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The Screwed-Up Letters

The man. The myth.

The Screwed-Up Letters

Postby larry gilman » 23 Dec 2007, 23:05

Note: the following post is long. A PDF (more readable and more printable) can be had by clicking on this link: ... etters.pdf . A separate list of the textual changes made to the 1976 Screwtape can be had by clicking on this link: ... hanges.pdf .

Numbers in square brackets refer to endnotes: these are footnotes in the PDF version.



I. Introduction

In 1976, a special edition of C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters appeared, edited and introduced by Walter Hooper and containing a “Study Guide” prepared, according to the front cover, by Walter Hooper and Owen Barfield. [1] Today this book is largely forgotten, although a few of its features, which include changes to Lewis’s original text, were mentioned by Kathryn Lindskoog in her controversial anti-Hooper book Sleuthing C. S. Lewis. [2]

Although the cover and title page of the book give no indication that the text is altered, at the end of Hooper’s Foreword the reader is told that “slight alterations” to the text have been made (p. 15). However, neither this statement nor Lindskoog’s critical account convey the large number of departures made from the original text—about a hundred. Wording and punctuation are changed on scores of occasions; sentences or phrases are cut or added on several. The goals of the changes appear to be modernization, Americanization, clarification of the text for the audio version published on disc and cassette simultaneously with the book, [3] and corrections to Lewis’s style. I discuss these changes in Section II, below; an attempt at a complete list is available for download as a PDF. [4]

Nor are these changes the book’s only interesting feature. The “Study Guide to The Screwtape Letters” includes major factual errors as well as a fictional biography of the devil Screwtape that is apparently Hooper’s own work. I discuss these in Section III.

Finally, Hooper’s Foreword contains naïve or unintentional plagiarism of C. S. Lewis. By “plagiarism” I mean that the way certain of Lewis’s phrases and ideas are used makes it likely that most readers will assume they are Hooper’s own phrases and ideas; by “naïve or unintentional” I mean that this copying was almost certainly thoughtless, not intended to deceive. I discuss these passages in Section IV.

At issue are the nature and integrity of the editorial practices applied to this edition of Screwtape and the implications of those practices for the editorial reliability of other works in the Lewis canon.

II. Changes to the Text

Why alter Screwtape? Hooper explains in his Foreword that he has made “slight alterations (e.g. ‘war’ for “European war’)” because “Lewis wrote Screwtape during the Second World War, and as that war recedes into the past, the references to it lose their usefulness” (p. 15).

However, only about 11% of Hooper’s changes to Screwtape concern World War II. Several others are modernizations, apparently intended to make the book feel more contemporary for latter-day readers: for example, the substitution of “daily press, radio, television” for Lewis’s “weekly press” (p. 21). The book has also been Americanized (about 35% of all changes): the British Museum becomes the Metropolitan Museum in Letter I, a grocer becomes a barber in Letter II, county cricket becomes baseball in Letter XIII, “By jove!” becomes “By Golly!” in Letter XIV, and so on. [5] Some of these Americanizations have the effect of attributing opinions to Lewis that he may not have held: for example, the view that for devilish tempters the “real use of Jokes or Humour is . . . especially promising among the English” (p. 59, Macmillan) becomes the view that the “real use of Jokes or Humour . . . is especially promising among the modern generation” (p. 62). Yet British spelling is retained throughout the book (favour, civilised, behaviour, etc), creating an American-British hybrid that reads like a book by a British author who opines freely about American character—which Lewis was not.

Other changes are apparently intended as corrections of Lewis’s style. Hooper says that Lewis is “never at a loss for the exact words to say what he means” (p. 152), but dissatisfaction with Lewis’s exact words seems the only explanation for such substitutions as “realities he can’t touch or see” for Lewis’s “realities he can’t touch and see” (Letter I, p. 22); “Do remember, Wormwood, you are there to fuddle him” for Lewis’s “Do remember you are there to fuddle him” (Letter II, p. 23); “But, do what you will” for Lewis’s “Do what you will” (Letter VI, p.37); and the like. An entire explanatory sentence—“Those were his thoughts”—is inserted into Letter XXXI (p. 142), while in the following case, a clarifying clause, a full stop, and exclamation point are all added to a single sentence:

