Saturday, July 3, 2021

Reading Lindop

 So, I've now made some progress on Grevel Lindop's biography of Charles Williams, and the first thing I've noticed is that Lindop makes him sound much more normal, less of an oddball, than previous accounts. He's so far not made much progress on his stated goal of establishing Williams as a major poet, but it's early days yet.

A minor point: I was rather surprised by his descriptions of Wms as 'tall' (twice) and 'lanky'; for some reason I'd had the impression C.W. was slight in build and underaverage in height.

The most interesting content is his suggestion that Wms was not only in Waite's offshoot of the Golden Dawn (the Independent and Rectified Rite*), which focused on Xian mysticism --this has been well  established for a long time-- but probably also belonged to the surviving branch of the core Golden Dawn (Stella Matutina) that continued the original group's interest in ceremonial magic as well (p.66).

Even his Acknowledgments contain bits of interest, such as showing that he drew upon interviews with many people who knew Wms. And then there's his thanks to 'the owners of Charles Williams' tarot cards . . . [who] wish to remain anonymous' (page x). It wd be interesting to see these --I assume these must have been a set of Waite's devising (the so-called Rider Waite Tarot). 

More later, once I've made my way through another good chunk.

--John R.

*later (1915) succeeded by The Fellowship of the Rosy Cross  

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