The Dark Tower
Was The Dark Tower actually written by C. S. Lewis? There has been some controversy about this book in recent years. As I remember, Walter Hooper, Lewis' former secretary, found the manuscript after Lewis died and it was published (my church library has a copy). I was wondering what people here thought about its authenticity as being Lewis' work. I believe Kathryn Lindskoog had questioned whether Lewis wrote the story. Was the mystery of authorship ever solved?
This has never been resolved.
My view is that since it was a story Lewis abandoned in favour of the second and third books in the space trilogy, it was not meant to be published.
I think Mr Hooper in his youth made a bad decision to publish work that Jack Lewis did not consider appropriate to publish.
The story is only a fragment. I do have much respect for Walter Hooper and believe the manuscript was written by Lewis. Kathryn Lindskoog was probably too hasty in her judgement of Hooper's publishing the story (was it really a forgery because it was not as good as Lewis' other books or contained some uncharacteristic writing?). Be that as it may, the story is no longer just private property and nothing can be done to change that. I would not remove the book from my church library. The book was included in our collection by the previous church librarian who thought people might be interested in reading Lewis' lesser known books. There are other stories in the volume which may be in other collections.
It is similar to the LeFay Fragment (the alternative Digory story), in that it was a follow-up story that Lewis abandoned in favour of something else, and young Walter Hooper took upon himself to have printed.
Kathryn Lindskoog does make a quite a good point that Walter Hooper had repeatedly claimed and joked about his ability to forge Lewis's handwriting & signature.
The only possible end I can see for this debate would be a situation involving some reputable (and Independent) graphologists comparing the manuscripts held at the Bodleian Library.
It's great to be here. It's great to be anywhere.