Despite C.S. Lewis’ vast experience as an author, even he was abused by publishers to the point where he could simply echo Chaucer in saying, “Flee from the Press!”
Print on demand technology has delivered a stout, but not debilitating, blow to traditional publishers. They still possess a significant amount of influence.
And—like all power—that which is wielded by publishers can be used for either good or evil.
We can thank many different publishers for making the works of Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and their fellow Inklings available to us. We would be wrong, however, to assume these relationships were without their stresses.
John H. McCallum was an American editor with whom Lewis worked. McCallum worked at Harcourt, Brace & World.
A piece of correspondence from 1960 reveals how complex the publishing world remained even to a veteran such as Lewis.
McCallum had sought permission to publish Lewis’ latest work, and…
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