During the summer of 2022, something I never expected fell into my lap. I had contacted the Owen Barfield Literary Estate about getting permission to use a photograph for an article about Owen Barfield. For those who don’t know, Owen Barfield was one of C..S. Lewis’ oldest friends (they met when they were both students at Oxford and stayed friends until Lewis’ death), and an important, though underdiscussed member of the Inklings. Barfield passed away in 1997 at 99 years old. His grandson, Owen A. Barfield, has been his literary trustee since 2007. Owen was not only kind enough to let me use the article: he asked if I’d like to do an interview.
Being a former journalist who won first place in a statewide competition for one of my articles… I felt very surprised and very worried I would screw this up.
Fortunately, things went smoothly. The interview took place over FaceTime in September and lasted over an hour, ranging from family memories to discussions about what it means to be part of the Inklings legacy at a time when so many Inklings-related things have become franchises.
The Oddest Inkling, a site run by Dr. Sorina Higgins where she discusses Inkling Charles Williams, has published a sliver of the interview, where Owen talks about whether Williams had more in common with Barfield than some people think. You can read it here:
Here is my article on Owen Barfield, and other pieces I’ve written about the Inklings:
What Makes Owen Barfield the First and Last Inkling?
Charles Williams & Dennis Wheatley: Writing of Dark Forces Part 1
Charles Williams & Dennis Wheatley: Writing of Dark Forces Part 2
20 Surprising C.S. Lewis Quotes and 10 Facts You Didn’t Know
Why Was Charles Williams the Odd Inkling?
10 C.S. Lewis Books You Haven’t Read Yet
Who Were the Inklings Besides C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien?
10 J.R.R. Tolkien Stories to Read Before Seeing Rings of Power