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Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume 3: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy, 1950-1963

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Overview

This collection, carefully chosen and arranged by Walter Hooper, is the most extensive ever published. Included here are the letters Lewis wrote to such luminaries as J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Arthur C. Clarke, Sheldon Vanauken, and Dom Bede Griffiths. To some particular friends, such as Dorothy L. Sayers, Lewis wrote fifty letters alone. The letters deal with all of Lewis's interests—theology, literary criticism, poetry, fantasy, children's stories—as well as his ...

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The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3

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Overview

This collection, carefully chosen and arranged by Walter Hooper, is the most extensive ever published. Included here are the letters Lewis wrote to such luminaries as J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Arthur C. Clarke, Sheldon Vanauken, and Dom Bede Griffiths. To some particular friends, such as Dorothy L. Sayers, Lewis wrote fifty letters alone. The letters deal with all of Lewis's interests—theology, literary criticism, poetry, fantasy, children's stories—as well as his relationships with family members and friends.

The third and final volume begins with Lewis, already a household name from his BBC radio broadcasts and popular spiritual books, on the cusp of publishing his most famous and enduring book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which would ensure his immortality in the literary world. It covers his relationship with and marriage to Joy Davidman Gresham, subject of the film Shadowlands, and includes letters right up to his death on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

This volume also includes both a special section of newly found letters from earlier time periods covered in volumes one and two and mini-biographies of Lewis's regular correspondents.

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Editorial Reviews

Cynthia L. Haven
… Lewis's wry, erudite, often spiritually profound letters are too good to be co-opted. He could be a bit of a prig, but his inner life is no dusty relic, irrelevant to our world today. In fact, in an era of New Age fuzziness, his mental clarity refreshes.
— The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060819224
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Pages: 1840
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 2.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales más importantes del siglo veinte y podría decirse que fue el escritor cristiano más influyente de su tiempo. Fue profesor particular de literatura inglesa y miembro de la junta de gobierno en la Universidad Oxford hasta 1954, cuando fue nombrado profesor de literatura medieval y renacentista en la Universidad Cambridge, cargo que desempeñó hasta que se jubiló. Sus contribuciones a la crítica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantástica y teología popular le trajeron fama y aclamación a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribió más de treinta libros, lo cual le permitió alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aún atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada año. Sus más distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las Crónicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.

Biography

C. S. Lewis was famous both as a fiction writer and as a Christian thinker, and his biographers and critics sometimes divide his personality in two: the storyteller and the moral educator, the "dreamer" and the "mentor." Yet a large part of Lewis's appeal, for both his audiences, lay in his ability to fuse imagination with instruction. "Let the pictures tell you their own moral," he once advised writers of children's stories. "But if they don't show you any moral, don't put one in. ... The only moral that is of any value is that which arises inevitably from the whole cast of the author's mind."

Storytelling came naturally to Lewis, who spent the rainy days of his childhood in Ireland writing about an imaginary world he called Boxen. His first published novel, Out of the Silent Planet, tells the story of a journey to Mars; its hero was loosely modeled on his friend and fellow Cambridge scholar J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis enjoyed some popularity for his Space Trilogy (which continues in Perelandra and That Hideous Strength), but nothing compared to that which greeted his next imaginative journey, to an invented world of fauns, dwarfs, and talking animals -- a world now familiar to millions of readers as Narnia.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first book of the seven-volume Chronicles of Narnia, began as "a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood," according to Lewis. Years after that image first formed in his mind, others bubbled up to join it, producing what Kate Jackson, writing in Salon, called "a fascinating attempt to compress an almost druidic reverence for wild nature, Arthurian romance, Germanic folklore, the courtly poetry of Renaissance England and the fantastic beasts of Greek and Norse mythology into an entirely reimagined version of what's tritely called 'the greatest story ever told.'"

The Chronicles of Narnia was for decades the world's bestselling fantasy series for children. Although it was eventually superseded by Harry Potter, the series still holds a firm place in children's literature and the culture at large. (Narnia even crops up as a motif in Jonathan Franzen's 2001 novel The Corrections). Its last volume appeared in 1955; in that same year, Lewis published a personal account of his religious conversion in Surprised by Joy. The autobiography joined his other nonfiction books, including Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and The Great Divorce, as an exploration of faith, joy and the meaning of human existence.

Lewis's final work of fiction, Till We Have Faces, came out in 1956. Its chilly critical reception and poor early sales disappointed Lewis, but the book's reputation has slowly grown; Lionel Adey called it the "wisest and best" of Lewis's stories for adults. Lewis continued to write about Christianity, as well as literature and literary criticism, for several more years. After his death in 1963, The New Yorker opined, "If wit and wisdom, style and scholarship are requisites to passage through the pearly gates, Mr. Lewis will be among the angels."

Good To Know

The imposing wardrobe Lewis and his brother played in as children is now in Wheaton, Illinois, at the Wade Center of Wheaton College, which also houses the world's largest collection of Lewis-related documents, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

The 1994 movie, Shadowlands, based on the play of the same name, cast Anthony Hopkins as Lewis. It tells the story of his friendship with, and then marriage to, an American divorcee named Joy Davidman (played by Debra Winger), who died of cancer four years after their marriage. Lewis's own book about coping with that loss, A Grief Observed, was initially published under the pseudonym N. W. Clerk.