Original Version

If, on the other hand, he is aware that horrors may be in store for him and is praying for the virtues, wherewith to meet them, and meanwhile concerning himself with the Present because there, and there alone, all duty, all grace, all knowledge, and all pleasure dwell, his state is very undesirable and should be attacked at once. [XV, pp. 79–80]

Edited Version

If, on the other hand, he is aware that horrors may be in store for him and is praying for the virtues, wherewith to meet them, and meanwhile concerning himself with the Present because there, and there alone, all duty, all grace, all knowledge, and all pleasure dwell, in that case—his state is very undesirable and should be attacked at once! [XV, p. 79]

In addition to touched-out Second World War references, modernizations, Americanizations, and adjustments of Lewis’s style, there is a fifth, miscellaneous class of changes in the 1976 Screwtape that includes some of the most striking:

• The following 51 words are cut from Letter VI: “and of all humans the English are in this respect the most deplorable milksops. They are creatures of that miserable sort who loudly proclaim that torture is too good for their enemies and then give tea and cigarettes to the first wounded German pilot who turns up at the back door” (p. 36, 1950 Macmillan edition). This may have been a War-related deletion, but one is left to wonder why it was not Americanized by replacing “English” with “American” or(as is done on p. 87) and “German” with “Enemy” (as is done on p. 42). In any case, such a cut is not a “slight alteration.”

• Hooper replaces Lewis’s phrase “a kind of Childe Harold or Werther” with “a kind of introverted, semi-tragic Hero” in Letter XIII (p. 70). This change seems to imply that Americans must be shielded from references to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature. [7]

• Hooper replaces Lewis’s reference to French Catholic theologian Jacques Maritain with a reference to C. S. Lewis himself:

Original Version

. . . we are teaching him to say “The teaching of the Church is” when he really means “I’m almost sure I read recently in Maritain or someone of that sort”.
[XVI, pp. 83–84]

Edited Version

. . . we are teaching him to say “The teaching of the Church is” when he really means “I’m almost sure I read recently in C. S. Lewis or someone of that sort.”
[XVI, p. 83]

Again, the implication seems to be that Americans must be shielded from literary references. The decision to make Lewis appear to insert himself into his own book introduces a literary element absent from the original.

• When Screwtape finds himself turned into “a large centipede” while writing Letter XXII, he explains: “I am accordingly dictating the rest to my secretary” (p. 114 of 1950 Macmillan edition). That sentence is deleted from the 1976 edition. Perhaps the purpose was to avoid confusing hearers of the audio version—who would, however, just have heard the explanatory aside, “Here the MS. breaks off and is resumed in a different hand” (p. 107). The deletion has self-conscious overtones given that Hooper, as he informs readers in his Foreword, once served briefly as Lewis’s secretary (p. 15).

III. The Study Guide

This has several features of interest; the following is a selection.

New Screwtape Fiction. At the beginning of the Study Guide by Hooper, a 138-word mock vita of Screwtape is inserted. It is apparently by Hooper and intended to be humorous:

His Abysmal Sublimity Under-Secretary Screwtape, T.E., B.S., etc. was born in Pandemonium sometime before the Creation of Earth. In celebration of the Fall of Man he married Miss Scarlet Fever but he ate her before they had any children. His once-vast popularity in hell turned into hissing and booing when his correspondence with his nephew Wormwood was published by C. S. Lewis as The Screwtape Letters, and he hopes that all humans who read or hear it will be afflicted with bedbugs and gumboils. Doctor Screwtape raises scorpions as a hobby, and he is the author of many successful books, the best known of which are Sex as Salvation (filmed many times under different titles), A Short and Happy History of Earthquakes, Fires and Floods, and Worms in Roses: A Practical Guide to the Cultivation of Weeds. [p. 149]

Since this paragraph does not attempt to offer any insights into the particulars of Lewis’s writing, it is presumably included as an adornment or enhancement of Screwtape.

A Misreading. The first Screwtape letter, Hooper says in his commentary, “deals, in the main, with what Lewis has called ‘chronological snobbery’” (p. 155). But it does not: it deals, in the main, with explaining why a temptee’s attention should be directed toward unexamined sensations of ordinariness and away from reasoned argument. “The point” of the letter, according to Screwtape, is that humans now “find it all but impossible to believe in the unfamiliar while the familiar is before their eyes” (p. 23). The upshot: “fuddle him” (p. 23).

