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Re: Alastair Fowler

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  • Joe R. Christopher
    John D Rateliff, I think it was, mentioned Dr. Fowler s _Yale Review_ piece in which he mentioned reading The Dark Tower when Lewis was alive. I wrote to
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 14, 2006
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      John D Rateliff, I think it was, mentioned Dr. Fowler's _Yale Review_ piece
      in which he mentioned reading "The Dark Tower" when Lewis was alive. I
      wrote to Dr. Fowler and asked two questions about the situation.

      First, I asked (in a less straight-forward way) if what he read originally
      was the version we have. He replied in a letter of 2 April 2006, "I read
      the fragment twice, I think: once given me by Jack, once by Hooper. So far
      as I know the two texts were the same; although I never collated
      them. ...I certainly read the current opening, as it appears in _Essay
      Collection and Other Short Pieces_ (2000), with the stingers. The white
      riders episode I don't remember; but then it is less striking, and besides
      all this is forty years ago."

      Second, I asked about the manuscript (I assumed the work in Lewis's time
      would be handwritten, and so I phrased the question about being on separate
      pages or in a large, black book). Dr. Fowler replied, "On both occasions
      what I read was typescript on loose leaves. Whether it was the same
      typescript or two copies or two drafts, I can't say. Jack seldom redrafted
      much on paper; but it's quite possible he made additions. But I remember
      the characters as the same."

      I think Dr. Fowler's reply decides the fact that Lewis wrote the opening of
      the fragment. On the basis of what he writes, a controversy may still
      exist over whether what is currently published has been padded or not. The
      second answer complicates things. Lewis evidently had his fragment
      typed. Since W. H. Lewis didn't know anything about a fourth Ransom novel,
      presumably he didn't type it. At any rate, this early typescript does not
      affect the basic arguments about the manuscript in the book, although both
      of Dr. Fowler's statements together refocus them. None of this affects
      Ratliff's main arguments that "The Dark Tower" was written in 1944-45, not
      1939 ("The Lost Road, The Dark Tower, and The Notion Club Papers" in
      _Tolkien's Legendarium_, ed. Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter).

      --Joe
    • David Bratman
      This is very interesting and it raises two questions in my mind. 1) When did Dr. Fowler read The Dark Tower , both the time that Lewis gave it to him and the
      Message 2 of 17 , Apr 14, 2006
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        This is very interesting and it raises two questions in my mind.

        1) When did Dr. Fowler read "The Dark Tower", both the time that Lewis gave
        it to him and the time that Hooper did? Does he say, either in his letter
        or the article? All that Joe quotes is "forty years ago," but this must be
        very approximate for his meeting with Lewis, as forty years ago Lewis was
        already dead.

        2) Can any light be shed on this reference to typescript rather than
        manuscript? I believe the only known copy of the text, the one that Hooper
        gave the Bodleian, is hand-written. If, as Fowler seems to say, Hooper had
        a typescript, what has become of it? (One might also wonder why, if the
        Bodleian copy is a forgery, the forgers gave themselves the difficult task
        of trying to replicate Lewis's handwriting, when they could have just typed
        it. But that query is no more proof that DT is not forged than supposed
        resemblances to Madeleine L'Engle stories are proof that it is.)

        David Bratman


        At 12:27 PM 4/14/2006 -0500, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
        >John D Rateliff, I think it was, mentioned Dr. Fowler's _Yale Review_ piece
        >in which he mentioned reading "The Dark Tower" when Lewis was alive. I
        >wrote to Dr. Fowler and asked two questions about the situation.
        >
        >First, I asked (in a less straight-forward way) if what he read originally
        >was the version we have. He replied in a letter of 2 April 2006, "I read
        >the fragment twice, I think: once given me by Jack, once by Hooper. So far
        >as I know the two texts were the same; although I never collated
        >them. ...I certainly read the current opening, as it appears in _Essay
        >Collection and Other Short Pieces_ (2000), with the stingers. The white
        >riders episode I don't remember; but then it is less striking, and besides
        >all this is forty years ago."
        >
        >Second, I asked about the manuscript (I assumed the work in Lewis's time
        >would be handwritten, and so I phrased the question about being on separate
        >pages or in a large, black book). Dr. Fowler replied, "On both occasions
        >what I read was typescript on loose leaves. Whether it was the same
        >typescript or two copies or two drafts, I can't say. Jack seldom redrafted
        >much on paper; but it's quite possible he made additions. But I remember
        >the characters as the same."
        >
        >I think Dr. Fowler's reply decides the fact that Lewis wrote the opening of
        >the fragment. On the basis of what he writes, a controversy may still
        >exist over whether what is currently published has been padded or not. The
        >second answer complicates things. Lewis evidently had his fragment
        >typed. Since W. H. Lewis didn't know anything about a fourth Ransom novel,
        >presumably he didn't type it. At any rate, this early typescript does not
        >affect the basic arguments about the manuscript in the book, although both
        >of Dr. Fowler's statements together refocus them. None of this affects
        >Ratliff's main arguments that "The Dark Tower" was written in 1944-45, not
        >1939 ("The Lost Road, The Dark Tower, and The Notion Club Papers" in
        >_Tolkien's Legendarium_, ed. Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter).
      • John D Rateliff
        ... I m afraid I have no memory of this, and I m so busy finishing up my current project that I haven t had time to go back through the list archive to see who
        Message 3 of 17 , Apr 17, 2006
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          On Apr 14, 2006, at 10:27 AM, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
          > John D Rateliff, I think it was, mentioned Dr. Fowler's _Yale
          > Review_ piece
          > in which he mentioned reading "The Dark Tower" when Lewis was
          > alive. I
          > wrote to Dr. Fowler and asked two questions about the situation.

