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The Inklings Archives - recordings of talks relating to the Inklings

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The Inklings Archives are recordings of talks given at Church House, Westminster between 1977-1983, relating to the group of writers who formed the ‘Inklings’: C S Lewis, J R R Tolkien, Charles Williams, and other writers who influenced them, including George MacDonald. The meetings were organised by Nigel Sustins, then Manager of Church House Bookshop, who made the recordings. Each CD is 70-75 minutes in length and cost 15 GBP.

The recordings, originally on tape, have been converted to digital format and transferred to CD. Any deficiency is more than made up for by the unique and historic nature of the material. The ‘Archives’ are being produced in a limited edition of 100 sets, each CD authenticated by a specific photograph which bears the number of the copy, initialled by Nigel Sustins.


‘Facets of Lewis’ was held on 2nd March 1977, to mark the publication of "The Dark Tower and Other Stories".

Speakers are: [Track 1] Walter Hooper, Lewis’s co-literary trustee and editor. [Track 3] Owen Barfield, Lewis’s co-literary trustee and one of the original "Inklings".[Track 6] Donald Swann, musician and composer, who talks about and plays extracts from his opera ‘Perelandra’, based on one of Lewis’s science fiction novels. [Tracks 2,4,5] Robert Eddison, the actor, who reads extracts from Lewis’s writings: ‘The Dark Tower’ [2], "Screwtape Letters" [4], ‘Poems’ [5]. [Track 7] A Finale or Epilogue, with further readings from Robert Eddison, and a rendition of Tolkien’s ‘Bilbo’s Last Song’, set to music and performed by Donald Swann. 

Authenticated by a photograph of the signatures in a copy of ‘The Dark Tower’ (Walter Hooper, Owen Barfield, Priscilla Tolkien, Roger Lancelyn Green, Donald Swann, Robert Eddison, all of whom were present at the event).


‘Facets of Tolkien’ was held on 16th September 1977, to mark the publication of ‘The Silmarillion’.

Speakers are: [Track 1] Priscilla Tolkien, the Professor’s daughter [Track 2] Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien’s biographer. The other two recordings are from a meeting on 3rd October 1980, organised to celebrate the publication of ‘Unfinished Tales’, edited by Tolkien’s son Christopher, and consist of : [Track 3] Rayner Unwin, Tolkien’s publisher discussing future plans to issue new Tolkien material [Track 4] Rayner Unwin, answering questions. 

Authenticated by a photograph of the signatures in a copy of ‘The Silmarillion" (Priscilla Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Rayner Unwin, two of Tolkien’s granddaughters and Pauline Baynes, the artist, all of whom were present at the event).


‘The Inklings’ was held on 20th October 1978, to mark the publication of Humphrey Carpenter’s book of that title.

Speakers are: [Track 1] Humphrey Carpenter, talking about and reading from his book, and interviewing R E (‘Humphrey’) Havard, physician to Lewis and Tolkien, and one of the original ‘Inklings’. [Track 2] Alice Mary Hadfield, biographer and friend of Charles Williams, talking about his life and work. The other recording is from ‘Facets of Lewis’ (supplementary to Inklings Archive 1), held on 2nd March 1977: [Track 3] Question Time with Walter Hooper, Owen Barfield, and Roger Lancelyn Green (Lewis's co-biographer).

Authenticated by a photograph of the book ‘He Came Down from Heaven’ by Charles Williams.


The speakers are: [Track 1] Tom Shippey, author of the seminal ‘Road to Middle-Earth’ (1982) and the more recent ‘Tolkien: Author of the Century’ (2000), talking about the concept of the "righteous pagan" in Tolkien and other related literature. This is from a meeting held on 30th September 1982. [Track 2] Rolland Hein, author of ‘The Harmony Within: the Spiritual Vision of George MacDonald’(1982), and many other works, whose subject is "Dreams in George MacDonald’s Lilith”. This is from a meeting held on 29th June 1983.

Authenticated by a photograph of Tom Shippey’s book ‘The Road to Middle-Earth’ and a copy of ‘Lilith’.


The talks on this CD are from a meeting held on 17th February 1982.

The speakers are: [Track 1] Stuart Blanch, then Archbishop of York, who talks about the theology of George MacDonald. [Track 2] Stephen Prickett, author of ‘Romanticism and Religion’ and many other works, whose subject is "The Two Worlds of George MacDonald". [Track 3] Nancy Ruthven, co-author with Kathleen Johnson of a musical version of "The Princess and the Goblin", extracts from which are performed within a narrative summary of the first act of the musical.  

Authenticated by a photograph of an illustration from ‘The Princess and the Goblin’ by Charles Folkard.

For further information contact: Nigel Sustins, Rose Cottage, Wentnor, Bishops Castle, Shropshire, SY9 5EE, UK, Tel. 01588 650590; email Este endereço de email está sendo protegido de spambots. Você precisa do JavaScript ativado para vê-lo.

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