Williams again...

Williams was an extraordinary person, a writer and thinker of unique charisma and complexity, whose life was rich and tumultuous. His relationships span a vital era in English literature. The friend and associate of Yeats and Eliot, the spiritual inspirer of Auden and Dorothy L. Sayers, he was also a valued associate of the young Larkin and Amis. He is in many ways the vital missing 'jigsaw piece' in our picture of twentieth-century literature.

From a poor London background Williams made his way through the literary salons of 1920s London and the hierarchy of the Oxford University Press, to write a series of seven remarkable novels, 'spiritual thrillers' which still have a cult following. He was also the greatest twentieth-century poet to take the Arthurian legends for his theme. C. S. Lewis wrote of his poems, “They seem to me, both for the soaring and gorgeous novelty of their technique and for their profound wisdom, to be among the two or three most valuable books of verse produced in the century.” A recent critic has stated simply, “They are the great modern Grail poem.”

Next: An excerpt from Grevel’s new book

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