          I'm afraid I have no memory of this, and I'm so busy finishing up my
          current project that I haven't had time to go back through the list
          archive to see who did post it. Very glad that you've followed up on
          this, though, since I think it's a real discovery. Many thanks for
          sharing those excerpts from Professor Fowler's letter. Since the
          early chapters with the Stingerman had been explicitly singled out as
          the part that couldn't possibly be by Lewis, I think this really
          clinches it that the entire work is just what most people thought it
          all along: an unfinished but authentic fragment by CSL. The part
          about typescript is interesting but not crucial: Lewis may have made
          a typescript which does not survive (though I think this unlikely for
          an unfinished work), or Fowler might be confusing the loose leaf
          manuscript now in the Bodleian with the loose leaf typescript he says
          Fr. Hooper showed him. Hooper does say he showed the story to several
          of Lewis's friends, and it's unlikely that he loaned out the
          irreplaceable unique copy of the manuscript, so I imagine that as the
          first stage when editing the work he made a typescript for limited
          circulation while trying to find out more about the story's origin
          and date. I'm surprised that Fr. Hooper didn't cite Fowler as
          confirmation back in 1977, but then he never did say that Fr. Gervase
          Mathew was the only person who recognized it.
          I don't think that ultimately the 1938 vs. 1944-46 date can be
          definitively proven either way, unless and until more evidence turns
          up; I simply think the evidence is much stronger for the latter
          dating (with Tolkien's letter describing the story as the key). This
          memoir definitely rules out the 1950s date Jared had suggested, since
          Fowler makes clear that he read it in 1952 or very shortly thereafter
          and that it was then a piece Lewis had written some time before and
          abandoned. What I found most interesting is that from Fowler's
          account Lewis knew exactly where it was, and that CSL rated it with
          "After Ten Years" (which he also loaned A.F.) as a piece he'd started
          but not been able to complete; he clearly held onto both because he
          hoped that he would, someday, find the right way to tell that story.
          I wish we knew more about how Lewis organized his files. And who did
          prepare the typescripts of CSL's books? Did he really send manuscript
          to the printers?

          On Apr 14, 2006, at 11:49 AM, David Bratman wrote:
          > 1) When did Dr. Fowler read "The Dark Tower", both the time that
          > Lewis gave
          > it to him and the time that Hooper did? Does he say, either in his
          > letter
          > or the article? All that Joe quotes is "forty years ago," but this
          > must be
          > very approximate for his meeting with Lewis, as forty years ago
          > Lewis was
          > already dead.

          From the Yale Review piece, it's clear that this was sometime
          between 1952, when Fowler arrived at Oxford and asked Lewis to direct
          his thesis, and 1955 when Lewis left Oxford for Cambridge. After a
          little online research, I found it posted at

          http://www.solcon.nl/arendsmilde/cslewis/reflections/e-fowler.htm

          The significant section is in the following:


          "Jenny and I rented an attic at 2 Church Walk in North Oxford, the
          same house where the Spenserian Rudolf Gottfried stayed. From there I
          cycled to Magdalen for supervisions. Often Major Lewis sat typing in
          the large sitting room and directed me through to his brother in the
          smaller room. One winter morning I got there frozen; Lewis, wearing a
          dressing gown over his clothes, was engrossed in Astounding Science
          Fiction. Conversation turned to fantasy; I confessed I was trying to
          write one, myself, and had got blocked. He made me describe the
          setting (a paraworld with a slower time-lapse), then said, �You need
          two things for this sort of fiction. The first you already have: a
          world, a mise en sc�ne. But you also need a mythos or plot.� After
          that, Lewis was always keener to know how The Rest of Time was coming
          along than to read the next installment of dissertation. This was
          gratifying, of course, yet somehow depressing to a would-be academic
          author. But it was an article of faith with Lewis that writing
          fiction could never conflict with studying literature. Not that he
          always wrote without difficulty; sometimes he had to set a project
          aside for a long period. He showed me several unfinished or abandoned
          pieces (his notion of supervision included exchanging work in
          progress); these included �After Ten Years,� The Dark Tower, and Till
          We Have Faces. Another fragment, a time-travel story, had been
          aborted after only a few pages. Getting to the �other� world was a
          particular problem, he said; he had given up several stories at that
          stage. His unfamiliarity with scientific discourse may have played a
          part in this. The vehicles of transition in Out of the Silent Planet
          and Perelandra, although suggestive in other ways, are hardly
          plausible as scientific apparatus. In the Narnia stories Lewis turned
          to magical means of entry: teleportation rings from E. Nesbit and
          Tolkien, or else a terribly strange wardrobe.
          Once fully started, Lewis quickly wrote a more or less
          final version, like Anthony Trollope. Unlike Henry James (or
          Tolkien), he never drafted and redrafted. Nevill Coghill might have
          to make ten or more drafts of anything for publication; but when
          things went well Lewis would write only a rough copy and a fair copy
          (with one or two corrections per page). And that was it, except for
          scholarly books like the OHEL volume, which were tried out first as
          lectures. Even the final version would be in longhand; Lewis thought
          a noisy typewriter dulled the sense of rhythm. Fortunately, his
          writing was legible enough to go straight to the publisher, unless
          Warren typed it out. Obviously, composition was not so fast as
          writing; before committing to paper, he must have composed each work
          in his head, retaining it by some �power of memory� (as Tolkien
          called Lewis�s retentiveness of the spoken word). Lewis�s fluency
          suggests that he composed in paragraphs, as Robert Louis Stevenson
          did, and Edward Gibbon in his covered acacia walk."

