The fantastical fictional land of Narnia, famously reached via a magical wardrobe, has many connections to the world in which its creator C.S. Lewis lived. The influence of Oxford can be seen not only in medieval buildings and towers but also in the literature which Lewis encountered there, through a lifetime's reading and teaching of classical, medieval and renaissance literature.
This book examines the role Oxford, its colleges, libraries, chapels, clubs, common rooms and pubs, played in fostering the work of one of the twentieth century's most influential writers and thinkers. It brings to light a number of new archival discoveries, including letters, tutorial reports and even an unpublished poem, as well as offering new insights into Lewis's Oxford life, his transition to Cambridge, his Christian faith and his global influence today.
It also takes a fresh look at his extensive involvement in Oxford's various clubs and societies, including the Coalbiters, the Socratic Club and, of course, the Inklings, whose distinguished members coalesced around him and his great friend, J.R.R. Tolkien.
Written by an expert in medieval literature who teaches at Magdalen College, where Lewis himself taught, this book, illustrated with letters, manuscripts and Oxford landmarks, helps us understand the author of the Narnia stories and of The Screwtape Letters as a student, scholar and teacher in greater depth.