Professor Don King’s latest book, Inkling, Historian, Soldier, and Brother: A Life of Warren Hamilton Lewis, has been awarded as a bronze medal winner in the world history category of the 2023 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Conducted annually, the IPPY Awards honor the year’s best independently published titles throughout the world.
Published in January 2023, Inkling, Historian, Soldier, and Brother is the first full biography of Warren Lewis (1895-1973), a World War I veteran and the only sibling of C.S. Lewis. An engaging story of the captivating life of Warren Lewis and the warm, loving relationship between Warren and his brother, the biography provides insight into the historian’s life and his experiences in 20th-century England, Africa, and the Far East. Drawing from Lewis’s published and unpublished diaries, letters, and other sources, King crafts a full biography to highlight Lewis and his unique experiences beyond the connection to his famous brother.
“One thing I like to do as a writer is go into areas that are untapped,” Dr. King said. “I’ve always written books that I’ve wanted to read, but they weren’t available. I hope people want to read my books, but primarily I write a book because it’s something I want to know more about.”
King began writing Inkling, Historian, Soldier, and Brother in 2015, making it an eight-year project. Similar to several other biographies King has written, his latest book is a critical biography because it not only focuses on Warren Lewis’s personal life, but also on his work and writings.
As a career army officer, Warren served in France during World War I and was later posted to Sierra Leone, China, and multiple places in Europe. Upon retirement from the army in 1932, he eventually became his brother’s secretary, as well as an active member of the household at the Kilns, his Oxford home which he owned with his brother and Mrs. Janie Moore. As a talented writer and accomplished amateur historian, Warren eventually researched and wrote seven books on 17th-century French history. His work focused in particular on Louis XIV or the Sun King, who was the longest-reigning monarch in history.
Inkling, Historian, Soldier, and Brother also examines Warren Lewis’s role as an original member of the Oxford Inklings, an informal discussion circle where various members read aloud from books or poems they were writing and other members responded with vigorous critiques and suggestions.
“I hope readers will appreciate Warren Lewis for his own sake and not just because he was the brother of C.S Lewis. In fact, he was an important person and writer in his own right,” King said. “I also want readers to learn how Warren’s life impacted his brother’s life, for both good and ill.”
Dr. Don King has been an English professor at Montreat College for 49 years and is a recipient of the distinguished Professor of the Decade award. A notable C.S. Lewis scholar, King has led seminars at the Kilns on multiple occasions and will return there once again this July to lead two, one-week seminars. He has published 11 books, including C. S. Lewis Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse, The Collected Poems of C. S. Lewis: A Critical Edition, and Plain to the Inward Eye: Selected Essays on C. S. Lewis. He has also written extensively on the important women in Lewis’s life, including Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter and Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman.