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The Place of the Lion [Paperback]

By Charles Williams (Author)
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Item description for The Place of the Lion by Charles Williams...

Novelist, poet, critic, and dramatist Williams uses fiction to explore how people react when the supernatural enters their lives, and how then to find the path of peace.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Regent College Publishing
Pages   244
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.96" Width: 5.28" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.61 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 14, 2003
Publisher   Regent College Publishing
ISBN  1573831085  
ISBN13  9781573831086  

Availability  105 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 05:45.
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More About Charles Williams

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Charles Walter Stansby Williams (1886 -1945) was a British poet, novelist, playwright, theologian, literary critic, and member of the Inklings. Williams was born in London in 1886, the only son of (Richard) Walter Stansby Williams (1848-1929), a journalist and foreign business correspondent (for an importing firm, writing in French and German), who was a 'regular and valued' contributor of verse, stories and articles to many popular magazines, and his wife Mary, a former milliner, of Islington. He continued to work at the OUP in various positions of increasing responsibility until his death in 1945. One of his greatest editorial achievements was the publication of the first major English-language edition of the works of Soren Kierkegaard. Although chiefly remembered as a novelist, Williams also published poetry, works of literary criticism, theology, drama, history, biography, and a voluminous number of book reviews. Some of his best known novels are War in Heaven (1930), Descent into Hell (1937), and All Hallows' Eve (1945). T. S. Eliot, who wrote an introduction for the last of these, described Williams's novels as "supernatural thrillers" because they explore the sacramental intersection of the physical with the spiritual while also examining the ways in which power, even spiritual power, can corrupt as well as sanctify. All of Williams's fantasies, unlike those of J. R. R. Tolkien and most of those of C. S. Lewis, are set in the contemporary world. Williams has been described byColin Manlove as one of the three main writers of "Christian fantasy" in the twentieth century (the other two being C. S. Lewis and T. F. Powys). More recent writers of fantasy novels with contemporary settings, notably Tim Powers, cite Williams as a model and inspiration. NOVELS: 1930: War in Heaven (London: Victor Gollancz) 1930: Many Dimensions (London: Victor Gollancz) 1931: The Place of the Lion (London: Mundanus) 1932: The Greater Trumps (London: Victor Gollancz) 1933: Shadows of Ecstasy (London: Victor Gollancz) 1937: Descent into Hell (London: Faber & Faber) 1945: All Hallows' Eve (London: Faber & Faber) 1970-72: The Noises That Weren't There. Unfinished. First three chapters published in Mythlore 6 (Autumn 1970), 7 (Winter 1971) and 8 (Winter 1972)."

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Place of the Lion?

Thinking outside the box  Oct 9, 2008

Catagorized as science fiction/fantasy, this book is really about the forces of good and evil juxtiposed with Christianity. Incredibily written to challenge the scholar, it dances with the imagination and takes the reader to nearly horrific heights of dark evil. The book is short and that is good, as the imagery and narative make you ready to be done reading it. Don't take that comment as a negative, take it as a nod to the power of the book. One tip, the action is complicated and it is far better to read it in one or two sittings than reading chapters here and there, time permitting. Once you get in the cadence of it, it's hard to put down.
A Delight To Read  Sep 11, 2008
I have only recently become acquainted with Charles Williams, a contemporary and friend af J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, whose books I have been reading for decades. This is a wonderful book, in the sense that it is full of wonder. It is not for everyone, but if you are one who contemplates the greater meaning of things, or enjoy reading about the interaction of the natural with the supernatural, you will enjoy this book.
Too Platonic?  Jan 6, 2008
Williams has a narrative gift that reminds you of Chesterton, and when he's telling the story and unfolding events, it's an exciting read. But in his intellectual zeal, the old principle about "show, don't tell" is cast aside--much of the time is taken up in raptured abstraction and grandly obscure history and philosophizing that quickly become tedious (because unclear) and repetitive. He is given to sudden visionary scene shifts that make heavy picture-drawing demands of the reader's mind, made all the harder going by his breathless clauses upon clauses, which as a technique are supposed to gather the soul up into heights undreamed of, but actually read as purple and overwrought.

Williams has an odd way of both under- and over-explaining, taking for granted he's defined his historical or philosophical terms in a precise and usable way for the purposes of the narrative while loudly "tour-guiding" symbols the reader can easily recognize (such as that, for random example, the burning house is the burning bush). His characters are forever stopping the action for a bit of postgrad seminar instead of letting the action unfold the message, perhaps due to lack of trust in the reader.

This is a difficult book, but it's not because Williams ideas are difficult to grasp--they aren't--or rather, they wouldn't be if he expressed them better. It's difficult because the author won't stick to his last and tell a story. The characters are undeveloped except in the most unfair deus ex machina way; the action stops and starts like a lurching bus, always having to slam on the brakes as some verbiage crosses the road; the plot is almost an afterthought, with loose ends everywhere untied. The ideas that animate this book are interesting, and there's certainly nothing wrong with Williams' mind or erudition; but as a novelist, Williams has a hard time moving from the Idea to the Thing and staying with it.

I would recommend this book as a group read, because there's plenty to talk about, but it's nowhere near Lewis, Tolkien, or Chesterton when it comes to throwing a rope around the archetypal and numinous and bringing it home to modern man.
Apocalypse Where?  Dec 30, 2005
Once again, Mr. Williams fantasizes the eruption of eschatological events into the ordinary life of the provincial British bourgeoisie. The result is something like the literary offspring of the mating of P.G. Wodehouse with the Book of Revelations. One thing that is rarely discussed, though, is the strange brand of comedy that ensues. For example, picture a young woman sitting at her breakfast table and pondering the remarkable events of the previous evening: A giant pterodactyl, which seems to incarnate the essence of her own self-centeredness and bears something of a resemblance to Peter Abelard, has attempted to assault her by smashing through her bedroom window, ultimately destroying the upper stories of her house while virtually obliterating her father in the process. In the nick of time, she is saved from complete physical and spiritual annihilation by the arrival of her boyfriend riding a unicorn and with an enormous eagle resting on his shoulder. Little wonder she seems distracted as she butters her toast!
I'd agree with my fellow reviewer who notes that a passing familiarity with Plato's Ideals is really all the philosophical preparation a reader needs to jump into this novel. However, a little extra reading regarding Abelard's take on "universals" might add a little extra spice - since Abelard is the subject of the heroine's (the pterodactyl girl) doctoral dissertation. I'd suggest the article "The Medieval Problem of Universals" in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Best Williams So Far...  Sep 3, 2005
Working through Williams's seven novels I come to "Place of the Lion" fourth (after "Shadows of Ecstasy", "War in Heaven", and "Many Dimensions"). "...Lion" is in some ways the most simple to read of these four, with the most cohesive narrative and fewest extraneous characters. Conceptually, it may be the most difficult of the four, but a simple, definitional understanding of Platonic Ideals is all that is required to open it up to everyone. With that caveat, I find "Place of the Lion" the best of the four novels mentioned. True to Williams's norm, the fantastical pops into the book within the first half-dozen pages and never retreats. Also of the four, "...Lion" is most clearly applicable to life, with particularly valuable insights into the transcendence of love - most overtly of eros and friendship, but of charity and affection as well (see CS Lewis - "The Four Loves" for an excellent non-fiction treatment of the same topics). All-in-all...very good and highly recommended.

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