In the summer of 1999 a handsome sign was posted in Thornton’s secondhand book shop on Broad Street, Oxford:
ROOMS TO LET
C.S. Lewis’ Former Home
The Kilns, Headington
Telephone Oxford: 741865 or 767689
Share this six bedroom fully furnished home with five others.
Monthly rent from 250-350
Tenancy Period: 1 August, 1999 – 30 June, 2000
Behind the words was a faint background image of the Kilns. This ad also appeared in the local newspaper. With six tenants paying an average of 300 a month, the Kilns will produce about $2,855 a month in rent. The six renters share only one bathroom and little parking; rents are very high in Oxford.
Does Stanley Mattson’s C. S. Lewis Foundation support The Kilns, or does The Kilns support his Foundation? Ever since 1993, Mattson has been obtaining money from new donors in order to open some kind of study center in the Kilns the next year. Six “next years” have slipped by, and in 1999 there is still no Kilns Study Centre in sight.