Re: [mythsoc] A Lewis professorship question
- 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And speaking of previously unpublished letters of Tolkien's, in addition to that one and the one Andrew Higgins so generously posted (thanks, Andrew!), there are also four or so in the latest issue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.
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 includes a lengthy quote from a previously unpublished letter of Tolkien to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
- 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
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includes a lengthy quote from a previously unpublished letter of Tolkien to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
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Rateliff" <mailto:sacnoth%40earthlink.net>
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.
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