Who's afraid of Fenris Ulf? (sorry - I couldn't resist that one...)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Apr 29 12:08:12 EDT 2003

Charlie wrote:

>Here's my latest speculative theory on the Fenris/Maugrim variant, for
>anyone who's still sticking with this one:
>a) CSL originally wrote 'Fenris' and referred to the world's ash tree. We
>all know how much he loved those myths, and the Inklings used to translate
>the sagas together, so they were very much part of his imaginative world.
>b) Geoffrey Bles thought these references too non-Christian and changed
>them. (Remember, Bles was primarily a religious not a children's publisher,
>and had published Lewis in that capacity.)
>c) The US editor at Macmillan didn't care, and kept the original text.
>d) At some point in her childhood, Minnow read a hardback US edition that
>had somehow crossed the pond.
>That all seems more likely than that someone changed the text from Maugrim
>_to_ Fenris and stuck in an egregious Ygdrassil, doesn't it? But it accounts
>for the fact that all English editions have Maugrim never/nonetheless.
>For what it's worth...

The man is a genius, give him a Guinness!

That sounds absolutely plausible, and it's also entirely possible that I
had indeed read a US edition at some point, because my many American
cousins used to lose books the way hens lose feathers, scattering them
wherever they landed, and they may well have landed in some English aunt's
house at a critical moment.  That's how I came to read *The Witch in the
Wood*, and be so horribly puzzled by *The Queen of Air and Darkness* when I
met it a little later, because it wasn't at all what I had remembered and
yet the author and most of the people were the same names.

I hereby withdraw my suggestion that it was Kaye Webb who didn't like the
Fenris Wolf being mentioned.  One instance, the Garner, doesn't make a


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