Computer stylometry of C.S. Lewis's "The Dark Tower" and related texts
AbstractThis paper looks at the provenance of the unfinished novel The Dark Tower, generally attributed to C.S. Lewis. The manuscript was purportedly rescued from a bonfire shortly after Lewis’s death by his literary executor Walter Hooper, but the quality of the text is hardly vintage Lewis. Using computer stylometric programs made available by Eder et al.’s (2016) “stylo” package and a word length analysis, samples of each chapter of The Dark Tower were compared with works known to be by Lewis, two books by Hooper and a hoax letter concerning the bonfire by Anthony Marchington. Initial experiments found that the first six chapters of The Dark Tower were stylometrically consistent with Lewis’s known works, but the incomplete chapter 7 was not. This may have been due to an abrupt change in genre, from narrative to pseudoscientific style. Using principal components analysis, it was found that the first and subsequent components were able to separate genre and individual style, and thus a plot of the second against the third principal components enabled the effects of genre to be filtered out. This showed that chapter 7 was also consistent with the other samples of C.S. Lewis’s writing.
CitationOakes, M. (2017) 'Computer stylometry of C.S. Lewis's "The Dark Tower" and related texts', Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 33 (3) pp. 637–650
PublisherOxford University Press
JournalDigital Scholarship in the Humanities
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Oxford University Press in Digital Scholarship in the Humanities on 22/11/2017, available online: https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqx043 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
The following licence applies to the copyright and re-use of this item:
- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/CC BY-NC-ND 4.0