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C. S. Lewis

Overview

From early childhood, C. S. Lewis engaged the world around him primarily through the medium of books. He read voraciously, and his own writing covers a broad range of genres. This new study by Lionel Adey is unique in its attempt to trace the development of C. S. Lewis as a maker and reader of books. Adey shows how the two sides of Lewis's personality, the "Dreamer" and the "Mentor," affected his writing in its various modes: literary history and criticism, fiction for adults and for children, poetry, essays and ...
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Overview

From early childhood, C. S. Lewis engaged the world around him primarily through the medium of books. He read voraciously, and his own writing covers a broad range of genres. This new study by Lionel Adey is unique in its attempt to trace the development of C. S. Lewis as a maker and reader of books. Adey shows how the two sides of Lewis's personality, the "Dreamer" and the "Mentor," affected his writing in its various modes: literary history and criticism, fiction for adults and for children, poetry, essays and addresses, and letters. Adey also discusses the formative biographical events in Lewis's life and offers an estimate of Lewis's achievement and legacy as a writer.
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Editorial Reviews

Christian Century
In this helpful book, Lionel Adey surveys Lewis's writings in almost every conceivable genre: literary history, criticism and theory; fiction, essay and apology; poetry; and even letter writing.
Publishers Weekly
Adey shows that understanding the two sides of Lewis's personality—reason and imagination—is the key to understanding his writings. . . . A careful analysis. . . . Engaging and accessible.
The Living Church
"The best Lewis book to be published in the centenary year of Lewis's birth.... It is learned, compelling, authoritative, readable and comprehensive. It is one of the handful of "must-buy" books about Lewis published in the '90s."
Church Libraries
Any serious student of Lewis will benefit from the breadth of the scholarship evident here.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In celebration of the centenary year of Lewis's birth, Adey, coauthor of C.S. Lewis's `Great War,' shows that understanding the two sides of Lewis's personalityreason and imaginationis the key to understanding his writings. Adey devotes chapters to Lewis's literary criticism, his fiction for adults and children, his apologetics and his essays, addresses and letters. Adey contends that the roles of dreamer (imagination/romanticism) and mentor (reason/rationalism) manifested themselves throughout Lewis's writing career, and they were often in conflict in his early manhood. Through a careful analysis of Lewis's writings, Adey concludes that Lewis plays the role of dreamer in novels like Perelandra and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As a moralist and rationalist, the mentor Lewis is to be found in his apologetic works like The Great Divorce and Miracles. Though Adey's prose is engaging and accessible, his book is an unremarkable study that reveals little new about Lewis's life and work. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Adey (Class & Idol in the English Hymn, Univ. of Washington, 1989. o.p.) devotes a chapter to each of the types of writing that Lewis produced: literary history, criticism, literary theory, adult fiction, children's literature, poetry, letters, and essays and speeches. While recognizing his shortcomings, Adey defends Lewis as a solid literary historian and critic, setting Lewis in the context of his times and the literary world he inhabited, making use of much unpublished material. He defends Lewis against literary attacks that took place during his lifetime and after his death. While an excellent study of Lewis's literary output, this work would be tough going for anyone not already familiar with Lewis's oeuvre. For an introduction to Lewis, one should seek out George Sayer's Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times (Crossroad, 1994) or Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper's C.S. Lewis: A Biography (Harvest, 1995).Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, N.J.
Booknews
In another of his studies of C.S. Lewis, this one published in the centenary year of Lewis's birth, Adey (English emeritus, U. of Victoria, BC) adopts the motifs of the Dreamer and the Mentor in tracing<-->through his voluminous juvenalia (e.g. letters, the tales)<-->the development of the bookish, wounded (by way of losing his mother) child into the adult literary historian/critic/teacher split between romanticism and rationalism. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802842039
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/27/1998
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 0.72 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Forming of the Dreamer and Mentor 1
2 Literary Historian 40
3 Practical Critic 68
4 Literary Theorist 85
5 Fiction Writer for Adults 107
6 Children's Storyteller 165
7 Failed Poet? 194
8 Essayist, Pleader, and Speaker 221
9 Letter Writer 247
10 Conclusion 275
Bibliography 282
Index 199
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