Magdalen College and C.S. Lewis

On Tuesday September 20th we had plans to try to visit several colleges but at the end of the day we were only able to get into two of the colleges, Magdalen and All Souls College. This post will cover some of Magdalen College and C.S. Lewis’s history there.

We were at the Holywell Cemetery before we made our way to Magdalen along Longwall St. and we noticed this sundial. The dial is formed from metal lines and characters attached to the south facing stone wall of the Grove Auditorium. Upright hour numerals are VII – XII – VI, and hour and half-hour lines run each to their own unmarked circular arc around the gnomon root. The gnomon is a thin un-supported rod springing from a small disc on the wall. Above the dial is ‘M M’ for both Mary Magdalen and the year 2000. On with our journey to the entrance to Magdalen college on High St.

We entered to St. John’s Court through the Porter’s Lodge. This beautiful gate is beside Porter’s Lodge. We are now in St. John’s Court.

We picked up a brochure called C.S. Lewis At Magdalen from the Porter’s desk. I will be quoting from the brochure in this post. Thank you to Magdalen College.

We were sad to hear the chapel was closed to visitors because of the restoration of the organ.

In 2014 Dear and I ware able to view the chapel and that post is here.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) as a student at University College down the road from Magdalen College. In 1925 he was called to Magdalen to be considered for a teaching post of English Language and Literature. He was chosen and elected a Fellow at 500 pounds a year, plus accommodation, meals, and pension.

The traditional ceremony for the induction of Fellows at Magdalen is unchanged from Lewis’s time. Kneeling on a red cushion before the President in the presence of other Fellows and asked, in Latin, will you uphold the statutes of the College? They reply, Do fidem (I give my faith or I so promise) The President pronounces them admitted to the Fellowship, shakes their hand and wishes them joy. The new Fellow is then greeted by the other Fellows, one by one, who also wish him joy.

Lewis’s relationship with Magdalen would last a lifetime.

In this photo you can see the Great Bell Tower at Magdalen. Every May 1st at dawn the choir welcomes the morning in song up in the tower to crowds on the streets below. Click here to read and see more.

The 15th Century Cloisters construction commenced in 1474 which makes this medieval square of stone among the oldest parts of Magdalen.

We left the main grounds to get to Addison’s Walk along the Holywell Mill Stream.

Addison’s Walk in April of 2004 ~ Our daughter and her dad

2014-07-011

We were sad to find out on our 2022 Addison’s walk that this tree met it’s demise and is no longer on the path.

On this visit we walked further along to this second stone bridge to see this memorial tablet presented to the College by the Oxford University C.S. Lewis Society, to mark the centenary of Lewis’s birth, November 29, 1898. So this tablet has been here since 1998. I copied the poem below so you would be able to read it since the tablet has weathered over the last 25 years.

What the Bird Said Early in the Year

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year nor want of rain destroy the peas

This year time’s nature will no more defeat you
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn one year older by the well worn track.

This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.

Often deceived, yet open once again your heart.
Quick quick, quick, quick – the gates are drawn apart.

C.S. Lewis

We walked back following the stream to where it meets up with the The River Cherwell at Magdalen Bridge. This is where you can rent a punt.

On our way back to the New Building Lawns we spotted the herd of fallow deer.

Lewis’s college rooms were in New Buildings. The buildings you see below. He enjoyed the views from his windows where he could see the College’s herd of fallow deer.

“It was in these rooms in New Buildings, several years after he became a Fellow, that Lewis moved steadily, through a long personal and philosophical struggle, towards belief in God. He had been an Atheist for the better part of twenty years. But he became convinced that reasonable argument itself is dependent on a God, whose existence he felt driven, reluctantly, to concede.”

“An important turning point was a late-night conversation at Magdalen with his friends Hugo Dyson and J.R.R. Tolkien. After dinner, the three men withdrew to Addison’s Walk, (see photos of Addison’s walk above) continuing in conversation and further in the night in Lewis’s rooms in New Buildings until three in the morning. They talked about myth and reality and the idea that Christianity, while similar to great pagan myths that Lewis found powerful and attractive, was a myth with a unique difference, because of it’s claim to be historically authentic–a claim Lewis was soon to accept.”

