Prince Caspian and Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair.
Lewis often patterned his own imaginative fiction after the work of others--Milton's Paradise Lost for his Perelandra, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress for Pilgrim's Regress, H. G. Wells's First Men in the Moon for Out of the Silent Planet, George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin for The Silver Chair, and Charles Williams's novels for That Hideous Strength (Boenig). (3) William Morris should be added to that list, (4) for Child Christopher, the least well-known of Morris's prose romances, is a major source for Prince Caspian, the second of Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. What Lewis really did with it reveals not only how Lewis treated source material, but also indicates something of Lewis's tolerance towards an author he termed "pagan" yet to whom he owed a significant spiritual debt.
Lewis bought May Morris's Collected Works of William Morris in 1930 (Stand 365); Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair is included in its seventeenth volume. It is a loose adaptation of the late-thirteenth-century English poetical romance, Havelok the Dane. All three works in this concatenation of influence deal with young orphaned princes who are silently and gradually deposed by regents. The rightful heirs are disregarded and tacitly demoted, but they overcome obstacles until they gain the kingdom that is rightfully theirs.
As Lewis was a medievalist who had read Havelok the Dane and thought it "great stuff" (Road 184), it is worthwhile to summarize it briefly before turning to Morris's Child Christopher. Available to Lewis both in the medieval manuscript, which is housed in Oxford's Bodleian Library (MS Laud Misc. 108), and in the edition of 1868 edited by W. W. Skeat for the Early English Text Society (Skeat), (5) the romance reveals little if any interest in religion. It tells the story of both Havelok, a young Danish prince, and Goldborough, an English princess whose misfortunes resemble those of Havelok. Goldborough's dying father, king of an English realm whose capital is Lincoln, chooses Earl Godrich to be regent, making him promise to marry her off some day to the best, strongest, and fairest man in the kingdom. The earl grows accustomed to the power the regency bestows on him, so he imprisons Goldborough in Dover Castle and neglects her interests entirely. Meanwhile Havelok's dying father entrusts his young son and his two sisters to Earl Godard, who soon murders the sisters before Havelok's eyes. The evil regent gives him over to a fisherman named Grim, who promises to drown the boy at sea. But a miraculous light attends Havelok while he sleeps, convincing all in the poem who witness it that he is the rightful King of Denmark.
So Grim, converted from evil to good, escapes with his family and Havelok, emigrating to England. There they all live by fishing and manual labor. When a famine hits, the now-grown Havelok travels to Lincoln to find work. There he so impresses people by his good looks and strength that he becomes first a porter and then a kitchen scullion at the castle. Earl Godrich perversely decides to live up to the letter if not spirit of his earlier promise and marries this handsome, good, and strong worker to Goldborough, by this demeaning marriage disqualifying her, as he supposes, from inheriting the throne that is rightfully hers. Through the help of Grim's sons and a loyal nobleman back in Denmark, Havelok gradually gains an army and wins numerous battles, eventually winning both Denmark and England for him and Goldborough to rule in a joint kingdom. The focus of Havelok is less on the love of its hero and heroine than on battles and heroics.
Morris's story follows the same general outline, but it is much more complex in characterization than is Havelok the Dane (Talbot; Hodgson 157, 80-82). As his daughter May recalled while introducing Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair in 1913 for his Collected Works:
A friend was reminding me lately of what we had both heard my father say about the right way of retelling an old romance: "Read it through," he said, "then shut the book and write it out again as a new story for yourself." A man might take what he liked from another, he said, provided that he made it his own. And this he certainly did with Child Christopher, which is the Lay of Havelok the Dane, for the modern story is altogether different in sentiment and atmosphere. (Morris xxxix) (6)
In Morris's retelling, Havelok becomes Child Christopher and Goldborough Goldilind the Fair. Like their antitypes, they are both orphaned and deposed by evil regents, marry under the same circumstances as in Havelok, and go through danger and warfare before they are happily restored to their inheritances. But the differences between the two--what May Morris means by making a story one's own--are far more notable than these similarities.
