Dyson in a Still From the Movie Darling
Henry Victor Dyson Dyson (1896–1975), generally known as Hugo Dyson and who signed his writings H. V. D. Dyson, was an English academic and a member of the Inklings literary group. He was a committed Christian, and together with J.R.R. Tolkien, he helped persuade C.S. Lewis to convert to Christianity.
Dyson taught English at the University of Reading from 1924 until obtaining a fellowship with Merton College, Oxford in 1945. He retired in 1963 but returned as emeritus fellow in 1969, teaching the newly-introduced "modern" literature paper. His tutorials were memorable because many of the writers discussed had been personal friends of his.
Dyson was not a prolific writer, but the good quality and voluminous quantity of his lectures and general conversation had quite an effect on people. He much preferred talk at Inklings meetings to readings and is recorded by fellow Inkling Christopher Tolkien as "lying on the couch, and lolling and shouting and saying, 'Oh fuck, not another elf!'[a]" during The Lord of the Rings. Dyson was not alone in his distaste for Tolkien's stories, and eventually Tolkien quit reading from them to the group altogether. Actually, it seems from the letters of C.S. Lewis that Dyson was considered the most fun-loving of the Inklings, and Warnie Lewis liked him best of all.
Dyson, an expert on Shakespeare, was asked during the early 1960s to host some televised lectures and plays about the great writer. His easy, relaxed style won him several new friends. This would result in his having a small part in the film Darling  in 1965 where he played the role of Professor Walter Southgate, a major literary character of the age who would die in the film.
Hugo Dyson lived at 32 Sandfield Road in the east Oxford suburb of Headington until his death, the same road in which fellow Inkling JRR Tolkien also lived. He is buried in Holywell Cemetery, Oxford.
- Wilson records Dyson as being rather more emphatic.
- Walter Hooper, ed. (2000), C.S. Lewis: Collected Letters Volume 1: Family Letters 1905-1931, Harper Collins, p. 974.
- Wilson, AN (1990), CS Lewis (biography), Collins, p. 217.
- Derek Bailey (Director) and Judi Dench (Narrator) (1992). A Film Portrait of JRR Tolkien (Television documentary). Visual.
- "Dyson's time", Darling (short film clip), You tube.
- Brind, Ronald K (2006), "JRR Tolkien's Former Home in Sandfield Road", A Guide to the CS Lewis Tour in Oxford, Janus, pp. 85–87, ISBN 978-1-85756-626-0.
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