Book Cover
Author Ashenden, Gavin, 1954-

Title Charles Williams : alchemy and integration / Gavin Ashenden
Published Kent, Ohio : Kent State University Press, [2008]
Online access available from:
ProQuest Ebook Central Subscription Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource
Contents The encounter between poet and magus -- Modern hermeticism -- The q'abalah, The secret doctrine in Israel, and the influence of A.E. Waite -- The "two ways" and the "theology of romantic love" -- Alchemy as metanarrative -- The goetic, theurgic, and wisdom traditions -- The integration of the natural and supernatural in Charles Williams -- The second phase of maturation -- Vocabulary and imagery -- The quest for integration
Summary An examination of the tumultuous inner life of this poet and writerHe was a close friend of T.S. Eliot, deeply admired by C.S. Lewis, inspirational for W.H. Auden in his journey to faith, and a literary sparring partner for J.R.R. Tolkien. Yet half a century after his death, much of Charles Williams's life and work remains an enigma. The questions that arose from his immersion in Rosicrucian and hermetic culture and ideology--central to understanding Williams's thought and art remain provocatively unexplored. For a decade of his early adulthood, Williams was a member of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, a form of neo-Rosicrucianism. There is widespread confusion about its nature, which is to be expected given that this was a semisecret society. Though Williams left his formal association with it behind, it enriched and informed his imaginative world with a hermetic myth that expressed itself in an underlying ideology and metaphysics. In Charles Williams: Alchemy and Integration, Gavin Ashenden explores both the history behind the myths and metaphysics Williams was to make his own and the hermetic culture that influenced him. He examines and interprets its expressions in Williams's novels, poetry, and the development of his ideas and relates these elements to Williams's unpublished letters to his platonic lover, Celia, written toward the end of his life. Since one of the foremost ideas in Williams's work is the interdependence or co-inherence of both our humanity and the creation, understanding the extent to which he lived and achieved this in his own life is important. Williams's private correspondence with Celia is of particular interest both for its own sake, since it was previously unknown, and for the insight it offers into his personality and muse
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 267-272) and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
digitized 2010 HathiTrust Digital Library committed to preserve pda MiAaHDL
Print version record
Subject Williams, Charles, 1886-1945 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Alchemy in literature.
Christianity in literature.
Fantasy literature, English -- History and criticism.
Hermetism in literature.
Mysticism in literature.
Theology in literature.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1306370833 (electronic bk.)
1612778844 (electronic bk.)
1612778852 (electronic bk.)
9781306370837 (electronic bk.)
9781612778846 (electronic bk.)
9781612778853 (electronic bk.)
(hardcover ; alk. paper)