The Lewis Legacy-Issue 82, Autumn 1999
The Fate of Peter Rabbit
The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing
September 1, 1999
In the April 1999 issue of Mythprint David Bratman reviewed The Case of
Peter Rabbit: Changing Conditions of Literature for Children by Margaret
Mackey (Garland, 1998, hc, 208 pp., $55.) Frederick Warne, Potter's
original publisher and copyright owner, is now a tiny imprint of a
multimedia conglomorate. Mackey says the re-engraving of Potter's art for
copyright reasons has been poorly done, and new formatting destroys her
book design. Similarly, Bratman notes, Winnie-the-Pooh is commercially
exploited by Disney; and Unwin, Tolkien's publisher, is now owned by a
giant commercial conglomorate. Bratman did not mention the current
commercialization of Narnia.
In his novel In Heaven as on Earth M. Scott Peck credits C. S. Lewis's The
Great Divorce for his inspiration.
* All the Bells on Earth by James Blaylock (Ace Books). "Blaylock is one of
the most brilliant of that new generation of fabulist writers; All the
Bells on Earth may be his best book...mystical and enthralling...at once
reminiscent of C. S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength and Clive Barker's urban
fantasies." --Washington Post Book World. In fact, Blaylock's book is a
lightweight compared to Lewis's, but it is closely connected to the
Lindskoogs, because it takes place near their home in picturesque central
Orange, CA. The story begins: "A wet winter night. Nearly two in the
morning and the spirit of Christmas haunts the ocean wind, sighing through
the foil candy canes that sway from lampposts along Chapman Avenue, through
the ribs of the illuminated Santa Claus in the distant Plaza, along empty
alleys dark with shifting, anxious shadows. Raindrops slant across the
misty glass globes of streetlamps, and heavy, broken clouds drift across
the face of the moon. For a few moments the terra-cotta tiles of St.
Anthony's Church glisten in the moonlight." Blaylock lives is central
Orange and is a friend of Legacy reader Tim Powers.