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Lewis and Tolkien

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Кокин Василий Евгеньевич
ГАПОУ РК «Сортавальский колледж»
«Механизация сельского хозяйства»
3-й курс
Руководитель - Валиченко Елена Николаевна
Clive Staples Lewis and John Ronald Reuel
Tolkien. The fri...
A Literary Friendship and Rivalry of the two
Everyone has ever heard about two famous worlds: The
Narnia and the Middle-earth. They have not so much in
common but not everybody is aware of that fact if there
weren’t one of them there wouldn’t be other. I want to
tell you about close friendship of two legendary and my
favorite British writers of fantasy.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January
1892 in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free
State (South Africa) in the family of Arthur Reuel
Tolkien (died when John was 4) and
Mabel, nee Suffield. He came back to England in
1895 and his mother decided to stay there
(because of her husband’s death). In his childhood
he was being studied with his little brother home
by their mother. In October 1911 he started
studying in Oxford. Initially he studied classics but
changed his course in 1913 to English language
and literature.
When Britain entered The First World War in 1914
young Tolkien decided not to join up the British army
immediately and their relatives were surprised by that.
Finally he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in
1915 and later in 1916 he went to France. After the
war he worked as a professor of the history and
etymology of words at Oxford.
At the age of 16, John met Edith Mary Bratt, who was
three years him older. His guardian didn’t see in her
worthy lady for him and their meetings were
prohibited. They married only on 22 March 1916 after
his returning from the war.
Clive Staples Lewis was born on 29 November 1898 in
Belfast. His father was Albert James Lewis, mother was
Florence Augusta Lewis, nee Hamilton. He really liked
reading and their house was full of books. Lewis was
schooled by private tutors before being sent to
the Wynyard School in Watford which was closed later
because of lack of pupils. Before entering Oxford where
he met Tolkien he had to endure The First World War.
In 1917 he was conscripted into the British army. He
was strongly impressed by the war and that confirmed
his atheism.
Clive Lewis
Two founders of such kind of literature as fantasy
were closest friends. They worked at Oxford
university, were members of informal literature
club “Inklings”, helped and backed each other when
they wrote their tales and were the first readers
each for other, criticized and pointed what is
necessary to be fixed according to their opinion.
John was uncertain, indecisive with his works, he
usually was long in doubts before to submit a new
tale even inside of the Inklings not to mention
general public. Clive was absolutely not like him
and released his books not paying attention to
criticism. But despite these differences they
anyway were best assistances for each other.
C. S. Lewis
J. R. R. Tolkien
They discussed the meaning of Christianity much
and first time Lewis denied their importance saying
“that it’s not more than a myth like those
Scandinavian myths which we like so much and
myths are lies” for what Tolkien answered “Yes.
You’re right. That’s a myth but true because that
has really happened” John believed any myths are
what keep humanity on the right course while as
and a technical progress leads only to the abyss..
Tolkien was a devout catholic and under his
influence Lewis came back to Christianity but he
became a protestant. Afterwards Lewis preached
Christianity in his books more openly unlike to
Tolkien who aimed to hide the Christian moral
deep in text. “There must be echoes in tales but
we should not put them forward from main theme
as you make it” - he argued in one of talks to
Their friendship was not cloudless. Especially it
became noticeably when they had written and
released their main books. Once best friends start
to compete for auditory. And here fame of Lewis
due to the fist book “The Lion, the Witch and the
Wardrobe” in 1950 easily eclipses Tolkien who had
then reputation of an oddball so to speak. Only
when he finishes his famous trilogy in 1955 it
totally changes things.
Their meetings are rarer, they have less in
common till the friendship fades away fully. They
were keeping cold relations until Lewis dies from a
disease of kidneys on November 22 1963, just a
week before his 65th birthday. Upon the death of
Clive Tolkien wrote his daughter that “feels like an
axe-blow near the roots.” Clive Lewis is buried in
the churchyard of Holy Trinity
Church, Headington, Oxford
John later repeatedly mentioned Clive in interviews
confessing that he misses his friend.
Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order
of the British Empire in the 1972 New Year
Honours and received the insignia of the Order
at Buckingham Palace on 28 March 1972.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien died on 2 September
1973, his grave is located on Wolvercote
Cemetery, Oxford where he was buried with his
wife Edith died one year earlier.
It’s hard to tell about contribution of these two
professors and writers to English literature and
culture at all. Certainly it was great and not only to
English literature but in world one. Screen versions
of the Tolkien’s trilogy and also Hobbit by P.
Jackson and the main book of Chronicles of Narnia
– The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe made
friends known to whole world and immortalized
their memory. But anyway meanings of their works
still haven’t been opened fully
Thanks for watching!
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