20 October 2011

Inklings Reading List

OK, so a couple of friends who attended my Inklings presentation last week have asked for a recommended reading order to get into the Inklings' works. (I've added Chesterton & MacDonald & Sayers to the list to be more inclusive). I've chosen to put only fiction on this list. This is because these two friends are English/History profs. at a community college, so will probably be more interested in the "literature" side of things. I've also tried to keep the list short and to ease the reader in from most accessible to more difficult. What would you add? What would you omit? Would you change the order? Do you think it really needs to include theological and lit. crit. works? How about poetry?

1. The Narnia Chronicles - Lewis
2. Three "Princess" books by MacDonald: The Princess & The Goblin, The Princess & Curdie, The Light Princess
3. The Screwtape Letters - Lewis
4. The Lord Peter Whimsey mystery novels - Sayers
5. The Man Who Was Thursday - Chesterton
6. War in Heaven - Williams
7. The Great Divorce - Lewis
8. The Hobbit - Tolkien
9. The "Space" Trilogy by Lewis: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength
10. The Place of the Lion - Williams
11. The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King) - Tolkien
12. Descent into Hell - Williams



Chris Willerton said...

This is good fun. Thanks for including Sayers. I wouldn't say just "all the Wimseys," though. If their tastes are Bertie Woosterish, they'd enjoy an early one like "Clouds of Witness." For a more mature Wimsey and Bunter, "The Nine Tailors" (yes, they can skip some of the campanology). If their tastes run to Tracy and Hepburn, plunge ahead to "Have His Carcase" to watch Wimsey and Harriet Vane. When they're ready for full-scale feminist gallantry (yep, a paradox), "Gaudy Night." If they're shopping for things to teach, the Wimsey stories in "Lord Peter" include some colorful yarns. What I love about Iambic Admonit is that you encourage people to read for fun and to enjoy their God, and Sayers would applaud you.

Rosie Perera said...

Even though it's not fiction, I would add Lewis's Surprised By Joy.

For MacDonald I'd add At the Back of the North Wind and the short story The History of Photogen and Nycteris

For Tolkien I'd add "Ainulindalë" (a prologue) from The Silmarillion

If you're going to stretch beyond fiction in Chesterton, I would say Orthodoxy is a must.

And I would add Sayers's The Man Born to be King

Iambic Admonit said...

Great ideas!!

Jared said...

Your friends' literary tendencies would thank you for a "Phantastes" suggestion, I think. That one might be worth it if only for the C.S. Lewis intro. It's a pretty cool insight into his attitude as a literary critic. And G. Mac's pretty awesome too. Also, "Phantastes" might help give some context for the dialogue between Lewis and MacDonald in "The Great Divorce". I think there are a few allusions to "Phantastes" in it.

Iambic Admonit said...

Jared: Ah, yes! As a matter of fact, I think I would (on second thought) take off the Princess books and put Phantastes in their place. And, just out of curiosity, what do you think of Lillith?