Thursday, September 15, 2005

Are Writers Born, Not Made?

One of the things that C.S. Lewis did at a very early age was invent his own imaginary world called Animal-Land, which evolved into the larger world of "Boxen". At seven years old, he had already written stories and histories involving the animal characters of this world--King Bunny, General Quicksteppe, and others. He even plotted out his nation's steamship routes and railway timetables. These writings have been published as Boxen: The Imaginary World of the Young C.S. Lewis, ed. Walter Hooper (1985). Here is a letter he wrote to his brother Warnie (who was away at boarding school) when he was eight - the spelling and punctuation are his:

My dear Warnie,

I am sorrey that I did not write to you before. At present Boxen is slightly convulsed. The news has just reached her that King Bunny is a prisoner. The colonists (who are of course the war party) are in a bad way: they dare scarcely leave their houses because of the mobs. In Tararo the Prussians and Boxonians are at fearful odds against each other and the natives.

Such were the states of affairs recently: but the able general Quicksteppe is taking steps for the rescue of King Bunny. (the news somewhat pacified the rioters.)

Your loving
brother Jacks.
~C.S. Lewis, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Volume I, (letter c. 1906)

And at age nine:

My dear Warnie

Thank you very much for the post-cards I liked them, the herald was the nicest I think, dont you. Now that I have finished the play I am thinking of writeing a History of Mouse-land and I have even gon so far as to make up some of it, this is what I have made up.

Mouse-land had a very long stone-age during which time no great things tooke place it lasted from 55 BC to1212 and then king Bublich I began to reign, he was not a good king but he fought against yellow land. Bub II his son fought indai about the lantern act, died 1377 king Bunny came next.

Your loving
brother Jacks
~C.S. Lewis, The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Volume I, (letter of August 1907?)


On this day:

1952 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was published by Geoffrey Bles, London.

2 Comment(s):

At Fri Sep 16, 12:53:00 PM EST, Blogger Joshua said...

Rock on! Glad to see you at my blog; I'll be reading yours for sure.

At Fri Sep 16, 03:31:00 PM EST, Anonymous Kimi said...

Charming! And what a vocabulary Jack had even at that tender age.


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