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OWEN BARFIELD, ROMANTICISM COME OF AGE
Simon Blaxland-de Lange - Foreword by A. Welburn
28 April 2021;
390pp (4pp colour plates);
23.5 x 15.5 cm;
‘Barfield towers above us all… the wisest and best of my unofficial teachers.’ – C.S. Lewis
‘We are well supplied with interesting writers, but Owen Barfield is not content to be merely interesting. His ambition is to set us free from the prison we have made for ourselves by our ways of knowing, our limited and false habits of thought, our “common sense”.’ – Saul Bellow
Owen Barfield – philosopher, author, poet and critic – was a founding member of the Inklings, the private Oxford society that included the leading literary figures C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. C.S. Lewis, who was greatly affected by Barfield during their long friendship, wrote of their many heated debates: ‘I think he changed me a good deal more than I him.’
Simon Blaxland-de Lange’s biography – the first on Owen Barfield to be published – was written with the active cooperation of Barfield himself who, before his death in 1997, gave numerous interviews to the author and shared a large quantity of his papers and manuscripts. The fruit of this collaboration is a book that penetrates deeply into the life and thought of one of the most important figures of the twentieth century. It studies the influences on Barfield by the Romantic poet Coleridge and the philosopher Rudolf Steiner (founder of anthroposophy), and elaborates on Barfield’s profound personal connection with C.S. Lewis. The book also features a biographical sketch in his own words (based on personally conducted interviews), and describes Barfield’s strong relationship with North America and his dual profession as a lawyer and writer. This updated edition features vital new material including Barfield’s own ‘Psychography’ from 1948 and an illustrative plate section.
SIMON BLAXLAND-DE LANGE has for many years worked as an educator for people with special needs as well as a writer and translator. A keen amateur musician and gardener, he is a co-founder of Pericles Translations and Research, Pericles Training and Work for adults with special needs and the Pericles Theatre Company. Together with Dr Vivien Law, he co-founded the Humanities Research Group in 1997 and the British group of the Humanities Section of the School of Spiritual Science in 1998. He first met Owen Barfield in 1979 and has been a student of his work for over 40 years. He is the author of Sun King’s Counsellor, Cecil Harwood, A Documentary Biography (2021).