Cumberland County Arts Council 

Burkesville, Kentucky 

November 6, 1998 

"Two Evenings With C.S. Lewis: 

The Man Who Created Narnia"

Part 2

 

Welcome and Introduction

 

On behalf of the Cumberland County Arts Council and the Burkesville Christian Church, I want to welcome you to the second evening of a two-evening multimedia centenary celebration of author and literary critic, C.S. Lewis's birth.

If you will note from the outline of our program, that last night we discussed many of the basic facts of Lewis's early life, followed by a brief video. Then, we discussed The Chronicles of Narnia, viewing a portion of a BBC rendition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Tonight night we will be dealing more with his published works plus the unusual story of his marriage, late in life, to Joy Davidman, viewing the BBC version of Shadowlands, a movie made for television which was the basis for the Hollywood film of 1993, starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.

 

Interaction  

 

Just as I did last night Before I go any further I would like to ask if you would interact with me as to your own reading of C.S. Lewis.

Maybe I might ask,

1. "How many of you have never read any of his books? Would you raise your hands?

2. Of those who have, how many first read or had read to you, the books known as the Chronicles of Narnia?

3. How many first read either The Screwtape Letters or Mere Christianity?

4. How many came to read him first through his literary criticism?

5. What are some of the books that others of you may have read upon your first introduction to Lewis?

Thank you.

 

My own experience

 

I shared last night how I first came to read Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters while a freshman in college. It was only later I came to read the Chronicles of Narnia and some of his literary criticism. As for his influence on my life as a whole, and I think why I continue to be blessed by his writings, and by others who have studied his works, let me quote from a friend of mine who sent me an e-mail this past year while he was preparing to lead a workshop on Lewis in Chicago this past summer:

 

I "find that Lewis creates good critical thinkers and reflective citizens - not to mention active mediators of God's goodness and mercy. He brings people of disparate interests, aptitudes, and vocations together - and pays us the tender compliment of expecting us together to learn to read with discernment and to understand ultimate issues in the light of eternity. He offers us neither flattery nor condescension; only the promise of honest exchange and respect for the individual journeys we are on.." (Edwards, "Pre-Mythcon." 1)

 

An Introduction to the Works of C.S. Lewis

 

Before I go any further, I would like to answer a possible question of those who have never read any or very few of C.S. Lewis's works: "Where do I begin? What books would you suggest that I read to introduce myself to his life and works?" Some people just pick a book from a genre that interests them - Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and so on. What is being done in many of the classes and workshops that are now being taught on C.S. Lewis is to suggest a basic Lewis anthology and then, with it, a basic reference book on both his life and works.

If I were beginning again myself, I would suggest that someone first read the collected essays, poems, letters, excerpts and two full books found in The Essential C.S. Lewis, an anthology edited by Lyle Dorsett, a former director of the Wade Center at Wheaton College near Chicago. Dorsett also wrote a biography of Lewis's wife, Joy Gresham, titled And God Came In (1991). The Essential Lewis is a paperback and is available at such bookstores as Barnes & Noble for $14.00 or your can order it at a little discount on the internet through Amazon.com.

As for a basic reference book on the life and works of C.S. Lewis, I would recommend The C.S. Lewis Readers' Encyclopedia edited by Jeffrey Schultz and John West. It was just published this past June and covers pretty-much anything you might like to know about Lewis. It also is available at places like Barnes and Noble and on the internet. It's a hardback whose list price is $22.99. Some copies of this book are still available on the table for $20.00 (including tax).

 

My involvement with The C.S. Lewis Reader's Encyclopedia

 

What brought me here tonight, in part, is the privilege that I had of contributing several articles to the book that I just mentioned, The C.S. Lewis Reader's Encyclopedia (147, 181, 199, 223, 286, 286). As I refer, right now, to the articles that were assigned to me, I will briefly note that they deal with people who were close to C.S. Lewis and touched his life in a significant way. 

1. Hamilton Jenkin, 

Lewis described as his "first lifelong friend," Hamilton Jenkin, a fellow student of Lewis's at Oxford in the early twenties. In his autobiography Lewis mentions that it was Jenkin who showed him how to "enjoy everything; even ugliness," by making "a total surrender to whatever atmosphere was offering itself at the moment," rubbing one's nose in the "very quiddity of each thing." (Lewis, SBJ, 160)

Two of the articles assigned to me were on men who were part of the Inklings, a group of writers that met regularly each week in Lewis's rooms at Oxford to read and critique each others unpublished writings.