“The close friendship between Lewis and Tolkien was partly based on sharing and discussing the books they were writing, and these exchanges came to include other Christian friends and writers, a literary circle to be known as the Inklings. Typically meeting in Lewis’s rooms in New Buildings on Thursday nights and in the ‘Eagle and Child’ pub on Tuesday mornings, the group flourished in the 1930’s and 40’s. The Inklings read, discussed, and criticized passages from many books still in the making, among them Tolkien’s, The Lord of the Rings. Lewis so admired this book that many years later, he would nominate Tolkien for the Nobel Prize for Literature.”

As we waited for the Dining Hall to be open to viewing, we stepped into the Old Kitchen Bar to find a refreshment but no one was around. We did spot the framed photos above of the filming of Shadowlands at Magdalen college. Shadowlands is a story based on the real life story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. Anyone have a copy of the DVD we could borrow?

We couldn’t walk into the dining room but we had a small cordoned off section to stand in and look and take photographs.

Edward Butler, (1686-1745) President Magdalen College University of Oxford (1722-1745)

We exited the college and made our way to Merton Street where more adventures would follow.

Back to the present on this Wednesday January 11th of 2023, we’ve had some snow melting slowly here and more bare ground showing. Some very thick fog the last few days that makes driving a challenge. Today I’ll be joining some other gals at church for our weekly prayer meeting. How can I pray for you? There’s a link at the top of my blog where you can find my email address. We are getting ready for another adventure with our whole family. Our January family trip that will cover all our January family birthdays, too. Because of this I will again be slow in visiting and keeping up with your blogs. Thursday Dear has a follow-up with the Stroke clinic in Spokane.

Like C.S. Lewis, I do hope you will concede and accept the truth of the historical Jesus, who died for your sins and is risen from the dead and reigning with all authority at the right hand of God! Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you, too, will be saved.

Doorways

After my gargoyle post yesterday, that was a little disturbing to some, I decided to post a few doorways today in between more of my very full Oxford posts coming soon. These doorways are from Magdalen College. (Pronounced Maudlin)

I’m working on a full post from Magdalen College with some history of C.S. Lewis’ connections there.

I’ll keep it simple today and leave you with a quote from C.S. Lewis.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” From The Weight of Glory.

Oxford Colleges

Just a glimpse with so much more to come.

Magdalen College taken from Addison’s Walk.

On Tuesday September 20th we walked to a breakfast spot on George Street. We then headed to Christ Church College to make some purchases at the Gift shop. We also walked over to the Thames Valley Police Station to find the plaque on the wall to Inspector Morse. We tried with not a lot of success to make it into several colleges. We ended up with only two colleges open to us at the right time, Magdalen (pronounced Maudlin) and All Souls College.

Tomorrow we check out of our Airbnb and head to Woodstock for a couple of nights. Looking forward to a hotel stay with breakfast included.

Oxford Archives ~2004 and 2014

For our daughter Katie’s high school graduation, Dear and I took her to Great Britain in April of 2004. Katie is a reader, a learner, a writer, a poet and an artist. We asked her what she’d want to see and she came up with the brilliant idea of following some of her favorite authors and characters around the Isle! This is a photo log of our trip that we can highly recommend to all lovers of Hobbits, Inklings, Literary Giants, 19th Century England, Harry Potter, and wacky Holy Grail enthusiasts! For my flashbacks I’m going to cover less ground in each post. This first post will be our Oxford experience with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien on our radar. The photos on this trip were taken the old fashioned way with a camera that was still using film!

 

img365

The Eagle and Child (The Bird and Baby) Oxford

We set out from our first B & B base in Cheltenham to tour Oxford. We were still getting over our jet lag just arriving the day before. We found a park and ride outside of Oxford and rode a bus into town. Our first stop was The Eagle and Child (The Bird and the Baby) where the Inklings would meet and discuss their current writings, thoughts, etc.

 

img366

The pictures on the wall are of C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, and other Inklings, plus letters, etc. We had a bite to eat and a pint was raised to toast our respected authors! “It comes in pints?”

 

img373

Addison’s Walk

Dear and Katie on Addison’s Walk. This walkway is on the grounds of Magdalen College (pronounced Maudlin) where Tolkien and Lewis would walk and have long conversations, after which C. S. Lewis converted to Christianity. We found it, walked it and reflected on the beauty and wonder of it all!

img374

img371

img375

This next photo shows a spot on the walkway that we took a photo from different directions in 2004 and in 2014.

2014-07-011

And here’s one of the beautiful courtyards that we took photos of both of these years.

2014-07-012

img377

We saw the iconic phone booth on the grounds of Magdalen, too.

