Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, August 11, 2001

Book questions legitimacy of works in C.S. Lewis' name

Associated Press

LONDON — Renowned Christian scholar and best-selling author C.S. Lewis died in 1963, but bitter arguments about his literary legacy are continuing. The latest comes in a new book by an American expert on Lewis, who claims the custodians of his literary estate posthumously published forgeries under the author's name. Independent academic Kathryn Lindskoog says the Lewis estate, including editor Walter Hooper, is "drip-feeding" suspect and altered works onto the market for maximum profit.

Hooper says Lindskoog didn't come to the project with an open mind, so it's difficult for him to defend himself. "Mrs. Lindskoog has made me her life's work, but I couldn't do my job and ... reply (or even read) all that was coming from her," Hooper said in an e-mail.

Lewis, author of the acclaimed Chronicles of Narnia for children, wrote prolifically about the spiritual quest that took him from atheism to robust Anglican Christianity.

Reviewing Lindskoog's book, the U.S. book industry guide Publisher's Weekly says she "makes a powerful case that something fishy is going on in the affairs of C.S. Lewis." Lindskoog has supporters in some academic circles. Dozens, including science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke and former U.S. poet laureate Richard Wilbur, have signed a petition calling for the Lewis estate to respond to the charges.

But James Como, a professor at the City University of New York, said Lindskoog's work is "good gossip, bad journalism, and not at all scholarship." He says it is filled with "red herrings, ad hominem slanders ... smokescreen, and beggings of many questions."