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C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and other Inklings found in NC small town

February 25, 2020

I recently traveled to western NC for a day outing and stumbled into a great display of Inkling artifacts! While visiting the town of Montreat gift shop, I was surprised to see a book on Lewis. I picked it up to discover a whole stack of Lewis, Tolkien and Dorothy Sayers scholarly writings. Interesting…

I inquired of the shop keeper if the local college had any Professors teaching this.  “Oh yes, they had a conference here.”  “Who is the catalyst?”  I inquired.

She knew little of the conference or any names of how these books got in the town store, however a Lewolkien like me was to energized too let it go.

“Who could tell me about this conference” I asked.

Another shopper overheard my continued inquiry, and thankfully noticed the shop keeper was not up to speed on the source.  She turned to me and let me know the Presbyterian Heritage Center was the conference sponsor and that they had a Montreat College professor on board!  She then explained that the center just up the hill still has a display up on the Inklings.

I persuaded my wife to go looking for it, and to my fruitful exploration we managed to get in the back door and ask this older gentlemen, who agreed to let us in and turn on the lights.  This unveiled the greatest Tolkien and Lewis display I have ever seen outside of the Wade Center at Wheaton college!  First editions and rare signatures, just an overwhelming display of the “good Stuff.”

A Hobbit dinner?  Possibly the only remaining program from a hobbit dinner party where JRR Tolkien gave a speech much like Bilbo at his own Birthday party.  Narnia first american editions were on display. I foresee a future visit of the Lewolkien Society!

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