          The whole piece is quite interesting, from the role Hugo Dyson played
          in putting in a good word for Fowler before Lewis would agree to
          supervise his research to Fowler's own time-travel story THE REST OF
          TIME. Does anyone know if this has been published? If so, it could
          provide the so-called L'Engle link, though personally I've come to
          believe that if there is any influence between the Ransom books and A
          WRINKLE IN TIME it would be from L'Engle being influenced,
          consciously or not, by the severed head scenes in THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH.
          As for "forty years ago", that would be about right for the
          period when Fr. Hooper was asking Lewis's surviving friends if they
          recognized the fragment, but I took it as 'mind you, all this was
          more than forty years ago' and so would not be perturbed by small
          inconsistencies.

          --JDR





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        • John D Rateliff
          ... Did a little more mulling over this in the last week or so, and think the issue really is resolved. We have Fowler s word for it that the first half of the
          Message 4 of 17 , Apr 26, 2006
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            On Apr 14, 2006, at 10:27 AM, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
            > I think Dr. Fowler's reply decides the fact that Lewis wrote the
            > opening of
            > the fragment. On the basis of what he writes, a controversy may still
            > exist over whether what is currently published has been padded or not.


            Did a little more mulling over this in the last week or so, and think
            the issue really is resolved. We have Fowler's word for it that the
            first half of the text existed and was acknowledged by Lewis in his
            lifetime. We have Lewis's own copy of the book that served as the
            main source for the second half of the book, with CSL's annotations,
            in the Wade collection at Wheaton. We have Fr. Gervase Mathews'
            recollection of Lewis reading it to the Inklings. We have Tolkien's
            statement that Lewis was planning to write such a novel. We have the
            manuscript, in Lewis's handwriting, found among Lewis's papers after
            his death. We have the Bodleian's acceptance of the manuscript as a
            genuine work by Lewis. Against this we have accusations that the
            manuscript, while it may or may not be in Lewis's handwriting, might
            not be wholly Lewis's work--which would make it an extreme anomoly; I
            don't think we have any evidence that Lewis ever copied over other
            author's work into his own handwriting while adding his own bits to
            it, all without indicating in any way his own contributions. Perhaps
            someday a letter by Lewis mentioning the work will turn up (given the
            thousands of letters he wrote, and the number of them still
            unaccounted for, I think this entirely possible); till then the
            weight of evidence is that it's the real thing.

            Speaking of Fowler, I've been going through a lot of my old notebooks
            lately and came across an interesting excerpt from an article which
            quotes from a 1961 letter CSL wrote to Fowler about who'd they
            nominate for a Nobel Prize, given the chance. After noting that
            Mauriac already had it, Lewis suggests "Frost? Eliot? Tolkien?
            E.M.Forster?" Granted, he's forgetting here that TSE already won in
            1948, but still it's an indication, if we needed it, of the high
            regard he held for JRRT's work.

            JDR

            Current Reading: ORTNIT & WOLFDIETRICH: Two Medieval Romances






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          • David Bratman
            ... Joe said that part of the issue is resolved, but part of it is not. I think he s still right about that. I am not going to argue that The Dark Tower as
            Message 5 of 17 , Apr 26, 2006
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              At 10:53 AM 4/26/2006 -0700, John D Rateliff wrote:
              >On Apr 14, 2006, at 10:27 AM, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
              >> I think Dr. Fowler's reply decides the fact that Lewis wrote the
              >> opening of
              >> the fragment. On the basis of what he writes, a controversy may still
              >> exist over whether what is currently published has been padded or not.
              >
              >Did a little more mulling over this in the last week or so, and think
              >the issue really is resolved.

              Joe said that part of the issue is resolved, but part of it is not. I
              think he's still right about that. I am not going to argue that The Dark
              Tower as published is a forged work. I am, however, going to argue that,
              given Walter Hooper's known unreliability, the open questions are still
              reasonably open.


              >We have Fowler's word for it that the
              >first half of the text existed and was acknowledged by Lewis in his
              >lifetime.

              Yes, we now have reliable testimony that - at the very least - a work
              roughly fitting the description of "The Dark Tower" was written by Lewis.
              (The hesitation is to acknowledge the doubt that Fowler can verify that the
              published text is identical with the one he read in ms. many years before.)
              This strikes me as very strong evidence indeed, but not conclusive about
              the work in hand.


