* I always enjoy reading your Lewis newsletter. It is interesting that somany want to “claim” Lewis. The information about the Japanese fascination
with CSL was especially intriguing–perhaps in part because of the Japanese
edge to our life (i.e., Seiji Ozawa, our daughter Elizabeth’s boss).
–Joan Ostling, Ridgewood, NJ
* Master as Mugger: This fits what I was told at Oxford two years ago when
I asked why St. Stephen’s House is called Staggers. I was, of course,
familiar with the practice of referring to rugby as ruggers, but didn’t
realize it was part of a whole series, like Cockney rhyming slang. It is,
indeed, interesting that there are so many different titles for the heads
(generic term) of houses (again, generic term). Christ Church has a dean
because it is also a cathedral, but I didn’t know it was referred to as
“The House” (like Nashotah House seminary). I have never heard the term
rector used at Oxford, although it is apparently common for the head of
universities on the continent, at least the RC ones, and is used in this
country for the heads of RC cathedrals and seminaries (where we would say
dean). I am trying to bring up the Oxford University homepage to check on
Lincoln, but it doesn’t want to come up.
–Lawrence Crumb, Eugene, OR
* From the Blackwell’s (Oxford) web site, I discovered that the following
new books (both hardcover) on CSL will be published by HarperCollins next
1) Justin Phillips – C. S. Lewis at the BBC (July, 17.99 )
2) Gareth Sturdy – The Legacy of C. S. Lewis (Sept, 14.99)
–Perry Bramlett, Louisville, KY
* The first performance of the Shadowlands play was March 31, this year. It
was staged in Rakvere Theatre by a young producer named Peeter Raudsepp.
Surprised by Joy came out at the same time, published by Logos Christian
Publishers. This is why they had a joint presentation. To date three Chronicles have been published: The Lion, the Witch and the
Wardrobe (Logos, 1995); Prince Caspian (Logos, 1995); The Magician’s Nephew
(1998). The Horse and His Boy will come out this summer. I don’t know why the translator of these books decided to do them in that order. Hopefully some of the remaining Chronicles will also be published this year. A Grief Observed probably will be, too. But the Chronicles weren’t the first things by CSL to have been published in Estonian. I believe the first one was Screwtape Letters. It wasn’t
printed in Estonia, which was part of the Soviet Union at the time, but in
the neighbouring Finland, and it wasn’t sold in bookshops, but distributed
underground in churches. The second one, Mere Christianity, was already published in independent Estonia in 1992. Then came Reflections on the Psalms in 1994, and The Problem of Pain in 1998 (the first Lewis I translated!).
–Aldo Randmaa, Estonia
* I met a man yesterday who had been evacuated as a child to Bath,
Wiltshire and Bookham in Surrey! I showed him the photo of Bookham Railway
Station in Images of CS Lewis and His World. He had read some Lewis, knew of his local links, and his two sons had attended Campbell.
–James O’Fee, Bangor, N. Ireland
* In the Readers’ Encyclopedia in your entry on ‘Jill Flewett Freud
(1927-)’, you write–‘Lewis always called her June.’ Lewis called her ‘June’ because that was the name her parents gave her and
the name Lewis knew her by. ‘Jill’ came from ‘Jill Raymond’, her later
assumed ‘stage name’. And she went on to become a well-known actress as
‘Jill Freud’. (Her manager probably guessed that the last surname would do
her career no harm.)
This summer there has been a short TV series on the subject of gambling.
One of the programmes featured Sir Clement Freud in his role as a member of
a syndicate which owns a racehorse. In the programme, the horse wins a
race and Sir Clement uses his mobile to telephone his wife the good news.
‘Jill’, he opens with.
–James O’Fee, Bangor, N. Ireland
* Our “Week In Narnia” was a program for 30 children, ages 7 to 14. They
made a fabulous wardrobe out of refrigerator boxes (an unsung art medium!),
white witch’s castle, Cair Paravel, professor’s corner, stone table, and a
Narnia forest (made of Christmas trees). We played Narnia charades, Narnia
bingo, Narnia word games and even a trivia game of “Who wants to be a
Narnia millionaire?” (apologies to C.S. Lewis, absolutely no apologies to
Regis Philbin). I enjoyed teaching them about Lewis’s life and the genesis
of The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe in his imagination. We traveled to a local botanical forest for a Narnia scavenger hunt which was sublime, even finding a fabulous tree chewed down by beavers! I am hoping to do a similar program for the Voyage of the Dawn Treader next summer, followed by The Silver Chair.
–Anne Alexander, Charlotte, N.C.