11 September 2008

Tolkien in Tweed

Tolkien in Tweed may be redundant. Did the man wear anything else? Judging by the photographic record, evidently not. Which makes him even more of an icon in my book. I admit, starting at age 10 or so I was a fan of his books, and I remain so today. At school and university, when I wasn't spending my free time combing through 75 years of back issues of The Spectator magazine, I immersed myself in the writings of The Inklings, the group of Oxford academics and writers--including C.S. Lewis--of which Tolkien was a principal member. They spent their evenings in pubs discussing literature, drinking ale, smoking pipes, and wearing Tweed. Sounds like paradise. Or should I say, Valhalla.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you're aware of how Tolkien gave readings of drafts of his books to a group of Oxford friends and supporters, including CS Lewis, known as The Inklings. Once, as Tolkien began a new chapter a mutter was heard from the back of the room " Oh God, not another fucking elf!".

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Thank you, that's an excellent story!

Colton said...

Another Inklings anecdote: After Lewis had read his first draft of The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, Tolkien was reported as saying, "Centaurs, father Christmas, and talking animals? It'll never do, Jack. It just won't do."

Though he admired Lewis for other reasons, Tolkien could never get on board with the Narnia series because he thought the books mixed mythologies too much.