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The Inklings was an informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, England, between the 1930s and the 1960s. Its most reThe Inklings was an informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, England, between the 1930s and the 1960s. Its most regular members (many of them academics at the University) included J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, Christopher Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien's son), Warren "Warnie" Lewis (C.S. Lewis's elder brother), Roger Lancelyn Green, Adam Fox, Hugo Dyson, Robert Havard, J.A.W. Bennett, Lord David Cecil, and Nevill Coghill. Other less frequent attenders at their meetings included Percy Bates, Charles Leslie Wrenn, Colin Hardie, James Dundas-Grant, John Wain, R.B. McCallum, Gervase Mathew, and C.E. Stevens. The author E. R. Eddison also met the group at the invitation of C.S. Lewis.
The Inklings were literary enthusiasts who praised the value of narrative in fiction, and encouraged the writing of fantasy. Although Christian values were notably reflected in several members' work, there were also atheists among the members of the discussion group.
"Properly speaking," wrote Warren Lewis, "the Inklings was neither a club nor a literary society, though it partook of the nature of both. There were no rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections."
As was typical for university literary groups in their time and place, the Inklings were all male. (Dorothy L. Sayers, sometimes claimed as an Inkling, was a friend of Lewis and Williams, but never attended Inklings meetings.)