Several poems, stories, and a novel fragment published after Lewis's death have come under scrutiny as possible forgeries. On one side of the controversy is Walter Hooper, a trustee of Lewis's estate and editor of most of his posthumous works; on the other is Kathryn Lindskoog, a Lewis scholar who began publicizing her suspicions in 1988. Scandal or kooky conspiracy theory? The verdict's still out among readers.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Clive Staples Lewis (real name); Clive Hamilton, N.W. Clerk, Nat Whilk; called "Jack" by his friends
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 29, 1898
    2. Place of Birth:
      Belfast, Nothern Ireland
    1. Date of Death:
      November 22, 1963
    2. Place of Death:
      Headington, England

Read an Excerpt

The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3

Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy, 1950 - 1963
By C. Lewis

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 C. Lewis
All right reserved.



Chapter One

1950

During the spring of 1949 Lewis began dreaming of lions and by May 1949 he had written the first of the Chronicles of Narnia--The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This was hardly finished when he had the idea for the next story, Prince Caspian--or 'A Horn in Narnia' as it was first called. By the time this volume of letters opens Lewis was at work on yet another Narnian story, The Voyage of the 'Dawn Treader', the manuscript of which would be ready for Roger Lancelyn Green1 to read when he visited Lewis at the end of February 1950.2

To Jonathan Francis 'Frank' Goodridge (P):3

Magdalen College
Oxford
[1 January 1950]

There have been very few pupils in my 26 years' experience as a tutor for whom I can speak so confidently as I can for Mr. Frank Goodrich.4 As a scholar he has quality which his actual degree did not at all represent. The year in which he sat for his Final was one of strange surprises for many tutors about many pupils: but apart from that, his failure to do himself justice can be explained by two factors.

(1.) He is really too conscientious a student, too determined to get to the bottom of every question, to make an idealexaminee: good at probing and not at all good at advertising: incapable of 'bluff '.

(2.) He gave rather more time than he could afford to his duties as secretary of a philosophical club.5 I saw a good deal of him in that capacity and it was his Minutes which first convinced me that he had attributes quite out of the ordinary. He could condense, and slightly popularise, the arguments of speakers (often very erudite) with less loss than any man I have ever known.

This satisfies me that he will be a good teacher: he might very well turn out to be one of the great teachers. His personal character won my respect from the beginning and this respect steadily increased during the time he was with me. He is one of the most disinterested--I think I could say one of the most selfless--men I have ever met: and, in spite of his good humour and patience, which are unfailing, I should not like to be the boy who tried to 'rag' him. If I had a son of my own there is no one to whom I would entrust him so gladly as to Mr. Goodrich.

C. S. Lewis
Fellow & Tutor of Magdalen



Continues...

Excerpted from The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3 by C. Lewis Copyright © 2007 by C. Lewis. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents


Preface     vii
Abbreviations     xix
Letters
1950     1
1951     81
1952     153
1953     273
1954     400
1955     549
1956     693
1957     823
1958     911
1959     1008
1960     1120
1961     1220
1962     1309
1963     1400
Supplementary Letters     1486
'Great War' Letters     1596
Biographical Appendix     1647
Index     1739
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Great book

    Loved the free sample. So i had to get the full book

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 26, 2011

    Good Thanks.

    As a fan of C.S. Lewis I enjoyed this collection of works.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2014

    Part 2

    Lots of new information: thank you ltrs to Americans who sent post-war care packages, corres with Dorothy L Sayers, awesome congrats to Tolkein on The Lord of the Rings, sad deterioration of the Lewis household....Looking fwd to Part 3.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Let confusion reign!

    I don't know why I try, but C.S. Lewis' logic has always escaped me. And this book didn't help. I think maybe Lewis had a screwtape working on his brain!

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2014

    Be careful! There is a $2.99 nook version of this book that con

    Be careful! There is a $2.99 nook version of this book that contains only 2 letters! The whole book you get for 2.99 is 12 pages long! Look in the Product Details and if the file size is 101 KB, DO NOT BUY. I alerted B&N that they are selling this as if it were a whole book, which is not, and their reply was that the Product Details specify the file size of 101 KB, so I should have known that I was buying a very small file.
    This product is a RIP OFF and B&N should remove it from the bookstore. The data is BN ID: 2940013030831, Publisher: Baxter St.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Evil guys castle room

    Aross the hall from the girls rooms are the guys rooms. Enter the first door. The room is made entirely of ice like the girls rooms & each bed has thick quilts to keep out the cold. The walls are a dark greenish color of ice with four beds: two king beds & two queen beds.

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Hi can i be asland?

    The lion?

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Can i b peter

    Or edmund?

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Starkit to Boodspirit

    Hey,stupid man i'll bite off your head ha ha ha

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2011

    What?

    Are they letters to C.S? Have not read yet. Got free sample

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Bad

    Way to much money for a book

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2013

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