A Misquotation. Hooper says that in Letter VI man is pictured as “a series of concentric circles representing the will, the intellect, and the virtues” (p. 157). Actually, Screwtape tells Wormwood: “Think of your man as a series of concentric circles, his will being the innermost, his intellect coming next, and finally his fantasy" (p. 43, emphasis added).

A Misreading. Hooper asks readers, “Why does Screwtape consider a ‘moderated religion’ better than no religion at all?” (p. 159). What Screwtape says is that a “moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all” (p. 55, emphasis added).

Speculation Cast as Fact. Hooper writes that in Letter XXII “Lewis chose to give [Screwtape] the form of a centipede as it suggests the idea of a creature which preys upon others and eats its victims” (p. 167). However, any predator would have suggested the “idea of a creature which preys upon others and eats its victims,” so the particular choice of centipede is unexplained by the proferred explanation. Moreover, there is no textual evidence, so far as I know, to back this account of Lewis’s writing process: it appears to be what Lewis called, in his essay “On Criticism,” an “imaginary history of the book’s composition.” [8] The writing of such histories is a “critical vice,” Lewis says, that arises because “Nearly all critics are prone to imagine that they know a great many facts relevant to a book which in reality they don’t know.” [9]

Cross-Reference to Nowhere. In his remarks on a letter in which the words “world” and “worldly” (Letter X) appear, Hooper says: “Those who wish to know more about the different sense of the words ‘World’ and ‘Worldly’ as they are used in the New Testament and Christian writings would do well to read the chapter on ‘World’ in Lewis’s Studies in Words” (p. 159). There is no such chapter. Studies in Words has chapters on the words Nature, Sad, Wit, Free, Sense, Simple, and Conscience and Conscious; it does not discuss the words “World” and “Worldly.” Secondarily, it is questionable whether any reader needing to be shielded from references to Werther, Childe Harold, and Maritain would “do well” to consult Lewis’s highly technical Studies in Words, few pages of which are entirely in English.

An Attempted Correction. Hooper attempts to correct an error in Letter XI. Here is Lewis’s text with Hooper’s commentary:

Lewis’s Text

The truth is that humans are pretty clearly divided on this matter [i.e., bawdy or sexual humour] into two classes. There are some to whom “no passion is as serious as lust” and for whom an indecent story ceases to produce lasciviousness precisely in so far as it becomes funny: there are others in whom laughter and lust are excited at the same moment and by the same thing. The first sort joke about sex because it gives rise to many incongruities: the second cultivate incongruities because they afford a pretext for talking about sex. If your man is of the first type, bawdy humour will not help you—I shall never forget the hours which I wasted (hours to me of unbearable tedium) with one of my early patients in bars and smoking-rooms before I learned this rule. [XI, 62]

Hooper’s Commentary

This is one of the most masterful and certainly one of the most delightful of all the letters. . . . (Note: There is a slip in the text of this letter. In the fourth paragraph Lewis meant “second” where he said “first.” The passage in question should read “The second sort joke about sex because it gives rise to many incongruities: the first cultivate incongruities because they afford a pretext for talking about sex. If your man is of the second type . . .”) [Study Guide, 160]

The correctness of the original can be verified by straightforward reading. Screwtape first alleges that there are two classes of humans. He then refers to their properties in the same order, those of the first type and those of second. In the first type, the funnier a sexual joke is, the less it excites actual lust: “an indecent story ceases to produce lasciviousness precisely in so far as it becomes funny.” In the second type, sexual humor does excite lust. A man of this second type therefore cultivates sexual humor for the sake of sexual excitement. If the man being tempted is of the first type, then “bawdy humour will not help” the devilish tempter: that is, getting the man to laugh at sexual jokes in “bars and night clubs” is a waste of time because such jokes do not, in him, “produce lasciviousness” and so are harmless.

There is no “slip.” How Hooper got so intractably confused about what he thought “one of the most masterful” Screwtape letters (p. 160) as to pen and publish an elaborate correction of what was already correct—inevitably confusing many readers—can only be conjectured.