              >We have Lewis's own copy of the book that served as the
              >main source for the second half of the book, with CSL's annotations,
              >in the Wade collection at Wheaton.

              What is this, and how do we know that Lewis actually used it for The Dark
              Tower, and that a forger with access to Lewis's books did not?


              >We have Fr. Gervase Mathews'
              >recollection of Lewis reading it to the Inklings.

              No, we do not. We have Hooper's statement that Mathew (by then deceased)
              had at some earlier date told him that. And that is not enough. The Dark
              Tower may be authentic, but that does not make Hooper any more trustworthy.
              Also, we have the curious fact that the reading is dated 1939-40, which
              for two separate reasons is quite probably incorrect.


              >We have Tolkien's
              >statement that Lewis was planning to write such a novel.

              We do, but that is of far more help in dating Lewis's plan than it is in
              deciding if the work in hand is something he actually wrote.


              >We have the
              >manuscript, in Lewis's handwriting, found among Lewis's papers after
              >his death.

              We also have the possibility that it's a forgery. We have numerous
              arguments over whether that's possible or not, with the same experts quoted
              on both sides, and neither side willing (or able?) to demonstrate that the
              other side is lying.


              >We have the Bodleian's acceptance of the manuscript as a
              >genuine work by Lewis.

              We do? The presence of the manuscript in the Bodleian collection is not
              evidence of its authenticity. It's evidence of their taking Hooper's
              donation at his word.


              >Against this we have accusations that the
              >manuscript, while it may or may not be in Lewis's handwriting, might
              >not be wholly Lewis's work--which would make it an extreme anomoly;

              If it isn't Lewis's handwriting, then whether it's Lewis's composition is
              entirely irrelevant to the question of anomaly. If it is Lewis's
              handwriting, then the question of borrowed composition hardly comes up, at
              least in my mind.

              And I still want to know what happened to the typescript that Hooper
              supposedly had. If it was a typescript that Hooper himself made or had
              made from the manuscript, it's of no importance. But if it was a
              typescript he got from the Lewis estate, the absence of any reference to it
              in the documentary description of the work is most surprising and disturbing.


              >Perhaps
              >someday a letter by Lewis mentioning the work will turn up (given the
              >thousands of letters he wrote, and the number of them still
              >unaccounted for, I think this entirely possible);

              Perhaps. But a letter, unless the description of the plot is unusually
              detailed, will not prove that the work in hand is authentic. And we don't
              need a Lewis letter to prove that he wrote _something_ fitting this general
              description. We already have sufficient proof of that.


              >till then the
              >weight of evidence is that it's the real thing.

              I agree, especially since the principal arguments against its authenticity
              are 1) that Hooper is untrustworthy (which he is, but that's not evidence
              he forged any given item); 2) that The Dark Tower is too bad a work to be
              by Lewis (which is nonsensical and untrue, and in any case its badness is
              surely why he abandoned it).

              But "the weight of evidence" is not the same thing as "the issue really is
              resolved." Weight, yes; resolved, no.

              - David Bratman
            • John D Rateliff
              On Apr 26, 2006, at 11:32 AM, David Bratman wrote: ... Here s a question: what would it take to resolve the issue for you? ...
              Message 6 of 17 , Apr 30, 2006
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                On Apr 26, 2006, at 11:32 AM, David Bratman wrote:
                <begin snippets>
                > . . . we now have reliable testimony that - at the very least - a
                > work
                > roughly fitting the description of "The Dark Tower" was written by
                > Lewis.

                > we don't need a Lewis letter to prove that he wrote _something_
                > fitting this general
                > description. We already have sufficient proof of that.

                > . . . This strikes me as very strong evidence indeed, but not
                > conclusive about
                > the work in hand.

                > . . . the open questions are still reasonably open.
                <end snippets>

                Here's a question: what would it take to resolve the issue for you?


                >> We have Lewis's own copy of the book that served as the
                >> main source for the second half of the book, with CSL's annotations,
                >> in the Wade collection at Wheaton.
                > What is this, and how do we know that Lewis actually used it for
                > The Dark
                > Tower, and that a forger with access to Lewis's books did not?

                The book is AN EXPERIMENT WITH TIME, by J. W. Dunne. Lewis's copy was
                not one of those his five friends kept from his library but went
                instead with the bulk of his books to form a school's collection, the
                remnant of which was purchased by the Wade more than two decades
                later. CSL's copy is now in Wheaton. We know Lewis used it, because
                he marked it up as he read it. Since the books were sold shortly
                after Lewis's death, it means that copy was not available to THE DARK
                TOWER'S editor during the period the work was supposedly forged.


                > We also have the possibility that it's a forgery. We have numerous
                > arguments over whether that's possible or not, with the same
                > experts quoted
                > on both sides, and neither side willing (or able?) to demonstrate
                > that the
                > other side is lying.

                Not a serious possibility, simply the unsupported assertion from an
                unreliable source. If we're going to dismiss any evidence that passed
                through Fr. Hooper's hands, such as Fr. Gervase Mathews' account of
                Lewis's reading the work to the Inklings, on the grounds that Hooper
                is untrustworthy, then we also have to throw out any evidence put
                forward by Lindskoog, or any that passed through her hands.


