Saturday 30 October 2010

Who is Wilfrid Jeremy? C.W? C.R.T?


While I realize that the Notion Club members do not have exact correspondences with the real life Inklings, there is clearly a germ of some real life Inklings in them :- Ramer as Tolkien (in views and experiences), Loudham as Dyson (in personality), Dolbear as Havard (pretty exact depiction, I guess!).

The great absences are Lewis - who was the leader of the real life Inklings - and Williams, who died shortly before the NCPs were written.

The absence of Lewis is explained in term of the Notion Club spending so much time talking *about* Lewis.

But what of Williams?

Could Williams contribute to the character of Jeremy perhaps?

My suspicion comes from the frequent bird-like comparisons of Jeremy - perhaps Tolkien found something bird-like in the mannerisms of Williams?

But Williams was older than Tolkien - whereas Jeremy comes across as a younger, more eager, impulsive member of the Notion Club.

So my main identification is with Christopher Tolkien.

I have no idea whether the young Christopher Tolkien was bird-like in some of his mannerisms - but I would not be surprised if he was.

Also this would fit with Jeremy's relative youthfulness among the other club members, and his taking on the role of the eternal 'son' in the reborn 'avatars' of the NCP plot.

Christopher Tolkien does not mention any such relation between himself and Jeremy, but then he does not discuss Jeremy's relation to the real Inklings, whereas he does for all the other major characters - which might be a significant omission!

So those are my guesses for the germ of Jeremy - probably Christopher Tolkien, perhaps a dash of Charles Williams.



Anonymous said...

Might Roger Lancelyn Green have contributed to W.T. Jeremy (and Howard Green)?

David LLewellyn Dodds

Bruce Charlton said...

@DLD - It is certainly possible, but he wasn't really an Inkling during the WWII period. I tend to think of CW as taking the place of CW in the Inklings 'group dynamic', although not really based on him - but he is almost like a son to Lowdham - so is Christopher Tolkien like.

The absence of reference to CW in an Inklings-like group is one highly significant thing about the NCPs - because CW had so recently died, and he will have been on everybody's mind as the NCPs were being read out; and several members were engaged in putting-together 'Essays presented to Charles Williams'.