A Questionable Factoid. This is a relatively minor point, but reveals the pitfalls of Hooper’s own form of “chronological snobbery”—namely, a virulent loathing for all things “modern” and “liberal.” “The modern obsession with the Future,” Hooper says on p. 162, “the most phantasmal of all ‘times’ (as it doesn’t exist), is probably explained by the fact that most people in the West do not believe in an after-life.” The claim that “most people in the West do not believe in an after-life” is probably untrue if “the West” is taken to mean the Americas with Europe, probably true of Europe alone, and drastically untrue of the United States, the world’s largest Christian country and the one for which this edition of Screwtape was tailored. All Gallup polls since polling began in the 1940s have found that a large majority of Americans believe in an afterlife: over 75% during the 1970s, up to 82% by 1998. [12]

A Misquotation. In his notes on Letter XXVIII, Hooper writes: “However, Screwtape is right when he points out how difficult it is for older people who have lost their useful loves and useful hopes to persevere” (p. 170). Screwtape speaks not of useful but of youthful loves and hopes: “The routine of adversity, the gradual decay of youthful loves and youthful hopes . . .” (p. 130).

IV. Plagiarism

Hooper’s 1976 Foreword to The Screwtape Letters undertakes to explain Lewis’s purpose in writing the book and his belief in the reality of devils. However, this task had already been performed by Lewis himself in a lengthy second Preface to Screwtape printed with the book since 1961. In the Lord and King edition, Lewis’s explanatory introduction is replaced by Hooper’s. The question of plagiarism arises because parts of Hooper’s Foreword are unattributed direct quotes or close paraphrases of sentences in Lewis’s 1961 Preface. Hooper quotes Lewis’s Preface explicitly on p. 10, but the typical reader has no way of knowing that Lewis is the source of certain other phrases and ideas (specified below), all but one of which appear before Lewis’s Preface is mentioned.

Plagiarism occurs whenever language or ideas are copied, verbatim or otherwise, without attribution. According to the publisher Springer, plagiarism can be unintentional: “writers unintentionally plagiarize because they get confused, have poor notes, are lazy or intellectually unprepared, run out of time, or simply don’t know how to correctly reference sources.” [13]

This is a case of plagiarism because without consulting Lewis’s text, a reader of Hooper’s Foreword is very likely to read some of its phrases and ideas as Hooper’s when they are actually Lewis’s. Since it is not plausible that this copying was intended to deceive readers (the source is too prominent), this is clearly a case of unintentional or naïve plagiarism. But even unintentional plagiarism signals inattention, to say the least, to scholarly standards.

The problem passages in Hooper’s 1976 Foreword to The Screwtape Letters are as follows:


V. Gripes and Judgments

So much for textual facts laced with opinions. Here are some opinions served straight up:

(1) For the past forty years, Walter Hooper has been the almost exclusive gatekeeper of the writings of C. S. Lewis: writer of introductions, editor of letters, revealer of posthumous essays and fragments. I have long been bothered by the sense that Hooper feels Lewis is his, that he owns Lewis, that Lewis is his stuff. I’ve also felt that Hooper’s editorial practices too often fall short of excellence, and that the Lewis literary heritage has been less well served than it might. Nor am I the only one to have such feelings, though Hooper also has many fans and defenders. The 1976 Screwtape strengthens my preexisting opinion of Hooper’s editorial qualities.

(2) The illustrations, what Hooper calls “the extraordinarily fine illustrations of the famous American artist Wayland Moore” (p. 15), are awful. The substitution of Hooper’s Foreword for Lewis’s long Preface is a major loss. Hooper’s Screwtape fiction in the Study Guide is embarrassingly bad, its inclusion presumptuous.

(3) I dislike Hooper’s habit of fulsomely praising Lewis. “The Screwtape Letters is such an established classic that it is difficult to envisage a time when, like the sky, it wasn’t there” (p. 7); “Whereas I would venture to call this one of the most brilliantly witty books in the English language . . .” (p. 9); “the book is so good it simply can’t be left alone” (p. 14); Lewis was “a very great prose stylist” (p. 152); Letter XI (which, as we have seen, Hooper did not understand) is “masterful” and “delightful” (p. 160); and so on.

