The Lewis Legacy-Issue 83, Winter 2000
Yesterday in Oxford Today
The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing
January 1, 2000
Letter from John Espey (Merton 1935)
in Michaelmas 1999 issue of Oxford Today
"Reading the recent article on C.S. Lewis (OT 11.1), I was reminded of
attending the lectures that became The Allegory of Love. From a callow
young American's point of view, Lewis was one of the few adequate lecturers in the English Language and Literature Faculty of those days.
"He closed each performance with a flair for the dramatic. It should be a
matter of record that in his discussion of the two aspects of Spenser, he
built up to the contrast on pages 320 and 321 of the book as published.
'The first would run something like this: Elfin Spenser, Renaissance
Spenser, voluptuous Spenser, courtly Spenser, Italianate Spenser,
decorative Spenser.' For the second I propose: 'English Spenser, Protestant Spenser, rustic Spenser, manly Spenser, churchwardenly Spenser, domestic Spenser, thrifty Spenser, honest Spenser.'
"Then with a glance at the clock, Lewis threw his head back, clapped on his mortarboard, and declaimed with a broad smile: 'In short, UNCLE Spenser!'"