Life in Oxford
by Ann-Marie Imbornoni
Following his appointment as a teacher at Magdalen College in 1925, Lewis settled into his life in Oxford, a place that never lost its appeal for him, with its cozy pubs nestled among the ancient architecture an surrounded by the picturesque Cotswold Hills. Initially Lewis had set up house with the mother and sister of a friend, Paddy Moore, who had not survived the war. In 1930 Lewis, his brother Warnie, and Mrs. Moore jointly purchased "The Kilns," which was to be Lewis's home until his death in 1963. When Major Warnie Lewis retired from the military in 1932, he went to live there too.
Another feature of Lewis's Oxford life in the 1930s and 1940s was the regular gatherings of the "Inklings." This group of Lewis's friends and colleagues, including Warnie, J.R.R. Tolkien and others, met often either at the University or a local pub to read and discuss their written works. The Inklings also met for fun, though, and their conversations could become boisterous with laughing and joking.
Actually, the name "Inklings" had a double meaning, no doubt reflecting the double purpose of the group. The word breaks down into "ink" plus the suffix "-ling," which means "one connected with," and one connected with ink would certainly be a good definition of a writer. Literally, the term also means "a vague notion or idea," humorously implying that this particular group of writers didn't have a clue what they were writing about. The group continued to meet regularly for some 16 years, until 1949.