[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B002PODHYA” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419ugvFXsfL._SL160_.jpg” width=”103″ alt=”Charles Williams” ]Today is the birthday of the Inkling Charles Williams…
T.S. Eliot called Williams’s novels “supernatural thrillers.”
For some background on Williams, read Caleb Crain’s wonderful essay in The New Yorker earlier this year…
“The jacket copy [of WAR IN HEAVEN], credited Williams with having written The Descent of the Dove: A Short History of the Holy Spirit in the Church, which—I learned when I got home to the Internet—Auden claimed to have re-read once a year. A resort to our bookshelves turned up more data. In the critical study ‘Later Auden,’ Edward Mendelson relays Auden’s report that he felt sanctified in Williams’s presence: ‘I felt transformed into a person who was incapable of doing or thinking anything base or unloving.’ “
Fortunately for readers, all of Charles Williams’s novels except one (The Greater Trumps) are available at bargain prices for Kindle!!!
(In the order they were written. Descriptions via Wikipedia)
- $1.99 – [easyazon-link asin=”B008321GIM” locale=”us”]War in Heaven[/easyazon-link], 1930 —
The Holy Grail surfaces in an obscure country parish and becomes variously a sacramental object to protect or a vessel of power to exploit.
- $1.99 – [easyazon-link asin=”B00832UDQI” locale=”us”]Many Dimensions[/easyazon-link], 1931 —
An evil antiquarian illegally purchases the fabled Stone of Suleiman (Williams uses this Muslim form rather than the more familiar King Solomon) from its Islamic guardian in Baghdad and returns to England to discover not only that the Stone can multiply itself infinitely without diminishing the original, but that it also allows its possessor to transcend the barriers of space and time.
- $1.99 – [easyazon-link asin=”B00832UF16″ locale=”us”]The Place of the Lion[/easyazon-link], 1931 —
Platonic archetypes begin to appear around an English country town, wreaking havoc and drawing to the surface the spiritual strengths and flaws of individual characters.
- $1.99 – [easyazon-link asin=”B00832YV2A” locale=”us”]Shadows of Ecstasy[/easyazon-link], 1931 —
A humanistic adept has discovered that by focusing his energies inward he can extend his life almost indefinitely. He undertakes an experiment using African lore to die and resurrect his own body thereby assuring his immortality. His followers begin a revolutionary movement to destroy European civilization.
- $1.99 – [easyazon_link asin=”B0083237RA” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Descent into Hell: A Novel[/easyazon_link], 1937 —
Generally thought to be Williams’s best novel, Descent deals with various forms of selfishness, and how the cycle of sin brings about the necessity for redemptive acts. In it, an academic becomes so far removed from the world that he fetishizes a woman to the extent that his perversion takes the form of a succubus. Characters include a doppelgänger and the ghost of a suicidal Victorian labourer. It is illustrative of Williams’s belief in the replacement of sin and substitutional love.
- $1.99 – [easyazon-link asin=”B0083YFBFO” locale=”us”]All Hallow’s Eve[/easyazon-link], 1945 —
Opens with a discussion between the ghosts of two dead women wandering about London. Ultimately explores the meaning of human suffering and empathy by dissolving the barrier between the living and the dead through both black magic and divine love.
ALSO, today’s poem of the day “City of Man” is by Charles Williams…