Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Inklings depicted in the Bird and Baby



This is a painting by Martin Macgregor displayed in the Eagle and Child ("Bird and Baby") pub in Oxford, and sent me by Keri Ford.

It isn't exactly what I was hoping for in an Inklings group portrait because the group is situated in the Bird and Baby pub rather than Lewis's rooms, and is a contrived formal portrait (done by re-painting photographs - which I recognise) rather than an actual meeting-in-action.

Also, it isn't exactly what I was hoping for because it is situated in the Bird and Baby pub rather than Lewis's rooms, and is a group portrait (done by re-painting photographs - which I recognise) rather than an actual meeting-in-action.

Strictly, in the early and most important years, The Inklings was the group that met in the evenings in Lewis's rooms to read-out and discuss their writing; rather than the bigger and looser lunchtime social-conversation grouping that met at the Eagle and Child, and also at the Lamb and Flag on the opposite side of the street. These lunchtime meetings continued for a decade for more beyond the end of the evening-reading group; indeed, into the time after Lewis moved to Cambridge University.

So - I think there is still need for a 'proper' picture of the core-Inklings in-action in situ!

3 comments:

Keri said...

Thanks for the credit. I'll have to read the Fellowship again I find it interesting that you place the Inklings in C S Lewis rooms and focus on the earlier time period. Certainly Barfield's influence on Tolkien and Lewis was early. I'd quite like to attempt a picture myself, I feel it might be a little beyond me, but if no one else comes forward I might have to step into the breech. I do think if something is worth doing it is worth doing even badly, after all it might inspire someone else to do it well.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Keri

"if something is worth doing it is worth doing even badly" - indeed, I agree - and this is indeed a paraphrase of one of CS Chesterton's maxims!

And, maybe, after you have done an authentic Inklings picture, you might take commissions to insert portraits of living people like myself or yourself into an imaginary/ fantasy Inklings evening!

Anonymous said...

Your saying "maybe, after you have done an authentic Inklings picture, you might take commissions to insert portraits of living people like myself or yourself into an imaginary/ fantasy Inklings evening" makes me think of both 'Taliessin in the School of the Poets' and 'The Death of Palomides' - and, again, 'Taliessin at Lancelot's Mass' in Williams's Taliessin through Logres and the antecedent version of the latter, 'Taliessin Song of Lancelot's Mass', and that in turn of the later 'Divites Bimisit' and its expansion into 'The Prayer of the Pope' - perhaps we could call them 'pictures of coinherence', especially of proper coinherence of human persons.

David Llewellyn Dodds