to that great literary source, wikipedia:

    The Eagle and Child pub (commonly known as the Bird and Baby or simply just the Bird) in Oxford is where the Inklings met on Tuesday nights in 1939.

    The Inklings was an informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, England, for nearly two decades between the early 1930s and late 1949. Its most regular members (many of them academics at the University) included J. R. R. "Tollers" Tolkien, C. S. "Jack" Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, Christopher Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien's son), Warren "Warnie" Lewis (C. S. Lewis's elder brother), Roger Lancelyn Green, Adam Fox, Hugo Dyson, R. A. "Humphrey" Havard, J. A. W. Bennett, Lord David Cecil, and Nevill Coghill. Other less frequent attenders at their meetings included Percy Bates, Charles Leslie Wrenn, Colin Hardie, James Dundas-Grant, Jon Fromke, John Wain, R. B. McCallum, Gervase Mathew, and C. E. Stevens. The author E. R. Eddison also met the group at the invitation of C. S. Lewis.

    It's really the first time I've heard of the group. Perhaps Sir Dayvd (who I'm sure would have been an honored member had he been around then) can shed more light on the subject.

    Sir Bowie

  2. We walked home under the large golden harvest Moon rising over the spires of the city and the ancient water meadow.

    On the insistance of his friends, Carroll ( or Charles Dodgson as he was really called,... hence the Dodo in the book.) was asked to write the story down that he had told that afternoon, which he did, and gradually he he finished it off with a few extra pieces of twisted versions of the day's Nursery rhymes. The Books that you can buy that unlock the story by showing you which person or part of oxford Carroll was refering too in his satirical joking way to please the girls, is every bit as interesting as the the real book itself.

    as the great man said himself when he got tired......"that's enough for now, that tale can wait until another day"

    Sir Dayvd ( who can tell a tale or two when he needs too ) of Oxfordshire..

  3. Heh where do I start??

    I see the boys are getting to grips with unloading their cameras..and Sir B is doing his research in he has a focus and seen all the places, and i imagine he can see in his minds eye how they were thinking when they wrote.

    Its also very weird seeing my neighbourhood on the blog, and with the summer rains we have had since...., the flowers and greenery are still the same and think its spring all over again.

    So just as a brief (?) post script to the post script...

    I can imagine it was all a bit of a blur, especially as i took the KMSA invasion force on a Literary route march on the first night.

    I picked them up at their Hotel, the Randolph ( where many of the Inspector Morse episodes were filmed and written by Colin Dexter ....there's another one for you to check out boys )

    and took them a few strides north along St Giles to the Eagle and Child, a classic small Oxford, wood paneled , snug in the winter, pub, where indeed the Inklings used to meet before the war.

    Bowie has pretty much outlined the Inklings, who were almost exclusively made up of professors and Dons and authors and academics from Oxford ( and i wouldnt have qualified to serve them their beer let alone be in the group )

    They settled on the E & C partly because of the beer and the snug setting, but also because it was halfway ground for the two alpha members of the group ( like Hooky and Bowie are in ours ) to get to; as C S Lewis lived not only in the Cottage at the Kilns but also in rooms in Magdalen College ( say Maud-lyn ) at the end of High Street in the east of the city, and Tolkein would walk the same distance from his house in the North of the City, gently puffing his pipe and thinking as he walked down the Banbury road for about half a mile to the E & C.

    They would discuss the matters of the day, put the world to rights and also read out chapters of the works they were at that time writing. So as you can imagine a pretty heady, smoky , beery erudite gathering it was all round.

    I also took the FF's and the FL's to The Gardener Arms about a quarter of a mile further up the Woodstock Road to the North, a similarly heavily wooded pub, with ancient couches and chairs and log fires, that would have also been the gathering place of other like minded writing groups, as North Oxford housed, and still does, more famous authors than you could shake a stick at.

    After that i took them on the now famed walk across Port Meadow with the intention of showing them where Lewis Carroll, moored the boat on that summer day on the 4th of July 1862 after rowing the girls upstream from Folly Bridge passed The Perch pub, and stopped below the lock at The Trout Inn ( which we saw a few days later , which i am sure you will get an account of ) to tell the girls more of the tale Carroll had been making up while they rowed the boat to the hay meadow.

    As it turned out, the dusk and the beer and the need for sustinance overtook us, and we caroused instead, in the Perch Pub, and then later walked through a special "Alice" fairy Light walk in the Perch Garden, to the same path by the river the author would have rowed by....taking the girls home later that summer day, to where they lived in ChristChurch College ( now more famous it seems as the setting for the film dining hall in that new modern classic Harry Potter ) Alice was the Harry Potter of her day.

    ( this comment continues in the next commet as it is too long to send as one )

  4. I'd say you've earned a pint with that missive, Sir D

    imagine we're ordering one up with you!

    Lady Suz