Morris pays much more attention, for instance, to Goldilind's part of the story than the anonymous poet does to Goldborough's. He carefully crafts her into an object of physical desire and emotional longing. When the medieval poet deposits her in prison in Dover Castle, the narrative drops her until her forced marriage to Havelok. But Morris follows her into her prison, allowing the reader to witness first hand her unfair treatment there. When she finally escapes, we follow her part of the story until she encounters Christopher. Then Morris, making his most important addition to the plot, shows us how they fall in love. Here is a passage excerpted from the chapter where a chance encounter brings them together, just when Goldilind is preparing to bathe in a stream:
From time to time she looked on him, and then she dropped her eyes again. In those glances she saw that he was grey-eyed, and smooth- cheeked, and round-chinned, and his hair curly and golden; and she must needs think that she had never seen any face half so fair. He was clad but in a green coat that came not down to his knees, and brogues were tied to his feet, and not more raiment he had; and for a hat he had made him a garland of white may blossom, and well it sat there: and again she looked on him, and thought him no worse than the running angel that goes before the throne of God in the picture of the choir of Meadhamstead; and she looked on him and marveled. (Morris 177) (7)
For her the religious becomes the earthly. There is also an attention to the visual that the medieval romance lacks, and the reader is very much inside the heroine's thoughts. Christopher's feelings for Goldilind more than match hers for him, and he also likens her to an object of religious awe. He says to her:
"Maiden, when I first saw thee from amidst of the bush by the river yonder, I deemed thou wert a wood-wight, or some one of the she-Gods of the Gentiles come back hither. [...] and when I saw thee, that thou wouldst do off thy raiment to bathe thee, though soothly I longed to lie hidden there, I feared thee, lest thou shouldst be angry with me if I were to see thee unclad; so I came away; yet I went not far, for I was above all things yearning to see thee; and sooth it is, that hadst thou not crossed the water, I should presently have crossed it myself to seek thee, wert thou Goddess, or wood-wife, or whatever might have come of it. But now thou art come to us, and [...] I see that thou art a woman of the kindred of Adam." (177-78)
Morris imports this type of sensuality, lacking in Havelok, into his story. The love between Christopher and Goldilind supplants Havelok's martial concerns as the romances's central interest--though these comprise an important secondary interest. So intense is the longing between Christopher and Goldilind, in fact, that it becomes a kind of surrogate religion. Christopher, after all, mistakes Goldilind for a goddess of the gentiles. The main characters, not only in the scene just analyzed but throughout the book, long for each other as a mystic longs for God. The word "yearning" bespeaks the intensity of this longing.
We can find in Child Christopher much to confirm Lewis's assessment of the persistent sensuality he found in Morris. In Surprised by Joy he writes with uneasiness about the erotic desire he experienced while reading Morris's prose romances (169-70). In his essay, "William Morris," Lewis writes:
[I]t is no use invoking modern psychology to reveal the concealed eroticism in [Morris's] imagination, because the eroticism is not concealed: it is patent, ubiquitous, and unabashed. [...] Morris, in fact, describes the sort of love that is a function of health; it quickens a man's pace. (222)
While I agree with Lewis that modern psychology is an unnecessary hermeneutic for explicating Morris, I would still argue that the love interest Morris imparts into the story that he appropriated from Havelok the Dane has interesting psychological implications. Unlike Havelok, Christopher is unaware of his real identity, and he is thus psychologically torn between the longing he feels for Goldilind and his sense of propriety, which precludes marriage between a queen and a commoner. And Goldilind's feelings intensely mirror Christopher's, for she is angry over her forced marriage to a seeming commoner yet still deeply desires him (Talbot 35-38). They both are in what a modern psychologist would label an approach/avoidance conflict. How they resolve their conflicting feelings comprises both a good portion of the story and also a good deal of the reader's interest in it.
There are many differences in the plot that could unduly lengthen this article. I wish to mention only one more--Morris's inclusion of a single-combat duel as a means of avoiding war and resolving the conflict over Christopher's disputed succession. After the forced marriage and some adventures, Christopher and Goldilind are helped by a character named Jack of the Tofts, Morris's version of the Havelok-poet's Grim. Jack reveals to Christopher his true identity and gathers an army to regain his throne. Earl Rolf sends an army under a character named Lord Gandolf of Brimside (8) to meet the threat to his usurped kingdom. The Lord of Brimside, a fierce warrior, challenges Jack of the Tofts, himself a formidable combatant, to single combat, but Christopher claims the battle as rightfully his own. The fight joined, Christopher defeats his opponent with relative ease:
And therewith [Gandolf] leapt forward and swept his huge sword around; but Christopher swerved speedily and enough, so that the blade touched him not, and the huge man had over-reached himself, and ere he had his sword well under sway again, Christopher had smitten him so sharply on the shoulders that the mails were sundered & the blood ran; and withal the Baron staggered with the mere weight of the stroke. (Morris 237)
By this and other feats of strength, Morris augments the figure of Havelok that he had found in the medieval poem. Morris's Christopher is an invincible champion, one, as such, worthy of Goldilind's love.
Lewis, familiar with both Havelok and Child Christopher, does precisely what May Morris described as her father doing: he closed the book and wrote a new story, making it his own. But as a professional literary critic, he was aware of certain theoretical implications in such an appropriation, ones that are neither stated nor implied in May Morris's anecdote.
In 1932, Lewis published an article in the journal Essays and Studies entitled "What Chaucer Really Did to Il Filostrato," an analysis of Boccaccio's work of that name as a source for Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde. It became for decades the most cited study of Chaucer's great poem, not only because of the insightful analyses of specific passages it offered but more importantly because of the powerful theory that drove it. Lewis contended that Boccaccio's version of the story was a product of the emerging Italian Renaissance, while Chaucer systematically re-medievalized it, emphasizing a medieval interest in didactic rhetoric and Courtly Love. The theory involves authorial intentionality, a topic that rose to full prominence only in the 1980s as part of the post-modern rejection of formalist literary analysis. (9) If it is problematic for a critic to claim knowledge of an author's intentions, knowledge of a direct source, Lewis maintains, can give some limited access to them. If we list alterations made by an author to a direct source and notice a consistent pattern among them, then we can discern to a certain extent what drove the author's intentions in making those alterations. If Lewis used Morris as the source for Prince Caspian as Morris himself had done with the anonymous medieval poem, then it is appropriate to ask what he really did to Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair.
First, however, we must establish a close enough connection to make the many differences between the books significant. Like Christopher, Caspian is an orphaned heir to the throne which has been usurped by an evil regent, his uncle King Miraz. And, like Christopher (but unlike Havelok), he is unaware of his true identity. The usurper in both stories, moreover, initially acts in accordance with his role as regent. As Morris writes about Lord Rolf:
[T]he Marshall summoned all them that were due thereto to come and give homage to the new king, and even so did they, though he were but a babe, yea, and who had but just now been a king lying in his mother's womb. (Morris 134)
But gradually this loyal allegiance erodes:
As for the King's son, to whom the folk had of late done homage as king, he was first seen about a corner of the High House with his nurses; and then in a while it was said, and the tale noted, but not much, that he must needs go for his health's sake [...] to some stead amongst the fields, and folk heard say that he was gone to the strong house of a knight [...] who was called Lord Richard the Lean. [...] As for the King's little son, if any remembered that he was in the hands of the said Lord Richard, none said aught about it; for if any thought of the little babe at all, they said to themselves, Never will he come to be king. (135-36)
Lewis similarly depicts a gradual dethronement of the rightful heir. As Caspian's teacher, Doctor Cornelius, explains to him:
"Everyone except your Majesty knows that Miraz is a usurper. When he first began to rule he did not even pretend to be the King: he called himself Lord Protector. But then your royal mother died [...]. And then, one by one, all the great lords, who had known your father, died or disappeared. Not by accident, either. [...] And when there was no one left who could speak a word for you, then his flatterers (as he had instructed them) begged him to become King. And of course he did." (Prince Caspian 55-56)
Lord Rolf is less sinister, perhaps, than Miraz, but the similarity is nevertheless clear.
After their escape from the control of the evil regent, both Christopher and Caspian find refuge among those who will befriend them and soon press for their restitution. For Christopher, this happens when he arrives at the household of Jack of the Tofts. He has just been wounded by the evil Squire Simon, whom Lord Rolf had commanded to accompany Christopher on a mysterious errand in the woods. Jack's sons rescue him from the attempted assassination and bring him to their homestead, the Tofts, where Christopher will be healed. For Caspian, his rescue comes after he is injured while riding in the woods through the darkness by hitting his head against a tree limb. He joins a small band of dwarfs and Talking Animals, true Narnians. Like Jack and his household, they are living in exile in the wilderness, waiting for the eventual return of rightful order. Both groups, moreover, hold folk-moots to decide the best course of action to restore the rightful heir to the throne.
