C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)


Life
[Clive Staples Lewis; pseud. Clive Hamilton; fam. “Jack”; - appar. adopted after a dog Jacksie, killed by a car, 1902] b. 29 Nov., Belfast; 2nd son of Albert J. Lewis, a prosperous solicitor of Welsh descent and  Flora Augusta [née Hamilton]; family moved to “Little Lea”, in Strandtown, E. Belfast; bapt. Church of Ireland; agnostic in adolescence; educ. Wynard Prep. School, Herts., from 1908; suffered the death of his mother, of cancer, 1908 [aetat. 10]; briefly attended Campbell College before proceeding to Malvern College; studied privately with William T. Kirkpatrick (“The Great Knock”), former headmaster of Lurgan College, as his tutor; cultivated imaginary world of animals called Boxen in childhood; came to admire Norse mythology and Yeats’s literary revival;
 
entered Oxford University on scholarship; served in First World War (Somerset Light Infantry); wounded by friendly cannon-fire, April 1918; reassigned to Andover [Hants]; his atheism was confirmed by his war experiences; formed close association with Jane [“Janie”] King Moore, the mother of his friend Edward [“Paddy”] Moore, who was killed in the war, and with whom he formed a pact; called her “mother”, though generally thought to be lovers - hiding the relationship from his father and his college; returned to Oxford and grad. with awarded a triple first (Classics, Greats & English), successively in 1920, 1921, 1923; met with friends incl. J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and his brother Warren, as the discussion group, “The Inklings”, at the Eagle and Child, Oxford; met with Yeats in Oxford; reimbraced Christianity at this time;
 
resided at Magdalen College as fellow and tutor, 1925-54, though actually lodging [or living] with his brother Warren [“Warnie”], Jane Moore and her dg. Maureen in “The Kilns”, 1930, nr. Oxford - grad. with Double First (Classics & English); returned to Belfast on his father’s falling ill, and shared a reconciliation, suffering his death shortly after his return for term at college, 1929; led back to Christianity by his close friend Tolkien, and joined the Church of England, c.1931 [aetat 32]; appt. Prof. of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge, 1954; issued Allegory of Love (1936), a treatise on Courtly Poetry and winner of the Hawthornden Prize; issued The Problem of Pain (1940), a Christian meditation; made renowned wartime broadcasts on Christian religion;
 
issued The Screwtape Letters (1942), an ironic correspondence from the eponymous Senior Devil to his nephew Wormwood, advising on the exploitation of human weakness in a particular case, and incidentally containing Lewis’s thesis that chastity is compatible with marriage and fidelity (Letter XXVIII); achieved American fame with Screwtape; gave lecture on The Abolition of Man at Durham Univ., 1943 (pub. OUP); issued The Great Divorce (1945), a fantasy on Heaven and Hell inspired by William Blake; experienced sense of ‘obliteration’ when oversome in theological debate with Kenny; Jane Moore d. 1951, of dementia in a nursing home, visited daily by Lewis; issued The Discarded Image (1964), a work of Renaissance criticism; wrote the ‘Narnia’ series of books for children, their success being overshadowed in the 1950s by Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (1954-55);
 
issued the allegorical Narnia series, a tale of magic and childhood featuring the magician-type Digory Kirke, a vehicle for Lewis’s own conception of ‘Universal Morality’ - aka ‘the Deep Magic’ which everyone knows - commencing with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), and continuing with The Last Battle (1956), Prince Caspian (1951), The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952), The Silver Chair (1953), The Magician’s Nephew (1955), The Last Battle (1956); offered the CBE, but refused; in latter years Lewis formed close friendship with Joy Davidman Gresham (1915-1960), an American admirer; formed close friendship and suggested a civil marriage when her visitor's visa was terminated; Joy suffered broken thigh, revealed as a symptom of bone cancer and died soon after [aetat 45], but not before Lewis married her with Christian rites at her bedside, March 1957;
 
issued Surprised by Joy (1955), a religiously-minded autobiography of his early life - the title stemming from a celebrated opening line in Wordsworth; honeymooned at 1958 at the Old Inn, Crawfordsburn, and frequently returned to the North of Ireland, describing heaven as ‘Oxford lifted and placed in the middle of Co. Down’; travelled with Joy to Greece, 1960, and suffered her loss after a collapse later that year; Lewis d. 22 Nov. 1963, at home in “The Kilns”, of renal failure, following an illness [prostate cancer] which began in 1961; his death overshadowed by assassination of President Kennedy and Aldous Huxley, and his funeral not announced by his alcoholic brother Warren - whose problems often involved him and who afterwards wrote a memoir to accompany an edition of his letters (1966);; bur. Holy Trinity, Church, Headington; there is a stage version The Screwtape Letters by James Forsythe (Screwtape, 1972);
 
Surprised by Joy was successfully filmed by Richard Attenborough in 1993 as Shadowlands with Anthony Hopkins as Lewis and Debra Winger as Joy Gresham, the Jewish American woman in flight from an abusive marriage with her son Douglas, who joins him in a platonic marriage; Lewis is annually commemorated by the Church of England on his date of death; his step-sons settled in Ireland; his literary executor and friend Walter Hooper discovered the MS The Dark Tower, of disputed authenticity; the first instalment of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was adapted for film in 2005; a fragment written with Tolkien Language and Human Nature was discovered in 2009; there is a C. S. Lewis Reading Room in the McClay Library at Queen’s University, Belfast (QUB); The Screwtape Letters was revived as book of the week on BBC4, Nov. 2013; Shadowlands, with Martin Jarvis and Joanne Whalley, played on BBC4 radio on Sunday 17 Nov. 2013. DIB DIW OCEL DUB

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Works
Poetry
  • Spirits in Bondage (1919);
  • [as Clive Hamilton,] Dymer (London: J. M. Dent; NY E. P. Dutton & Co. 1926; rep. 1950);
  • Walter Hooper, ed., Narrative Poems (London: Bles 1969), xiv, 178pp.;
  • Walter Hooper, ed., Poems (London: G. Bles 1964, 1977). xiv, 142pp.
Fiction
  • Out of the Silent Planet (London: Bodley Head [Jonathan Lane] 1938);
  • Perelandra (London: Jonathan Lane 1943) [later issued as Voyage to Venus];
  • That Hideous Strength: A Modern Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups (London: Jonathan Lane 1945).

The Narnia Series

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (London: Geoffrey Bles 1950; edns. incl. Puffin 1959) [first of the Narnia novels];
  • Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (London: Geoffrey Bles 1951);
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (London: Geoffrey Bles 1952; edns. incl. London: Puffin 1965), [Puffin eds. all ill. Pauline Baynes];
  • The Silver Chair (London: Geoffrey Bles 1953);
  • The Magician’s Nephew (London: Bodley Head 1955; Puffin 1963);
  • The Last Battle: a Story for Children (London: Geoffrey Bles 1956; Puffin 1964) [see infra].
Omnibus editions,
  • The Cosmic Trilogy [Out of the Silent Planet, 1938; Perelandra, 1943; That Hideous Strength, 1945] (London: Pan/Bodley Head 1989), 752pp.;
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, 7 vols. [The Magician’s Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; The Last Battle] (NY: HarperCollins 1994) [boxed set], ill. Pauline Baynes.
Autobiography
  • Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (1955) [see details].

