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A biography of some of the great writers of our century
on September 14, 1999
C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were two of the most innovative and popular authors of our century. They, and other, less popular authors (e.g. Charles Williams, Owen Barfield) were friends, and met regularly at Oxford to read their new works aloud to each other, and to criticize each others' work (as well as to smoke, drink and goof off). The Screwtape Letters and the Lord of the Rings were developed in this forum. Carpenter, like no other biographer I know of, captures the group spirit of these geniuses, giving the reader exciting insights into their influences upon each other, and into their fascinating, strange lives. Particularly interesting is Carpenter's account of the spiritual dimension of these men -- especially Lewis, who converted from staunch atheism to a devout Christianity under the influence of Tolkien and Barfield (among others). I recommend this book to any lover of the above-mentioned authors. I think it would also be of interest to many lovers of fantasy, and to any Christian with a literary bent.