To C.S. Lewis Readers and Researchers: A Call for Literary Links

CS-Lewis-letter sarah hauser childrenDear friends,

I have been asked to contribute a list of C.S. Lewis manuscripts that have been published in the last decade for an upcoming book. This invitation came out of an earlier blog, “Lost-but-found Works of C.S. Lewis.” Since then, I have had the opportunity to expand on that earlier bibliography; you can see how far I’ve got in the list below. It is an attempt to catalogue what is available in various books and journals of C.S. Lewis’ unpublished work since Walter Hooper’s third volume of the Collected Letters was published in 2008. Researchers will appreciate this list, but so will true C.S. Lewis nerds and avid book lovers.

If there is one thing the C.S. Lewis readership community is, it is supportive. I turn to you now for your expertise and chance encounters. Please feel free to comment here, or email me: junkola [at] gmail [dot] com. Please share this piece so it can be as broadly distributed as possible. Even if you have only a single quotation in an obscure book, I would like to know about it!


Previously Unpublished Manuscripts Now in Print After 2007

  • Roger White, “C.S. Lewis’ Poem ‘Nearly They Stood’: A Variorum and Research Notes,” The Chronicle of the Oxford University C.S. Lewis Society 6.2 (Apr 2009): 30-36.
  • Diana Pavlac Glyer includes a great deal of manuscript marginalia in The Company They Keep (2009).
  • Steven A. Beebe, “Language and Human Nature (Manuscript Fragment),” SEVEN 27 (2010): 25-28. This lost book introduction is a fun recent discovery. See the introduction by Beebe in the same issue on pp. 7-24, and see the story of his discovery here.
  • Paul Tankard, “Interview of C. S. Lewis by Wayland Young, 19 January 1962 (unpublished manuscript),” Journal of Inklings Studies 1.1 (March 2011): 23-31. See also the introduction, Paul Tankard, “C. S. Lewis’s Brush with Television,” Journal of Inklings Studies 1.1 (March 2011): 5-21.
  • David C. Downing and Bruce R. Johnson, “C.S. Lewis’s Unfinished ‘Easley Fragment’ and his Unfinished Journey,” SEVEN 28 (2011): 5-26. This is the first prose piece we have from Lewis in the 1920s.
  • Jonathan B. Himes, “A Matter of Time: C.S. Lewis’s Dark Tower Manuscript and Composition Process,” Mythlore 3/4 (#113/114) (2011): 25–35. While this is not the publication of an original manuscript, it does deal with a dating issue, marginalia, and process.
  • A.T. Reyes, ed., C.S. Lewis’s Lost Aeneid: Arms and the Exile, ed. A.T. Reyes (Yale University Press, 2011).
  • Charlie W. Starr, Light: C.S. Lewis’ First and Final Short Story (2012). Brings to print the short story “Light” and compares with the “Man Born Blind” manuscript and revisions, drawing conclusions about the dating of the pieces.
  • Joe R. Christopher, “C.S. Lewis’s Lost Arthurian Poem: A Conjectural Essay,” Inklings Forever 8 (2012): 1-11. This is perhaps a bit outside of this list as there is not a published manuscript, but thinking about fragments is interesting.
  • Brenton D.G. Dickieson, “The Unpublished Preface to C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters,” Notes & Queries2 (2013): 296-298. In this neat manuscript we see that C.S. Lewis had Dr. Ransom (of the science fiction books) discover and translate the Letters.
  • Matthew Lee Anderson, “When the Story Stops Telling Itself: A New Letter from C.S. Lewis,” Mere Orthodoxy (Aug 27, 2013).
  • Andrew Lazo, “Early Prose Joy: C.S. Lewis’s Early Draft of an Autobiographical Manuscript,” SEVEN 30 (2013): 13-49. See also Lazo’s introduction in the same issue, pp. 5-12. Lazo prepares the reader a year earlier in his “Correcting the Chronology: Some Implications of ‘Early Prose Joy,” SEVEN 29 (2012): 51-62.
  • Bruce R. Johnson, “C.S. Lewis and the BBC’s Brains Trust: A Study in Resiliency,” SEVEN 30 (2013): 67-92. Includes part of the transcription of a radio program of experts that included C.S. Lewis in May 1942. Lewis calls this one of his “lame defeats.”
  • Walter Hooper, “Image and Imagination,” Image and Imagination: Essays and Reviews (Cambridge: CUP, 2013), 34-53.
  • Walter Hooper, “Lucretius,” Image and Imagination: Essays and Reviews (Cambridge: CUP, 2013), 194-197.
  • Bruce R. Johnson, “C.S. Lewis and the BBC’s Brains Trust: A Study in Resiliency,” SEVEN 30 (2013): 67-92. Includes part of the transcription of a radio program of experts that included C.S. Lewis in May 1942.
  • Charlie W. Starr, “Two Pieces from C.S. Lewis’s ‘Moral Good’ Manuscript: A First Publication,” SEVEN 31 (2014): 30-62.
  • Alison Flood, “Unseen C.S. Lewis letter defines his notion of joy,” The Guardian (Dec 9, 2014).
  • Don W. King, The Collected Poems of C.S. Lewis: A Critical Edition (2015).
  • Norbert Feinendegen and Arend Smilde, “The ‘Great War’ of Owen Barfield and C.S. Lewis: Philosophical Writings (1927-1930),” Inklings Studies Supplement 1 (2015). Includes the “Great War” letters between Barfield and Lewis the late 1920s, a strong critical introduction, and a transcription and translation of Barfield’s Greek text, “Biographia Theologica.”
  • Walter Hooper, “Warnie’s Problem: An Introduction to a Letter from C. S. Lewis to Owen Barfield,” Journal of Inklings Studies. 5.1 (April 2015): 3-21.
  • Crystal Hurd, “Pudaita Pie: An Anthology,” SEVEN 32 (2015), forthcoming.

