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Papers of CS Lewis in Oxford (Wheaton)

The man. The myth.

Papers of CS Lewis in Oxford (Wheaton)

Postby Ulaca » 10 Aug 2009, 02:15

Actually, my question would relate equally to the collection at Wheaton, so anyone who's been there might be able to answer.

I'll be returning to England for a short trip in October and plan to visit the Bodliean to read the Papers of C.S. Lewis. As a former alumnus of the university, I already have a reader's card, so that is not an issue. However, I would like to have an estimate of how much time I should set aside for the visit.

Having read most - if not all - of CSL's works that have been published, I would be interested to hear which manuscripts, correspondence, essays and notebooks in the collection are "must-reads". Plus, any other information those who have made the trip(s) might be able to give.
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Re: Papers of CS Lewis in Oxford (Wheaton)

Postby Sven » 10 Aug 2009, 20:33

I can't give you a citation at the moment, but I believe I read somewhere (probably in Hooper's Companion) that the Bodleian and the Wade Center in Wheaton have an arrangement whereby each provides copies of all the letters and manuscripts held by one to the other. I also believe the Bodleian has a copy of the Lewis family papers (material about Jack & Warnie's parents) as edited by Warnie Lewis.

There are a couple of items I'd like to look at if I was ever there. In 1983, the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society published a hundred copies of some sort of collaborative essay by Jack Lewis and Owen Barfield titled Cretaceous Perambulator (The Re-examination of). Then, in 1990, they published a similar booklet titled Mark vs Tristram: Correspondence between C. S. Lewis and Owen Barfield, and this one was illustrated by Pauline Baynes. The Bodleian has copies of both.

According to a letter that Lewis sent his father, his favorite place to read in the Bodleian was in Duke Humphrey's Library, at a chair with a window to his left that looked down on the Exeter College garden. See if they'll let you camp out for a while :smile:
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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