The Charles Williams Society

Charles Williams Books In Print

Charles Williams was a prolific writer, and many of his books are at present out of print. As his work grows in popularity, new books are coming back into print frequently. Here’s a look at what’s available.

New! The Place of the Lion collector’s edition

The Place of the Lion

For too long, Williams’s work has been out of print or only available in budget-level paperbacks. We’re rectifying this with high-quality, hardbound editions of his work, something suitable for collections and gifts.

Finally: modern, hardback editions of Williams’ most compelling, accessible writing – in handsome editions that are worth collecting and sharing. They’re available now for order:

They have been designed and printed with care: The Williams Library editions are hardbound, with cloth covers and foil stamping and debossing on the covers. Inside, you’ll find modern typography in the best bookmaking tradition. Printed in pure black with bright spot colors, on pure white paper. They’re sized right in the sweet spot: easy in the hand but a respectable presence on the bookshelf. We’ve included generous margins for a comfortable reading experience, and room for exclamations, scribbles and arguments.

I’m really pleased with these: they are the printings of Williams that I always wanted to exist, that I wanted to give to others. And now they’re real!

The first one, The Place of the Lion is available now, and War in Heaven is available to pre-order.

The Place of the Lion


Williams’ novels are currently published in the United States or Canada (and should be available in other countries as well). Australian readers may find the full text of his novels at Project Gutenberg Australia.

War In Heaven


the first of his novels to be published (in 1930), begins as a detective story (and indeed the investigation of the original murder is going on all through the book). But there turns out to be far more involved than murder – the discovery of the Holy Grail in a country church, a Black Mass, and the complete disappearance of a London chemist’s shop; and the solution of the murder is helped on by Prester John…

Many Dimensions


also involves the reappearance of a long-lost talisman, this time the Stone of Solomon, which turns out to have extraordinary powers over space and time (but using the latter has unexpected results!), as well as powers of healing. The book’s climax is a kind of judicial hearing by the Lord Chief Justice on what should be done with this thing; justice and law are prominent themes in the book – which is also both a thriller and at times a satire, as various parties try to get their hands on the Stone.

Descent Into Hell


is perhaps the most difficult of Williams’s novels; through it run themes dear to Williams’s heart, like poetry and the “Doctrine of Exchange” – as well as the self-destruction of a human soul.

All Hallows Eve


the last novel Williams ever wrote, opens with what must be one of the creepiest openings of any book, with a young woman wandering alone through the streets of London, and making a discovery which takes even the reader aback.

Shadows of Ecstasy


the first novel to be written (though not published till 1933) deals with an invasion of Europe from Africa and a kind of superman who denies that he is Antichrist, but who looks uncommonly like him.

The Greater Trumps


has the original set of Tarot cards coming into the possession of an English legal official, with devastating results, of which the threat of a universal snowstorm is only one. Williams’s use of symbolism is close to its highest here.

The Place of the Lion


was instrumental in bringing about the friendship between Williams and C. S. Lewis. It starts with the escape of a lioness from captivity and her mysterious disappearance… It also embodies Williams’s teachings about the affirming and denying of images.

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 and audible

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.

CW_descent CW_dimensions CW_hallows CW_lion CW_shadows CW_trumps CW_war

A Myth of Bacon, now available to read online

We recently re-posted the PDF vesrion of ‘A Myth of Bacon’ – Charles Williams’ early unavailable verse play – as it was originally found in The Quarterly.  But as of today, we’ve also published a real-text version, which you can read online more conveniently.  If you haven’t read it yet, you’re running out of excuses:  A Myth of Francis Bacon, by Charles Williams.

New Books in Print!

Apocryphile have now reissued some more of Williams’s poetry ; the dramatic-form “A Myth of Shakespeare” and the cllection “Heroes and Kings“. You can find both at the links above.

Faber & Faber republishes Charles Williams

Faber and Faber are republishing Charles Williams’ novels as part of their ‘Faber Finds’ series.  You can see the books published so far at, or get them directly from Amazon:


Williams’ poetry is moving and complex.



Poems of Conformity


Windows of Night


Taliessin Through Logres


Collected Plays


Williams’ plays can be enjoyed at more than one level. Though what they have in common is the author’s gift for poetic expression, they also demonstrate his range. Complex theology, knockabout farce, and historical tragedy are all represented here. The plays are simple enough for amateur performances but subtle enough to give scope for many interpretations.

Three Plays


The Early Metaphysical Plays of Charles Williams.  This book also includes some of Williams’s ealier poems on Arthurian themes.

A Myth of Bacon

A Myth of Francis Bacon


While this is not in print, we host the full text of A Myth of Francis Bacon online here at our website.

A Myth of Shakespeare


The Silver Stair


Heroes and Kings


The Masques of Amen House


The Masques of Amen House, published by the Mythopoeic Press, includes not only the previously published (but extremely rare) first two masques and other ‘Amen House’ poetry, but also the third masque and a selection of related poetry never before published.

The Chapel of the Thorn

The Chapel of the Thorn


This previously-unpublished work is available for the first time now!


Williams’ lay theology is mysterious and dense.  You might like it!

Outlines of Romantic Theology


in which he sets out his ideas about the relationship of religion and romantic love.



less a study of witchcraft itself as of the Church’s attitude towards it over the centuries.

The Descent of the Dove


A history of the church with special emphasis on the Holy Spirit.

He Came Down from Heaven / The Forgiveness of Sins


Double Feature!

Essays and Others

Williams wrote many essays, reviews, and exploratory pieces. These few can be found in print.

The Image of the City (and Other Essays)


When Charles Williams died in 1945 there remained to us of his work, besides his published books and those which he had in preparation for the press, a number of essays which had appeared in periodicals and elsewhere, many of which contain important statements of his ideas. A selection of these is printed here.

Poetry at Present


This book is meant as an introduction to the works of certain contemporary poets, for those readers who do not know them, while not being, it is hoped, entirely without interest for those who do. Nota bene: ‘contemporary’ in this care means contemporary with Williams himself!

The Figure of Beatrice


One of the most ambitious essays in the interpretation of Dante our time has seen…his interpretation of the role of Beatrice is a subtle and individual one.

Henry VII


Henry VII is less spectacular than his descendants, but not less interesting or even exciting. The first of the Tudors has been less written about than any (except Edward VI). He supplanted a dynasty and subordinated an aristocracy; he collected a treasure and created a fleet. But he created also the engine of monarchy.

Queen Elizabeth


The life of Elizabeth represents, in English history, the longest and most spectacular period of a change in society. That change began before her. It was the change from a society directed, at any rate in theory, by a metaphysical idea, to a society directed, both in theory and practice, by nothing but he continual pressure of events. It is a change completed in our day. Recently back in print!

James I


With an Introduction by Dorothy Sayers

The English Poetic Mind


Reason and Beauty in the Poetic Mind


Arthurian Torso


The Torso contains the Posthumous fragment of ‘The Figure of Arthur’, By Charles Williams, and a commentary on the Arthurian poems of Charles Williams by his friend C.S. Lewis.

Sadly, out of print – but available used on Amazon

The Detective Fiction Reviews of Charles Williams


A collection of Williams’ reviews of detective fiction during the 1930’s.