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Criticism & Philosophy
  • The Pilgrim’s Regress: An Allegorical Apology for Christianity, Reason and Romanticism (1933) [depicting Ulster as Puritania];
  • The Allegory of Love: A Study of Medieval Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1936; num. OUP facs. reps.), 378pp. [see details]
  • with E. M. W. Tillyard, The Personal Heresy: A Controversy (London: OUP 1939), 150pp.;
  • The Problem of Pain [Christian Challenge Ser.] (London: Geoffrey Bles [Centenary Press] 1940; new imps. in 1957, 1977, 1998), ix, 148pp.;
  • A Preface to Paradise Lost (London: OUP 1942), viii, 143pp. [give as Ballard Matthews Lectures, University College, N. Wales, 1941);
  • The Screwtape Letters (London: Geoffrey Bles 1942 & edns.; rep. London: Fount Press [Collins] 1977, 1982, 1983, 1990. 1998), 160pp. [see details];
  • The Abolition of Man, or Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools [Riddell Memorial Lectures, Durham Univ., 15] (Oxford: OUP 1943, 1944; rep. edns. London: Fount Press [Collins] 1963, 1986, 1999), 69pp.;
  • Beyond Personality: The Christian Idea of God (London: G. Bles [Centenary Press] 1944), 63, [1]pp.;
  • The Pilgrim’s Regress: An Allegorical Apology for Christianity, Reason and Romanticism (NY: Sheed & Ward Inc. 1944), 255pp.;
  • Miracles: A Preliminary Study (London: Geoffrey Bles [The Centenary Press] 1947), 220pp.;
  • Mere Christianity (London: Fontana Books 1952; rev. & enl. 1955), 188pp.;
  • Shall We Lose God in Outer Space? (London: SPCK 1959), 11p. [pamph.];
  • The Four Loves (London: Geoffrey Bles 1960), 160pp.;
  • An Experiment in Criticism (Cambridge UP 1961, 1965, 1992), 142pp.;
  • Screwtape Letters and Screwtape Proposes a Toast (London: Geoffrey Bles 1961);
  • A Grief Observed (London: Faber & Faber 1961; rev. edn. 1966), 60pp.;
  • The Great Divorce: A Dream (London: G. Bles 1946; edns. 1972, 1997), 118pp.;
  • Beyond the Bright Blur [1st edn.] (NY: Harcourt, Brace & World [1963]), 30pp.;
  • The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (London: Cambridge UP 1964, 1967), viii, 232pp.;
  • Alastair Fowler, ed., Spenser’s Images of Life (Cambridge UP 1967), ix, 144pp., ill. [2 pls. facs.].;
  • The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment (Appleford: Marcham Books [1972]), 6pp.

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Edited collections
  • George MacDonald, ed., An Anthology [of] C. S. Lewis (London: G. Bles 1946). 128pp.;
  • Walter Hooper, ed., Christian Reflections (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. [1967]), xiv, 176pp.;
  • Walter Hooper, ed., Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories [A Harvest Book] (London: Geoffrey Bles 1966; NY: Harcourt Brace 1975), 148pp., and Do., reiss. as Of This and Other Worlds, ed. Hooper (London: Fount Press [Collins] 1982, 1984, 2000), 166pp.;
  • Walter Hooper, ed., Undeceptions (London: Geoffrey Bles 1971), reiss. as God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Hooper (London: Fount Press [Collins] 1979), 108pp. [pb.];
  • Walter Hooper, ed., The Dark Tower and Other Stories (London: Collins 1977), 158pp.;
  • Lyle W. Dorsett, ed. & intro., The Essential C. S. Lewis (NY: Collier Books 1988), xv, 536pp.;
  • Walter Hooper, ed., Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Cambridge UP [Canto Edition] 1998), x, 196pp.;
  • Walter Hooper, ed., Compelling Reason: Essays on Ethics and Belief (London: Fount Press [Collins] 1996), 186pp.;
  • Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces (London: HarperCollins 2000), 1024pp.

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Correspondence & Journals
  • Warner Hamilton Lewis, ed., Letters of C. S. Lewis, with a memoir (London: Bles [1966]), 308pp., ill. [8pp of pls.], and Do., rev. & enl. by Walter Hooper (London: Harcourt Brace 1993), 538pp.;
  • Walter Hooper, ed., Mark vs. Tristram: Correspondence between C. S. Lewis and Owen Barfield (Cambridge, Mass: Lowell House 1967), [lim. edn.];
  • Clyde S. Kilby, ed., Letters to an American Lady (Grand Rapids, Michogan: W. B. Eerdmans Publ. Co, [1967], edns. to 1997), 121pp. [facs.];
  • Walter Hooper, “They Stand Together”: The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves 1914-1963 (NY: Collier 1986);
  • Walter Hooper , ed., ‘All My Road B efore Me’: The Diary of C. S. Lewis 1922-27, foreword by Owen Barfield (London: HarperCollins 1991, 1993), xi, 483pp.
  • [Walter Hooper, ed.,] Collected Letters, Vol 1: Family Letters 1905-1931 (London: HarperCollins 2000), 528pp.

