An Email From Walter Hooper

Walter Hooper and I, standing in the dining room of The Kilns after the dinner which the curators put on for the Oxford University C. S. Lewis Society (Hilary Term 2007).
Walter Hooper and I, standing in the dining room of The Kilns after the dinner which the curators put on for the Oxford University C. S. Lewis Society (Hilary Term 2007).

An email from Walter Hooper, dated 7 November 2015.

“Dear Travis – Congratulations, and thank you very much for the lovely copy of A Window in an Unlikely Place, which arrived several days ago. I feel deeply honoured to be one of your Dedicatees – for which thank you very, very much. I’m sent many things of a Lewis nature to read, and as soon as I finished with the two I still have to read – I will rush to read your book….

“I hope all is going well with you, and that this lovely book will be the first of many. Meanwhile thank you very much, and congratulations from Walter.”

Walter Hooper was C. S. Lewis’ late-in-life friend as well as his secretary in the last four months of his life.  Thereafter Mr. Hooper became the executor of the C. S. Lewis Literary Estate and edited many of Lewis’ posthumously published works.  I like to think that Mr. Hooper was the man behind the scenes, without whom Lewis may not have become as popular as he did.  Mr. Hooper is a wonderful man whom my wife and I had the pleasure of meeting during our time in England in 2007.  He invited us over to his flat for tea on more than one occasion, and we grew close during our all-too-brief sojourn in Oxford.  Walter and I have kept up a rather irregular correspondence ever since, and I consider it the greatest honor to call myself one of his friends.

I hope one day to return to Oxford and see him again.  I hope to see all of Oxford again: the Kilns, the Eagle & Child Pub, the Radcliffe Camera, Cornmarket Street, Magdalen College, Addison’s Walk, and of course the Oxford University C. S. Lewis Society.  All of it.  If not in this life than in the next, where perhaps, as in the New Narnia, all the places that we love will be found to be mere shadows of their heavenly realities.

As Professor Kirke says, “It’s all in Plato, all in Plato: Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools?”

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