I am also looking for a few specific categories of things discovered and published in the last decade:

  • Discussion of C.S. Lewis’ marginalia and notes that people have included in their papers, blogs, or books.
  • New photographs that have emerged of C.S. Lewis (such as the war and school pictures that have emerged lately).
  • Handwriting samples, however small, that have been printed in books or online.
  • Letters that you have seen in auction or on websites for sale in the last little while.

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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15 Responses to To C.S. Lewis Readers and Researchers: A Call for Literary Links

  1. Kevin Ott says:

    Absolutely wonderful list. What a valuable resource, thank you.

    I’m not sure if new audio recordings of Lewis recently discovered would be of value to your list, but there’s the recent revelation that C. S. Lewis was a secret agent for Britain during WWII–“agent” in the sense that MI6 recruited him to write an essay/talk and make a recording of him reading it for the people of Iceland, and it was titled “The Norse Spirit in English Literature.” Professor Hal Poe is hosting the first public playing of this recording this month in Oxford, coincidentally, in a couple weeks from now, though there will be future events: “…In the meantime, I plan to have the first public playing of Lewis’s Icelandic address in July 2016 at the Inklings Week in Oxford. Future exhibits will be announced through the website of the Inklings Fellowship.”

    Here is the link he references:

    And here is an entertaining bit from Christianity Today ( about it:

    “However Lewis came to the attention of MI6, it needed Lewis in the wake of the German invasion of Norway and Denmark on April 9, 1940. Though the British sent troops to Norway to counter the German invasion, it was too late to intervene in Denmark, whose subjugation was accomplished in only one day. One month later on May 10, 1940, German forces invaded the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, and by June 22 the French government had capitulated, leaving Britain to fight on alone.

    “On that same morning in May, however, the British did the next best thing they could do to help Denmark and the rest of Europe: They launched a surprise invasion of Iceland, which was part of the Kingdom of Denmark…

    “This was the strategic situation in which C. S. Lewis was recruited. And his mission was simple: To help win the hearts of the Icelandic people.

    “The Joint Broadcasting Committee recruited C. S. Lewis to record a message to the people of Iceland to be broadcast by radio within Iceland. Lewis made no record of his assignment, nor does he appear to have mentioned it to anyone. Without disclosing his involvement with military intelligence, however, Lewis did make an indiscreet disclosure to his friend Arthur Greeves in a letter dated May 25, 1941. Lewis remarked that three weeks earlier he had made a gramophone record which he heard played afterwards. He wrote that it had been a shock to hear his own voice for the first time. It did not sound at all the way his voice sounded to himself, and he realized that people who imitated him had actually gotten it right!

