This post was most recently updated on March 15th, 2019
Bonds of Friendship
The group had an influence on each other that went well beyond pointing out clumsy prose or an over-fondness for adverbs.
C.S. Lewis had been an atheist before meeting Owen Barfield, who was instrumental in converting him to Christianity. Lewis’s Narnia books, with their strong Christian allegories, were strongly influenced by Barfield, whom he called the “wisest and best of my unofficial teachers”. The first of the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was dedicated to Barfield’s adopted daughter Lucy, while he dedicated The Voyage of the Dawn Treader to Barfield’s son Geoffrey.
Another of the Inklings, Adam Fox, had particular reason to be grateful for his membership of the group. He received the prestigious position of Professor at Poetry at Oxford largely as a result of the successful campaigning of Tolkien and Lewis.
For Tolkien himself, the club was inspiration for one of his novels. The Notion Club Papers, written during 1945 when he was also writing The Lord of the Rings, revolved around meetings of an arts discussion group based in Oxford. Even the name is a play on words of the original Inklings. Tolkien eventually abandoned the novel but it was published posthumously in the ninth volume of his history of Middle Earth, Sauron Defeated.