(4) I dislike Hooper’s sniping at liberalism: it is nasty. “Screwtape’s work is carried on mainly by liberal theologians who have most recently re-invented Jesus to be a hippie revolutionary, and—in some quarters—a woman” (p. 168); “Even modernist clergymen, whose ‘theology’ is so etiolated as to hardly include a belief in God, have affected surprise at Lewis’s uncompromising orthodoxy” (p. 9); and so on. Compare these partisan (and unsubstantiated) swipes to Lewis’s even-handedness in Letter XVI, where a fictional heterodox priest is said to seem “one day almost a Communist and the next not far from some kind of theocratic Fascism” (p. 82). For Hooper, unlike Lewis, only one kind of politics ever has any devilish potential worth mentioning—and it isn’t the right-wing kind. He manifests that very factionalism which, in Letter VII, Lewis warns against by having Screwtape say that even in the Church, any “small coterie, bound together by some interest which other men dislike or ignore, tends to develop inside itself . . . a great deal of pride and hatred which is entertained without shame because the ‘Cause’ is its sponsor and it is thought to be impersonal” (p. 46). Again, compare to Hooper:

Now that Playboy has been joined by Playgirl and almost every leftist, liberator and liberal in the Western world has joined Screwtape’s campaign for total promiscuity, perversion and sexual insanity, what more can Hell want? [p. 165]

What more, indeed, unless what Screwtape says it wants—that Christian factions should manifest “the uneasy intensity and the defensive self-righteousness of a secret society or a clique” (p. 46)?

(5) The vita of Screwtape prefixed to the Study Guide is embarrassingly sophomoric (“Miss Scarlet Fever”), devoid of theological or ethical insight, and extremely unlikely to help Screwtape’s truths “shine all the brighter.”

(6) Even apart from its factual errors, the Study Guide is poor. It consists of restatements of the obvious, cloying praise of Lewis, officious admonishments to pay careful attention to this and that in the Letters, mildly interesting cross-references to Lewis’s other writings, rants about the modern world (see, for example, Hooper’s list of twelve words that “have been made the galley-slaves of modern ‘communication’” and therefore should not even be spoken while discussing Screwtape, p. 153), and platitudinous moralizing (e.g., “What Screwtape calls ‘that most useful human characteristic, the horror and neglect of the obvious’ is specially common with young Christians and young revolutionaries who want to right the world before they know much about it,” p. 156)—all offered on behalf of a book that needs no help. Hooper is like a waiter who intercepts a dish hot from the kitchen of a master chef and salts and peppers it for you, badly, exclaiming all the while that the chef is a genius, an absolute genius!

(7) The use of Hooper rather than a professional actor as reader for the audio version of this book is exemplary, to my mind, of a pattern whereby Hooper has foregrounded himself as a sort of secondhand Lewis celebrity or reflective luminary, a pattern also seen in the replacement of Lewis’s 1961 Preface with Hooper’s Foreword in this book, Hooper’s self-indulgent inclusion of his own Screwtape fiction in this book, and his insertion of numerous Hoopercentric anecdotes into introductory essays and notes scattered throughout the Lewis canon.

(8) No mention is made on the cover or title page of the 1976 Screwtape of any departures from Lewis’s original text. [15] As Lindskoog noted, a prospective buyer therefore has no way of knowing, unless they happen to read the 8.5-page Foreword to its end or flip fortuitously to page 15, that the book they hold differs from the one Lewis wrote. I would like to add that even a reader of the Foreword is led to expect only “slight alterations” consisting of deleted references to World War II, while the text is actually riddled with scores of changes unrelated to World War II. Inside and out, this edition is fundamentally misleading.

VI. Who Cares?

Wouldn’t it be best to pass lightly over these thirty-year-old oddities, letting youthful goofs be bygones? Not necessarily. Although Hooper began his first Lewis editing project (Poems, 1964) having, as he said later, “never edited anything in my life,” [16] by 1976 he had edited at least seven Lewis volumes [17] and in the next few years would edit several more. The skill-set that gave us the 1976 Screwtape thus gave us much of the posthumous Lewis canon. Nor can this Screwtape be passed off as a momentary slip or unfortunate lapse: it was part of a deluxe multimedia project with big-screen ambitions for which Hooper re-edited an entire book, authored over 30 pages of special material, and spent many hours before a microphone. The severity and quantity of this text’s problems call into doubt the reliability of hundreds of pages of introductions and notes by Hooper scattered throughout the Lewis oeuvre.

