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The Tale of Jack Lewis and Baroness Biscuit

February 28, 2012

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending an intimate lecture here in Oxford featuring Lawrence Harwood, C.S. Lewis’ godson. Just today I had my first tutorial on C.S. Lewis and this was a great way to finish off the evening.

 Lewis & his brother pictured in  Northern Ireland where Lewis grew up

If you have ever studied any of C.S. Lewis it could come off that he was quite a serious fellow, but at the talk this evening I was pleasantly surprised to find out he was quite a character. Among friends he was simply referred to as Jack. He had to have his daily pint and would run there at the end of day, sometimes ending lectures short only to resume them inside the pub. He made small drawings in the margins of his personal letters to friends that resembled those of Beatrix Potter. He even nicknamed the rabbit living on his grounds Baroness Biscuit and sent young Lawrence a drawing of her. He claimed each book had its own unique smell which was second only to the smell of a new pair of shoes. All in all, he is a man after my own heart.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me”

Lewis lived the majority of his life here in Oxford first studying, then teaching & writing. He also met weekly with J.R.R. Tolkien and other writers inside The Eagle & Child, a pub that dates back to the 1600s.

Seeing that I am currently reading The Chronicles of Narnia for my final few tutorials and my flatmate is reading The Lord of the Rings we stepped in The Eagle & Child to finish off my birthday celebration with some ultra-touristy fun. We found ourselves a dimly lit nook complete with dark leather round bench and curled up with mulled cider & our books which were discussed in that very pub years & years ago.

It is a pretty incredible feeling to be reading the work of Lewis while sitting in the very spot that he discussed the work itself. Even if the workers of the pub think you are ultra-tourists instead of actual Oxford students who are reading the books for essays which you don’t have nearly enough time to write.

Pretending to be Lucy under the lamp-post outside of Eagle & Child

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 1, 2012 1:10 am

    I envy you for the visit to the pub and for the wonderful lecture you got to attend!

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