Owen Barfield (1898-1997), philosopher, historian, and literary theoretician, is well known for his friendship with C. S. Lewis. What is virtually unknown is that he was also admired and promoted by T.S. Eliot, who in the 1920s became his publisher at Faber and Faber. There can scarcely be two writers at greater variance than Lewis and Eliot; that Barfield was admired by both showed that he was an independent thinker, far more subtle and complex than has so far been recognized. Diener's book about Barfield's early work is the first systematic study to trace the roots and the development of his thought. It places Barfield in the tradition of British and European cultural and social critics, including Coleridge, Arnold, Nietzsche, and Rudolf Steiner. In the light of this tradition, Barfield's work emerges as a unique and constructive contribution to twentieth-century thought.
Role of Imagination in Culture and Society