Walking from Magdalen College back to the center of town we saw other familiar sites, too.

img367

The Bridge of Sighs

img368

img369Radcliffe Camera

Pictures49-001

In 2004 when we came across Logic Lane Katie insisted that we take a photo of her dad under the sign. In 2014 we came upon Logic Lane again so I had to take another photo.

img378

We walked about to find this address where Tolkien lived at 21 Merton St. after his wife died in 1971.

img400

Katie would not let us leave Oxford till we found Tolkien’s grave. This was no small feat! Here we are at Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford at the graveside where he and his wife are buried. His son is buried here, also.  Katie left a note in Elvish, (yes, she learned to write and speak Tolkien’s Elvish).

EDITH MARY TOLKIEN
LUTHIEN
1889 – 1971
JOHN RONALD
REUEL TOLKIEN
BEREN
1892 – 1973

img401

Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford

img399

We headed back to our B & B in Cheltenham to rest up for our next days adventure around the Cotswolds in search of Hobbits.

The thing about film photography is that we didn’t know if the photos we took even turned out well till we were home and had the film developed. Aren’t you happy we have digital cameras now? You can see if you chopped someone’s head off or missed the top of a beautiful cathedral etc. These photos that I took with film in 2004 were scanned and uploaded onto my computer and in a lot of cases lightened up and sharpened and sometimes cropped.

Now we await our time in Oxford in 2022. We still do not cling too tightly to this trip as we know anything can change on the world landscape in a day. Trusting God if we go or if we can’t go.

Quotes of the Week 7

Quotes this week are from a couple of books by C.S. Lewis. The photo above is from Addison’s Walk on the grounds of Magdalene College in Oxford where C.S. Lewis walked with J.R.R. Tolkien. Photos below the quotes are from our road trip back from Bothell last Tuesday.

This quote comes from Letters to an American Lady ~by C.S. Lewis

Another thing that annoys me is when people say “Why did you give that man money? He’ll probably go and drink it.” My reply is “But if I’d kept [it] I should probably have drunk it.

Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C.S. Lewis:

If we were perfected, prayer would not be a duty, it would be delight. Some day, please God, it will be. The same is true of many other behaviours which now appear as duties. If I loved my neighbor as myself, most of the actions which are now my moral duty would flow out of me as spontaneously as song from a lark or fragrance from a flower. Why is this not so yet? Well, we know, don’t we? Aristotle has taught us that delight is the “bloom” on an unimpeded activity. But the very activities for which we were created are, while we live on earth, variously impeded: by evil in ourselves or in others. Not to practise them is to abandon our humanity. To practise them spontaneously and delightfully is not yet possible. The situation creates the category of duty, the whole specifically moral realm.

It exists to be transcended. Here is the paradox of Christianity. As practical imperatives for here and now the two great commandments have to be translated “Behave as if you loved God and man.” For no man can love because he is told to. Yet obedience on this practical level is not really obedience at all. And if a man really loved God and man, once again this would hardly be obedience; for if he did, he would be unable to help it. Thus the command really says to us, “Ye must be born again.” Till then, we have duty, morality, the Law. A schoolmaster, as St Paul says, to bring us to Christ. We must expect no more of it than of a schoolmaster; we must allow it no less…

But the school-days, please God, are numbered. There is no morality in heaven. The angels never knew (from within) the meaning of the word ought, and the blessed dead have long since gladly forgotten it. This is why Dante’s Heaven is so right, and Milton’s, with its military discipline so silly.

…In the perfect and eternal world the Law will vanish. But the results of having lived faithfully under it will not.

I am therefore not really deeply worried by the fact prayer is at present a duty, and even an irksome one.

 

Tuesdays with Moisi will resume in the New Year.

Tomorrow I’ll share my MGCC Christmas Party Post.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend as we continue in this Advent season.

How Good it is To Thank the Lord ~ Hymn

 How Good It Is to Thank The Lord

How good it is to thank the Lord,
And praise to Thee, Most High, accord,
To show Thy love with morning light,
And tell Thy faithfulness each night;
Yea, good it is Thy praise to sing,
And all our sweetest music bring.

O Lord, with joy my heart expands,
Before the wonders of Thy hands;
Great works, Jehovah, Thou hast wrought,
Exceeding deep Thine every thought;
A foolish man knows not their worth,
Nor he whose mind is of the earth.

When as the grass the wicked grow,
When sinners flourish here below,
Then is there endless ruin nigh,
But Thou, O Lord, art throned on high;
Thy foes shall fall before Thy might,
The wicked shall be put to flight.

