How Hooper Got Started (CSLM-43)



There’s no denying that Walter Hooper has made the greatest contribution to the study of C.S. Lewis, but do you know how he got started?

 If you had to name only one person closely associated with C.S. Lewis’ work it has to be Walter Hooper. Just about every book published after Lewis’ death that is a collection of his writings has been edited by Hooper. Interestingly, Hooper, who was born in the U.S., only began corresponding with Lewis less than ten years before he died and met him only during the summer of 1963 before his death.

During that summer Hooper was temporarily in England, but was able to served as Lewis’ secretary. Plans were made for him to fill the role permanently after Hooper was able to make arrangements to return to the U.K. the following year.


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Who Drew Narnia (CSLM-42)


Who illustrated The Chronicles of Narnia and how was the person selected?

If you love the stories about Narnia, you probably also greatly admire the illustrations found in the books. Pauline Baynes is the only one who drew them and we have J.R.R. Tolkien to thank in part for them. It was after Lewis saw the pictures she created for Farmer Giles,  one of Tolkien’s books, that Lewis picked her.

However, she almost didn’t do any work for Tolkien had he not complained about the pictures done by another illustrator for his book. What Baynes drew was more to his liking and of course good enough to impress to C.S. Lewis. The original Narnia illustrations were done in black and white, but in 1998 she was commissioned to do color versions of them.


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Contest/Giveaway Annotated Screwtape Letters

CONTEST ENDS SOON! Enter by Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 6pm Eastern

WIN Annotated Screwtape

Get a chance to WIN a copy of The Screwtape Letters: Annotated Edition that was just released late last year. It contains interesting background information to enhance your enjoyment of the classic book by C.S. Lewis. Paul McCusker (from Focus on the Family) did the annotations and he was careful to provide information and not interpretation. Details about HOW to win are below. If you want to learn more about the book itself, checkout a podcast interview I just posted (go here).

Please note, as with most of my contests, it is ONLY open to those living in the U.S. & Canada (sorry, but it’s the publisher who mails the prize and they set the limits). See complete rules below. Also you MUST enter by Thursday, February 13th at 6pm.

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO ENTER is simply leave a comment below telling me what you think about The Screwtape Letters book. So, I’m looking for just your opinion of the original book itself.

Again, DEADLINE to enter is Thursday, February 13th at 6pm Eastern.

FIVE random individuals from those who enter will be the winners! You will be notified by email, so leave an address you check frequently (the notification will be from lewisminute (at)


  • Only those living in the U.S. & Canada are eligible to win.
  • Enter only ONCE.
  • Prizes are promised by the publisher and are agreed to be given by them…so they determine how far they will mail a prize.
  • If you are one of the random winners you must reply within 48 hours of notification or another person will be selected (email will come from lewisminute (at)
  • Entries are assigned a number and a random number generator is used to pick the winners.
  • Prizes may be substituted by the publisher and this is beyond my control.

The Shoddy Lands (CSLM-41)


Lewis is known for various fictional works, especially his stories of Narnia. But I bet you didn’t know he also wrote about “The Shoddy Lands.”

During Lewis’ lifetime only two of his short stories were published. One of them, “The Shoddy Lands” was in a  issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It is also reprinted in Of Other Worlds.

In the story, a student visits his former tutor, who has brought along his fiancée, Peggy. Then, the tutor, who is also the narrator, is taken away to another land where nearly eve­rything is nondescript. The key exception is what turns out to be a giant version of Peggy.


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Quotes NOT By Lewis: A Preliminary Examination


Updated 11/20/16

Since publishing this post on January 26, 2014 I began a series of posts examining ONE quotation at a time. The series is called Confirming C.S. Lewis Quotations. Be sure to check it out for a detailed look at the topic. Also, after posting nearly thirty quotes, I created an article examining the Top 10 Questionable Lewis Quotes.


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Not long ago I was talking to Abraham Lincoln and he told me, “The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their validity.” My reply to him was that I thought C.S. Lewis had actually made that statement! Of course, I’m making this up; I’ve never spoken to Lincoln and I don’t believe Lewis ever said it. However, there are many quotations floating around online that are attributed to Lewis that he actually never wrote.

