Editor Sørina Higgins has recently released The Chapel of the Thorn, a 1912 narrative poem by Charles Williams. I had the distinct privilege of reading this text when I made a research visit to the Marion E. Wade Center in Wheaton, IL.
It is a stunning story, evocative of older poetry, yet told with a diverse eye that previous generations could never have imagined. Though it is one of Williams’ earliest book-length poems, I don’t sense a hesitant hand. It is bold, evocative, and–not surprising for Williams–open ended.
Nearly lost in time, or left only to the pilgrims who make their way to the Wade, Sørina’s edition gives us the poem for the first time in print. Not only that, but a weighty introduction and the inclusion of early thoughts on the poem by prophetic scholars means that The Chapel of the Thorn is both fireside reading and an academic resource.
In this video, captured by some kind soul at MythMoot III in January, Sørina presents a framework for understanding “the Hallows”–holy objects–in Charles Williams’ stories. It also includes a reading from the text by The Tolkien Professor and a couple of chaps I don’t know.
Enjoy the video, and make sure to order The Chapel of the Thorn on Amazon or through your local bookstore.
Here’s the recording of my talk at Mythgard’s conference, MythMoot III, thanks to Dr. Ed Powell.
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