The Fate of Peter Rabbit

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 82, Autumn 1999 The C.S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

In the April 1999 issue of Mythprint David Bratman reviewed The Case ofPeter Rabbit: Changing Conditions of Literature for Children by Margaret Mackey (Garland, 1998, hc, 208 pp., $55.) Frederick Warne, Potter’s original publisher and copyright owner, is now a tiny imprint of a multimedia conglomorate. Mackey says the re-engraving of Potter’s art for copyright reasons has been poorly done, and new formatting destroys her book design. Similarly, Bratman notes, Winnie-the-Pooh is commercially exploited by Disney; and Unwin, Tolkien’s publisher, is now owned by a giant commercial conglomorate. Bratman did not mention the current commercialization of Narnia.

In his novel In Heaven as on Earth M. Scott Peck credits C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce for his inspiration.

All the Bells on Earth by James Blaylock (Ace Books). “Blaylock is one of the most brilliant of that new generation of fabulist writers; All the Bells on Earth may be his best book…mystical and enthralling…at once reminiscent of C. S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength and Clive Barker’s urban fantasies.”

Washington Post Book World

In fact, Blaylock’s book is a lightweight compared to Lewis’s, but it is closely connected to the Lindskoogs, because it takes place near their home in picturesque central Orange, CA. The story begins: “A wet winter night. Nearly two in the morning and the spirit of Christmas haunts the ocean wind, sighing through the foil candy canes that sway from lampposts along Chapman Avenue, through the ribs of the illuminated Santa Claus in the distant Plaza, along empty alleys dark with shifting, anxious shadows. Raindrops slant across the misty glass globes of streetlamps, and heavy, broken clouds drift across the face of the moon. For a few moments the terra-cotta tiles of St. Anthony’s Church glisten in the moonlight.” Blaylock lives is central Orange and is a friend of Legacy reader Tim Powers.