Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship

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Paulist Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 244 pages
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Both Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are known around the world as the creators of Middle-earth and Narnia. But few of their readers and fans know about the complex friendship between Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Without the persistent encouragement of his friend, Tolkien would never have completed The Lord of the Rings. This great tale, along with the connected matter of The Silmarillion, would have remained merely a private hobby. Likewise, all of Lewis' fiction, after the two met at Oxford University in 1926, bears the mark of Tolkien's influence, whether in names he used or in the creation of convincing fantasy worlds. They quickly discovered their affinity--a love of language and the imagination, a wide reading in northern myth and fairy tale, a desire to write stories themselves in both poetry and prose. The quality of their literary friendship invites comparisons with those of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Cowper and John Newton, and G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. Both Tolkien and Lewis were central figures in the informal Oxford literary circle, the Inklings. This book explores their lives, unfolding the extraordinary story of their complex friendship that lasted, with its ups and downs, until Lewis's death in 1963. Despite their differences--differences of temperament, spiritual emphasis, and view of their storytelling art--what united them was much stronger, a shared vision that continues to inspire their millions of readers throughout the world.

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About the author (2003)

Colin Duriez has taught, written and spoken worldwide on C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and the Inklings for nearly thirty years. In addition to winning the Clyde S. Kilby Award in 1994 for his research, he has also appeared as a commentator on the extended-version film DVDs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (Peter Jackson, director), PBS's The Question of God, which compared C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud, and the Sony DVD Ringers about Tolkien fandom and the impact of Tolkien on popular culture. Duriez studied at the University of Istanbul, the University of Ulster (where he was a founding member of the Irish Christian Study Centre) and under Francis Schaeffer at L'Abri in Huemoz, Switzerland. His best-known books includeThe C. S. Lewis Encyclopedia, The Inklings Handbook (with the late David Porter), J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship, Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings and A Field Guide to Narnia. Duriez also compiled The Poetic Bible, an anthology of English verse from over one thousand years based on the biblical text.

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