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A Lewis professorship question

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  • John Rateliff
    Does anyone know where I can find a good account of the various ins and outs of Lewis s election to the post of Professor of Medieval and Renaissance
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 31 11:53 AM
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      Does anyone know where I can find a good account of the various ins and outs of Lewis's election to the post of Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge? I seem to recall the details of this becoming public around the time of the Lewis centennial, but while I remember the general flow of events well enough -- Lewis offered post, turns it down, post offered to another who accepts it, then Lewis decides to accept after all, other person withdraws, happy ending to everyone (except the hapless second choice) -- as well as much of the specific detail (e.g., the part JRRT played in all of this), I want to have a citable source for it, as well as refreshing my memory. Any recommendations much appreciated.

      --JDR
    • Wayne G. Hammond
      John, ... Christina and I trace this in the Chronology volume of our J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, beginning with the entry for 8-15 May 1954. An
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 31 12:28 PM
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        John,

        Does anyone know where I can find a good account of the various ins and outs of Lewis's election to the post of Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge? I seem to recall the details of this becoming public around the time of the Lewis centennial, but while I remember the general flow of events well enough -- Lewis offered post, turns it down, post offered to another who accepts it, then Lewis decides to accept after all, other person withdraws, happy ending to everyone (except the hapless second choice) -- as well as much of the specific detail (e.g., the part JRRT played in all of this), I want to have a citable source for it, as well as refreshing my memory. Any recommendations much appreciated.

        Christina and I trace this in the Chronology volume of our J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, beginning with the entry for 8-15 May 1954. An expansive account is the article "Lewis and Cambridge" by Brian Barbour in Modern Philology 96, no. 4 (May 1999), pp. 439-84.

        Wayne
      • John Rateliff
        Thanks, Wayne. That confirms that I remember the general outlines accurately, and points me towards where I need to go to get the finer details of the ins and
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 31 3:53 PM
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          Thanks, Wayne. That confirms that I remember the general outlines accurately, and points me towards where I need to go to get the finer details of the ins and outs and back and forths of the whole affair. Much appreciation. 
             --John R.

          On Aug 31, 2012, at 12:28 PM, Wayne G. Hammond wrote:
          John,

          Does anyone know where I can find a good account of the various ins and outs of Lewis's election to the post of Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge? I seem to recall the details of this becoming public around the time of the Lewis centennial, but while I remember the general flow of events well enough -- Lewis offered post, turns it down, post offered to another who accepts it, then Lewis decides to accept after all, other person withdraws, happy ending to everyone (except the hapless second choice) -- as well as much of the specific detail (e.g., the part JRRT played in all of this), I want to have a citable source for it, as well as refreshing my memory. Any recommendations much appreciated.

          Christina and I trace this in the Chronology volume of our J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, beginning with the entry for 8-15 May 1954. An expansive account is the article "Lewis and Cambridge" by Brian Barbour in Modern Philology 96, no. 4 (May 1999), pp. 439-84.

          Wayne

        • David Bratman
          There is also a lot of useful information and documentation in The Book That Looks Like A Brick, volume 3 of Lewis s collected letters, p. 469-85. This
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 6, 2012
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            There is also a lot of useful information and documentation in The Book That
            Looks Like A Brick, volume 3 of Lewis's collected letters, p. 469-85. This
            includes a lengthy quote from a previously unpublished letter of Tolkien to
            the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge giving his opinion of the circumstances
            that would induce Lewis to accept (p. 475). I hope and suspect that any
            subsequent scholarship on the subject would draw heavily from this important
            primary source.

            David Bratman


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "John Rateliff" <sacnoth@...>
            To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, August 31, 2012 11:53 AM
            Subject: [mythsoc] A Lewis professorship question


            > Does anyone know where I can find a good account of the various ins and
            > outs of Lewis's election to the post of Professor of Medieval and
            > Renaissance Literature at Cambridge? I seem to recall the details of this
            > becoming public around the time of the Lewis centennial, but while I
            > remember the general flow of events well enough -- Lewis offered post,
            > turns it down, post offered to another who accepts it, then Lewis decides
            > to accept after all, other person withdraws, happy ending to everyone
            > (except the hapless second choice) -- as well as much of the specific
            > detail (e.g., the part JRRT played in all of this), I want to have a
            > citable source for it, as well as refreshing my memory. Any
            > recommendations much appreciated.
            >
            > --JDR
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.orgYahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Morgan Thomsen
            Perhaps it should be pointed out that a larger portion of the letter in question appeared in the already mentioned Modern Philology 96 (cf. the online Addenda
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 6, 2012
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              Perhaps it should be pointed out that a larger portion of the letter in question appeared in the already mentioned Modern Philology 96 (cf. the online Addenda and Corrigenda to The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, entry for 17 May 1954). The letter (to Henry Willink) was furthermore misdated in the volume of Lewis's collected letters.

