Tolkien on the death of Lewis

I am sorry that I have not answered your letters sooner; but Jack Lewis's death on the 22nd has preoccupied me.  It is also involving me in some correspondence, as many people still regard me as one of his intimates.  Alas! that ceased to be so some ten years ago. We were separated first by the sudden apparition of Charles Williams, and then by his marriage. Of which he never even told me; I learned of it long after the event.  But we owed each a great debt to the other, and that tie with the deep affection that it begot, remains.  He was a great man of whom the cold-blooded official obituaries only scraped the surface, in places with injustice.  How little truth there may be in literary appraisals one may learn from them – since they were written while he was still alive.  Lewis only met Williams in 1939, and W. died early in 1945.  The 'space-travel' trilogy ascribed to the influence of Williams was basically foreign to Williams' kind of imagination.  It was planned years before, when we decided to divide: he was to do space-travel and I time-travel.  My book was never finished, but some of it (the Númenórean-Atlantis theme) got into my trilogy eventually.

Publication dates are not a good guide. Perelandra is dated 1943, but does not belong to that period. Williams' influence actually only appeared with his death: That Hideous Strength, the end of the trilogy, which (good though it is in itself) I think spoiled it. Also I was wryly amused to be told (D. Telegraph) that 'Lewis himself was never very fond of The Screwtape Letters' – his best-seller (250,000). He dedicated it to me. I wondered why. Now I know – says they.

From a letter to Michael Tolkien (draft)
[Not dated; November or December 1963]

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