- As my main area of interest is with J.R.R. Tolkien but with
additional interest in The Inklings, can you give me an idea of what
is contain in some of his letters? I think volume 1 is primarily his
younger years. Do the other volumes cover any discussions with the
Inklings, meeting at Bird & Baby and with Tolkien in particular? I
love to soak up as much information as possible but before I spend
the money wanted to get a better idea of what was in each volume.
--- In email@example.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
> John Rateliff's copy of volume 3 of the C.S. Lewis collected
letters may have gone missing, but I safely conveyed mine home from a
bookstore that actually carries it. Like a trilogy by Philip Jose
Farmer or Gordon Dickson, this three-volume set grew in the telling,
and this volume is a brick-like 1810 pages, making volume 1 at only
1057 look svelte. But it's more than Lewis's letters of 1950-1963;
160 pages are devoted to a supplement - earlier letters that have
turned up since publication of the previous volumes, and letters
originally omitted from volume 1 including Lewis's side of his
1920s "Great War" philosophical argument with Owen Barfield. This
section includes a number of published letters to editors, and a 1947
fan letter (in pastiche 17th century English) to T.H. White, which I
had heard of but never seen.
> I haven't gone over the text much, but I note that letters with
Warren Lewis's "reference numbers" on them are very scattered.
There's a number of 1963 letters clarifying Walter Hooper's role as
Lewis's "temporary secretary." Hooper's desire to give recipients'
biographies in great detail whenever possible has not abated, and in
a number of cases he includes comments from the recipients explaining
their recollection of what Lewis (who often replied to queries
without repeating what was asked) was talking about.
> David Bratman
> -----Original Message-----
> >From: John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
> >Sent: Jan 16, 2007 8:42 PM
> >To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >Subject: [mythsoc] happiness/unhappiness
> >Happiness is . . .
> > . . . the arrival of a new book about Tolkien, in this case
> >PLANTS OF MIDDLE-EARTH: BOTANY AND SUB-CREATION by Dinah Hazell.
> >Unhappiness is . . .
> > . . . the arrival of the empty box that should have contained
> >Vol. III of COLLECTED LETTERS OF C. S. LEWIS, lost in the mail
> >between the bookseller and my mailbox. Arrgh.
- A person not interested in serious Lewis research doesn't need the
Collected Letters, which are very long. There's a shorter, older volume,
"Letters of C.S. Lewis" edited by W.H. Lewis, with the highlights.
Volume 3 of the Collected, covering 1950-1963, has a lot of casual
references to the Bird and Baby, but the meat of the Inklings, and of
Lewis's friendship with Tolkien, comes in volume 2, 1931-1949. The problem
is that Lewis rarely wrote about the Inklings except to his brother during
the brief period when he was away. Most of his comments about his
friendship with Tolkien come in a few letters to friends from the period
1929 to the early 1930s.
By 1950 Lewis was fairly famous, and he got a lot of letters from readers
asking him various questions about his books, which he liked to explain but
was loathe to analyze, and asking his spiritual advice on various
questions. There's a lot of both of these in here. And as they're
complete, a tremendous amount of trivia: letters to his publisher
correcting typographical errors in his books, letters to friends arranging
meeting dates, that sort of thing.
At 05:40 PM 1/17/2007 +0000, ajkjr1 wrote:
>As my main area of interest is with J.R.R. Tolkien but with
>additional interest in The Inklings, can you give me an idea of what
>is contain in some of his letters? I think volume 1 is primarily his
>younger years. Do the other volumes cover any discussions with the
>Inklings, meeting at Bird & Baby and with Tolkien in particular? I
>love to soak up as much information as possible but before I spend
>the money wanted to get a better idea of what was in each volume.