2. Hugo Dyson. 

Lewis describes one of these, Hugo Dyson, to be in his opinion, one of "the immediate human causes" of his conversion. (Lewis, LCSL, 363) It had been Tolkien and Dyson who had spent a long evening with Lewis in 1931 discussing the historical reality of the incarnation, the crucifixion and the resurrection - comparing Christianity to the classical and Norse myths and suggesting to Lewis that Jesus's death and resurrection was "a true myth" that had become "an historical fact." Just nine days later Lewis made his decision to move from theism to a belief in Christianity.

3. Robert Havard 

Another Inkling, Dr. Humphrey Havard was Lewis's family doctor. He also was the first speaker at the Oxford Socratic Society. To give a medical perspective on pain Lewis asked him to write an appendix to one of his early books, The Problem of Pain. Havard was also an official witness to Lewis's civil marriage to Joy Davidman Gresham in 1956. (Griffin, 376)

4. Maureen Moore

Maureen Moore, better known in Great Britain as Lady Dunbar of Hempriggs, lived in Oxford with Lewis and her mother, Janie Moore and Lewis's brother Warren, in a rather complicated household arrangement, initiated by Lewis and her mother just after Lewis returned to Oxford from his service in World War I. The movie, Shadowlands, never really acknowledges this side of Lewis's pre-conversion double-life, and, if it had, it would have removed forever a stereotype often given to Lewis as an inexperienced, ivory-tower-bachelor don who feared relationships with women.

5. Jock Gibb

Another friend, Jock Gibb, was Lewis's book editor and publisher, who played an important, but behind-the-scenes role in the promotion, distribution and sale of millions of Lewis's books. Gibb also edited the book, Light on C.S. Lewis, one of the earliest anthology of essays written about Lewis after his death.

6. William Morris

Finally, I refer you to the nineteenth century fantasy novelist, William Morris, whom Lewis mentioned in his personal correspondence over 75 times, second only to George MacDonald (Lewis, TST, 583-584). Lewis gave two public lectures on Morris, seeking to restore Morris to his proper place in English literature.

 

Introduction to His Works

I mentioned last night that between World War I and the writing of The Allegory of Love, Lewis encountered four major changes in his life.

1. His emotional attachment to Janie Moore

He developed an maternal and probably sexual attachment to Mrs. Janie Moore, setting up household in Oxford with her and her daughter, Maureen.

2. Two books of poetry published

He had hoped to make a name for himself as a poet and had two books of poetry published, but neither of these books received either critical or popular approval, so he then turned to literary criticism, where his talents seemed to be both more fruitful and more appreciated. (Lewis, LCSL, 159, 181, 318, 444)

3. Forming of friendships which eventually became the Inklings

Third, during both his student days and in his early teaching career, Lewis began to develop significant friendships with the men who would eventually be the nucleus of the Inklings.

4. His Conversion

And most important, the fourth major change occurred shortly before the death of Lewis's father in 1929 Lewis had reluctantly come to believe that there was a God and then, in 1931, with the help of Dyson and Tolkien, he took the final step - accepting the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

Having faced these four major changes as a young academic at Oxford, Lewis was now headed into the most fruitful period of his life. Before we sample some individual selections from Lewis, I first would like for us to consider his overall career. [Click on "Barfield's Three Lewises."] (This hyperlink opens a new window.) I have listed all of Lewis's works published through 1990, not counting several books of his published letters. The line drawn by "plus signs" delineates those that were published before or were in process of being published before his death. Most of the later volumes listed are collections of essays or poems edited by Walter Hooper which were also previously published by Lewis in various periodicals before his death. The asterisk by The Dark Tower refers to some current critical questions about its authenticity which is another whole issue that will not be mentioned further in this lecture.

In 1988, Lewis's longtime friend, Owen Barfield, looking back over the entire Lewis canon, speaks of three major arenas in which Lewis distinguished himself.

First, he was a "distinguished and original literary critic."

This first column refers specifically to books such as The Allegory of Love and his magnum opus, English Literature in the 16th Century.

Second, he was a "highly successful author of imaginative fiction."

