[DWJ] Pullman v Narnia

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Sep 13 17:06:25 EDT 2006

Esther in Israel wrote:

>After Minnow's and Robyn's messages -- I'm reading
>this book my mother recommended and this page leaped
>out at me:
>[in a letter]  ...I have these guilts about never
>having read Chaucer but I was talked out of learning
>Early Anglo-Saxon/-Middle English by a friend who had
>to take it for her Ph.D.  They told her to write an
>essay in Early Anglo-Saxon on any-subject-of-her-own-
>choosing.  "Which is all very well," she said
>bitterly, "but the only essay subject you can find
>enough Early Anglo-Saxon words for is 'How to
>Slaughter a Thousand Men in a Mead Hall.'"
>She also filled me in an Beowulf and his illegitimate
>son Sidwith -- or is it Widsith? she says it's not
>worth reading so that killed my interest in the entire
>subject, just send me a modern Chaucer.

Oh yes, I remember that bit.  Not entirely fair, but fun anyhow.

>Me again
>(from 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff -- a real
>correspondence from the 40's to the 60's between an
>American writer and a London bookstore.)

The sequel, when Helene Hanff finally makes it to London rather later and
after the bookshop has shut, has a wonderful portrait of Joyce Grenfell in


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