Tolkien Gateway

Talk:Charles Williams

I always found paradox how Williams was an occultist and also a devout Christian and theologian and also friend of Tolkien. We know that Tolkien was a bit disappointed that Lewis did not became a Catholic, but does any biography ever brings into consideration whether Tolkien disagreed or overlooked Williams' occultism? Sage 16:50, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

The blog "A Mule In The Chapter House" has the following interesting sentence:

"Even JRR Tolkien lamented Williams’ influence over Lewis, and referred to him as “that witch-doctor”, although he admitted that Williams appeared to operate under an unusual degree of [Divine] protection, given the intellectual precincts he frequented."

Sadly, there isn't a source, perhaps from The Letters? --Morgan 18:38, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
The source for the blog post doesn't seem to be from The Letters. I posted a comment on the blog and asked for a reference. However, I searched through The Letters, and added some quotes on the Charles Williams page. --Morgan 19:34, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
It seems like Tolkien was unaware of his background, or else he would mention his thoughts. I also thought that all the Inklings were connected by mutual friendship and respect. I see now that they were only loosely affiliated scholars. Sage 08:15, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
The most explicit discussion of Tolkien's suspicion of Williams's occultism I've found so far is Colin Duriez's treatment of CW in the JRRT Encyclopedia. He says that Tolkien in the:
"...late years was to describe Lewis as being under Williams's "spell," and clearly, with hindsight, did not approve of this, feeling that Lewis was too impressionable a man. Later also, he would refer to the Inklings as Lewis's "seance," alluding to Williams's fascination with the occult, a taste that had disturbed Tolkien."
― p.708
One of Duriez's sources for the article on CW is Carpenter's The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and Their Friends - I guess there's more info about the issue at hand can be found in that work.--Morgan 22:40, 7 June 2010 (UTC)