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Bibliography
  • Walter Hooper, C. S. Lewis: A Bibliography (Bedford: Aidan Mackey 1991).

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Bibliographical details
The Allegory of Love / A study in Medieval Tradition / By / C.S. Lewis M.A. // [Multa renascentur quae jan cecidere, cadentque / Quae nunc sunt in honore] / Oxford 1936 [ded. To Owen Barfield / wisest and best / of my / unofficial teachers.] CONTENTS: I. Courtly Lover; II. Allegory; III. The Romance of the Rose; IV. Chaucer; V. Gower; Thomas Usk; VI. Allegory as the Dominant Form; VII The Faerie Queene. Appendix I
Appendix II. [See extracts, under Quotations, infra].

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (1955) [ded. Dom Bede Griffiths, OSB]. CONTENTS [Chap. titles]: Peace; The First years; Concentration Camp; Muntbracken and Campbell; I Broaden my Mind; Renaissance; Bloodery; Light and Shade; Release; The Great Knock; Fortune’s Smile; Check; Guns and Good Company; The New Look; Checkmate; The Beginning. [No extracts available.]

The Screwtape Letters (London: Geoffrey Bles 1942), 160pp. [ded. to J. R. R. Tolkien]; 9 reprints, Feb.-Dec. 1942; 3 reps. 1943; 2 reps. 1944; 3 reps. 1945; 3 reps. March-Sept. 1946; printed by Unwin Bros., Woking; lists as by same author, The Pilgrim’s Regress; Out of the Silent Planet; The Problem of Pain; Broadcast Talks; Christian Behaviourt; Beyond Personality; The Great Divorce.

Epigraph: ‘The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to text of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.’ (Luther.) ‘The devill ... the prowde spirit ... can endure to be mocked.’ (Thomas More.) Pref. dated 5 July, 1941. (See further under Quotations, infra.)

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Criticism
  • Walter Hooper, Past Watchful Dragons: The Narnian Chronicles of C. S. Lewis (NY: Collier 1979), xi, 140pp.;
  • Clyde S. Kilby & Marjorie Lamp Mead, eds., Brothers and Friends: The Diaries of Major Warren Hamilton Lewis (SF: Harper & Row 1982);
  • Dabney Adams Hart, Through the Open Door: A New Look at C. S. Lewis (University of Alabama Press 1984), x, 164pp.;
  • Terence Brown, ‘C. S. Lewis, Irishman?’ [chap.], in Ireland’s Literature: Selected Essays (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1988), q.pp.;
  • A. N. Wilson, C. S. Lewis: A Biography (London: Collins 1990; rep. 1999), 334pp.;
  • George Watson, ed., Critical Essays on C. S. Lewis (Aldershot: Scolar 1993), 284pp.;
  • Mervyn Nicholson, ‘Bram Stoker and C. S. Lewis: Dracula as a Source for That Hideous Strength’, in Mythlore, 19, 3 (Summer 1993), pp.16ff.;
  • Roger Lancelyn Green & Walter Hooper, C. S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide (London: Fount Press [Collins] 1996);
  • David Bleakley, C. S. Lewis: At Home in Ireland (Bangor: Strandtown 1998), 203pp.;
  • Ronald W. Bresland, A Backward Glance: C. S. Lewis and Ireland (Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies 1999), 152pp.;
  • Colin Duriez , Tolkein and Lewis: The Gift of Friendship (Mahwah, NJ: Hidden Spring [2003]), q.pp.; Bibl., ‘The writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’, pp.221-225
  • Don W. King, C. S. Lewis, Poet (Kent State UP 2001), 408pp.;
  • Michael White, C. S. Lewis: The Boy Who Chronicled Narnia (London: Abacus 2006), xi, 268pp., il. [8pp. of pls.];
  • D. Gilbert & C. S. Kilby, C. S. Lewis: Images of His World (Eerdmans 2006), 144pp. [photos].
  • William Gray, Death and Fantasy: Essays on Philip Pullman, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and R. L. Stevenson (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars 2009), x, 126pp.
  • Jane O’Hanlon, ‘Narnia: the last battle of the imaginative man’, in Young Irelands: Studies in Children’s Literature, ed. Mary Shine Thompson [Studies in Children’s Literature, 4] (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2011) [Chap. 9].

