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The Lewis Legacy-Issue 84, Spring 2000

Lawlor and Lindskoog: Memories and Reflections? Original Article

By 1969 John Lawlor had become a close friend of Walter Hooper — so close that he gave Hooper strong personal advice about his sexual decisions. On 11 May he wrote “Walter, resist absolutely any notion of your drifting (or being psycho-pressured — a nice touch!) into marriage. The physical indication is the most reliable one we have. It is certainly not everything: but its entire absence is the clearest indication you could have. Don’t, don’t be worn down: don’t accept the notion of gallant self-sacrifice and don’t, don’t give one inch or you’ll find it a Gadarine slide. You are a physically and mentally exhausted man — don’t do anything except refuse to be badged.” (This was when Hooper decided not to go through with his marriage to Priscilla Tolkien.)
In May 1969 Hooper wrote his preface to Narrative Poems and thanked Lawlor there.

On 11 June 1970 Lawlor signed Kathryn Lindskoog’s copy of Patterns of Love and Courtesy: “Inscribed for Kathryn Lindskoog a devoted student and beautiful lady — John Lawlor.” This was after his talk at Mythcon in Claremont, CA. (During the question period he had been surprised and pleased by Lindskoog’s question “Why is Till We Have Faces the best of
Lewis’s fiction?” and gave a good how-did-you-know answer. On 25 November 1970 Lawlor reported to Hooper “more con than myth, but very enjoyable.”

Sometime before 7 November 1971 Lawlor was influenced by Hooper’s false allegations about Clyde Kilby. On that day he wrote rather enigmatcally to Hooper “Hope Killer Kilby’s party went like seven houses on fire. You, of course, had the fuse water. Smart, my boy.” In another letter to Hooper he referred to “The Wheaton College Conspiracy”

Eight years later Hooper notified friends that Lindskoog was a protege of Clyde Kilby and part of the Wheaton College Conspiracy. Lawlor probably believed him.