lewis CS Lewis letter in book
Lot 173
LEWIS (C.S.) Autograph letter signed ("C.S. Lewis"), to Father Dominic, concerning the success of 'Lord of the Rings'
Sold for £2,250 (US$ 3,495) inc. premium

Lot Details
LEWIS (C.S.)
Autograph letter signed ("C.S. Lewis"), to Father Dominic, thanking him for his kind words bout his own work: "I am surprised you should regard the Lord of the Rings as a work that 'has not caught on'. It is its (well deserved) success that astonishes me. The sales have been enormous and I keep on finding the most unlikely people among its admirers"; adding: "I had thought the almost pathological anti-romanticism of our lives wd. have denied it a hearing. It just shows how little the fashionable critics indicate the actual taste of ordinary readers", 1 page, 8vo, The Kilns, Headington Quarry, 4 August 1961

Footnotes

  • C.S. LEWIS CELEBRATES THE SUCCESS OF 'THE LORD OF THE RINGS', and derides the failure of "fashionable critics" to appreciate "the actual taste of ordinary readers". Lewis and Tolkien were, of course, close friends, with Lewis spurring Tolkien on to complete The Lord of the Rings. Although The Lord of the Rings was a publishing success and received favourable and perceptive reviews from Lewis and from W. H. Auden, 'many reviews were hostile, sometimes bitterly so, a critical response which has remained familiar' (T.A. Shippey, ODNB; as Shippey has also remarked: 'in 1975... professing an interest in Tolkien was almost certain death for any hopeful candidate seeking entrance to a department of English', preface to the second edition of A Tolkien Compass, edited by Jared Lobdell, 1975 (2003), p. vii). A copy of Lewis's Christian Behaviour is included in the lot.
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