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Loring Ellis’s Dream Come True

Although she was over 80 years old and in a wheelchair, in 1997 this Lewisian finally went to England. By Loring Ellis In June I had the good fortune to be a part of a C. S. Lewis Literary Study Tour. Arriving at Gatwick airport we were met by private coach and guide. I knew we would have people who Read More ›

Devilish Advice

Part One (leaked by Larry Repass) My Dear Larvalog, You ARE full of surprises! First, you pulled that stunt at the Super-D Store last year, and now you have the gall to write to your “loving uncle” for advice! Well, don’t think for a minute that I would be swayed by your flowery appeal to a possible correspondence similar to Read More ›

Memorable Discovery in a Used Book Store

Imagine the surprise of Perry Bramlett when he picked up a first edition copy of Poems by C. S. Lewis (1964) in a used book store and found that it was autographed by Walter Hooper. This was Hooper’s very first publication, his first foray into C. S. Lewis studies, and his first revelation of alternative versions of works that C. Read More ›

Back to the Future: This Is Called Restoration

In his evocative 4-page 1997 fundraising letter, Douglas Gresham claimed that Stanley Mattson’s C. S. Lewis Foundation had already completed 88% of the work needed to restore the Kilns to its original 1930s condition. (Not 87% or 89%, but exactly 88%.) “Would you, therefore, consider making a gift in any amount to help the C. S. Lewis Foundation attain their Read More ›

The Power of a Pious Myth: Milking the Kilns Cash Cow

Doug Gresham’s 1997 fundraising letter began, “Four miles from the towering spires of Oxford lies a modest brick home. A single glance would lead one to believe that the resident family had decided to restore the 72-year-old house. They would be right about the restoration, but the family…, well, that is a bit more complex. “Within the walls of this Read More ›

Creative Imperialism and Copyright Law

The vagaries of copyright law can be not only surprising, but amazing. In July 1997 London’s Observer reported that according to some lawyers, the River Kwai in Thailand does not exist. This claim infuriates surviving World War Two prisoners of the Japanese. In 1942 and 1943 Allied prisoners were forced to build a 250-mile railway to Burma for their captors, Read More ›

C. S. Lewis Journal: Delight or Debacle?

The C. S. Lewis Journal is listed in publicity as edited by Susan Wavre for the English publisher Eagle. I don’t know why Eagle leaves my name off, because I’m the author Wavre edited. Using my book of 365 days, Around the Year with C. S. Lewis and His Friends (Gibson, 1986, out of print), Wavre pulled out bits at Read More ›

Charles Wrong on Oxford Academics in Lewis’s Day

It doesn’t altogether surprise me that A. L. Rowse said K. B. McFarlane detested Lewis. Apparently Magdalen College in their day was a real snake-pit of academic hates and intrigues. Probably that was, and is, true of a great many colleges, the typical academic personality being what it is. (And I’m one myself, and so was my father, and both Read More ›

In the Footsteps of Cusack

When Lawrence X. (Lex) Cusack went through the papers of his deceased father, a New York attorney, he discovered secret documents signed by John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, revealing details about their affair. Cusack reportedly sold some of the papers to collectors for $4 million. In 1994 Cusack turned other key papers over to respected Pultizer-prize-winning investigative reporter Seymour Read More ›

In the Footsteps of Selbourne

In 1271, four years before Marco Polo arrived in China, a Jewish-Italian merchant named Jacob d’Antona arrived first. He wrote an account of what he found there, and it survived on 280 loose leaves of paper wrapped in silk. He describes in vivid detail his adventures in the city of Zaitun (today’s Quanzhou). The manuscript belongs to an anonymous Italian Read More ›