Jots and Tittles #4: Lewolkien at Rugby -
jots and tittles

Jots and Tittles #4: Lewolkien at Rugby

jots and tittles

It has been ever so long since I’ve given any sort of update on life outside of writing, but I’m setting that to rights now.

Last year, I went to my second Lewolkien conference and I gave three talks (One on The Art of Faith, another on Lewis and Tolkien on Story, and a third on Books, the Architecture of the Mind). And, as someone who doesn’t normally do that sort of thing, it was rather exhausting. But enjoyable.

Lewolkien at Rugby

rugby Tennessee library

Outside the Rugby Library

This year I’m headed to my third conference and I’ll be giving only one talk this year. This year the conference will be taking place at a new location, history Rugby, Tennessee. In addition to the charm of Lewis and Tolkien, Lewolkien at Rugby will feature a tour of this uniquely literary town, founded by author Thomas Hughes.

The tiny little town was founded in 1880 as something of a utopian experiment by the author to afford economic opportunity to second sons from England who had little financial opportunity in their home country. It never took off, but when most of the original settlers moved on they left a town trapped in time. In the 1970’s an effort was made to restore the town. Most of the houses there still have the same style of architecture used at that time, though many of the houses have been rebuilt.

Rugby’s hidden treasure

The real treasure of Rugby, though, is its library. Since Hughes was well-known in publishing circles, when he asked publishing companies to donate some books for a local library, they answered. To the tune of about 5000 books. 2000 more were added by local residents. It’s an eclectic collection to be sure as the publishers just sent whatever they had lying around, but the amazing thing is that the library remains virtually untouched since the 1880’s.

rugby tennessee library

While I have been to Rugby once before, it was painfully cold when I went. Since there is no heating in the library, and no lighting, I did not do as much delving through the collection as I would have liked to. I’m looking forward to taking another crack at it this time around. Most of the books are in surprisingly good condition, but white gloves are passed out to those wishing to handle individual volumes.

As a side note, Rugby was not named for the sport and there are no plans to get any scrums going at the conference. The town was named for the school where Hughes attended as a boy and the sport also gets its name from that self-same school.

Spend time to save time

Aside from Lewolkien at Rugby, I’ve been trying to develop better habits to stay active. It’s one of the banes of the authorial lifestyle that exercise does not come naturally. Not too many Adonises amongst our number, I’m afraid. We’re a rather haggard and bedraggled lot on the whole, I’m afraid.

I’ve exercised most of my life off and on, but lately it’s been more off than on. But I find that when I am exercising I am so much more productive. I have more energy and I feel more fresh when I sit down to write. We’ll see if I can keep it up, but I hope to make that a ficus as Spring opens up her petals and outdoor doings become more attractive.

And those are all the jots and tittles I have to spare today. I’ve much more in the way of bookish news, but that will have to wait for another day.

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