FROM THE MAILBAG
* I appreciate all you have done to disseminate and protect the gift of a
writer who is, it seems to me, quite possibly the most influential
Christian apologist of the last two centuries.
–Richard John Neuhaus, President, Religion and Public Life
* In school I had the book Major British Writers (Harcourt, 1954), a
series under the general editorship of G.B. Harrison of the U. of Michigan.
There are 14 names under “The Editors”; C.S. Lewis is one, Lionel Trilling
–Brenda Griffing, Fort Lauderdale, Fl
* I’ve been re-reading Kingsley Amis’s Memoirs. He was one of the group of
gifted undergraduates, all at St John’s College, Oxford, at the same time
(others were Philip Larkin and Bruce Montgomery). He calls Lewis “the best
lecturer I ever heard”. Tolkien, on the other hand, was (he says)
unbelievably bad. When you could distinguish his words, which half the
time you couldn’t, you still couldn’t understand them. (I’m always
astonished that there are so many academics deficient in what is surely the
basic skill of the teacher: making their audience understand them.)
–Charles Wrong, Vancouver, BC
* Somewhere in Lewis’s writings, I believe he is talking about the
tendency of some people to criticize and condemn others for problems that
they themselves have not struggled with. Somewhere in that discussion he
uses a phrase that compares that tendency to “a eunuch boasting of his
chastity.” I would be most grateful if you or one of your readers could
help me find the source of that particular quote.
–Gary Oliver, thwest Counseling Associates, 41 W. Davies Ave., Suite 105,
Littleton, CO. FAX 303-730-1531.
* I enjoyed the [winter] issue very much. I especially like all the
interesting tidbits about Lewis that keep popping up in your pages.
I am taking a graduate seminar on Spenser this semester and just discovered
that Scudamour is the name of a character in The Faerie Queen. I don’t
think Lewis would have used the name without meaning to allude to Spenser’s
character. I am wondering if the connection has been explored yet.
I still intend to pursue (as far as I am able) a cyclotron analysis of the
Dark Tower manuscript. The professor at Cornell who specializes in textual
analysis was on a sabbatical last semester.
–David Alvarez, Ithaca NY
* When I first met the two brothers, I was most impressed with Warren’s
real kindness and warmth–and far preferred him to C.S.! He was a sweet
man, and obviously the most loyal and supportive and unjealous of brothers.
Wasn’t it a shame about Ruth Pitter not appealing to Lewis marriage-wise?
She, too, seemed a lovely person. I gave her a lift from the lunch where I
met the Lewis brothers. She was too gentle and kind–he had to be bullied
–Name withheld, England
* I finally got to read The C.S. Lewis Hoax… dismayed by the evidence.
–Julee Collins, North Hollywood, CA
* Thank you for writing The C.S. Lewis Hoax. It certainly reveals why I
have had such difficulty in accepting the works attributed to C. S. Lewis
which have been published postmortem (as opposed to posthumously, which
would indicate they were really by C. S. Lewis).
Mr. Hooper claims in his introduction to The Weight of Glory that he is
quoting C. S. Lewis when he says, “I have a private traitor, my very own
Benedict Arnold. Repent before it is too late!” Benedict Arnold was a
British loyalist spying on behalf of the British Crown. In fact, the
traitors or rebels to England were the colonists who followed George
My first-hand observation is that British folk have only a foggy notion
about American history and almost no recognition of historical figures such
as Benedict Arnold. It would seem far more likely that C. S. Lewis would
have used the name of Quisling, whose treachery in Norway during World War
II led to his name becoming synonymous with traitor.
–Herbert A. Ward, Jr., Boulder City, NV
(Note: Father Ward, an Episcopal priest, has since 1970 been executive
director of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a nonsectarian home for
neglected and abused children ages 6 to 18. Please help by sending the
fronts of used religious Christmas cards for recycling: P.O. Box 60100,
Boulder City, NV 89006-0100. Inquiries by telephone:  293-3131.)
* Recently I read your fascinating — and deeply disturbing — book, The C.
S. Lewis Hoax. I thank you for your meticulous research and understated
but quite clear communication of the deceptions uncovered. what I’m
wondering is why you have not gone the next step… One thing I can’t
figure out is why Owen Barfield goes along with Walter Hooper.
— Robin Greenspan, Chester, MA