The Charles Williams Society

Welcome!

The Charles Williams Society exists to promote the study and appreciation of the life and writings of Charles Walter Stansby Williams, a poet, novelist, and lay theologian.

Charles Williams is probably best known, to those who have heard of him, as a leading member (albeit for a short time) of the Oxford literary group, the "Inklings", whose chief figures were C. S.Lewis and J. R. R Tolkien. He was, however, a figure of enormous interest in his own right: a prolific author of plays, fantasy novels (strikingly different in kind from those of his friends), poetry, theology, biography and criticism.

The Society meets twice a year, and publishes The Charles Williams Quarterly, which normally includes the papers delivered at the meetings. It also occasionally has short residential conferences, the most recent having taken place on July 4th-6th, 2008. It maintains a lending and reference library.

Become a member of the Charles Williams Society. Membership subscription is £15 a year single, £20 for joint members. Outside UK £20 single, £25 joint. Concessionary rates £7.50. Fees are payable to The Charles Williams Society.

Extraordinary General Meeting Update

A quick update! Our Extraordinary General Meeting was held last week – June 16, 2016 – and the attendees unanimously passed the necessary resolutions for the winding up of the society.  More details are forthcoming, and we’ll post them here.

In the meantime, if you’d like to stay involved with future incarnations of a Charles Williams society, you can sign up for a new Infrequent Newsletter here: https://tinyletter.com/charleswilliams.

 

Taliessin through Logres

Sørina Higgins is mustering a series of blog posts on Taliessin through Logres.  There is already a great introduction to the series by Sørina, and Crystal Hurd has covered  Prelude.  This promises to be a great resource to new and experienced readers.

The index to the series is here. Go follow along!

 

 

EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING

EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING
Saturday 18 June 2016
At 12.00 noon
The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
St Michael’s Hall, Shoe Lane, Oxford

Dear Members,

As you know we are in the process of winding up the Charles Williams Society in its present form and have been in conversation with the Oxford C S Lewis Society with a view to transferring our assets to them in the near future. This society is deemed to be the one most capable of maintaining the aims and purposes of the original foundation of our own society.

The C S Lewis Society already publishes The Journal of Inklings Studies – which you have been receiving – and will continue to promote the work of Charles Williams. It will take responsibility for the reference collection and the maintenance of Charles Williams’s grave in Holywell Cemetery.

The website of our society will continue to be managed by Matt Kirkland. The name of the new website has still to be decided but it will, as heretofore, be devoted to the memory and work of Charles Williams.

As we are a charity we are obliged to conform to the laws governing charitable bodies as well as abiding by the rules of our own constitution. This means that we are required to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting for the passing of two resolutions.

1. To alter Rule 12 of the Constitution and Rules of the Society by replacing the words ‘to any charity or charitable institution with similar objects as the Society’ with the words ‘to the University of Oxford Development Trust Fund to be used for the purpose of the Oxford University C S Lewis Society’.

2. To wind up the Society in accordance with Rule 12 (as amended) of its constitution and Rules.

 

10 April 2016
Brian Horne
Chairman

Inklings on Twitter

From Sørina Higgins’ Oddest Inkling blog, this announcement: a few Inklings bloggers will be staging a chat on twitter on March 15, at 8pm US Eastern time.  Here’s the writeup:

Many members of the Inklings–C. S. Lewis, Warnie Lewis, Hugo Dyson, J. R. R. Tolkien, Neville Coghill, and others–were wont to go on very long walks through the countryside, days and days at a time, staying at inns, eating and drinking at pubs, talking endlessly about theology, literature, and whatever else took their fancy.

On March 15th, at 8:00 pm EST, the ghosts of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and Hugo Dyson are going to come out of their graves, grab smartphones, go for a long walk in an imagined landscape, and tweet all about what they see, say, and do.You should join us!

