"It would be easy, but not particularly profitable, to classify Williams as
a "mystic." He knew, and could put into words, states of consciousness of a
mystical kind. and the sort of elusive experience which many people have
once or twice in a life-time. (I am thinking of certain passages in The
Place of the Lion, but there is no novel without them.) And if "mysticism"
means a belief in the supernatural, and in its operation in the natural
world, then Williams was a mystic: but that is only belief in what adherents
of every religion in the world profess to believe. His is a mysticism, not
of curiosity, or of the lust for power, but of Love; and Love, in the
meaning which it had for Williams-as readers of his study of Dante, called
The Figure of Beatrice, will know-is a deity of whom most human beings
seldom see more than the shadow. But in his novels he is as much concerned
with quite ordinary human beings, with their struggle among the shadows,
their weaknesses and self-deceptions, their occasional moments of
understanding, as with the Vision of Love towards which creation strives. "
Intro to ALL HALLOWS EVE, 1948.