When Walter Hooper was interviewed by Christopher Mitchell, director of the Wade Center, in October 2009, Hooper asked that one sensitive portion of the oral history remain confidential until after his death. Accordingly, he made the following statement in expectation that it would be made public at the appropriate time. Walter Hooper died on December 7, 2020, and the Marion E. Wade Center seeks to respect his wishes by publishing verbatim the interview transcript below.


Date: October 21, 2009

Location: The Marion E. Wade Center

Interviewer: Christopher Mitchell

Wade Call Numbers: OH / SR-83 & OH / VR-31



Mitchell: This portion of the oral history interview is just giving an opportunity for Walter to just address some issues that he personally has an interest in and this will remain confidential under his own guidelines.

Hooper: Yes, I felt that I should perhaps set the record straight about one thing I know about, so that there will be, at least, some pure–some real knowledge about this. Many people, I feel, are unduly interested in whether Lewis had an affair with Mrs. Moore, and this has been a very difficult thing for me to deal with over the years. I intimated perhaps a little bit of this when I said that the problem of writing—of editing Lewis’s diary back in the beginning early 90s was that I knew more than I felt I was willing to say about Lewis and Mrs. Moore in the introduction. And when I got to New York to discuss this with John Feroni, who is the editor of Harcourt Brace who were publishing the book, I told him in confidence what my problem was and anyway we, he—he said “Let’s bring Jim Como into this.” And so Jim came there and the three of us discussed that. And then over the next couple of days Jim Como helped me to revise the introduction so that I didn’t give away everything but I at least could say, see John felt you dare not say anything which is simply untrue. So what we tried to find is a way of explaining the relationship between those two people without giving away his secrets or her secrets. But anyway, people still speculate. My knowledge of this comes from Owen Barfield almost entirely, not from Lewis himself—I didn’t discuss Mrs. Moore with him, and really why on earth would he discuss her with me? But anyway, Owen Barfield told me that yes, Lewis told him there had been a sexual relationship and it began really at the time, right after he came out of the army. And he, as he himself has said about himself he was not a moral man at that time. He believed in morality, he believed in goodness, but anyway, he–they did have an affair. And it lasted until Lewis was converted to Christianity. And Lewis told Owen Barfield that part of his reparation for all of that took the form of, first of all he stopped having the sexual relationship with Mrs. Moore as soon as he was converted to Christianity, and he thought that his penance should be and was looking after that lady for the rest of his life. I don’t think, in any event, I can’t imagine him getting rid of Mrs. Moore. But you can see that this is part of his penance, you know, and I think that penance went as far as he could, right up until he visited her everyday even in the nursing home. So I felt it should be—this is as close to coming from the horse’s mouth as you can get. And I think—Owen thought, I should know the truth as I was spending so much time writing about Lewis that it, it wouldn’t have to say anything about this, but at least I could know what was the truth of the matter. So I felt I don’t want to go out and tell people about this. I see no—I don’t see that I have any reason to say anything about it, nor do I think they should be so inquisitive. I really don’t see why it is such an important issue. But anyway, they did, and he himself told Owen Barfield about it, and Owen felt he should pass it on to me, and now I pass it on to you.

Mitchell: Well, thank you Walter. Anything else that comes to your mind that you would like to share?

Hooper: I can’t think of anything at the moment. Thank you very much though.

Mitchell: Walter, thank you very, very much. [End recording]

©2009 by the Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College, Illinois. All rights reserved.


  1. Pingback: (CMCSL-3) – Lewis and Mrs. Moore Were Secret Lovers (REVISED) – Essential C.S. Lewis

  2. Pingback: C. S. Lewis and Mrs. Moore: Relationship of Sin or Sanctification?  – The Log College

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