                >> We have the Bodleian's acceptance of the manuscript as a
                >> genuine work by Lewis.
                >
                > We do? The presence of the manuscript in the Bodleian collection
                > is not
                > evidence of its authenticity. It's evidence of their taking Hooper's
                > donation at his word.

                Yes, we do. I asked them about this when I spent a day with the
                manuscript myself in 1992. The reason they've never instigated a full-
                scale testing is that they've never heard any credible evidence from
                any reliable source that would cast doubt upon its authenticity. A
                few early claims challenging the work were easily disproven by an
                informal examination by Bodleian staff, and they've never been given
                a good reason to revisit the matter. Plus, they're busy people, with
                lots of unprocessed materials that need their attention rather than
                addressing charges from conspiracy theorists.

                --JDR

                current reading: THE RING OF WORDS: TOLKIEN AND THE OXFORD ENGLISH
                DICTIONARY (Gilliver, Marshall, & Weiner).
              • Carl F. Hostetter
                ... And David can say the same thing about Hooper s story of provenance for the text. Hooper s proven himself unreliable on matters of his relationship with
                Message 7 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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                  On May 1, 2006, at 1:08 AM, John D Rateliff wrote:

                  > simply the unsupported assertion from an unreliable source.

                  And David can say the same thing about Hooper's story of provenance
                  for the text. Hooper's proven himself unreliable on matters of his
                  relationship with Lewis: an inveterate exaggerator (to say the least
                  and to put it in the nicest possible light).

                  > The reason they've never instigated a full-scale testing is that
                  > they've never heard any credible evidence from
                  > any reliable source that would cast doubt upon its authenticity.

                  Then they're apparently unaware of Hooper's tendency to exaggerate
                  (at best) his relationship with Lewis, which is more than sufficient
                  to call into question any testimony of provenance he provides. The
                  fact that the Bodleian staff are unaware of Hooper's tendencies and
                  thus do not question his testimony hardly constitutes authoritative
                  support for the manuscript's authenticity: it just means they haven't
                  done anything to test the word of Hooper that it is authentic.

                  Carl

                  (Who thinks _The Dark Tower_ is most likely authentic, but that
                  there's no reason to take Hooper's word on anything, and plenty of
                  reasons not to do so.)
                • David Bratman
                  ... You mean, convince me that there s no reasonable possibility it was forged? A manuscript, functionally identical with the printed copy, that comes with a
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 1, 2006
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                    At 10:08 PM 4/30/2006 -0700, John D Rateliff wrote:

                    >Here's a question: what would it take to resolve the issue for you?

                    You mean, convince me that there's no reasonable possibility it was forged?
                    A manuscript, functionally identical with the printed copy, that comes
                    with a solid provenance and no possibility it could have gone through the
                    hands of Walter Hooper or anyone associated with him, which means it would
                    have to have been given by Lewis himself to someone else, someone not Owen
                    Barfield.


                    >The book is AN EXPERIMENT WITH TIME, by J. W. Dunne. Lewis's copy was
                    >not one of those his five friends kept from his library but went
                    >instead with the bulk of his books to form a school's collection

                    ... where for decades they were available, not far from Oxford, for
                    literally anyone (including Walter Hooper) to look at, and a large number
                    of them disappeared, as happens to books kept in unsecured libraries, and
                    what was left is accurately called by you a "remnant" (the relevancy of
                    this to Dunne's book, which did not disappear, is that it could have been
                    removed and put back without anybody noticing) ...

                    >the remnant of which was purchased by the Wade more than two decades
                    >later. CSL's copy is now in Wheaton. We know Lewis used it, because
                    >he marked it up as he read it. Since the books were sold shortly
                    >after Lewis's death

                    ... after they were sorted by one Walter Hooper, according to the testimony
                    of Doug Gresham ...

                    >it means that copy was not available to THE DARK
                    >TOWER'S editor during the period the work was supposedly forged.

                    ... no, it means that it was very easily available to The Dark Tower's
                    editor, the aforementioned Walter Hooper. Not one whit of your history of
                    this copy would have made it unavailable to Walter Hooper at any time
                    before it was sold to the Wade.


                    >Not a serious possibility, simply the unsupported assertion from an
                    >unreliable source. If we're going to dismiss any evidence that passed
                    >through Fr. Hooper's hands, such as Fr. Gervase Mathews' account of
                    >Lewis's reading the work to the Inklings, on the grounds that Hooper
                    >is untrustworthy, then we also have to throw out any evidence put
                    >forward by Lindskoog, or any that passed through her hands.

                    That follows not at all. Kay Lindskoog once made a foolish remark about
                    being "mentally married" to Lewis, and she later played an even more
                    foolish practical joke passing a forgery off on Stephen Scofield. But she
                    didn't let the forgery pass unremarked into the general thread of Lewis
                    scholarship. She never, at any time, spent over a decade consistently
                    misleading people as to the extent of her acquaintanceship with Lewis. She
                    never published articles trying to cast doubt on Warren Lewis's sanity.
                    She never did a whole bunch of disturbing things that Walter Hooper did.
                    There is no comparison between them.

                    Nor am I dismissing the account about Mathew (again, his name was Mathew,
                    not Mathews). I do not believe that it must be a lie because Hooper said
                    it. I do say, however, that there are at least two good grounds for
                    believing that the date is wrong, and that the Mathew story in any form
                    does not verify anything that the Fowler account doesn't already verify.


