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View Full Version : Unpublished C.S. Lewis manuscript found in Bodleian library

Play The Man
07-19-2009, 04:42 AM

What if two of the most famous and widely read 20th Century authors who have each individually sold millions of copies of their books had written a book together?

C. S. Lewis, author of the Narnia Chronicles and Screwtape Letters, and J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, had planned in the 1940s to write a book together about Language. According to a letter written by Tolkien in 1944 to his son Christopher, the collaborative book was to be called Language and Human Nature. A news release from their publisher announced that the book was scheduled for publication in 1950. It was, however, never published. Scholars have thought, until now, that it was never started.

Steven Beebe, Regents’ Professor and Chair of the Texas State Department of Communication Studies, discovered the opening pages of the unpublished manuscript in the Oxford University Bodleian Library and has recently documented that the manuscript was the beginning of the previously believed to be unwritten Lewis and Tolkien book.

Although C. S. Lewis started the book, there is no evidence that Tolkien began work on the project.

“What is exciting” said Beebe, “is that the manuscript includes some of Lewis’s best and most precise statements about the nature of language and meaning. Both Lewis and Tolkien wrote separately about language, communication, and meaning, but they published nothing collaboratively.”

The article Beebe wrote documenting his discovery, “Language and Human Nature Manuscript Fragment Found: C. S. Lewis On Language and Meaning,” will be published next year in the Journal Seven: An Anglo-American Literary Review. The journal Seven publishes scholarship that focuses on the work of seven prominent 20th Century British authors including both Lewis and Tolkien.

07-20-2009, 03:28 AM
O man, this is amazing! It would have been amazing if they had finished the project, but I'll take whatever I can.