The second column lists such well-known books as The Screwtape Letters, his space trilogy, and of course, the seven Chronicles of Narnia.

Third, he was a "writer and broadcaster of Christian apologetics." (Barfield in TTOTP, 1) Best known in this third list are Mere Christianity, Miracles, and A Grief Observed, the book upon which much of tone and tenor of the play and movie, Shadowlands was based.

Indeed, responding in a 1954 letter to the Milton Society of America, Lewis described his own work in similar fashion, if not in the same exact words as "imaginative, religious writer and critic." (LCSL, 444)

As you can see, quantitatively, each of these areas is well-balanced. Barfield does express a concern that many readers who know him in one setting do not yet know him in the other two settings. That may be the case here today as well. Yet, in spite of this threefold diversity, it is the common experience of many Lewis readers that they do not meet three different writers when we encounter Lewis in these three different settings. Somehow he communicates an impressive unity across all three arenas. In fact, according to Barfield, "what he [Lewis] thought about everything was secretly present in what he said about anything." (TTOTP, 2) Why is this? I would agree with another Lewis scholar, Bruce Edwards, when he writes, "My reflection on Lewis' literary career, and my submersion in his literary scholarship, reveal to me a man who refused to compartmentalize his faith or his vocation. Lewis's devotion to Christ and his full embrace of the supernaturalism of Biblical faith leaks out into his prose whether he is writing children's fantasy, or etymologies of obscure Norse words, or framing the cultural milieu of allegory in the fourteenth century." (Edwards in Inklings Forever, 2) In this sense Lewis serves for each of us, no matter what our vocation or faith, as a model of integrity, in his work, his life and his faith, even to the point of being willing to be "denied a professorship at Oxford at the peak of his literary scholarship." (Inklings Forever, 7)

A Lewis Sampler

Let's turn now to a sample of some of Lewis's work, beginning with one of his poems originally published in 1954 in Punch and entitled, "Spartan Nactus," (Latin for "Spartan Having Obtained") where he poetically throws down the gauntlet against modern poetry, specifically referring here to The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock where Eliot likens an evening to "a patient etherised upon a table." I claim no expertise in poetry, but in this poem it is clearly seen that Lewis pretends to be a dunce who does not understand the subtle nuances of modern poetry's imagery and tongue-in-cheek apologizes for finding in stock responses and dull things his own poetic perspective. (Don King, CSLRE. 382 and Seven. 79-80) [We will only read the first six and the last eight lines.]

 

1 "I am so coarse, the things the poets see
2 Are obstinately invisible to me.
3 For twenty years I've stared my level best
4 To see if evening - any evening - would suggest
5 A patient etherized upon a table;
6 In vain. I simply wasn't able.
 
23 I'm like that odd man Wordsworth knew, to whom
24 A primrose was a yellow primrose, one whose doom
25 Keeps him forever in the list of dunces,
26 Compelled to live on stock responses,
27 Making the poor best that I can
28 Of dull things . . . peacocks, honey, the Great Wall, Aldebaran,
29 Silver weirs, new­cut grass, wave on the beach, hard gem,
30 The shapes of horse and woman, Athens, Troy, Jerusalem.
( Poems, 1)

 

Our second Lewis sample comes from an essay entitled, "Meditation in a Toolshed" and it will introduce us to how Lewis thinks. Originally published in a local British newspaper, it describes an important concept that Lewis used in both his religious and literary essays. Here we see the significant difference between "looking at and looking along." Again we will just read the first few paragraphs, but I encourage you to read the whole essay on your own.

 

"Meditation in a Toolshed"

C. S. Lewis

Originally published in The Coventry Evening Telegraph (17 July 1945): 4. Reprinted in God in the Dock. ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970): 212-215

 

I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam. From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it.

Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences.

But this is only a very simple example of the difference between looking at and looking along.

(GID, 212)

 

Let us look now at an example of Lewis's apologetics from Mere Christianity, the book which formed the basis of his World War II BBC radio broadcasts. Here is his famous argument for proving the deity of Christ. It comes just after Lewis mentions that Jesus appeared among the Jews claiming to forgive sins. He writes,

 

"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 great moral teacher. he would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is 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."