                    >> We do? The presence of the manuscript in the Bodleian collection
                    >> is not
                    >> evidence of its authenticity. It's evidence of their taking Hooper's
                    >> donation at his word.
                    >
                    >Yes, we do. I asked them about this when I spent a day with the
                    >manuscript myself in 1992. The reason they've never instigated a full-
                    >scale testing is that they've never heard any credible evidence from
                    >any reliable source that would cast doubt upon its authenticity. A
                    >few early claims challenging the work were easily disproven by an
                    >informal examination by Bodleian staff, and they've never been given
                    >a good reason to revisit the matter. Plus, they're busy people, with
                    >lots of unprocessed materials that need their attention rather than
                    >addressing charges from conspiracy theorists.

                    Well, if they're so busy, and if they are inclined to dismiss legitimate
                    concerns as "conspiracy theorists," then that does not provide any evidence
                    of the manuscript's authenticity whatever. Instead, it provides evidence
                    of what I said it provides evidence of: evidence of their taking Hooper's
                    donation at his word.

                    That "The Dark Tower" is authentic I think most likely on the basis of the
                    evidence. But the arguments put forward by the defenders are so weak as to
                    make me wonder.

                    DB
                  • Patrick Wynne
                    On May 2, 2006, at 1:07 AM, David Bratman wrote, in reply to John Rateliff s comment that If we re going to dismiss any evidence that passed through Fr.
                    Message 9 of 17 , May 2, 2006
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                      On May 2, 2006, at 1:07 AM, David Bratman wrote, in reply to
                      John Rateliff's comment that "If we're going to dismiss any
                      evidence that passed through Fr. Hooper's hands ... on the
                      grounds that Hooper is untrustworthy, then we also have to
                      throw out any evidence put forward by Lindskoog, or any that
                      passed through her hands" :

                      > That follows not at all. Kay Lindskoog once made a foolish
                      > remark about being "mentally married" to Lewis, and she
                      > later played an even more foolish practical joke passing a
                      > forgery off on Stephen Scofield. But she didn't let the forgery
                      > pass unremarked into the general thread of Lewis scholarship.
                      > She never, at any time, spent over a decade consistently
                      > misleading people as to the extent of her acquaintanceship
                      > with Lewis. She never published articles trying to cast doubt
                      > on Warren Lewis's sanity. She never did a whole bunch of
                      > disturbing things that Walter Hooper did. There is no comparison
                      > between them.

                      Kathryn gives a full account of her ill-conceived (and self-admittedly
                      "foolish") hoax on Stephen Scofield in her book "Fakes, Frauds &
                      Other Malarkey: 301 Amazing Stories and How Not to be Fooled"
                      (Zondervan, 1993). It appears in a four-page concluding chapter
                      entitled "A Hoaxer's Epilogue" (pp. 275-78), which she concludes
                      with the comment:

                      "Thus I learned that although it is surprisingly easy to toss off silly
                      forgeries, it is hard to avoid doing accidental harm with them and
                      absolutely impossible to overestimate human gullibility."

                      Has Walter Hooper EVER been this forthcoming about his known
                      "exaggerations"? Not that I've heard. There is indeed no comparison
                      to be made between Lindskoog's openness and Walter Hooper's
                      apparent lack thereof.

                      -- Pat
                    • John D Rateliff
                      Came across this on Thursday and forgot to post it: turns out Twain s The Curious Republic of Gondour was reprinted in 1984 in David Ketterer s edition of
                      Message 10 of 17 , May 2, 2006
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                        Came across this on Thursday and forgot to post it: turns out Twain's
                        "The Curious Republic of Gondour" was reprinted in 1984 in David
                        Ketterer's edition of THE SCIENCE FICTION OF MARK TWAIN; saw a trade
                        paperback of this, under the title TALES OF WONDER, in the university
                        bookstore while waiting for Elizabeth Moon's author reading to start.
                        So it's readily available for anyone who wants to pick up that
                        collection.


                        Speaking of Gondour/Gondor/Ond, thanks to a friend I now have a copy
                        of "Stone Towers", Carl & Pat's article on Tolkien's real-world
                        source for "OND" = stone (from MYTHLORE #74, 1993). It's an excellent
                        piece, and if I'd known of its existence I'd certainly have cited it
                        in my essay in the Blackwelder festschrift. The only point I disagree
                        with hinges on their identification of John Rhys's CELTIC BRITAIN
                        with the "small book (professedly for the young" that Tolkien said he
                        read when eight years old, and their comment (Endnote #5) on how
                        standards on writing for the young have shifted so much since
                        Tolkien's childhood. Rhys's book is certainly small (its pages
                        measuring about six inches tall and four inches wide--i.e. pocket-
                        sized) but he explicitly states that he is writing for "the general
                        reader" (Preface, page iv), and there is no indication either in his
                        book nor in the list of other books in the series in the back to
                        imply that it is a work for children (in fact, v. much the
                        contrary*). Therefore we either have to conclude that (a) Tolkien
                        read the book at age eight and so considered it "for the young", not
                        realizing how advanced a reader he had been, (b) Tolkien read a book
                        "professedly for the young" which derived from Rhys's book--that is,
                        some popularization of his ideas that has yet to be identified, or
                        (c) Tolkien read Rhys's book, but not quite as early as he later
                        thought in the letter he wrote when he was seventy-nine recalling the
                        fact. Of these, I think (c) the most likely, since we have plenty of
                        other evidence that Tolkien had a tendency to predate events,
                        thinking that they had occurred before they actually did.