Thou, Lord, hast high exalted me
With royal strength and dignity;
With Thine anointing I am blest,
Thy grace and favor on me rest;
I thus exult o’er all my foes,
O’er all that would my cause oppose.

The righteous man shall flourish well,
And in the house of God shall dwell;
He shall be like a goodly tree,
And all his life shall fruitful be;
For righteous is the Lord and just,
He is my Rock, in Him I trust.

Words: The Psalter 1912, Music: St. Petersburg ~ Dimitri S. Bortniansky

Maundy Thursday

The word Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command.” The “Maundy” in “Maundy Thursday” refers to the command Jesus gave to the disciples at the Last Supper, that they should love and serve one another. I’m posting this early during this Holy Week instead of waiting till Thursday.

 

I took this photo 3 years ago at the Monumentale Cemetery in Milan, Italy. Today and this whole week Christians around the world remember the events that led up to the crucifixion of Christ and Christ’s resurrection over 2000 years ago. I always look forward to Easter week which is also called Holy week. Celebrating our risen Savior and what he accomplished for us  tops my list!

The Last Supper and the Washing of the Disciples Feet are both remarkable events. While in Milan I was also able to see Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of the Last Supper. The original mural is on a wall of the refectory (dining hall) in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. No photos allowed.

While in England in 2014 we saw two amazing paintings of the last supper, one in the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist in Windsor and one in the chapel of Magdalen College.

The Thames 104 - Copy - CopyFrom the Lectern, look down the centre aisle and observe in the West Gallery a painting of The Last Supper. This is a national treasure. The picture was originally presented to the Royal Chapel c. 1660 by Brian Duppa, Bishop of Winchester, Prelate of the Order of the Garter. It was “bought by him beyond the sea”. Another tradition ascribes it to Franz de Cleyn (1588-1658), Rostock, Mecklenburg, Court painter to James I. It was rolled up and buried “in the plumery” (plumbers workshop?) in the Great Rebellion. It hung over the altar at St George’s, Windsor in 1702, and can be seen there in Sandby’s drawing dated 1786.

The Thames 094

Oxford Day 6 141Above the stalls in the chapel hangs Giampetrino’s remarkable 15th copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, on permanent loan from the Royal Academy. In view of the bad condition of the original fresco in Milan, Magdalen’s copy on canvas is a piece of increasing historic and artistic significance.

Oxford Day 6 144This next sculpture of Jesus washing Peter’s feet is at the Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California. I took this photo while Dear and I were living in Camarillo.

GOTW-practice035

Excerpts from John chapter 13…

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I’m not linking up to memes for the remainder of this week as I concentrate on getting ready for our Easter celebrations and have less time to visit participants.

I was so sorry to see the news reports of the terrorist attack in Belgium and the murder and injuries suffered by so many people by radical Islamic terrorists. People who were just going about their day to day activities were brought down by Isis. Praying the Isis terror cells in Belgium will be found and justice will be dealt. Such a contrast to our Maundy Thursday message.

Flashback in Film…

For our daughter Katie’s high school graduation, Dear and I took her to Great Britain in April of 2004. Katie is a reader, a learner, a writer, a poet and an artist. We asked her what she’d want to see and she came up with the brilliant idea of following some of her favorite authors and characters around the Isle! This is a photo log of our trip that we can highly recommend to all lovers of Hobbits, Inklings, Literary Giants, 19th Century England, Harry Potter, and wacky Holy Grail enthusiasts! For my flashbacks I’m going to cover less ground in each post. This first post will be our Oxford experience with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien on our radar. The photos on this trip were taken the old fashioned way with a camera that was still using film!

 

img365

The Eagle and Child (The Bird and Baby) Oxford

We set out from our first B & B base in Cheltenham to tour Oxford. We were still getting over our jet lag just arriving the day before. We found a park and ride outside of Oxford and rode a bus into town. Our first stop was The Eagle and Child (The Bird and the Baby) where the Inklings would meet and discuss their current writings, thoughts, etc.

 

img366

The pictures on the wall are of C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, and other Inklings, plus letters, etc. We had a bite to eat and a pint was raised to toast our respected authors! “It comes in pints?”

 

img373

Addison’s Walk

Dear and Katie on Addison’s Walk. This walkway is on the grounds of Magdalen College (pronounced Maudlin) where Tolkien and Lewis would walk and have long conversations, after which C. S. Lewis converted to Christianity. We found it, walked it and reflected on the beauty and wonder of it all!

img374

img371

img375

This next photo shows a spot on the walkway that we took a photo from different directions in 2004 and in 2014.

