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The Chapel of the Thorn: A Dramatic Poem

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  4 reviews
"The Chapel of the Thorn" is a two-act verse play by Charles Williams (188-61945). In this tightly-woven dramatic poem, priests contend for control of a sacred relic, but an inherent syncretism and ambiguity leave the conflict open-ended. Its themes of spiritual tension, sacred vs. secular power, and just war are as relevant for the 21st century as they were for the 20th.
Paperback, 147 pages
Published 2014 by Apocryphile Press
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Tom
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it

Reading Charles Williams has always made me feel as if I stood on a threshold between two worlds, or, rather, in a shadow dappled wood where those worlds exist together; and though I am aware of the distinction between the two, just as I am of the difference between the sunlight and the shadow, I know equally well that both are integral to a larger realm. It is the same feeling I get when I read Sir Launfal, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, or Pearl, because it is the same world, though (perhaps) at a different time

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Stephen Hayes
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, our-books
An early play by Charles Williams, long thought to have been lost, and edited and prepared for publication by Sørina Higgins, who has also written a comprehensive introduction. There is also a preface by Grevel Lundop who has written a biography of Charles Williams, Charles Williams:the Third Inkling.

I began reading it two years ago, and began with the introductory material, which I think was a mistake. The book was mislaid in a reorganisation of our bookshelves, and so when I rediscovered it I began again,
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Leandro Guimarães
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting early work by Williams, the member of the Inklings best considered by his peers. Action is condensed in a night and a morning, where representatives of the mystical church (a local priest), of hierarchical Romanism (an abbot), of temporal power (then-future emperor Constantine), heathenism (a druid) and folk traditions (pagan villagers notionally incorporated into the church) contend for a relic kept in a chapel build on soil hallowed by a heathen hero.

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Sørina
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Here's an excellent review of "The Chapel of the Thorn" in "The Journal of Inklings Studies": https://inklings-studies.org/.
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Charles Walter Stansby Williams is probably best known, to those who have heard of him, as a leading member (albeit for a short time) of the Oxford literary group, the "Inklings", whose chief figures were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien. He was, however, a figure of enormous interest in his own right: a prolific author of plays, fantasy novels (strikingly different in kind from those of his friends), ...more