'Barfield towers above us all ...the wisest and best of my unofficial teachers.' - C.S. Lewis 'We are well supplied with interesting writers, but Owen Barfield is not content to be merely interesting. His ambition is to set us free ...from the prison we have made for ourselves by our ways of knowing, our limited and false habits of thought, our "common sense".' - Saul Bellow Owen Barfield - philosopher, author, poet and critic - was a founding member of the Inklings group, the private Oxford society that included the leading literary figures C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. C.S. Lewis, who was greatly affected by Barfield during their long friendship, wrote of their many heated debates: 'I think he changed me a good deal more than I him.' Simon Blaxland de Lange's biography - the first on Owen Barfield to be published - was written with the active cooperation of Barfield who, before his death in 1997, gave numerous interviews to the author, as well as lending a large quantity of his papers and manuscripts. The fruit of this collaboration is a book that penetrates deeply into the life and thought of one of the most important figures of the twentieth century.
It studies the influences on Barfield by the Romantic poet Coleridge and the philosopher Rudolf Steiner (founder of Anthroposophy), and focuses on Barfield's profound personal connection with C.S. Lewis. The book also features a biographical sketch in his own words (based on the personally conducted interviews), and describes his strong relationship with North America and his dual profession as a lawyer and writer.
SIMON BLAXLAND DE LANGE has for many years worked as an educator for people with special needs as well as a writer and translator. A keen amateur musician and gardener, he is a co-founder of Pericles Translations and Research, Pericles Training and Work for adults with special needs and the Pericles Theatre Company. Together with Dr Vivian Law, he co-founded the Humanities Research Group in 1997 and the British group of the Humanities Section of the School of Spiritual Science in 1998. He first met Owen Barfield in 1979, and has been a student of his work for the past thirty years.