(Mere Christianity. 40-41)

 

I did not list in the threefold Lewis literary canon the many collections of his letters that have been published since Lewis's death. It was his practice to answer every letter that he received, seeing it as a mentoring ministry given to him in response to the many books and articles written on Christian themes. Part of our next sample of Lewis's work comes from his letters. Part comes from two essays describing how he came to write some of his fiction. Here is he giving some advice on writing. We will just glance through part of it.

 

Lewis's Advice on Writing

Dear Joan--

What really matters is:

1. Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure y[ou}r. sentence couldn't mean anything else.

2. Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don't implement promises, but keep them.

3. Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean "More people died" don't say "Mortality rose."

4. In writing. Don't use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was "terrible," describe it so that we'll be terrified. Don't say it was "delightful"; make us say "delightful" when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers "Please will you do my job for me.'

5. Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.(CSLLC. 63-64)

 

To a schoolgirl in America who had written to request advice on writing:

It is very hard to give any general advice about writing. Here's my attempt.

(1) Turn off the Radio.

(2) Read all the good books you can, and avoid nearly all magazines.

(3) Always write (and read) with the ear, not the eye. You sh[ou]d. hear every sentence you write as if it was being read aloud or spoken. If it does not sound nice, try again.

(4) Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else. (Notice this means that if you are interested in writing you will never be a writer, because you will have nothing to write about. . . .)

(5) Take great pains to be clear. Remember that though you start by knowing what you mean, the reader doesn't, and a single ill-chosen word may lead him to a total misunderstanding. In a story it is terribly easy just to forget that you have not told the reader something that he wants to know - the whole picture is so clear in your mind that you forget that it isn't the same in his.

(6) When you give up a bit of work don't (unless it is hopelessly bad) throw it away. Put it in a drawer. It may come in useful later. Much of my best work, or what I think my best, is the re-writing of things begun and abandoned years earlier.

(7) Don't use a typewriter. The noise will destroy your sense of rhythm, which still needs years of training.

(8) Be sure you know the meaning (or meanings) of every word you use.

(LCSL. 291-292)

 

I hope my title did not lead anyone to think that I was conceited enough to give you advice on how to write a story for children. There were two very good reasons for not doing that. One is that many people have written better stories than I, and I would rather learn about the art than set up to teach it. The other is that, in a certain sense, I have never exactly 'made' a story. With me the process is much more like bird-watching than like either talking or building. I see pictures. Some of these pictures have a common flavour, almost a common smell, which groups them together. Keep quiet and watch and they will begin joining themselves up. If you were very lucky (I have never been so lucky as all that) a whole set might join themselves so consistently that there you had a complete story: without doing anything yourself. But more often (in my experience always) there are gaps. Then at last you have to do some deliberate inventing, have to contrive reasons why these characters should be in these various places doing these various things. I have no idea whether this is the usual way of writing stories, still less whether it is the best. It is the only one I know: images always come first.

(OOW. 32-33)

 

The Editor has asked me to tell you how I came to write The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I will try, but you must not believe all that authors tell you about how they wrote their books. This not because they mean to tell lies. It is because a man writing a story is too excited about they story itself to sit back and notice how he is doing it. In fact, that might stop the works; just as, if you start thinking about how you tie your tie the next thing is that you find you can't tie it. And afterwards, when the story is finished, he has forgotten a good deal of what writing it was like.

One thing I am sure of. All my seven Narnian books, and my three science fiction books, began with seeing pictures in my head. At first they were not a story, just pictures. The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. The picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: 'Let's try to make a story about it.'

At first I had very little idea how the story would go. But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it. I think I had been having a good many dreams of lions about that time. Apart from that, I don't know where the Lion came from or why He came. But once He was there He pulled the whole story together, and soon he pulled the six other Narnian stories in after Him.

So, you see that, in a sense, I know very little about how this story was born. That is, I don't know where the pictures came from. And I don't believe anyone knows exactly how he 'makes things up'. Making up is a very mysterious thing. When you 'have an idea' could you tell anyone exactly how you thought of it?

(OOW. 42)

A final sample comes from An Experiment in Criticism, where Lewis describes what good reading is and what it can do for the reader. In my opinion this non-technical description of the importance of reading is one of the high points of Lewis's literary criticism. Let's glance through it as well.

