(1899-1980) was Fellow and Tutor of English Literature at Exeter College,
the same University that Thomas was teaching
Nevill was associated with the famous
Oxford literary group "The Inklings", of which J R
R Tolkein and C S Lewis were members.
The Inklings were a gathering of
friends - all of them British, male, and Christian, most of them
teachers at or otherwise affiliated with Oxford University, many
of them creative writers and lovers of imaginative literature -
who met usually on Thursday evenings in C.S. Lewis's and J.R.R.
Tolkien's college rooms in Oxford during the 1930s and 1940s for
readings and criticism of their own work, and for general conversation.
"Properly speaking," wrote W.H. Lewis, one of their number,
the Inklings "was neither a club nor a literary society, though
it partook of the nature of both. There were no rules, officers,
agendas, or formal elections." An overlapping group gathered
on Tuesday (later Monday) mornings in various Oxford pubs, usually
but not always the Eagle and Child, better known as the Bird and
Baby, between the 1940s and 1963. These were less formal meetings,
and contrary to popular legend the Inklings did not read their manuscripts
in the pub
The more regular members of the Inklings,
many of them academics at the University, included J. R. R. "Tollers"
Tolkien, C. S. "Jack" Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams,
Christopher Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien's son), Warren "Warnie"
Lewis (C. S. Lewis's elder brother), Roger Lancelyn Green, Adam
Fox, Hugo Dyson, R. A. "Humphrey" Havard, J. A. W. Bennett,
Lord David Cecil, and Nevill Coghill. Other less frequent attenders
at their meetings included Percy Bates, Charles Leslie Wrenn, Colin
Hardie, James Dundas-Grant, Jon Fromke, John Wain, R. B. McCallum,
Gervase Mathew, and C. E. Stevens. Guests included author E. R.
Eddison and South African poet Roy Campbell.
As Thomas and Nevill Coghill were
good friends (article left) It seems logical that Thomas was involved
with "The Inklings" whilst at Oxford.
This means he would have known J. R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis,
two of our countries finest authors.