NOT CS Lewis QuotesBack in March, 2013 I posted in a couple Facebook groups that I was trying to collect quotations that were credited as being by Lewis that were suspect. Even though there was a decent response to my request, I began to be involved in other projects that took up my time. The issue came back to the forefront of my mind when a friend saw one of the more common quotes misattributed to Lewis shared on Facebook by a famous author. This led me to “dusting off” my electronic research files to at least begin a post to try to set the record straight. What follows is a preliminary report on quotes erroneously believed to be by Lewis. In some cases he may have said something similar, in others he did not. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the quotations, the point is that they didn’t originate with C.S. Lewis.

1. “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”

This is one of the more controversial quotes alleged to be by Lewis. While it’s definitely not by him, there are those who defend it as something he would agree with and others who believe such a statement goes against Orthodox Christian views. There are two online posts discussing this quote in great detail. The first is from a 2011 blog by a person who goes by Mackman. “C. S. Lewis was not a gnostic heretic” details why the quote runs afoul of Biblical teachings and says it’s by Walter Miller’s 1959 book Canticle for Leibowitz. Then in 2012 posted “You Don’t Have a Soul”: C.S. Lewis Never Said It. This was a guest post by Hannah Peckham with updates from others who contribute to the site. The quote, or something similar to it is traced back further, all the way to 1895. Then its noted, a few years earlier, in 1892 that a British Quaker periodical had an article where the author of the piece attributed “you are a soul; you have a body” to George MacDonald (someone Lewis greatly admired).

2. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

Who could argue with this statement? I certainly cannot. However, Lewis never used those exact words. Some claim it is from Mere Christianity, but I have the eBook version and that quote is not in it. Lewis does deal with the issue of pride in chapter eight of Book 3 – Christian Behaviour. I also own the original version of Christian Behaviour (seventh printing, US edition is from 1946) and while there are some differences in the text you will not find Lewis making that statement. In Mere Christianity Lewis does say “It is better to forget about yourself altogether” and near the end of the chapter entitled “The Great Sin” he states

“He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud.”

From where does the quotation in question come? The best I can determine is that it is from Rick Warren. In the 2002 edition of The Purpose Driven Life Warren makes that very statement and he doesn’t site a source. It is found in “Day 19” which is entitled “Cultivating Community.”

3. “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”

Success sells, right? That may be true, however, this quote sounds more like something a motivational speaker would say, than a statement by Lewis. In fact, while there are many places claiming it is from him, I found one place that didn’t. It was from a professional motivational speaker (Les Brown) who even has a YouTube video about the statement (and a pretty silly story).

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As I mentioned, this is a post to begin to set the record straight on quotes attributed to Lewis that are not from him. In the future I hope to expand this and will provide a link to the new piece containing updated material. Please feel free to post comments offering quotes you are not sure are by Lewis and I will consider looking into them.

I wanted to keep this post short, but I do want to mention a few other quotations attributed to Lewis by some that I am either certain or nearly certain are not by him. A future post will go into details about them:

  • “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”

  • “A woman’s heart should be so close to God that a man should have to chase Him to find her.”

  • “A little lie is like a little pregnancy-it doesn’t take long before everyone knows.”

  • “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…”


Mouse of Courage (CSLM-40)


If you voted on the most courageous in Narnia, this character would be the big cheese!

 If you found a Narnian dictionary I think you would likely discover a picture of Reepicheep under the definition of courage. What this mouse lacks in stature he more than makes up for with his bravery. Reepicheep is quick to seek adventure and is well known (almost too well known) for defending his honor.

In Prince Caspian he leads a group of other fearless mice in the Second Battle of Beruna. During this time he near dies. After his recovery he becomes overly concerned of his honor by worrying too much about having lost his tail. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Reepicheep befriends Eustace and helps him learn what it means to have courage.

Tell me about your favorite characters in Narnia below.


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No Expert on Prayer (CSLM-39)


What do you do when you strongly believe in prayer but you are all too aware that it’s still somewhat of a mystery to you? Write about it to a friend that doesn’t exist, of course!

Less than a year before he died, C.S. Lewis wrote Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. It was published just a few months after he died. While Lewis had written many letters to others during his life (see #17) that touched on the subject of prayer, he never really felt he understood it enough to claim to be an authority.

Over ten years prior to Letters to Malcolm being published he spent two years attempting to address the subject. But once he came up with the idea of writing it to an imaginary person he was able to complete it in less than eight weeks. The result was 22 letters to a person that you find hard to believe doesn’t exist.