These large-scale similarities are supported by some minor but specific details that Lewis appropriates from Morris's story. For instance, the squirrel Pattertwig, who is about to go on a mission to summon true Narnians to the moot, comments on the abilities that recommend him for the errand: "I can go nearly everywhere without setting foot to ground" (Caspian 70). Here is the first sentence of Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair:
Of old there was a land which was so much a woodland, that a minstrel therof said it that a squirrel might go from end to end, and all about, from tree to tree, and never touch the earth: therefore was that land called Oakenrealm. (Morris 133)
In addition, the nurses mentioned in the passage from Morris quoted above have their analogue in Caspian's faithful nurse who delights in telling him stories of Old Narnia and then suffers for it:
[T]he person whom Caspian loved best was his nurse, and though (being a prince) he had wonderful toys which would do almost anything but talk, he liked best the last hour of the day when the toys had all been put back in their cupboards and Nurse would tell him stories. (37)
When Caspian reveals to King Miraz that his nurse has been telling him stories of Talking Beasts and Old Narnia, she suddenly disappears (40-41), though Aslan effects a reunion between her and Caspian near the story's end (196-98). There is a strikingly similar reunion between Christopher and one of his nurses:
[T]here came thrusting through the throng of the hall a tall woman, old, yet comely as for her age; she went right up on to the dais, and came to where sat Christopher, and without more ado cast her arms about him and kissed him, and then she held him by the shoulders and cried out: "O, have I found thee at last, my loveling, and my dear, and my nurse chick?" (Morris 217)
Lewis even includes this maternal embrace: "And the first thing that happened was that the old woman slipped off Aslan's back and ran across to Caspian and they embraced one another; for she was his old nurse" (198).
The most interesting of these specific connections, though, is the hand-to-hand combat that functions as the turning point in the efforts to bring the wronged heir back to his throne. We have already noted Morris's treatment of Christopher's duel with Lord Gandolf, particularly the hero's invincible strength. There was no such duel in Havelok the Dane, where the usurper Godard is defeated in battle, bound, and led to Havelok to receive judgment (Skeat 68-69). The decisive moment in Caspian's rise to power comes when King Miraz fights a single combat not with Caspian but with Peter, one in which Peter is anything but invincible:
But indeed there was no need to egg the usurper on. He was on top of Peter already. [...] It looked as if [King Miraz's sword] would slash off his head. (188)
The single combat is enough to establish a connection with Child Christopher, but the differences here should strike the reader as even more significant than the similarities--indication of the first major alteration Lewis makes to the story. Not only is there real doubt about who will win the fight, there is also an even more telling change: Christopher claims the right of combat from Jack of the Tofts and then fights for his own kingdom while Caspian gives way to Peter, who fights for him. The effect of this is, for lack of a better word, to de-heroicize Caspian. Central to Morris's version is the young heir who cannot be beaten, who is the strongest and best, capable of winning his own kingdom. Caspian needs help badly, necessitating the arrival of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy back into Narnia from England in the very nick of time. But even Peter is depicted as vulnerable. This underscores for the reader that the power to resolve the conflict for the good resides not in a heroic prince or king but in Aslan, Lewis's manifestation of Christ.
The second major change I wish to mention is Lewis's erasure of Goldilind. We have already noted the erotic content of Morris's story and Lewis's discomfort with Morris's sensuality. Caspian has no female equivalent with whom to fall in love and whom he must help to regain her own throne. The effect is to simplify the story, doubtless a wise decision in a book intended for children, not, as Morris's was, for adults. But even more important than this simplification, there are no long passages in which Caspian looks with longing on his beloved, as Christopher does upon Goldilind, and there is no scene, as there is in Morris's book, where the lovers consummate their marriage.
There is plenty of longing and desire in Prince Caspian, however, but it is directed towards Aslan rather than an earthly lover. The eros, in other words, Christopher feels for Goldilind becomes the agape Caspian feels towards Aslan--to appropriate the terms of two of the loves Lewis describes in his book The Four Loves. (10) And the desire is not associated with one individual, as it is in Morris's version of the story, but with many. Doctor Cornelius and Caspian's nurse share a longing for Aslan's return, as do the good Talking Beasts. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and especially Lucy, having returned to Narnia, share in that longing. Desire in Prince Caspian is communal, not individual. As the de-heroicizing serves to honor Aslan, this de-libidinizing helps to center Aslan as the object of longing.
