The Man Who Offered to Eat The Dark Tower Ms.

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 69, Summer 1996 The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

It seemed ironic enough that in 1990 Collins (publisher of most C. S. Lewis books) paid biographer A. N. Wilson a small fortune to trash Lewis, and in 1995 Oxford University Press (publisher of six Lewis books) brought out John Goldthwaite’s Natural History of Make-Believe, trashing Lewis. An odd way for even the most cynical publishers to treat one of their most popular authors.

Now this. For 24 years Lewis attended services in Magdalen College Chapel. (A plaque above his stall marks it for visitors.) The present chaplain is Michael Piret, one of the angriest defenders of The Dark Tower.

Mr. Piret was an American Lewis enthusiast studying at St. Anne’s College in 1988 when The C. S. Lewis Hoax came out. He was a personal friend of Walter Hooper and lived briefly in The Kilns. His 1989 review of Hoax used the words monstrous, offensive, malignant, scorn, mockery, and hatred. He offered to eat The Dark Tower if it is forged.

On 20 May 1996 Lindskoog wrote to him:

My [Episcopal] priest recently had the pleasure of visiting Oxford and attending one of your services.

How fitting that a member of the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society is now the chaplain of Magdalen College. Because I like to bring readers up to date about various participants in C. S. Lewis affairs (such as Anthony Marchington, who is now a prominent Oxford millionaire), I expect to tell about you in the summer issue of The Lewis Legacy. Your name is already familiar to my readers because of your enthusiastic defense of The Dark Tower in 1989.

I hope you will bring us up to date by telling me something about your ministry at Magdalen and when it began, your American background, your membership in the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society, and your current position on The Dark Tower. I want to be as accurate as possible.

Thank you for your consideration.

Note: Three months later, Reverend Piret had not yet replied.