Top 10 writers’ favourite haunts

 1: C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkein – The Eagle and Child, Oxford

This quaint pub in St Giles is owned by St. John’s College, Oxford. It carved out a literary reputation after becoming the meeting place for the Inklings literary group during the ‘30s and ‘40s, who praised the value of narrative in fiction and encouraged the writing of fantasy.

Counting C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein as members, the Inklings would convene at the Eagle and Child on Tuesdays at midday to discuss their unfinished works and read from them in a private lounge called the Rabbit Room, with Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings and a proof of Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe read to the group there.

Affectionately dubbed The Bird and Baby by its literary patrons, who often shortened it to simply The Bird, after the Rabbit Room was opened to the public, subsequent Inklings meetings were held at The Lamb and Flag across the street. The Eagle and Child was said to have served as the lodgings of the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the English Civil War in the mid-17th century, with pony auctions held in the rear courtyard.

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