In his lifetime, a well-known writer produces poetry and other works. When he dies, what has been left unpublished is far more than what has been. His son becomes his literary executor. Not only does he make sure the unknown works are published, he also heightens his father’s literary standing in the process.
If you said this is J.R.R. Tolkien and his son Christopher, you would be right. If you said Geoffrey Chaucer and his son Thomas, you would also be right. We know far more about J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary achievements because of his son Christopher. And we have Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales because of his son Thomas.
This is almost an aside in Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer by John Bowers. But it is one of many nuggets of information included in the book that we didn’t know about the authors of The Lord of the Rings and The Canterbury Tales – that the literary life author of the 20th century echoed the literary life of the author of the 14th.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.