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The Ulsterior Motive

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"The Ulsterior Motive" is the title of an unpublished essay by J.R.R. Tolkien written in 1964. The essay derived from a critique of the posthumous publication of C.S. Lewis's Letters to Malcolm.[1][2]

Extracts from the essay was published in Humphrey Carpenter's The Inklings:[3]

It was not for some time that I realized that there was more in the title Pilgrim's Progress than I had understood (or the author either, maybe). Lewis would regress. He would not re-enter Christianity by a new door, but by the old one: at least in the sense that in taking it up again he would also take up, or reawaken, the prejudices so sedulously planted in boyhood. He would become again a Northern Ireland protestant.


  1. Humphrey Carpenter, The Inklings, p. 265
  2. Lisa Star, "A List of Tolkien's Unpublished and Slightly Published Manuscripts" dated 01 August 2002, Tyalie Tyelellieva website (archived) (accessed 10 July 2012)
  3. Humphrey Carpenter, The Inklings, p. 50 (see also pp. 51-2)