                        *e.g., SINAI: FROM THE FOURTH EGYPTIAN DYNASTY TO THE PRESENT DAY, by
                        Henry S. Palmer, Major R.E., F.R.A.S., part of the "Ancient History
                        from the Monuments" series "chiefly intended to illustrate the Sacred
                        Scriptures by the results of recent Monumental Researches in the
                        East", or the books on EPICUREANISM and STOICISM, in "A Series of
                        Books which deals with the Chief Systems of Ancient Thought, not
                        merely as dry matters of History, but as having a bearin on Modern
                        Speculation".
                      • Carl F. Hostetter
                        ... I ve had much the same further thoughts on the matter since writing that article, and would certainly tell my self of 13 years ago not to be so firm in the
                        Message 11 of 17 , May 2, 2006
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                          On May 2, 2006, at 3:36 PM, John D Rateliff wrote:

                          > Therefore we either have to conclude that (a) Tolkien
                          > read the book at age eight and so considered it "for the young", not
                          > realizing how advanced a reader he had been, (b) Tolkien read a book
                          > "professedly for the young" which derived from Rhys's book--that is,
                          > some popularization of his ideas that has yet to be identified, or
                          > (c) Tolkien read Rhys's book, but not quite as early as he later
                          > thought in the letter he wrote when he was seventy-nine recalling the
                          > fact. Of these, I think (c) the most likely, since we have plenty of
                          > other evidence that Tolkien had a tendency to predate events,
                          > thinking that they had occurred before they actually did.

                          I've had much the same further thoughts on the matter since writing
                          that article, and would certainly tell my self of 13 years ago not to
                          be so firm in the judgement! I've kept my eye out for any other
                          possible source for Tolkien's learning of Pre-Celtic" _ond_ ever
                          since, but have yet to find even one other mention of it.

                          I would add a further possibility: Tolkien read Rhys's book as a
                          child, but misremembered its nature when describing it 70+ years later.

                          Carl
                        • John D Rateliff
                          ... I would give Lindskoog more credit for openness if the account you refer to were actually truthful. Unfortunately, it s a self-serving melange of
                          Message 12 of 17 , May 3, 2006
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                            On May 2, 2006, at 5:38 AM, Patrick Wynne wrote:
                            > Kathryn gives a full account of her ill-conceived (and self-admittedly
                            > "foolish") hoax on Stephen Scofield in her book "Fakes, Frauds &
                            > Other Malarkey: 301 Amazing Stories and How Not to be Fooled"
                            > (Zondervan, 1993). It appears in a four-page concluding chapter
                            > entitled "A Hoaxer's Epilogue" (pp. 275-78), which she concludes
                            > with the comment:
                            >
                            > "Thus I learned that although it is surprisingly easy to toss off
                            > silly
                            > forgeries, it is hard to avoid doing accidental harm with them and
                            > absolutely impossible to overestimate human gullibility."
                            >
                            > Has Walter Hooper EVER been this forthcoming about his known
                            > "exaggerations"? Not that I've heard. There is indeed no comparison
                            > to be made between Lindskoog's openness and Walter Hooper's
                            > apparent lack thereof.

                            I would give Lindskoog more credit for "openness" if the account you
                            refer to were actually truthful. Unfortunately, it's a self-serving
                            melange of untruths, as consultation with the original newspaper
                            articles published at the time reveals.
                            So, Fr. Hooper silently corrected the record without ever
                            confessing to having misled people, while Lindskoog published a false
                            story rewriting history to excuse her behavior.
                            What a world, what a world.

                            --John R.

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Carl F. Hostetter
                            ... Could you cite some examples of these untruths, and of the actual facts, to illustrate this claim for those of us who don t have those newspaper articles?
                            Message 13 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                              On May 4, 2006, at 1:07 AM, John D Rateliff wrote:

                              > On May 2, 2006, at 5:38 AM, Patrick Wynne wrote:
                              >> Kathryn gives a full account of her ill-conceived (and self-
                              >> admittedly "foolish") hoax on Stephen Scofield in her book "Fakes,
                              >> Frauds & Other Malarkey: 301 Amazing Stories and How Not to be
                              >> Fooled" (Zondervan, 1993). It appears in a four-page concluding
                              >> chapter entitled "A Hoaxer's Epilogue" (pp. 275-78), which she
                              >> concludes
                              >> with the comment:
                              >>
                              >> "Thus I learned that although it is surprisingly easy to toss off
                              >> silly forgeries, it is hard to avoid doing accidental harm with
                              >> them and absolutely impossible to overestimate human gullibility."
                              >>
                              >> Has Walter Hooper EVER been this forthcoming about his known
                              >> "exaggerations"? Not that I've heard. There is indeed no
                              >> comparison to be made between Lindskoog's openness and Walter
                              >> Hooper's apparent lack thereof.
                              >
                              > I would give Lindskoog more credit for "openness" if the account
                              > you refer to were actually truthful. Unfortunately, it's a self-
                              > serving melange of untruths, as consultation with the original
                              > newspaper articles published at the time reveals.

