Williams and Tolkien
- I'm forwarding this from the alt.books.inklings newsgroup -- does anyone have
any answers to the question?
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Morgoth's Curse <morgothscurse2002@...> spoke these
> I have always wondered about Tolkien's relationship withThe implication in _Letters_ is that Tolkien enjoyed Williams'
> Charles William. I have read that Tolkien disliked William's work,
> but I do not know whether the two men were friends otherwise. (I
> presume that the relationship was at least cordial.)
company even though he rather strongly disliked his work (and
resented Williams' influence on Lewis). He may have exaggerated when
he wrote to Williams' widow that 'in the (far too brief) years since
I first met him I had grown to admire and love your husband deeply'
(_Letters_ #99). Elsewhere Tolkien describes the relationship of the
two men to a reader of _LotR_:
But I think we both found the other's mind (or rather mode
of expression, and climate) as impenetrable when cast into
'literature', as we found the other's presence and
Without going into any discussion of what constitutes 'friendship' I
think the above at least suggests something that goes beyond
It would be interesting to know how Williams thought of his
relationship with Tolkien. Does anyone know about that? Has
Williams' letters been published or something?
Troels Forchhammer <troelsfo(a)googlewave.com>
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.
- From what I had heard, the relationship between Tolkien and Lewis was strained by the fact that Lewis was a bachelor, and between Tolkien and Williams by the fact that Williams was a Londoner and a city denizen whereas Tolkien was far more an Oxonian.
This may be apocryphal, and I don't know where I read it, but Tolkien found Williams' velocity of thought irritating, and would always hold back on walkabouts taken in the company of Williams and others to investigate plants and trees, and to comment on them, which Williams found irritating. At any rate, their acquaintance was brief, being the years of the removal of the Oxford University Press from London to Oxford during the darkest days of the blitz.