But, I realized that although we know that Tolkien and the Lewis brothers were right wing, and indeed very reactionary - I knew nothing of the political views of the other 'core Inkling' of the Charles Williams (1939-45) era - Robert Havard, often nicknamed 'Humphrey'.
Since I am fortunate enough to have e-mail contact with two of Robert Havard's sons - John and Mark (aka Colin), I decided to investigate this - and discovered that while Havard would certainly be regarded as 'right wing' by modern standards - which have moved a long way leftwards; Havard did have some left wing views, and voted for the Labour Party in the 1945 General Election.
[Editorial correction - 1947 should be 1945. This was the most radical left wing government in British history - nationalizing all the major industries and services, as well as introducing the National Health Service, expanding state education, and creating a wide range of state social security and pensions schemes.]
He did not often talk about party politics and I do not remember ever hearing how he voted in subsequent elections.
My question: "Did your Father adhere to the traditional Roman Catholic values in relation to sexuality? e.g. about abortion, divorce, extra-marital sex, homosexuality?"
John Havard: I would have said “yes” to all your questions, as was typical in the 50s and later. Mark explained [see below] that his support for Lewis’s civil marriage to a divorcee was originally a convenience to enable Joy Davidman to stay in the
My general impression is that both as a scientist and a human being, he was somewhat left of centre and never had the same animus against the modern world, unions, technology, etc. that Tolkien and Lewis did. I have no idea how he voted in any elections after 1945, but I am fairly certain he was never an across the board Tory. I suspect he took the issues of the day election-by-election and voted accordingly.
I believe that this new information on both Charles Williams and Robert Havard's political views puts a different perspective on the Inklings than has previously been the case.
But this is probably an error. If the core Inklings of the heyday of 1939-45 were Jack and Warnie Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Charles Williams and Robert Havard - then two out of the five were broadly 'liberal' left wing in their politics.
There was indeed a 3:2 right wing/ conservative majority, but it was hardly overwhelming. Indeed, the range of political views among the Inklings seems to be about as broad as the range of Christian views.
If we want to regard the Inklings as the last great reactionary writing group in England - as I have sometimes suggested - then we now need to be clearer that we are only really talking about Jack Lewis and Tolkien - probably supported by Warnie; which is not really much of a 'group', when you think about it!