              Morgan Thomsen

              On Sep 6, 2012 17:05 "David Bratman" <dbratman@...> wrote:



              There is also a lot of useful information and documentation in The Book
              That
              Looks Like A Brick, volume 3 of Lewis's collected letters, p. 469-85.
              This
              includes a lengthy quote from a previously unpublished letter of Tolkien
              to
              the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge giving his opinion of the circumstances
              that would induce Lewis to accept (p. 475). I hope and suspect that any
              subsequent scholarship on the subject would draw heavily from this
              important
              primary source.

              David Bratman

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "John Rateliff" <sacnoth@...
              <mailto:sacnoth%40earthlink.net>>
              To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com>>
              Sent: Friday, August 31, 2012 11:53 AM
              Subject: [mythsoc] A Lewis professorship question

              > Does anyone know where I can find a good account of the various ins
              > and
              > outs of Lewis's election to the post of Professor of Medieval and
              > Renaissance Literature at Cambridge? I seem to recall the details of
              > this
              > becoming public around the time of the Lewis centennial, but while I
              > remember the general flow of events well enough -- Lewis offered post,
              > turns it down, post offered to another who accepts it, then Lewis
              > decides
              > to accept after all, other person withdraws, happy ending to everyone
              > (except the hapless second choice) -- as well as much of the specific
              > detail (e.g., the part JRRT played in all of this), I want to have a
              > citable source for it, as well as refreshing my memory. Any
              > recommendations much appreciated.
              >
              > --JDR
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.orgYahoo! Groups
              > Links
              >
              >
              >
              >




            • John Rateliff
              Yes: v. helpful, particularly for its confirmation that Gardner was well aware of Lewis s changing his mind and that this was a factor in her turning down the
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 6, 2012
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                Yes: v. helpful, particularly for its confirmation that Gardner was well aware of Lewis's changing his mind and that this was a factor in her turning down the post. Which is what I remembered, but was unable to confirm from Barbour's otherwise excellent piece.

                Carpenter (THE INKLINGS, p. 231) claims that Lewis decided to take the chair when he heard that otherwise Gardner wd get it, but this seems to be mere speculation on his part. Wilson (CSL, p. 245) trump this with claiming she was never offered the chair at all, which is of course not the case. I haven't yet had time to find a copy of Wm Griffin's book (C. S. LEWIS: THE AUTHENTIC VOICE), which apparently claims that Tolkien used the threat of Gardner gaining the professorship to convince Lewis to accept; this sounds like speculation to me, though until I can check his account I can't rule out his having some new source of information.

                So, thanks for the tip.

                And speaking of previously unpublished letters of Tolkien's, in addition to that one and the one Andrew Higgins so generously posted (thanks, Andrew!), there are also four or so in the latest issue of PARMA, including one to C. S. Lewis and another to E. V. Gordon.

                --John R.




                On Sep 6, 2012, at 8:05 AM, David Bratman wrote:
                > There is also a lot of useful information and documentation in The Book That
                > Looks Like A Brick, volume 3 of Lewis's collected letters, p. 469-85. This
                > includes a lengthy quote from a previously unpublished letter of Tolkien to
                > the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge giving his opinion of the circumstances
                > that would induce Lewis to accept (p. 475). I hope and suspect that any
                > subsequent scholarship on the subject would draw heavily from this important
                > primary source.
                >
                > David Bratman
              • Mike Foster
                David, The Chesterton biography recently published will hurt your toes like a stone troll should you stub them on it. See you in East Lansing. Mike From: David
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 8, 2012
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                  David,
                      The Chesterton biography recently published will hurt your toes like a stone troll should you stub them on it.
                   
                      See you in East Lansing.
                   
                  Mike
                   
                  Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 10:05 AM
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] A Lewis professorship question
                   
                   

                  There is also a lot of useful information and documentation in The Book That
                  Looks Like A Brick, volume 3 of Lewis's collected letters, p. 469-85. This
                  includes a lengthy quote from a previously unpublished letter of Tolkien to
                  the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge giving his opinion of the circumstances
                  that would induce Lewis to accept (p. 475). I hope and suspect that any
                  subsequent scholarship on the subject would draw heavily from this important
                  primary source.

                  David Bratman

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "John Rateliff" <mailto:sacnoth%40earthlink.net>
                  To: <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Friday, August 31, 2012 11:53 AM
                  Subject: [mythsoc] A Lewis professorship question

                  > Does anyone know where I can find a good account of the various ins and
                  > outs of Lewis's election to the post of Professor of Medieval and
                  > Renaissance Literature at Cambridge? I seem to recall the details of this
                  > becoming public around the time of the Lewis centennial, but while I
                  > remember the general flow of events well enough -- Lewis offered post,
                  > turns it down, post offered to another who accepts it, then Lewis decides
                  > to accept after all, other person withdraws, happy ending to everyone
                  > (except the hapless second choice) -- as well as much of the specific
                  > detail (e.g., the part JRRT played in all of this), I want to have a
                  > citable source for it, as well as refreshing my memory. Any
                  > recommendations much appreciated.
                  >
                  > --JDR
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.orgYahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >

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