See also remarks in Anne Fogarty, ‘The Colonization of Language: Narrative Strategies in A View of the Present State of Ireland and The Faerie Queene, Book VI’, Spenser in Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, ed. Patricia Coughlan, et al. (Cork UP 1989), [as infra];

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Commentary
Robert Greacen, review of Ronald W. Bresland, The Backward Glance: C. S. Lewis and Ireland (1999), in Books Ireland (Feb. 2000), pp.20-21: quotes Nevill Coghill’s account of Lewis, reflecting similarities between Lewis and his literary hero Dr Samuel Johnson: ‘thick set, full fleshed, deep-voiced, learned, rough, golden-hearted, flattening in dispute, a notable bit, kindly affectioned with a great circle of friends, some of them men of genius like Tolkien, untidy, virtuous, devoted to a wife untimely lost a Tory and a High Church man. Could anyone since Dr Johnson be so described except Jack Lewis?’ Further, Greacen quotes Lewis on his own antecedents, his father of Welsh extraction (’true Welshmen, sentimental, passionate and rhetorical, readily moved to anger and to tenderness; men who laughed and cried a great deal and who had not much talent for happiness’), whom he believed himself to more closely resemble than his mother, a Hamilton (’a cooler race’ that had “the talent for happiness in a high degree’). Greacen comments at some length on the snobbish class divisions within the Belfast middle class. Coghill, a nephew of Edith Somerville, helped Lewis to publish his long narrative poem “Dymer” in London and remained a life-long friend.

Anne Fogarty cites C. S. Lewis to the effect that The Faerie Queene is the ‘work of one who is turning into an Irishman’ (Fogarty, ‘The Colonization of Language: Narrative Strategies in A View of the Present State of Ireland and The Faerie Queene, Book VI’, in Patricia Coughlan, ed., Spenser in Ireland [ ... &c.] , Cork UP 1989; quoting p.76.)

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Stephen Medcalf, review of Don W. King, C. S. Lewis, Poet (Kent State UP): Medcalf writes, ‘If pressed, I should say that Adam’s Curse is about what C. S. Lewis describes in his allegory of Love as “the kind and degree of incarnation and embodiment which we can safely give to the spiritual’, and further quotes Lewis’s view that by and large, Catholics suspect “that all spiritual gifts are falsely claimed if they cannot be embodied in bricks and mortar, or official positions, or institutions”, while Protestants think that “nothing retains its spirituality if incarnation is pushed to that degree and in that way”. Also quotes a poem by Lewis on the Incarnation: “Master, they say that when I seem / To be in speech with you, / Since you make no replies, it’s all a dream / -One talker aping two. // They are half right, but not as they / Imagine; rather, I / Seek in myself the things I mean to say, / And lo! the words are dry. // And thus you neither need reply / Nor can; thus, while we seem / Two talking, thou art One forever, and I / No dreamer, but thy dream.’ Also cites the poem chosen by Larkin for Oxford Book of Verse, “On a Vulgar Error”: ‘No. It’s an impudent falsehood. Men did not / Invariably think a newer way / Prosaic, mad, inelegant, or what not. / Was the first pointed arch esteemed a blot / Upon the church? Did anybody say / How modern and how ugly? They did not.’ Remarks that the novel Till We have Faces is ‘the autobiography of a woman who only realises at the end of her life that her whole figuration of reality has been flawed from its foundation by jealousy of her sister and the god who has taken her away.’

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Quotations

Mere Christianity (1952): ‘I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.’ (p.43; quoted on Wikipedia, online; accessed 28.09.2010.).


