Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I was looking through some old children's books of mine and came across this wonderful portrait of Roger Lancelyn Green in the 1974 Puffin Annual. I loved this photo even when a child, the cosy library alcove is almost womb-like in its appeal. Green looks kind of serious in his oh-so british vest and tie....however there's a hint of rebelliousness there, he's wearing black tennis shoes.

About his library he wrote:

Although I have been to most of the places about which I write- Greece and Troy, Egypt and so on-I can't get back to them when I'm actually writing, except with the aid of books. And I'm lucky to have a positive magician's cave of books, an old library which was built and started nearly 300 years ago by an ancestor of mine, but which now holds mainly the books which I have collected, and which I read and reread, an use again and again when I am writing. Books about ancient Greece and books by ancient Greek authors, who wrote the tales which I retell; but also books by favourite authors such as Andrew Lang and Lewis Carroll, Richard Haggard and Rudyard Kipling and C.S. Lewis; and many others whosse lives I have written or whose books I have selected and edited; for like Lang himself, "The books I loved, I love them still"

Green died in 1987 so Amen to that and thankyou for that thought. Proof of his retelling of Lewis' observation is that I still love the 1974 Puffin annual some 33 years later. Reading a litle more about Green I find he was a student of C.S. Lewis and was in The Oxford "Inklings" along with J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield.


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