Collected Letters: Family Letters 1905-1931

Overview

The life and mind of C. S. Lewis have fascinated those who have read his works. This collection of his personal letters reveals a unique intellectual journey. The first of a three-volume collection, this volume contains letters from Lewis's boyhood, his army days in World War I, and his early academic life at Oxford. Here we encounter the creative, imaginative seeds that gave birth to some of his most famous works.

At age sixteen, Lewis begins writing to Arthur Greeves, a boy ...

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Overview

The life and mind of C. S. Lewis have fascinated those who have read his works. This collection of his personal letters reveals a unique intellectual journey. The first of a three-volume collection, this volume contains letters from Lewis's boyhood, his army days in World War I, and his early academic life at Oxford. Here we encounter the creative, imaginative seeds that gave birth to some of his most famous works.

At age sixteen, Lewis begins writing to Arthur Greeves, a boy his age in Belfast who later becomes one of his most treasured friends. Their correspondence would continue over the next fifty years. In his letters to Arthur, Lewis admits that he has abandoned the Christian faith. "I believe in no religion," he says. "There is absolutely no proof for any of them."

Shortly after arriving at Oxford, Lewis is called away to war. Quickly wounded, he returns to Oxford, writing home to describe his thoughts and feelings about the horrors of war as well as the early joys of publication and academic success.

In 1929 Lewis writes to Arthur of a friend ship that was to greatly influence his life and writing. "I was up till 2:30 on Monday talking to the Anglo-Saxon professor Tolkien who came back with me to College ... and sat discoursing of the gods and giants & Asgard for three hours ..." Gradually, as Lewis spends time with Tolkien and other friends, he admits in his letters to a change of view on religion. In 1930 he writes, "Whereas once I would have said, 'Shall I adopt Christianity', I now wait to see whether it will adopt me ..."

The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume I offers an inside perspective to Lewis's thinking during his formative years. Walter Hooper's insightful notes and biographical appendix of all the correspondents make this an irreplaceable reference for those curious about the life and work of one of the most creative minds of the modern era.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060727635
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/29/2004
  • Pages: 1072
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 2.03 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Abbreviations xiii
1905-1910 1
1911-1912 15
1913 21
1914 46
1915 101
1916 159
1917 265
1918 351
1919 424
1920 471
1921 515
1922 589
1923 604
1924 617
1925 637
1926 657
1927 676
1928 745
1929 782
1930 856
1931 946
Biographical Appendix 978
Index 1025
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First Chapter

The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 1
Family Letters, 1905-1931

To his brother (LP iii: 63):

Little Lea.
Strandtown.
[c. November 1905]

My dear Warnie

Peter has had two un-fortunate aventures since I last wrote, however they came out all right in the end. No. 1, Maude was in her room (up there remember) heard Peter howling. When she came down, what do you think? sitting on the floor ready to spring on Peter was a big black cat. Maude chased it for a long way. I was not able to help matters because I was out on my bych.

The next adventure was not so starling, never the-less it is worth while relating that a mouse got into his cage.

Tim got the head staggers the other day while running on the lawn, he suddenly lay down and began to kick and foam at the mouth and shudder.

On Halow-een we had great [fun?] and had fireworks; rockets, and catterine wheels, squbes, and a kind of thing that you lit and twirled and then they made stars. We hung up an apple and bit at it we got Grandfather down to watch and he tried to bite. Maud got the ring out of the barn-brach and we had apple dumpling with in it a button a ring and a 3 penny bit. Martha got the button, Maude got nothing, and I got the ring and the 3 pence all in one bite. We got some leaves off the road the other day, that is to say the roadmen gave us some that they had got off the road, in fact they wanted them because they make good manure. I am doing french as well as latin now, and I think I like the latin better. Tomorrow I decline that old 'Bonus,' 'Bona,' 'Bonum' thing, but I think it is very hard (not now of course but it was).

Diabolos are all the go here, evrrey body has one except us, I don't think the Lewis temper would hold out do you? Jackie Calwell has one and can do it beautifully (wish I could)

your loving
brother Jacks


To his brother (LP III: 75–6):

Little Lea.
Strandtown.
[c. 1906]

My dear Warnie

I am sorrey that I did not write to you before. At present Boxen is slightly convulsed. The news has just reached her that King Bunny is a prisoner. The colonists (who are of course the war party) are in a bad way: they dare scarcely leave their houses because of the mobs. In Tararo the Prussians and Boxonians are at fearful odds against each other and the natives.

Such were the states of affairs recently: but the able general Quicksteppe is taking steps for the rescue of King Bunny. (the news somewhat pacified the rioters.)

your loving
brother Jacks.


To his brother (LP III: 79):

Little Lea.
Strandtown.
18 May 1907

My dear Warnie,

Tommy is very well thank you. We have got the telephone in to our house. Is Bennett beter again, as he has been ill you see that you are not the onley boy who stayes at home.

We have nearly seteld that we are going to france this summer, all though I do not like that country I think I shall like the trip, wont you. I liked the card you sent me, I have put it in the album. I was talking to the Greaves through the telephone I wanted Arthur but he was out and I onley got Thom.

I am sorry I can't give you any news about Nearo, but I have not got anny to give. The grass in the front is coming up nicely. It is fearfully hot here. I have got an adia, you know the play I was writing. I think we will try and act it with new stage don't say annything about it not being dark we will have it up stairs and draw the thick curtains and the wight ones, the scenery is rather hard, but still I think we shall do it.

your loving
brother Jacks

The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 1
Family Letters, 1905-1931
. Copyright © by C. Lewis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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