Allegory of Love (1936) - “Courtly Love” [Chap. 1]: ‘The allegorical love poetry of the Middle Ages is apt to repel the modern reader both by its form and by its matter. The form, which is that of a struggle between personified abstractions, can hardly be expected to appeal to an age which holds that “art means what it says” or even that art is meaningless - for it is essential to this form that the literal narrative and the significacio should be separable. As for the matter, what have we to do with these medieval lovers - “servants” or “prisoners” they called themselves - who seem to be always weeping and always on their knees before ladies of inflexible cruelty? The popular erotic literature of our own day tends rather to sheikhs and “Salvage Men” and marriage by capture, while that which is in favour with our intellectuals recommends either frank animalism or the free companionship of the sexes. In every way, if we have not outgrown, we have at least grown away from, the Romance of the Rose. The study of this whole tradition may seem, at first sight, to be but one more example of that itch for “revival”, that refusal to leave any corpse ungalvanized, which is among the more distressing accidents of scholarship. But such a view would be superficial. Humanity does not pass through phases as a train passes through stations: being alive, it has the privilege of always moving yet never leaving anything behind. Whatever we have been, in some sort we are still. Neither the form nor the sentiment of this old poetry has passed away without leaving indelible traces on our minds. We shall understand our present, and perhaps even our future, the better if we can succeed, by an effort of the historical imagination, in reconstructing that long-lost state of mind for which the allegorical love poem was a natural mode of expression. But we shall not [2] be able to do so unless we begin by carrying our attention back to a period long before that poetry was born. In this and the following chapter, I shall trace in turn the rise both of the sentiment called “Courtly Love” and of the allegorical method. The discussion will seem, no doubt, to carry us far from our main subject: but it cannot be avoided. / Every one has heard of courtly love, and every one knows that it appears quite suddenly at the end of the eleventh century in Languedoc. The characteristics of the Troubadour poetry have been repeatedly described. [...]’ (pp.1-2.) [Cont.]

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Allegory of Love (1936) - “Courtly Love” [Chap. 1] - cont.: ‘[...] The new thing itself, I do not pretend to explain. Real changes in human sentiment are very rare - there are perhaps three or four on record - but I believe that they occur, and that this is one of them. I am not sure that they have ‘causes’, if by a cause we mean something which would wholly account for the new state of affairs, and so explain away what seemed its novelty. It is, at any rate, certain that the efforts of scholars have so far failed to find an origin for the content of Provençal love poetry. Celtic, Byzantine, and even Arabic influence have been suspected; but it has not been made clear that these, if granted, could account for the results we see. A more promising theory attempts to trace the whole thing to Ovid; but this view - apart from the inadequacy which I suggested above - finds itself faced with the fatal difficulty that the evidence points to a much stronger Ovidian influence in the north of France than in the south. Something can be extracted from a study of the social conditions in which the new poetry arose, but not so much as we might hope. [...; 12] But if we abandon the attempt to explain the new feeling, we can at least explain - indeed we have partly explained already - the peculiar form which it first took; the four marks of Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love. To account for the humility we need no more than has already been said. Before the coming of courtly love the relation of vassal and lord, in all its intensity and warmth, already existed; it was a mould into which romantic passion would almost certainly be poured. [12] And if the beloved were also the feudal superior the thing becomes entirely natural and inevitable. The emphasis on courtesy results from the same conditions. It is in courts that the new feeling arises: the lady, by her social and feudal position, is already the arbitress of manners and the scourge of ‘villany’ even before she is loved. The association of love with adultery - an association which has lasted in continental literature down to our own times - has deeper causes. In part, it can be explained by the picture we have already drawn; but there is much more to be said about it than this. Two things prevented the men of that age from connecting their ideal of romantic and passionate love with marriage. / The first is, of course, the actual practice of feudal society. [..../] The second factor is the medieval theory of marriage - what may be called, by a convenient modern barbarism, the ‘sexology’ of the medieval church. A nineteenth-century Englishman felt that the same passion - romantic love - could be either virtuous or vicious according as it [13] was directed towards marriage or not. But according to the medieval view passionate love itself was wicked, and did not cease to be wicked if the object of it were your wife. If a man had once yielded to this emotion he had no choice between ‘guilty’ and ‘innocent’ love before him: he had only the choice, either of repentance, or else of different forms of guilt.’ (pp.12-14.) [Cont.]

