May Artifact of the Month: Charles Williams’s Honorary Master’s Degree

Diploma_watermarkedToday is the 70th anniversary of VE Day. People throughout the allied territories were celebrating Victory in Europe, including huge crowds in London and Oxford. While England was celebrating, Charles Williams was taken to hospital on May 10th. He died there 5 days later.
Over the next week or so we are celebrating Charles Williams’ legacy–both his literary impact and his friendship with the Inklings. I thought it would be nice to begin with this great article by the Marion E. Wade Center. It shows a picture of the honourary degree Williams received from Oxford, as well as some of the story. If you don’t subscribe to the Wade Artifact of the Month, make sure you sign up now.

Off the Shelf

Museum display at the Wade Center featuring Charles Williams's honorary Masters of Arts degree from Oxford University, and the mortar board he wore during the ceremony. Museum display at the Wade Center featuring Charles Williams’s honorary Master of Arts degree from Oxford University, and the mortar board he wore during the ceremony.

With graduation season beginning, we thought it appropriate to highlight the honorary Master of Arts degree Charles Williams received from Oxford University on February 27, 1943 as our May “Artifact of the Month.” This post also celebrates a full year of “Artifact of the Month” blogs on “Off the Shelf!” After this point we will continue to highlight materials from the Wade Center as “Featured Artifacts,” but not on a monthly basis. Keep reading “Off the Shelf” for more artifacts to come!

Charles Williams began his college career by being awarded a scholarship to University College, London where he studied mathematics, literature, history, and languages  (Hadfield, Alice Mary. Charles Williams: An Exploration Of His Life And Work. New York : Oxford UP, 1983…

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About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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4 Responses to May Artifact of the Month: Charles Williams’s Honorary Master’s Degree

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    It suddenly struck me as being like a sort of war-history ‘liturgical’ calendar for much of western Europe. Late in the evening of 9 May 1940, the German operation ‘Fall Gelb’ was put into action with Luxembourg being successfully invaded, and the first German troops trying to capture the bridge over the Maas (or Meuse) between Germany and the Netherlands at Roermond in the night between 9 and 10 May: the defending troops blew it up at around 3:50 a.m. on 10 May, and the invasion began in full about 10 minutes later, I just read in an article about the unveiling of a new monument to commemorate it, with one of the soldiers who blew it up, Johan Jessen, now 97, in attendance! By 14 May, the Dutch surrendered, by 27 May, the Belgians, while the evacuation of Allied troops to England began. And so the 70th anniversary of VE Day is followed by the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the invasion and occupation of the Low Countries and France, or, looked at the other way round, that war-historical year begins with invasion on 9 May to end with Victory on the following 8 May.


    • I didn’t catch the parallels! We don’t hear as much about the Dutch experience in the American media, but Canada has a special affinity to the Dutch as one of the liberating armies.
      Actually, you may even notice I got the date wrong, that Friday was the 8th! Oh well.


  2. Pingback: The Loss of Atmosphere: A Literary Conspiracy? | A Pilgrim in Narnia

  3. Pingback: There Will Be No More Pints with Charles: An Astonishing Eulogy by Warren Lewis | A Pilgrim in Narnia

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