L is for Warren Lewis and Walter Hooper (A to Z on Tolkien and the Inklings)

L is for Warren Lewis, C. S. Lewis's elder brother, and Walter Hooper, Lewis's biographer.

Hooper came in later, having met Lewis in the last year of his life.

But Major Warren Lewis -- Warnie -- was, if Lewis was the centre of the Inklings, always there. He lived with his brother after he retired from the army, and wrote a number of books on seventeenth century French history and biography. I have a couple of these in our piles in storage, but haven't read them yet.

Chiefly, however, he kept diaries, including mentions of nearly all the Inklings sessions. Humphrey Carpenter had access to these when writing his biography of the Inklings; they're kept in the Wade Collection at Wheaton College in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. I'd love to visit Wheaton someday...

There are seven authors featured at the Wade Centre: Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, C. S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, George MacDonald, G. K. Chesterton, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Barfield was the only one who was able to visit the Centre:


According to the Wade Centre blog, "the video is an edited version of the full 37-minute recording ...
In the video, Kilby begins by showing Barfield the Wade's recently acquired Lewis Family Wardrobe on display in the Wade Center's Reading Room...
Although Kilby states that the maker of the wardrobe is uncertain, it was later confirmed that this wardrobe was handmade by Richard Lewis, C. S. Lewis's paternal grandfather sometime in the 1800s. The wardrobe stood for many years in the Lewis family home of Little Lea in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was later transported to C. S. Lewis's adult home, "The Kilns," in England.
Along with Lewis's writing desk, chair, and dining table, the wardrobe was purchased at auction in Banbury, England, on October 30, 1973 after Warren Lewis's death.
Kilby then shows Barfield a copy of The Silver Trumpet, Barfield's fairy tale for children that was enjoyed by C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Tolkien's children. The story rests on the fate of the Silver Trumpet, the symbol of hope and the vibrancy of life for a kingdom and its inhabitants.
After being seated by the Reading Room fireplace, Barfield and Kilby discuss Barfield's decades long friendship with C. S. Lewis. The video concludes with a brief excerpt from the beginning of Barfield's lecture, titled "C. S. Lewis: Truth and Imagination," which was given later that evening... Barfield's talk, the third annual Wade Lecture, is available on sound recording at the Wade Center."

Lewis and Barfield used to take walking tours every spring, and later, others came along on these tours, including Warnie. Carpenter notes: "It was an idyllic way to spend three or four days. Footpaths were plentiful, motor traffic rarely disturbed the quiet of the countryside, roads were often unmetalled and comfortable to the feet, inns were numerous and cheap, so that reservations for the night were not often necessary, and pots of tea and even full meals could be bought in most villages for the smallest sums. Much of rural England was in fact still as it had been in the nineteenth century." 

Apparently the Wade Centre also has a collection of Warnie Lewis' walking tour maps. I'd love to see those!

Where would you like to go on a walking tour?
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