2014-07-011

And here’s one of the beautiful courtyards that we took photos of both of these years.

2014-07-012

img377

We saw the iconic phone booth on the grounds of Magdalen, too.

Walking from Magdalen College back to the center of town we saw other familiar sites, too.

img367

The Bridge of Sighs

img368

img369Radcliffe Camera

Pictures49-001

In 2004 when we came across Logic Lane Katie insisted that we take a photo of her dad under the sign. In 2014 we came upon Logic Lane again so I had to take another photo.

img378

We walked about to find this address where Tolkien lived at 21 Merton St. after his wife died in 1971.

img400

Katie would not let us leave Oxford till we found Tolkien’s grave. This was no small feat! Here we are at Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford at the graveside where he and his wife are buried. His son is buried here, also.  Katie left a note in Elvish, (yes, she learned to write and speak Tolkien’s Elvish).

EDITH MARY TOLKIEN
LUTHIEN
1889 – 1971
JOHN RONALD
REUEL TOLKIEN
BEREN
1892 – 1973

img401

Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford

img399

We headed back to our B & B in Cheltenham to rest up for our next days adventure around the Cotswolds in search of Hobbits.

The thing about film photography is that we didn’t know if the photos we took even turned out well till we were home and had the film developed. Aren’t you happy we have digital cameras now? You can see if you chopped someone’s head off or missed the top of a beautiful cathedral etc. These photos that I took with film in 2004 were scanned and uploaded onto my computer and in a lot of cases lightened up and sharpened and sometimes cropped.

I’m linking this post to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by Roger and the ABC Team.

F is for film photography.

I’m also linking to Tuesday’s Treasures hosted by Tom the Backroads Traveler.

Good Golly…

We are already on the letter G for ABC Wednesday! Thank you to Denise Nesbitt and the ABC team!

I’m going with Green and Gargoyle for the letter G. Green moss is something that we have quite an abundance of here in the great Northwest.

Our apple tree is covered in moss.

On our trips to Great Britain we enjoy looking up to see the Gargoyles that are here and there.

To Windsor 146

Oxford Day 6 153

Biltmore 005

We have gargoyles here in the U.S.A., too. My daughter and I toured the Biltmore House and Gardens and these creatures looked down on us.

One last addition to the letter G is my Bible verse card for the week. Timely indeed because of the letter G and because of present circumstances!

10991048_10206144761126297_2049962361815130297_n

Hope you are enjoying the last week of February. So many of you are enduring some harsh winter conditions and I hope things settle down to a more mild clime. We have some rain in the forecast again here in the Northwest after enjoying several dry sunny days.

 

Magdalen College ~ Cloisters

The 15th Century Cloisters construction commenced in 1474 which makes this medieval square of stone among the oldest parts of Magdalen.

Oxford Day 6 156Balancing on the buttresses that jut from the Cloister walls are the figures later known as ‘hieroglyphics’, the ‘GARGELS”, Magdalen’s very own gargoyles. Some are biblical, some heraldic, all symbolic. Since they entered the College in 1508-9 they have been keeping their emblematic eyes on the comings and goings in the Cloisters and the quad.

Oxford Day 6 149

Oxford Day 6 147

Oxford Day 6 146

Oxford Day 6 145

Oxford Day 6 148

Oxford Day 6 152

Oxford Day 6 153

Oxford Day 6 154

Oxford Day 6 155Wanted to let you all see that we did “keep off the grass”.

From the Cloisters we headed out to Addison’s walk and the New Building following the footsteps of Tolkien and Lewis along one of the paths that leads to  the famous meetings of the “Inklings”.

Oxford Day 6 164

Oxford Day 6 160

Oxford Day 6 161

Oxford Day 6 163

Oxford Day 6 165

Oxford Day 6 167

Oxford Day 6 170As you can tell from my posts from Oxford there is a lot to see in this city. I still haven’t shown you photos from Bodleian and Radcliffe Camera or the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. These places have been seen in many Masterpiece Mystery series and scenes from Harry Potter movies, too. My last post of Oxford will be photo heavy.

Back at this old house the renovations continue. We were hoping for things to be wrapped up today but that’s not happening. Maybe by Tuesday…

We have Fleet week and SeaFair and Hydro races and the Blue Angels in Seattle this weekend. What does the first weekend in August hold for you?