From the Wikipedia page on C.S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces:

C. S. Lewis originally titled his working manuscripts "Bareface". The editor (Gibb) rejected the title "Bareface" on the ground that readers would mistake it for a Western. In response, Lewis said he failed to see why people would be deterred from buying the book if they thought it was a Western, and that the working title was cryptic enough to be intriguing.

Firstly, what is meant by "Western" here? Does it refer to the genre of Westerns set in the Old West of the United States? If so, then why would the title "Bareface" automatically lead readers to expect a Western novel?

  • 4
    Perhaps by association with The Paleface, a popular 1948 Western movie. Oct 20 '21 at 18:10
  • As an indication of the 50s mania for Western fiction, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_comics lists 20+ Western comics being published (in the US, I assume) around 1957. Only one of these seem to have survived beyond the early 70s.
    – mikado
    Oct 20 '21 at 21:19
  • I don't think we can definitely state why one publisher from sixty years ago thought something. Oct 22 '21 at 15:32

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