Charles Williams’ ebooks


Charles Williams is one of those guys who seems to be perpetually on my “Read This Next!” shelf. Almost every time I talk with Lanier Ivester there comes a point in the conversation when her chin drops and her mouth hangs wide open for three or four minutes while she processes the information that I have not yet read The Place of the Lion. Sorry, Lanier, it’s still true. He’s still the Inkling about which I haven’t one.

I know there are a lot of others out there in my position and today I’m here to help. Part of the problem is that his books are hard to find, but I just heard that Open Road Media has now published ebooks of seven of Williams’ titles, including War in Heaven, and Descent into Hell. If you’re the e-reading type, check them out. If Lanier buys me a Kindle, I promise to read The Place of the Lion immediately.


  1. CyndaP

    LOL “He’s still the Inkling about which I haven’t one.”

    Thank you, Pete and Lanier. I’ve ordered “The Place of the Lion.”

  2. Esther O'Reilly

    If you have not read All Hallow’s Eve, that is most definitely the place to start, and after that Descent Into Hell. However, while I haven’t read Place of the Lion, I have it from a reliable source that it’s actually less strong by comparison with those two.

  3. Lanier

    What is this “Kindle” you speak of, Lord Peterson?

    And, yes, y’all sign yourselves up for the wild ride that’s a Charles Williams novel. You won’t be unmystified.

    (Agreed, Esther–I think Descent is a good place to start.)

  4. Esther O'Reilly

    Descent had a profound impact on my theology of salvation. The influence on C. S. Lewis is huge. Lewis may even have personally revered Williams TOO much, but it certainly provided very fertile ground for speculative theology like The Great Divorce.

  5. Laure Hittle

    Charles Williams! Brilliant nerdy YES! i still haven’t read The Place of the Lion (although it is right downstairs and jostling for position on my Read This Now! list), but i have read Descent into Hell at least four times. It makes me want to write essay after essay.

    You can get paperbacks all over the internet, by the way. Amazon sells them, but any number of used bookstores do as well if you’d rather avoid Amazon.

  6. Greg

    Williams’ style is definitely something that takes some getting used to. Like Chesterton, you have to be willing to go along for the ride. I find him somewhat akin in style to Iris Murdoch.

    An absolutely FANTASTIC exploration of Charles Williams can be found here:

    The poet Malcolm Guite did a study of the Inklings and his lectures were recorded.

  7. Leanne Bruno

    i haven’t read Williams in a few years, but this makes me want to go back to him. I really liked The Greater Trumps. Weird stuff, but some poignant, unforgettable imagery that reveals truth and goodness.

  8. Christy Bilea

    The Nashville Public Library has a copy of War in Heaven, so I decided to read it as my first exposure to Mr. Williams. I am going to need a little recovery time before I am ready for another.

  9. Laure Hittle

    So i’m four chapters into The Place of the Lion, and it’s shredding my brain. i just reread That Hideous Strength last month, too, and the two of them side-by-side are phenomenal (ha). The butterfly scene—my goodness. It reduced me to gibbering. i loved it.

    i would love to discuss these books if anybody is interested.

  10. Dan Rechlin

    Ah, the butterfly scene! “Place of the Lion” has made its way near to the top of my to-reread list. It’s been a while, but that scene is a moment I’ll never forget! I’d love to discuss the book too, especially with the people here. I’m still not sure some days if I know what to do with the ending :).

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