Walter Hooper

Walter McGehee Hooper (born March 27, 1931) is a literary advisor of the estate of C.S. Lewis. He was a literary trustee for Owen Barfield from December 1997 to October 2006. Born in Reidsville, North Carolina, U.S., he earned an M.A. in education and was an instructor in English at the University of Kentucky in the early 1960s. As a visitor to England, he served briefly (1963) as Lewis's private secretary when Lewis was in declining health. After Lewis's death in November 1963, Hooper devoted himself to Lewis's memory, eventually taking up residence in Oxford, England, where he now lives.

Hooper studied for the Anglican ministry and was ordained, serving as a chaplain and assistant priest in Oxford. He converted to the Roman Catholic faith in 1988. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and symposia.

Literary work

Hooper's work has been that of a literary executor and advocate rather than independent scholar. His works include:

In addition, Hooper has edited or written introductions for approximately 30 books of Lewisian manuscripts and scholarship. Several of these books contain previously unknown or little-known works by Lewis.

The following works are edited by Hooper:


In 1972 Hooper was awarded the second annual Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies, for scholarly contribution to the criticism and appreciation of the epic fantasy literature generated by the Inklings School, by the Mythopoeic Society.[1]


In 1977, Hooper published an unfinished science-fiction novel, The Dark Tower, a previously unknown work by C.S. Lewis. The Dark Tower resembles Lewis's known works in some ways and departs from them in others. A school of critics, headed by Kathryn Lindskoog, accused Hooper of either forging the work in toto, or taking small fragments of an unknown work by Lewis, adding a lot of padding, and turning the result into the 1977 published work. Lindskoog also questioned the authenticity of other posthumously published works edited by Hooper.[2]

Hooper has completely rejected these accusations, and independent research exists to disprove the accusations and confirm the authenticity of the posthumous Lewis works edited by Hooper.[3] Professor Alastair Fowler (University of Edinburgh), a scholar who had chosen Lewis as his doctoral supervisor in 1952, recalls discussing The Dark Tower at that time with his mentor. This is a firsthand account of the manuscript's existence during Lewis' lifetime.[4][5]

C. S. Lewis' stepson, Douglas Gresham, also disagrees with Lindskoog's forgery claims, saying that "The whole controversy thing was engineered for very personal reasons... Her fanciful theories have been pretty thoroughly discredited."[6]

Related works


  1. "Mythopoeic Awards: Inklings Studies". Mythopoeic Society. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
  2. Kathryn Lindskoog, The C.S. Lewis Hoax (Multnomah, 1988)
  3. Scott McLemee, "Holy War in the Shadowlands", Chronicle of Higher Education, July 20, 2001
  4. Alistair Fowler, "C.S. Lewis: Supervisor", Yale Review, LXXXXI (4 October 2003), pp. 64–80.
  5. Harry Lee Poe, "Shedding Light on the Dark Tower," Christianity Today, February 2, 2007
  6. "Narnia Fans". Narnia Fans.

External links

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