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Allegory of Love (1936) - “Courtly Love” [Chap. 1] - cont.: ‘[...] Before we proceed to examine two important expressions of courtly love, I must put the reader on his guard against a necessary abstraction in my treatment of the subject. I have spoken hitherto as if men first became conscious of a new emotion and then invented a new kind of poetry to express it: as if the Troubadour poetry were necessarily ‘sincere’ in the crudely biographical sense of the word: as if convention played no part in literary history. My excuse for this procedure must be that a full consideration of such problems belongs rather to the theory of literature in general than to the history of one kind of poem: if we admit them, our narrative will be interrupted in every chapter by almost metaphysical digressions. For our purpose it is enough to point out that life and letters are inextricably intermixed. If the feeling came first a literary convention would soon arise to express it: if the convention came first it would soon teach those who practised it a new feeling. It does not much matter what view we hold provided we avoid that fatal dichotomy which makes every poem either an autobiographical document or a ‘literary exercise’ - as if any poem worth writing were either the one or the other. We may be quite sure that the poetry which initiated all over Europe so great a change of heart was not a ‘mere’ convention: we can be quite as sure that it was not a transcript of fact. It was poetry.’ (p.22; end chap.; for longer extracts from this chapter, see attached.) Note epigraph of Chap. 1: ‘When in the world I lived I was the world’s commander’ —Shakespeare.

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Screwtape Letters (1942) - Preface:

 I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands.
 There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight. The sort of script which is used in this book can be very easily obtained by anyone who has once learned the knack; but disposed or excitable people who might make a bad use of it shall not learn it from me.
 Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle. I have made no attempt to identify any of the human beings mentioned in the letters; but I think it very unlikely that the portraits, say, of Fr. Spike or the patient’s mother, are wholly just. There is wishful thinking in Hell as well as on Earth.
 In conclusion, I ought to add that no effort has been made to clear up the chronology of the letters. Number XVII appears to have been composed before rationing became serious; but in general the diabolical method of dating seems to bear no relation to terrestrial time and I have not attempted to reproduce it. The history of the European War, except in so far as it happens now and then to impinge upon the spiritual condition of one human being, was obviously of no interest to Screwtape.

C. S. LEWIS

MAGDALEN COLLEGE
July 5, 1941

 
Available at ePub Bud - online [accessed 18.11.2013]; also as .pdf at Google Documents - online [ibid.].

Screwtape Letters (1942) - Letter I: ‘I note what you say about guiding our friend's reading and taking care tat that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend. But aren't you being a trifle naif? It sounds as if you supposed that argument was the way to keep him out of the Enemy's clutches. That might have been so if he had lived a few centuries earlier. at that time human beings still knew pretty well when a thing was proved and when it was not: and if it was proved they really believed it. They still connected thinking with doing and were prepared to alter their way of life as the result of a chain of reasoning. But what with the weekly press and other such weapons we have largely altered that. Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to have a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing together inside his head. his doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily “true”, or “false”, but as “academic” or “practical”, “outworn”, “contemporary”, “conventional”, “ruthless”. Jargon not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church.’ Don't waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong, or stark, or courageous - that it is the philosophy of the future. That's the sort of thing he cares about. [...]’ ( p.11; cont.)

[Continuing:]

 Remember, he is not like you, a pure spirit. Never having been a human (Oh that abominable advantage of the Enemy’s) you don't realise how enslaved they are to the pressure of the ordinary.

[...]

 You begin to see the point? Thanks to processes which we set at work in them centuries ago, they find it all but impossible to believe in the unfamiliar while the familiar is before their eyes. Keep pressing home on him the ordinariness of things. Above all, do not attempt to use science (I mean, the real sciences) as a defence against Christianity. They will positively encourage him to think about realities he can't touch and see. There have been sad cases among the modern physicists. If he must dabble in science, keep him on economics and sociology; don't let him get away from that invaluable "real life". But the best of all is to let him read no science but to give him a grand general idea that he knows it all and that everything he happens to have picked up in casual talk and reading is "the results of modem investigation". Do remember you are there to fuddle him. From the way some of you young fiends talk, anyone would suppose it was our job to teach!