Minor errors are inevitable in extended editorial projects. But such gross misreadings of primary texts as Hooper shows himself capable in the 1976 Screwtape cause an abyss to yawn at one’s feet. Based on the Screwtape editorial catastrophe and other evidence—flat-out misreadings of Lewis occur in Hooper’s materials at least as recently as 2007 [18]—I do not think that any of Hooper’s literary or biographical statements can be relied upon wherever they have not been independently checked.

The many Lewis texts that Hooper simply collected from print are probably safe from the sorts of editorial missteps discussed above—though it would be nice to verify this. But, to mention one class of texts that may not be safe, Lindskoog has complained that Hooper anthologized versions of Lewis’s poems that differ from the versions printed while Lewis was alive (Sleuthing, pp. 92–102). If this is true, it may be a problem that readers of the anthologies are not informed of those changes, regardless of how they are justified—and one would like to know how they are justified. Perhaps post-publication copies of these poems exist, with alterations in Lewis’s hand; if so, where are they, how obtained, and how dated? If not, on what basis have these changes been made? Or has Hooper—as Lindskoog alleged—simply taken it upon himself to improve the poems, much as he undertook to improve Lewis’s prose at certain points in the 1976 Screwtape (also without notice)? If the latter is the case, then revised, restored anthologies are needed.

In their dedication to the 1982 Lewis collection Of This and Other Worlds, Hooper and Barfield spoke of their “endeavor to fulfill that trust”—the oversight of the Lewis literary estate—“in a manner worthy of its object,” C. S. Lewis. Whether the Lewis literary estate has indeed always been handled in a manner worthy of its subject is exactly what the 1976 Screwtape, along with other evidence, calls into doubt.

It should not need to be said, but probably does, that none of the points made here have any bearing on Lindskoog’s famous charge that Hooper forged The Dark Tower and other documents. They go to whether Hooper has, in his 45-plus years as the Lewiskeeper par excellence, ever handled Lewis’s literary heritage with an inappropriate sense of entitlement; whether his editorial judgment has ever served that heritage poorly; and whether his Lewis scholarship is error-prone. The 1976 Screwtape adds to our grounds for answering Yes on all counts.



[1] Lewis, C. S., The Screwtape Letters (Old Tappan, NJ: Lord and King Associates, 1976). Hardbound, softbound, and audio editions of this version of Screwtape were published more or less simultaneously. Unless otherwise noted, all page references are to the small paperback edition bearing the Spire imprint, 172 pages, ISBN 0-8007-8336-0.

[2] Lindskoog, Kathryn, Sleuthing C. S. Lewis (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2001). Lindskoog’s book can be consulted online at ... .+s.+lewis. Errata for the book are at . Both accessed December 17, 2007. Disclosure: I was paid to index Sleuthing.

[3] According to Lindskoog, the Hooper-edited 1976 Screwtape “came out in six different forms at once: (1) a $40 autographed book (not autographed by Lewis, of course), advertised as bound in real leather; (2) a $15 hardback book; (3) a large $5 paperback book; (4) a small $1.75 paperback book (later $3.50 from Spire); (5) a $25 phonograph album; (6) a $50 album of six cassette tapes” (Sleuthing C. S. Lewis, p. 76). I have no independent confirmation of all these details, though the intent to release phonograph and cassette versions read aloud by Walter Hooper (p. 151)—plus a movie version that never appeared—is confirmed by Hooper (p. 15, 151). My paperback copy, which states “First Printing 1976” on the back of the title page, had a cover price of $2.95, so either Lindskoog’s $1.75 is an error or there was a third paperback edition that she does not mention. Online search (December 16, 2007) finds only copies of this small paperback for sale: all the other editions are apparently now rare. The text I have used for comparison to the Lord and King edition is that of the first American edition: New York, Macmillan, 1943 (eighteenth impression, 1950). This is evidently the text from which the 1976 Screwtape was set, as the number of apparently purposeless or inadvertent typographical divergences between the two texts—mere typographical errors—is very small.