So head over to twitter at that time and check out the hashtag #InkWalk. Be sure to follow these revivified Inklings for intelligent twittering at any time:
C. S. Lewis: @PilgrimInNarnia
J. R. R. Tolkien: @TolkienElfland
Charles Williams: @OddestInkling
Owen Barfield: @BarfieldDiction
Hugo Dyson: @hugo_dyson

Five intrepid bloggers will be tweeting quotes and paraphrases from the Inklings’ works, along with a little creative license, as they go “walking” together and talking about their favorite topics. Do join us on the Ides of March!

Sørina did a solo version of this over Christmas, and it was hilarious.

Call for Papers: Arts + the Inklings

Do you have a paper about Arts & the Inklings burning a hole in your pocket?  Good news!

Call for Papers: Arts + The Inklings, September 28-30, 2016

The 2016 Verge Conference at the School of the Arts, Media + Culture

Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, Canada

This interdisciplinary arts conference invites presentations on topics relating to and stimulated by the work of the group of Oxford authors known as The Inklings—including C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, and J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as friends such as Dorothy L. Sayers, and their literary mentors, earlier writers such as George MacDonald and G.K. Chesterton.

 We invite presentations on such topics as…

·       The Inklings authors’ contributions to the arts
·       Translating their work into other media–film, theatre, music, visual art; the relationship between faith and story
·       The relationship between faith and story
·       The Inklings’ legacy as culture critics
·       The role of friendship and mentorship in their/our/others’ artistic creativity
·       and other topics related to the theme

 Keynote speaker

·       Dr. Michael Ward
Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford
Author of Planet Narnia (Oxford University Press, 2008).

This conference welcomes submissions from any discipline that explore the topic under consideration. Proposal deadline is May 15, 2016. For more conference information visit twu.ca/vergeconference

Hello Lewis Fans!

You might have seen Charles Williams featured on the most recent episodes of iTV’s show ‘Lewis’!

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If you’re just hearing about Charles Williams for the first time, or just looking to find out more about this strange author – welcome!  Wiliams’ novels – often called ‘Supernatural Thrillers’ are great places to start with his work.

Here at the society’s site, you can find a list of all his work that’s in print, or feel free to jump straight to one of the novels themselves:

Society member Grevel Lindop has also just published a new biography of Williams, called Charles Williams: The Third Inkling.

New audiobook: Et in Sempiternum Pereant

Here’s a special treat – Ulf Bjorklund, a professional voice actor – has recorded Williams’ short ghost story ‘Et in Sempiternum Pereant’, and it sharing it with us! You can listen below.

Mr. Bjorklund has recorded lots of other audio as well: find his work on amazon.com and audible

Geoffrey Hill on Charles Williams

Poet Geoffrey Hill recently used Williams’ work as a framework for his final lecture as Professor of Poetry on 5th May 2015. It was entitled “I know thee not, old man, fall to thy prayers” and you can listen to it here. 

Annual General Meeting 2015 and Lecture

Mark your calendars!

The Society will be meeting on Saturday, June 6th, at the Centre for Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies, Shoe Lane, Oxford. The Society’s AGM will be held at 11:30 am; after lunch there will be a talk by Sørina Higgins, who edited and was responsible for the recent publication of Williams’s early play “The Chapel of the Thorn“.

All are welcome to the latter, whether members of the Society or not.

  • 11.30 a.m. Coffee
  • 12.00 AGM
  • 12.45 – 2.15 p.m. Lunch
  • 2.15 p.m. We are delighted that the visiting American scholar, Sorina Higgins, who has recently edited and published Charles Williams’s early dramatic piece, The Chapel of the Thorn, is able to be with us and will give a talk about her work on Williams.

 Agenda

  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Minutes of the last AGM
  3. Secretary’s report
  4. Treasurer’s report
  5. Librarian’s report
  6. Chairman’s report
  7. (Election of Officers)
  8. A O B

 

New eBooks Available!

Charles Williams’ novels are finally available in nicely-edited Kindle editions, at least for interested readers in the US, Canada, and select EU countries. You can get them from Amazon.

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