                              Could you cite some examples of these untruths, and of the actual
                              facts, to illustrate this claim for those of us who don't have those
                              newspaper articles?

                              > So, Fr. Hooper silently corrected the record without ever
                              > confessing to having misled people,

                              Corrections Hooper would _never_ have offered were it not for
                              Lindskoog's work.

                              > while Lindskoog published a false story rewriting history

                              So you say.

                              > to excuse her behavior.

                              As Pat notes, she called the behavior "foolish". That doesn't sound
                              like excusing it to me.

                              As I see it, Hooper consistently misrepresented himself in public in
                              order to promote himself and his supposed expertise on Lewis's life.
                              I have no reason to think that he didn't also misrepresent himself in
                              private in order to insinuate himself into the position of literary
                              executor of a man he'd known for all of, what, two, three weeks? --
                              a position that no doubt comes with not inconsiderable remunerations,
                              financial and otherwise, and from which he has repeatedly abused his
                              authority in order to trash Lewis's brother, friends, and actual
                              assistants -- and about whom, so far as I know, he'd written almost
                              nothing of any significance beforehand. I wouldn't personally crow
                              about Hooper's behavior or character, esp. not as being at all
                              superior to Lindskoog's.

                              > What a world, what a world.

                              As you say.

                              Carl
                            • Kevin Bowring
                              I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the major sources for this? Kevin Bowring
                              Message 14 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                                I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the major sources for this?
                                Kevin Bowring
                              • Patrick Wynne
                                ... For starters, see Kathryn Lindskoog s book Light in the Shadowlands: Protecting the Real C.S. Lewis (Multnomah, 1994; ISBN 0880706953). If your local
                                Message 15 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                                  On May 4, 2006, at 6:56 AM, Kevin Bowring wrote:

                                  > I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the
                                  > major sources for this?
                                  > Kevin Bowring

                                  For starters, see Kathryn Lindskoog's book "Light in the Shadowlands:
                                  Protecting the Real C.S. Lewis" (Multnomah, 1994; ISBN 0880706953).
                                  If your local library doesn't have a copy, new and used ones are
                                  available
                                  on Amazon.com beginning at $2.99.

                                  -- Pat




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                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • John D Rateliff
                                  ... The best place to start would be Lindskoog s 1978 article in CHRISTIANITY & LITERATURE; I believe the title was Some Problems in C. S. Lewis Scholarship .
                                  Message 16 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                                    On May 4, 2006, at 4:56 AM, Kevin Bowring wrote:
                                    > I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the
                                    > major sources for this?
                                    > Kevin Bowring

                                    The best place to start would be Lindskoog's 1978 article in
                                    CHRISTIANITY & LITERATURE; I believe the title was "Some Problems in
                                    C. S. Lewis Scholarship". Then came her 1988 book THE C. S. LEWIS
                                    HOAX. An expanded edition of this came out in 2001 under the title
                                    SLEUTHING C. S. LEWIS. She also started her own journal (THE LEWIS
                                    LEGACY) which was largely devoted to further presentation of her
                                    case, and many issues and articles from it are available online
                                    courtesy of the Discovery Institute (a leading Creationist thinktank
                                    right here in Seattle who have hosted several CSL events). A quick
                                    Google search should lead you to an interesting selection of pieces
                                    by her, as well as many challenges to her claims, enabling you to
                                    read about it first-hand rather than relying on summaries of who said
                                    what by myself and others (returning to primary sources: always a
                                    good thing).
                                    Hope this helps.
                                    --John R.
                                  • Kevin Bowring
                                    Thanks everyone. Kevin
                                    Message 17 of 17 , May 4, 2006
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                                      Thanks everyone.
                                      Kevin


                                      | On Thu, 4 May 2006 10:57:36 -0700
                                      | John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                                      | On May 4, 2006, at 4:56 AM, Kevin Bowring wrote:
                                      | > I have frequently heard these criticisms of Hooper. What are the
                                      | > major sources for this?
                                      | > Kevin Bowring
                                      |
                                      | The best place to start would be Lindskoog's 1978 article in
                                      | CHRISTIANITY & LITERATURE; I believe the title was "Some Problems in
                                      | C. S. Lewis Scholarship". Then came her 1988 book THE C. S. LEWIS
                                      | HOAX. An expanded edition of this came out in 2001 under the title
                                      | SLEUTHING C. S. LEWIS. She also started her own journal (THE LEWIS
                                      | LEGACY) which was largely devoted to further presentation of her
                                      | case, and many issues and articles from it are available online
                                      | courtesy of the Discovery Institute (a leading Creationist thinktank
                                      | right here in Seattle who have hosted several CSL events). A quick
                                      | Google search should lead you to an interesting selection of pieces
                                      | by her, as well as many challenges to her claims, enabling you to
                                      | read about it first-hand rather than relying on summaries of who said
                                      | what by myself and others (returning to primary sources: always a
                                      | good thing).
                                      | Hope this helps.
                                      | --John R.
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |
                                      | The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                      | Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |
                                      |
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