 
Your affectionate uncle
SCREWTAPE

 

 

 

Screwtape Letters (1942) - cont.: ‘When two human beings have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother’s eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery and let him know how much he dislikes it.’ (Letter III; p.22.) [For longer extracts, see attached.]

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Magdalen/Magdalene: on being offered the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge, Lewis said: “I think I shall like Magdalene better than Magdalen. It’s a tiny college (a perfect cameo architecturally) and they’re all so old-fashioned and pious, and gentle and conservative - unlike this leftist, atheist, cynical, hard-boiled, huge Magdalene. Perhaps from being the fogey and “old woman” here I shall become the enfant terrible there.’ (Cited in Robert Greacen, “Ulstermen Unspancelled’, review of Ronald W. Bresland, The Backward Glance: C. S. Lewis and Ireland in Books Ireland Feb. 2000, p.20-21.)

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W. B. Yeats: ‘Yeats believed his “ever-living ones” were not merely feigned or merely desired. He really thought that there was a world of beings more or less like them, and that contact between that world and ours was possible. [...] I now learned that there were people, not traditionally orthodox, who nevertheless rejected the whole Materialist philosophy out of hand.’ (Surprised by Joy, p.141; quoted in Terence Brown, ‘Louis MacNeice’s Ireland’, Brown & Nicholas Grene, eds., Tradition and Influence in Anglo-Irish Poetry, London: Macmillan 1989, pp.79-96; p.89.)

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References

There is an extremely able and comprehensive Wikipedia article on Lewis online; accessed 28.09.2010. A copy of the Secondary Bibliography is here attached.


Frank Ormsby, ed., Northern Windows: An Anthology of Ulster Autobiography (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1987), contains an extract from Surprised by Joy (1966 edn., here pp.65-78).

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British Library lists 302 titles since 1972 (incl. translations) - see attached.

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Books in Print (1994): Out of the Silent Planet (London: J. Lane 1938.) Perelandra [later issued as Voyage to Venus] (London: J. Cape 1943.) That Hideous Strength: A Modern Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups (J. Lane 1945.) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (London: Geoffrey Bles 1950; Puffin 1959) [1st of the Narnia Quartet]; Prince Caspian, The Return to Narnia (London: Geoffrey Bles 1951.) The Silver Chair (London: Geoffrey Bles 1953.) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (London: Geoffrey Bles 1952; Puffin 1965), all ill. Pauline Baynes; The Magician’s Nephew (London: Bodley Head 1955; Puffin 1963.) The Last Battle (London: Geoffrey Bles 1956; Puffin 1964.) Till We Have Faces (London: Geoffrey Bles 1956) [Note transcription errors in non-English typography.]

Peter Ellis (Cat. 10; 2002) lists Screwtape Letters and Screwtape Proposes a Toast (London: Geoffrey Bles 1961) [£65]; also A Note on Jane Austen ([Oxford: Basil Blackwell 1954]), 13 pp. offprint from Essays in Criticism; printed on rectos only; copy of Owen Barlfield [£250].

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Peter Harrington Books (Cat. 2005) lists C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle: A Story for Children (London: Bodley Head [1st edn.,; 1st imp.; £1,800] . Also, ex. lib. c. s. Lewis, W. J. B. Crotch, The Prologues and Epilogues of William Caxton (Early Eng. Texts Soc.; OUP 1928), 1st edn., imp.; signature [£950]

Belfast Public Library holds 12 titles.

Notes
Corrig.: it is somewhere recorded that C. S. Lewis was born in North Belfast, later moving to the east of the city with his family; corrected [as infra] by Dr. John Gillespie (Univ. of Ulster).

Surprised by Joy: The title-phrase of Lewis's autobiography and testimony to his love for Joy Davidman Gresham, derives from the sonnt of 1815 by William Wordsworth:

Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom
But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind—
But how could I forget thee?—Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

 
See The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Margaret Ferguson, et al., eds., 5th Ed., NY 2005, p.804.

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