Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Walter Hooper R.I.P

The death on Monday of Walter Hooper removed one of the last living links to C.S.Lewis and the world of the Inklings. I cannot say I knew Walter as a close friend but we always got on on when we met as fellow parishioners at the Oxford Oratory, and he would ask after me in his distinctive Oxford-adapted North Carolina drawl.

From the time of C.S. Lewis’ death in 1963 until almost his own Walter devoted himself as custodian of Lewis’ papers to editing and publishing the material in his care, and to making Lewis available to succeeding generations. This put him at the centre of Lewis scholarship and he also came to be at the centre of a group of those drawn into greater faith who, like Walter after his conversation in 1988, found its fulfillment in the Catholic Church, and to whom he was mentor and sponsor.

Wikipedia has a biography of him at Walter Hooper and that includes a link to an excellent obituary by one of Walter’s many Catholic godsons, Jacob Imam, whom I also count as a friend. That memoir can be seen at Walter Hooper, 1931–2020

May he rest in peace.

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