 

Good reading, therefore, though it is not essentially an affectional or moral or intellectual activity, has something in common with all three. In love we escape from our self into one other. In the moral sphere, every act of justice or charity involves putting ourselves in the other person's place and thus transcending our own competitive particularity. In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are. The primary impulse of each is to maintain and aggrandise himself The secondary impulse is to go out of the self; to correct its provincialism and heal its loneliness. In love, in virtue, in the pursuit of knowledge, and in the reception of the arts, we are doing this. Obviously this process can be described either as an enlargement or as a temporary annihilation of the self. But that is an old paradox; 'he that loseth his life shall save it'.

We therefore delight to enter into other men's beliefs (those, say, of Lucretius or Lawrence) even though we think them untrue. And into their passions, though we think them depraved, like those, sometimes, of Marlowe or Carlyle. And also into their imaginations, though they lack all realism of content.

This must not be understood as if I were making the literature of power once more into a department within the literature of knowledge - a department which existed to gratify our rational curiosity about other people's psychology. It is not a question of knowing (in that sense) at all. It is connaittre not savoir; it is erleben; we become these other selves. Not only nor chiefly in order to see what they are like but in order to see what they see, to occupy, for a while, their seat in the great theatre, to use their spectacles and be made free of whatever insights, joys, terrors, wonders or merriment those spectacles reveal. Hence it is irrelevant whether the mood expressed in a poem was truly and historically the poet's own or one that he also had imagined. What matters is his power to make us live it. I doubt whether Donne the man gave more than playful and dramatic harbourage to the mood expressed in The Apparition. I doubt still more whether the real Pope, save while he wrote it, or even then more than dramatically, felt what he expresses in the passage beginning 'Yes, I am proud'. (Epilogue to the Satires, II, 1.208) What does it matter?

This, so far as I can see, is the specific value or good of literature considered as Logos; it admits us to experiences other than our own. They are not, any more than our personal experiences, all equally worth having. Some, as we say, 'interest' us more than others. The causes of this interest are naturally extremely various and differ from one man to another; it may be the typical (and we say 'How true!') or the abnormal (and we say 'How strange!'); it may be the beautiful, the terrible, the awe-inspiring, the exhilarating, the pathetic, the comic, or the merely piquant. Literature gives the entree to them all. Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself; and therefore less a self; is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. I regret that the brutes cannot write books. Very gladly would I learn what face things present to a mouse or a bee; more gladly still would I perceive the olfactory world charged with all the information and emotion it carries for a dog.

Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality. There are mass emotions which heal the wound; but they destroy the privilege. In them our separate selves are pooled and we sink back into sub-individuality. But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.

(AEIC. 138-141)

I hope that for the many who may have just encountered Jack Lewis that these last two nights will encourage you to move deeper into all of his works - literary, imaginative and religious. For you who have been his longtime companions, I hope that this has renewed your enthusiasm for him and his works. It has been a pleasure to share some of my own thoughts with you.

 

Before I introduce you to the film, Shadowlands, I want you to listen with me to Lewis's closing words from one of his children's novels, The Last Battle, as the Pevensie children hear Aslan tell them that they will no longer have to live in the Shadowlands of this earth:

 

Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often." "No fear of that," said Aslan. "Have you not guessed?" Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them. "There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands - dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes

on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before. (LB. 183-184)

 

Shadowlands

 

How many have seen the Hollywood version of Shadowlands? Let's look at our last sheet in your handout that concerns the history of Shadowlands - the teleplay, the theatrical drama and the Hollywood movie. First, from an article on the term "shadowlands,"

 

Shadowlands

 

The term "Shadowlands," was originally coined by Lewis in The Last Battle as part of its last chapter title. The word also appears in the last full page of text in the Narnian series where Aslan explains to the Pevensie children that they have permanently left the Shadow-Lands of earthly life and are now part of Aslan's country. In 1985 Brian Sibley published, Through the Shadowlands, a book whose last half depicted Lewis's courtship, and marriage with Joy Davidman and her ensuing death from cancer. William Nicholson transformed Sibley's book into a BBC teleplay starring Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom. Two years later Nicholson adapted his script for the theatre. The result was Shadowlands, the drama, which also came to the U.S. as a Broadway play. In 1993 Nicholson again adapted the drama into a major motion picture starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. Of the three versions, the BBC teleplay of 1985 most closely follows Bibley's biography in addition to including much more of Lewis's actual writings in the script. There are allusions to such texts as The Problem of Pain, Surprised by Joy and a Grief Obseved.