Longing, of course, plays an important role in Lewis's theology, where he argues that feelings of longing for earthly things that ultimately disappoint us serve to redirect our desire to God, who is eternal. This idea is most forcefully put in Lewis's autobiography, Surprised by Joy (see for instance 221-22), but it was also a dominant theme in the letters he wrote to Arthur Greeves. In one such letter, Lewis describes how Morris helped him to understand the significance of this longing. In a letter dated 31 June 1930, Lewis describes how he purchased the 24-volume Collected Works of William Morris at Blackwells in Oxford and encountered in it a work, Love is Enough, that he had never read before. Like other works of Morris, especially his late prose romances, it occasions in Lewis an intense feeling of longing. But it is only now, on the eve of his conversion to Christianity, that Lewis understands what that longing is really for. He writes to Greeves:
You know I always thought Morris the most essentially pagan of all poets. The beauty of the actual world, the vague longings wh[ich] it excites, the inevitable failure to satisfy these longings, and over all the haunting sense of time & change making the world heart breakingly beautiful just because it slips away [...] all this, I thought, he gave to perfection: but of what this longing really pointed to, of the reason why beauty made us homesick, of the reality behind, I thought he had no inkling. (They Stand Together 366)
Now, however, Lewis realizes that Morris did have an inkling. Lewis meditates on this and, seemingly for the first time, understands it. As he explains to Greeves:
In this light I shall come back to Morris and all that world. I have the key now and perhaps can stand the sweetness safely. For this too is a feature of life that becomes gradually clearer: namely that the road is always turning round and going back to places we seemed to have left--but they are different (yet in a way the same) when you come to them the second time. (ibid.)
This insight is profoundly influential, a major step towards his conversion. Lewis realized that longing in Morris was mostly sexual in nature, but he allows Morris in Love Is Enough a taste of this more cosmic longing.
This work is a verse drama in which a powerful king named Pharamond forsakes his kingdom because he has had visions of a lover whom he has not yet met. He endures tremendous suffering to find her and renounces all his power and wealth in the process, realizing that if one has gained true love, it is enough. The god of Love himself appears before each scene, commenting on the significance of the action. The language of these speeches forces the reader to conflate the god of Love with the God who has created all. Lewis responds to the inherent Platonism of this work, assuming that the earthly love King Pharamond seeks leads one to the heavenly love that calls us all into being. As Lewis writes of longing in Surprised by Joy:
And that is why we experience Joy: we yearn, rightly, for that unity which we can never reach except by ceasing to be the separate phenomenal beings called "we." (221-22)
It is perhaps no surprise that in Prince Caspian, so closely aligned with Morris's Child Christopher, Lewis carefully redirects the longing he perceives in the earlier book to what he would have maintained was its true source.
The third major change I wish to list has a similar function. Havelok the Dane could admit the supernatural, as it does with the marvelous light which attends Havelok while sleeping, thus affirming his rightful claim to the throne. Morris, however, admits none of the marvelous into Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair. It is a romance in which nothing happens that is not plausible. In this it stands apart from the other late romances of Morris, like The Well at the World's End and The Wood Beyond the World (which phrase suggested the concept of the Wood between the Worlds to Lewis for his The Magician's Nephew (11)). What Lewis does to the story is to reinvigorate it with the marvelous. This is not only evident in the book's opening, where Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are magically transported from an English train station into the realm of Narnia, but also in the chapter "How All Were Very Busy," where Aslan goes about healing Old Narnia. I would like to term this change "re-mythologizing."
In analyzing Chaucer's adaptations of Boccaccio, Lewis theorizes that a common motivation for one author's changes in the work of another implies intentionality, enabling the critic to discern what the second author "really did" to the work of the first. One common motivation among the changes I have termed de-heroicizing, de-libidinizing, and re-mythologizing is the insertion of a new character into this old story--Aslan. Each of the changes focuses the reader's attention away from the earthly and onto God. In other words, Lewis Platonizes Child Christopher by supplying the true object to the longing he finds in Morris's work. What Lewis really does to Morris is, in other words, baptize him. This is not only a significant thing for him to do, given his desire in The Chronicles of Narnia to present a Christian message in the medium of the children's story but also, I suggest, an inclusive gesture towards an author whose stories were a lifelong delight but whose "paganism" perplexed him. He could see the divine shining through a story bequeathed to him by the favorite author of his own pre-Christian, pagan days. Lewis seeks to make clear what he thinks Morris saw only dimly, and he uses the old story of his old master to do so, thus honoring it. One thinks of Emeth, the servant of the false god Tash who worshipped nevertheless in "truth" (the meaning of "emeth" in Hebrew). Near the end of The Last Battle Aslan welcomes him as one of his own (161-66).