    “…He spoke on the subject ‘The Norse Spirit in English Literature.’ Lewis provided a touchstone between the Norse people and the English, which Lewis made clear in his first recorded statement. He said that he did not know why he had been asked to address the people of Iceland, but that he agreed to do it in order to repay a great debt. He explained that his imaginative life had been awakened by Norse mythology when he was 14. He went on to explain how his love of Norse mythology only deepened when he began to learn the Icelandic language at Oxford.”

    I particularly enjoyed reading about Lewis’ reaction to hearing his own recorded voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny, I read that comment in the letters a couple of years ago, but assumed it was the BBC. It was Bruce Johnson’s work that made me suspect it wasn’t the BBC, but I had lost the idea (I think). If they print this bit of history, I want it in my list!


  2. danaames says:

    How long do you think it will take for a “Collected Works” to be issued? Of course it would be multiple volumes. I’d love to see it in my lifetime.



    • Good question. In a sense, Logos Software has done this, but I don’t think it is ‘all” but substantially all. The Oxford History has no digital book yet. I calculated 20,000-21,000 pages, so a “complete works” (let alone an exhaustive work) would be 50-60 volumes!
      There are other complications:
      -not everything is published
      -the “Lewis Papers” exist in only 2 places
      -there are multiple versions of work
      -copyright is still in effect in the U.S.
      -the CSL copyright holder and individual publishers extend usage rights past basic copyright law, so it couldn’t be done independently
      So… I don’t know! For now, i have collected 90% of what I need. That last 10% is costly.


  3. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    I read something somewhere in the way of a transcription of Kenneth Tynan’s television interview with Lewis, but cannot remember where! (JIS/Ox CSL Soc-related? Arend Smilde probably knows – perhaps it was he who brought it to my attention – ?!)

    “Discussion of C.S. Lewis’ marginalia and notes that people have included in their papers, blogs, or books” notably includes Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia (as noted in the comments to your link).


    • Okay, good. On Ward, I hadn’t thought of it because most was in his 2005 or 2006 thesis, so outside of my scope. And I’m not sure how much was new, but I can check the index.
      I have the Paul Tankard piece of Lewis with Wayland Young, but I don’t know the Kenneth Tynan bit.


      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Don’t know his thesis, or how the 2008 OUP differs – I’ve only read the 2010 OUP paperback. Feel like the Tynan is recent, but time flies at my age!


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  5. Joe R. Christopher says:

    A comment about my essay that you’ve listed. It is not about fragments of Lewis (you were misled by the fun I was having conjecturing about the situation): it is about a poem that Lewis submitted to the publisher of his first book–Spirits in Bondage–that the publisher rejected and that hasn’t survived (so far as is known). Lewis mentions it in a letter. (Whether or not my essay should be listed in a list of actual Lewisian materials is a different question. I _did_ subtitle it “A Conjectural Essay.”)


    • Hi Joe! I did read the essay and perhaps didn’t capture it well here. I imagined, but perhaps was wrong, that it had included some manuscript work too? Actually, you might not remember, but you pointed me to the essay at Mythcon in Norton, MA.


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  9. Paul Tankard says:

    Hi Brenton,
    I’ve just stumbled across your site — I do so wish there was CSL “clearing house”, such as a university-sponsored Listserv. There’s too many blogs and Facebook pages for me to keep up with (and anyway, I have a principled aversion to Facebook…).

    Thanks for noting my article about the (unscreened) TV interview with Wayland Young from the arts-magazine programme “Tempo.” Re D.L. Dodds’ letter, the “Brush with Television” article explains that Kenneth Tynan commissioned that interview, so there is not a separate interview with Tynan (at least, that I know of). But there is another untraced TV programme (from the same series), “The Oxbridge Octopus,” in which CSL participated and which KT arranged; that’s also mentioned in “Brush with Television.”

    But on the theme of newly discovered /printed CSL items, you might like to look at my recently published “Notes on the Bibliography of C. S. Lewis,” Notes and Queries, 65: 3 (September 2018), 432-38, which includes some relevent items. If you contact me by email I could send you a PDF.

    Warm greetings

    T: + 643 479 7724 | W:


    • Dear Paul, thank you for dropping a note. We actually have a Dunedin in Prince Edward Island.
      I have been following your work for some time as part of trying to be on top of archival research and emerging materials. I actually found out about your Bibliography N&Q piece–you’ll like this!–from facebook, and my university subscribes. I used N&Q as a quick way to publish the Ransom Preface to the Screwtape Letters, so I probably should be watching it more often!


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