 

- adapted from Edwards, Hinten, and Hubbard in The C.S. Lewis Readers' Encyclopedia. ed Jeffrey D. Schultz and John G. West, Jr. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998):371-375.

 

and then, this next paragraph is from the backcover of this book written by Brian Sibley, C.S. Lewis: Through the Shadowlands:

 

"At first glance, they were an unlikely couple: C.S. Lewis, the eminent Christian author and distinguished Oxford scholar, and Joy a Jewish-American divorcee, mother of two, and former Communist Party member. But together they walked through the shadowlands of this life, where their faith was tested in the crucible of struggle and suffering.

This carefully researched and evocative story reveals the many events that occurred in their lives to bring them together and spark their love for each other. You'll see their tender moments, their times of fun and glory, and their darkest hours. You'll experience their sense of urgency as death loomed on the horizon and feel the touch of God on a lonely, grief-stricken Lewis, whose faith - so ardently championed in his books - was shaken to its very foundations."

 

- from backcover of Brian Sibley. C.S. Lewis: Through the Shadowlands. Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1985, 1994.

 

> begin watching the BBC version of Shadowlands here

 

Question Time and Closing

 

I'm so glad that each of you came tonight. Please feel free to look around at the displays along the wall. Over here are copies of almost all of C.S. Lewis's books and many about him. On this wall to my right are several newsletters and periodicals dedicated to his life and works. On the end of the table nearest the kitchen I some copies of the book to which I contributed several articles. We'll take questions and comments now, for as long as anyone would like to stay.

Again, on behalf of the Cumberland County Arts Council and the First Christian Church, I want to thank you for coming to this celebration of C.S. Lewis' centenary birth. It's been a pleasure being each of you and I wish each of you God's blessing on your own journey from the Shadowlands of this world into the reality of Christ's heavenly kingdom that He has gone to prepare for all who call upon Him as their Lord and Savior.

Bibliography

Edwards, Bruce L. Jr. "CSL Pre-Mythcon Workshop Welcome" <edwards@cas.bgsu.edu>(16 Jan 1998): 1. (Pre-Mythcon)

_________________. "C.S. Lewis and Christian Scholarship" in Inklings Forever: Essays Presented at the F.W. Ewbank Colloquium. ed. Rick Hill. Upland, IN: Taylor University, 1997.

_________________. ed. The Taste of the Pineapple: Essays on C.S. Lewis as Reader, Critic, and Imaginative Writer. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1988. (TTOTP)

Green, Roger Lancelyn, and Walter Hooper. C.S. Lewis: A Biography. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974.

Griffin, William. Clive Staples Lewis: A Dramatic Life. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986.

King, Don. "Making the Poor Best of Dull Things: C.S. Lewis as Poet" in Seven. 12 (1995): 79-92. (Seven)

_______. "Spartan Nactus" in Schultz, Jeffrey D. and West, John G. eds. The C.S. Lewis Readers' Encyclopedia. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998. (CSLRE)

_______. An Experiment in Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961. (AEIC)

_______. C.S. Lewis Letters to Children. ed. Lyle Dorsett and Marjorie L. Mead. New York: MacMillan, 1985. (CSLLC)

_______.The Last Battle. New York: Collier Books, 1956, 1972. (LB)

_______.Letters of C.S. Lewis. ed. with a memoir by W.H. Lewis. revised and enlarged. ed. Walter Hooper. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1988. (LCSL)

_______."Meditation in a Toolshed." in God in the Dock. ed Walter Hooper. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970. (GID)

_______.Mere Christianity. New York: Collier, 1952. 1960. (MC)

_______. "On Three Ways of Writing for Children." in Of Other Worlds. New York: HBJ, 1966. (OOW)

_______.Poems. ed. Walter Hooper. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1964. (Poems)

_______.Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. London: Fontana, 1955. (SBJ)

_______.They Stand Together: The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves (1914-1963). ed. Walter Hooper. New York: Macmillan, 1979. (TST)

Schultz, Jeffrey D. and West, John G. eds. The C.S. Lewis Readers' Encyclopedia. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998. (CSLRE)

Sibley, Brian. C.S. Lewis: Through the Shadowlands. Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1985, 1994.

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