[4] List at ... hanges.pdf .

[5] A handful of distinctly British phrases or references are, however, left intact, having perhaps escaped the editor’s notice: “building estate” (Letter II, p. 25), plum pudding for Christmas (Letter XXV, p. 118), and a reference to the flowers called snowdrops (ibid). In British English, a “building estate” is a plot of undeveloped land for which permits to build have been obtained; so far as I know, the phrase is never used in American English. Few Americans have ever seen a plum pudding, at Christmas or any other time. Snowdrops are emblematic of spring in England but unusual in the United States, where the comparable flower in many regions is the crocus.

Lewis’s reference to “the European War” in his original 1941 Preface (p. 17) is left intact, despite the purgation of all such references from the main text.

[6] Page references in the left-hand column are to the 1950 Macmillan edition. In both columns, reference format = [letter number, page number].

[7] Childe Harold is the protagonist of the autobiographical poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” (1812–18) by Lord Byron. Although this reference to Byron’s poem is deleted, a later reference to Byron is retained (“Byronic,” p. 119). “Werther” is a reference to the protagonist of the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (Die Leiden des jungen Werthers, 1774) by Johann von Goethe. Although Lewis’s reference to Goethe’s Werther is deleted, Hooper mentions Goethe’s Mephistopheles in his Introduction (p. 10), mirroring Lewis’s reference to that character in his own Introduction: p. ix, C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters and Screwtape Proposes a Toast (New York: Macmillan, 1968).

[8] “On Criticism,” in Of This and Other Worlds (Glasgow: William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., 1982), p. 172.

[9] Ibid., p. 169.

[10] C. S. Lewis, Studies in Words (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1960).

[11] Second ellipsis in original.

[12] Greeley, Andrew M. and Michael Hout, “Americans’ Increasing Belief in Life After Death: Religious Competition and Acculturation,” American Sociological Review, 1999, 64: 813–835; Nelsen, Hart M., “Life Without Afterlife: Toward Congruency of Belief Across Generations,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1981, 20(2): 109–118. As is usual with polls, numbers vary depending on wording. When respondents are asked to affirm a high degree of certainty in an afterlife as opposed to mere “belief,” the US affirmative figure drops to a smaller majority (about 52%): see (accessed December 18, 2007).

[13] ... ition.html (accessed December 16, 2007).

[14] Page references in left-hand column are to C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters and Screwtape Proposes a Toast (New York: Macmillan, 1968).

[15] According to Lindskoog, this is a feature of all the 1976 Lord and King editions (Sleuthing, p. 76); I have verified this for the Spire paperback referred to throughout this paper.

[16] Walter Hooper, “Reflections of an Editor,” CSL: The Bulletin of the New York C. S. Lewis Society, August 1977, p. 2.

[17] Poems (1964), Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1966), Selected Literary Essays (1969), Narrative Poems (1969), God in the Dock (1970), Christian Reflections (1971), and Fern-Seed and Elephants (1975). The Dark Tower and Other Stories was published in 1977, a year after the Lord & King Screwtape.

[18] E.g., in The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. III, Walter Hooper, ed. (HarperSanFrancisco, 2007), footnote 207, p. 765, Hooper misidentifies the passage to which Lewis is clearly referring (that passage appears lower done on the same page of Till We Have Faces). Another example: on p. 96 of The Dark Tower (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch, 1977), Hooper states that “all we learn” from the text about Ransom is that “he is a kind of ‘resident’ Christian who has travelled in Deep Heaven”; in fact, no hint that Ransom’s earlier experiences involved travel in space or “Deep Heaven” is found in the fragment. Other examples could be adduced. Such cases as I am aware of, outside of the 1976 Screwtape, I have encountered in the course of casual reading: a systematic search would probably yield many more.

[19] C. S. Lewis, Of This and Other Worlds, Walter Hooper, ed. (Glasgow: William Collins Sons & Co., Ltd., 1984), p. 5. Published in the USA as On Stories—And Other Essays on Literature (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch, 1982).
larry gilman
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