Boenig, Robert. "Critical and Fictional Pairing in C.S. Lewis." The Taste of the Pineapple: Essays on C.S. Lewis as Reader, Critic, and Imaginative Writer. Ed. Bruce L. Edwards. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State U Popular P, 1988.138-48.
Carnell, Corbin Scott. "C.S. Lewis on Eros as a Means of Grace." Imagination and the Spirit: Essays in Literature and the Christian Faith Presented to Clyde S. Kilby. Ed. Charles A. Huttar. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971. 341-51.
Edwards, Bruce L. "Toward a Rhetoric of Fantasy Criticism: C.S. Lewis's Readings of MacDonald and Morris." Literature and Belief 3 (1983): 63-73.
Hodgson, Amanda. The Romances of William Morris. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Kotzin, Michael C. "C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald: The Silver Chair and the Princess Books." Mythlore 8.1 (1981): 5-15.
Lewis, C.S. All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C.S. Lewis, 1922-1927. Ed. Walter Hooper. New York: Harcourt, 1991.
__. The Four Loves. New York: Harcourt, 1960.
__. The Last Battle. The Chronicles of Narnia. New York: Collier, 1970.
__. Prince Caspian. The Chronicles of Narnia. New York: Collier, 1970.
__. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1955.
__. They Stand Together: The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves, 1914-1963. Ed. Walter Hooper. New York: Macmillan, 1979.
__. "What Chaucer Really Did to Il Filostrato." Essays and Studies 19 (1932): 56-75.
__. "William Morris." Selected Literary Essays by C.S. Lewis. Ed. Walter Hooper. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969 . 219-31.
Mackail, J.W. The Life of William Morris. New York: Dover, 1899.
Madden, Frederick. The Ancient English Romance of Havelock the Dane, Accompanied by the French Text. London: Roxburghe Club, 1828.
Mathews, Richard. Worlds Beyond the World: The Fantastic Vision of William Morris. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo, 1978.
McCarthy, Fiona. William Morris: A Life for Our Time. London: Faber & Faber, 1994.
McGann, Jerome J. A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism. Chicago: University of Chicago P, 1983.
Morris, William. Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair. Collected Works of William Morris. Ed. May Morris. Vol. 17. London: Longmans, Green, 1913. 133-261.
__. Love is Enough. Collected Works of William Morris. Ed. May Morris. Vol. 9. London: Longmans, Green, 1911. 3-89.
Murrin, Michael. "The Dialectic of Multiple Worlds: An Analysis of C.S. Lewis's Narnia Stories." Seven: An Anglo-American Literary Review 3 (1982): 101-05.
Patterson, Nancy-Lou. "Halfe Like a Serpent: The Green Witch in the Silver Chair." Mythlore 11.2 (1984): 37-47
Skeat, Walter W., ed. The Lay of Havelock the Dane. London: N. Trubner, 1868.
Smithers, G.V., ed. Havelock the Dane. Oxford: Clarendon, 1987.
Talbot, Norman. "'But he were king, or kinges Eyr ...': Morris's Re-Telling of Havelok." Journal of the William Morris Society 10.4 (1994): 28-39.
(1) See All My Road Before Me, Surprised by Joy, and They Stand Together for examples.
(2) For details about Morris's life, the standard biography is Fiona MacCarthy's William Morris: A Life for Our Time. For Morris's rejection of Christianity, see McCarthy 94-95 and Mackail 78, 84.
(3) For an explication of the influence of MacDonald on The Silver Chair, see Kotzin; Patterson 46 n.9.
(4) For a treatment of Lewis's debts to both George MacDonald and William Morris, see Edwards.
(5) For an earlier edition that Lewis might also have known, see Madden. The standard edition of the poem is now Smithers.
(6) See also Mathews 48; Talbot 30.
(7) "Meadhamstead" is the capital of her kingdom.
(8) The similarity in names to Tolkien's wizard Gandalf is striking here, and Tolkien was, like Lewis, a devotee of Morris's romances, but Tolkien likely appropriated the name from a list of dwarfs' names included in the Old Norse Edda.
(9) For a rigorously skeptical position about the recovery of an author's intentions, see, for instance, McGann, especially pp. 37-49.
(10) For an explication of Lewis's treatment of eros, see Carnell.
(11) For Lewis's concept of the Wood between the Worlds, see Murrin.
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