On the campus of Wheaton College, at the corner of Washington and Lincoln Streets, sits a little cottage that looks like something out of a storybook. It’s called the Marion Wade center, and it is a museum and reading room dedicated to The Inklings.
Inside, you will find a wardrobe. THE wardrobe that inspired CS Lewis’ idea of sending Lucy through the wardrobe into Narnia.
See that sign behind me? It says that the museum isn’t responsible for people who disappear into the wardrobe.
Tolkien’s desk where he wrote and illustrated The Hobbit, as well as parts of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Under the glass is a handwritten note, signed with the familiar beautiful signature of the author.
Lewis’ desk from Magdelen College
After we toured the little museum (really just one large room), we peeked into the reading room and decided to nose around a bit. I chose a collection of letters which included Lewis’ entire correspondence with Sheldon VanAuken, the author of A Severe Mercy. David read a few essays. The snow fell gently outside as we sat and drank in the quiet.
It was a perfect morning.
My Dear Lucy,I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not
realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already
too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again….–C.S. Lewis, from the dedication to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe