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The Fame of C. S. LewisA Controversialist's Reception in Britain and America$
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Stephanie L. Derrick

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198819448

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198819448.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 July 2021

Lewis Among His Peers

Lewis Among His Peers

Oxbridge, c.1930s–1950s

(p.46) 2 Lewis Among His Peers
The Fame of C. S. Lewis

Stephanie L. Derrick

Oxford University Press

Lewis was widely admired by his contemporaries, but the recollections, letters, and diaries of those who knew him also make clear that many British intellectuals found him less than satisfying as a writer and scholar or difficult and abrasive as an individual. The plethora of negative critiques from colleagues and students should be seen in light of his persona and his tendency to look back to the authorities and sensibilities of a past age. His stance as a reactionary outsider and his speaking from within a type of British controversialism cost him a more serious hearing on intellectual matters. Then again, the 1930s–1950s were years in which universities and their faculties were being pressed into a more meritocratic and pluralistic future. Lewis’s reception among his intellectual contemporaries was complex, indivisible from his persona and the politics and culture of his insular Oxbridge milieu.

Keywords:   The Inklings, Magdalen College, Oxford University, intellectual history, professionalization, popularizers, persona, university culture, Professorship of Poetry, Ulster

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