“For good times and bad times, I’ll be on your side forever more. That’s what friends are for…”
Don’t mind me singing Dionne Warwick over here.
It’s a lovely song for an even lovelier friendship, indeed. Legendary authors C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were two young professors that just so happened to cross paths in a faculty meeting at Oxford back in 1926. Common interests were discovered and soon those interests were brought into the world for readers of all ages. These two guys pretty much defied the odds.
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Now, we’ve recently discovered the most beautiful review an author could write. As a fan of The Lord of the Rings and someone who wrote a persuasive letter to their fourth grade teacher to let the class watch The Two Towers on the last day of school…I needed to share this.
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In a 1937 review of Tolkien’s The Hobbit by C.S. Lewis, the author describes his comrade’s work with the utmost respect and admiration:
To define the world of The Hobbit is, of course, impossible, because it is new. You cannot anticipate it before you go there, as you cannot forget it once you have gone. The author’s admirable illustrations and maps of Mirkwood and Goblingate and Esgaroth give one inkling–and so do the names of the dwarf and dragon that catch our eyes as we first ruffle the pages.
Lewis’ praise and support for the mystical novel is touching and quite powerful. He explains that Tolkien’s work “admits us to a world of its own–a world that seems to have been going on long before we stumbled into it but which, once found by the right reader, becomes indispensable to him.” He goes on to describe the character maps, saga-like plots, and more vital bits in order to fully grasp the vast story and present it the way it deserves.
Their mutual respect, hard work, and passion are visible in Lewis’ words and it has me thinking of this friendship like the stuff of myths and stories. Check out the full review here to get the true sense of reverence. Lewis ends it with: “Prediction is dangerous: but The Hobbit may well prove a classic.” Spoken like a true friend.