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The Lewis Legacy-Issue 77, Summer 1998

Finding the Lanlord's Error, Thanks to David Baumann Original Article

Finding the Landlord: “In 1935 [Pilgrim’s Regress] was accepted by Sheed and Ward, a Roman Catholic company that increased its sales. However, Lewis was extremely unhappy with two comments that this company placed on the flyleaf of the dust jacket: ‘…Mr. Lewis’s wit would probably seem to Bunyan sinful. Certainly his theology would,’ and ‘The hero, brought up in Puritania (Mr. Lewis himself was born in Ulster), cannot abide the religionhe finds there.’ The latter is an indictment of the Anglican Protestantism of Northern Ireland. Lewis wrote in the flyleaf of the copy he gave his father, ‘The suggestions are put in by the unspeakable Sheed with no authority of mine & without my knowledge.’ This copy of the book with Lewis’s angry comment may be seen in the Wade Center in Wheaton, Illinois.”

Alert reader David Baumann wrote to Lindskoog pointing out that Lewis could hardly have given a copy of the 1935 book to his father, who died in 1928. Could the book have been a gift to his brother?

Lindskoog realized that this obvious error had existed in her files for at least 20 years. The person who showed her Lewis’s book inscription at the Wade Center accidentally indicated that Lewis wrote the note to his father, and she never questioned the claim. This copy of Regress exists in the Wade Center to this day, but no one knows if it belonged to Warren or to someone else close to Lewis. There is no record of its history. Lindskoog failed to recall that she had repeated this egregious error in her entry for Regress in the Lewis Encyclopedia. So it was not corrected before publication and is spreading far and wode! Mea culpa.