Re: [mythsoc] . . . or maybe he didn't.
- I'm not inclined to think that Lewis was cavalier about Williams'
condition. It's not like he really lived in Williams' pocket. I expect he
was straightforwardly busy with his own work, and didn't realize how
serious things were with Williams.
I have recent personal experience of such: last year a friend had
developed a bad respiratory ailment. His closest friends (very close, he
was the godfather for their children) were content with him telling them
he was going to the doctor to have it checked out. He didn't tell them the
gist of it. The wife, knowing he was ill, but not thinking it terribly
serious, stopped by on the Monday, and discovered him having a hard time
breathing. She carted him off to the ER, where it was discovered his
oxygen levels were disasterously low, as he had an advanced case of
pneumonia. Unfortunately, he did not recover. This was a shock to everyone
who knew him - many of whom had seen him just the week before he went to
The best way to gage it is to ask yourself when the last time was that you
spoke to your best friend, or a specific valued colleague, or a relative.
I know in my case that I don't touch base with these people in my own life
> Looks like THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY (2004, v. 59, p.146) is
> wrong about Charles Williams being the survivor of a pair of twins. Dug
> out my copy of Hadfield today and find it's his father, not Wms himself,
> who was a twin. Hadfield also identifies Wms' specific ailment
> (intussusception) for which he had the two operations (in 1933, which he
> recovered from, and 1945, when he didn't).
> Which raises a second, probably unanswerable question: why were Lewis
> et al so cavalier about Wms' hospitalization that none of them even
> bothered to go by and see him in the days between his hospitalization
> and death? Lewis is emphatic about how utterly surprised he was by Wms'
> death, but you'd think a man in his mid-fifties being rushed to the
> hospital for emergency surgery, his wife being sent for, etc. wd have
> set off a few alarm bells. Was Lewis simply that clueless about health
> matters? Given his wrecking his own health and bringing about his own
> early death by his refusal to get his prostate treated, and comments he
> makes about his wife's remission, I'm inclined to think so. Or maybe
> everybody was just distracted by the end of the War.
> On Mar 28, 2013, at 2:30 AM, WendellWag@... wrote:
>> Just like Elvis. . . and Liberace . . . and Philip K. Dick (well, his
>> twin sister died at five weeks). And that shouldn't be surprising,
>> since they're all . . . um . . . um . . . Could someone fill in
>> something here?
>> So, today I found out that Charles Williams was a twin, but his infant
>> sibling did not survive.
>> That seems to me to be a stunning thing not to know about someone,
>> particularly someone I've read a good deal about and written on as well.
>> Is this something that's well known in Wms circles and I just somehow
>> always missed it?
>> I also learned what Wms died of -- that is, what he'd gone in to have
>> the operation for, which most accounts had been oddly vague on. Now that
>> I know it was for "recurrence of intussusception", leading to "acute
>> intestinal obstruction". Who knew?
- 1. Very sad you won't be with us at Mythcon, John-- :(
2. The money is interesting and also indicates the kind of popularity each had begun to enjoy in his lifetime; even now Williams isn't nearly so well known or commonly read as Tolkien and Lewis (or even Sayers). He also had a much shorter creative life, ending in 1945 vs. 1963 for CSL and 1973 for JRRT. But, generally speaking, I think Williams is less readily accessible than either Tolkien or Lewis.
3. Sarah's points about how easily we can be less connected than we think we are, *even now* with all the social media, are well taken. I also think there was a different expectation about how successful medical intervention would be, in 1945 vs today. And, of course, they expected Williams to survive; he may well have been the one communicating that ("oh it's nothing, I've done this before").
-- Lynn --
--- In email@example.com, John Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
> On Mar 29, 2013, at 11:35 AM, Mike Foster wrote:
> > Thanks, John
> > Now I know what "intussusception" is. This does not increase my store of happy knowledge.
> > Your remarks about Lewis are valid. He seems to've been rather undisturbed about serious health concerns.
> > Will we see you at Mythcon?
> > Mike
> Hi Mike.
> No, I won't make it to this year's Mythcon, but I will be at Kalamazoo.
> Looking at the DNB (Dictionary of National Biography) entries on Williams, Lewis, and Tolkien, I was struck by the disparity in their wealth at time of death (there's actually a line for this at the end of each entry).
> Williams (d. 1945) left behind an estate worth 951 pounds, 9 shillings, and 1 pence.
> Lewis (d. 1963) left behind 55, 869 pounds. This would not have included The Kilns, which belonged to the Moores.
> Tolkien (d. 1973) left behind 190,577 pounds, but I don't know if this includes money he put aside for his children a few years before his death (since he had to survive a certain number of years after that point for the trust to take effect). Still, a sizable amount.
> Part of the disparity between these is no doubt due to inflation, but I still found the relative amounts interesting -- esp. for CSL, who left considerably more than I wd have expected.
- Adjusted for inflation to 2013 U.K. pounds:Williams: 33,167.69Lewis: 940,275.27Tolkien: 1,982,000.80Converted to 2013 U.S. dollars:Williams: 50,195.98Lewis: 1,423,012.19Tolkien: 2,979,740.03Wendell WagnerIn a message dated 3/29/2013 4:55:23 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, sacnoth@... writes:
Looking at the DNB (Dictionary of National Biography) entries on Williams, Lewis, and Tolkien, I was struck by the disparity in their wealth at time of death (there's actually a line for this at the end of each entry).Williams (d. 1945) left behind an estate worth 951 pounds, 9 shillings, and 1 pence.Lewis (d. 1963) left behind 55, 869 pounds. This would not have included The Kilns, which belonged to the Moores.Tolkien (d. 1973) left behind 190,577 pounds, but I don't know if this includes money he put aside for his children a few years before his death (since he had to survive a certain number of years after that point for the trust to take effect). Still, a sizable amount.Part of the disparity between these is no doubt due to inflation, but I still found the relative amounts interesting -- esp. for CSL, who left considerably more than I wd have expected.