Have you read the book? Tell me your thoughts below.


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Summary of JACK & TOLLERS (The New C.S. Lewis Movie)

NOTE: The follow post is taken from a permanent page. That page will be updated as needed, so while this article is accurate (as of 1/5/14), newer information may be available. Thus, if it is more than a few weeks since this date please visit THAT page for the latest details. 

Frequently Asked Question about JACK & TOLLERS

This page features a summary of facts or frequently asked questions about the forthcoming movie about the friendship of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien entitled JACK & TOLLERS. While all answers are believed to be accurate as of the date posted above, please note that this is an UNOFFICIAL page and not meant to suggest it is endorsed by those who are actually producing the movie.

Presently the best place to get official information is from the Facebook page of Third Dart Studios. You can also hear interviews I did with those involved in the production from Dec. 9, 2013 (with Darren Jacobs, a screenwriter and Chris Dodge, the Executive Producer) and Dec. 17, 2013 (with Darren again and Dr. Louis Markos, the other screenwriter).

If you have questions that are not answered below please feel free to ask them in the comment section below. If I’m able to get an answer then I will include it here. So, this page will be updated whenever I get additional information.

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  1. How is this film the same or different from The Lion Awakes?

    Darren Jacobs and Dr. Louis Markos were the screenwriters for The Lion Awakes, but various factors (including financial reasons) prevented that movie from being made. The title change (to JACK & TOLLERS) denotes a change in emphasis of the new project from the previous (The Lion Awakes focused on the spiritual awakening of Lewis). This new title will still be about the early life of C.S. Lewis, but it will have a greater emphasis on J.R.R. Tolkien and the friendshi between Jack (Lewis’s nickname) and Tollers (Tolkien’s nickname) and the factors that enabled them to create their most known works (Narnia and The Lord of the Rings).

  2. Does this mean Lewis’s Christian faith will be ignored? Will this be a Christian movie?

    Lewis’s (and Tolkien’s) faith will NOT be ignored, Lewis’s faith is central to who he was (as well as Tolkien) and the movie will include this, but the friendship between the two men will be the main emphasis. So, instead of being a “Christian” movie, it will be a movie about two devoted Christian men.

  3. Does the film have an official Website?

    No, but the production company does have a Facebook page. Visit Third Dart Studios.

  4. Is there any trailer about the movie yet?

    YES! There is a CONCEPT trailer available with a TEASER trailer in the works.

  5. When will the actual movie be released?

    At the moment the target is for fall 2015, but this is subject to change.

  6. Who will be the actors in the movie?
    No announcement can be made at this time.

  7. Where will the film be made? What locations will be used?
    There are many exterior scenes that will be filmed in Oxford, but most interior scenes will  be in the United States.

Outside Wishing In (CSLM-38)


Feel like your job is humdrum and wish you could be part of the movers and shakers? Mark Studdock did and regretted it.

As That Hideous Strength opens Mark Studdock is a newly married man with dreams of making it big in the academic world, if only he was a part of the “in” crowd who made the decisions. Just like Lewis’ description in his essay “The Inner Ring,” Mark is willing to compromise himself to gain membership into a group that has very questionable practices.

Once he actually becomes a part of a coveted inner circle he realizes it isn’t as fulfilling as he had hoped. Mark also finds he is still on the outside of something and continues to do nearly anything to achieve his desire to a part of a still inner circle inside of the one he thinks is a part of already.

What has been your experience about wanting to be with the “in” crowd? Tell be below by leaving a comment.


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Charles Williams (CSLM-37)


This Inklings member had a very profound impact on C.S. Lewis, even though he died less than ten years after they became friends.

As noted in a previous post (See #24) Lewis often met with a group of friends where they frequently discussed their writings. After reading Charles Williams’ The Place of the Lion Lewis developed a friendship with him. Williams was working at the Oxford University Press at the time.

While with the Inklings Williams heard Tolkien read early drafts of The Lord of the Rings and himself read at least parts of his final novel All Hallows’ Eve. His impact on Lewis was obvious to the point that with the release of That Hideous Strength many noted how it was influenced by Williams’ style of writing.

Have you read any works by Charles Williams? Let me know, or leave other questions or comments below.


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