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C.S. Lewis : Letters to an American Lady edited by Clyde S. Kilby

C.S. Lewis : Letters to an American Lady edited by Clyde S. Kilby


Grand Rapids, Michigan : William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967. Hardcover. 121 pages ; 22 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Red cover board with black title at spine. Bow to boards. Spine slant. Light foxing to front and rear endpaper. Storage odor to pages. Pages are unmarked. Binding is firm.

From the publisher :

Letters To An American Lady
by C. S. Lewis
Edited and with a Preface by Clyde S. Kilby

On October 26, 1950, C. S. Lewis wrote the first of more than a hundred letters he would send to a woman he had never met, but with whom he was to maintain a correspondence for the rest of his life.

Lewis himself clearly had no idea that these letters would ever see publication: they are not "literary" letters, there is little urbanity, wit or sentiment; there is little that reflects the author's interest in fantasy, almost nothing about his academic and scholarly interests. But for all that they stand as a fascinating and moving testimony to the remarkable humanity and the even more remarkable Christianity of C. S. Lewis, and are richly deserving of the position they now take among the balance of his Christian writings.

In his preface to this volume, Clyde Kilby describes the letters: "The obvious thrust ... is spiritual encouragement and guidance . . . the conviction that holiness is actually to be practiced by the Christian, and the belief that if only ten percent of the world's population had holi¬ness the rest of the people would be converted quickly. . . . Concerning God's goodness, (Lewis) points out that shadows make up half the beauty of the world and that it is not necessarily different with the shadows coming into our lives .... And here, as always, we find Lewis's firm belief in the resurrection of the body and the felicities of heaven. 'It'll be fun when we meet at last,' he tells his correspondent.

"But the letters are not without glimpses of Lewis the man, lover of cats and dogs ... of Lewis getting up to prepare his own breakfast and do his chores during the much-loved 'empty, silent, dewy, cobwebby hours' of the morning. .... There is Lewis the dreader of poverty who, it became known after his death, gave away two-thirds of his income . .. ."

In these Letters to an American Lady is revealed, perhaps more candidly than anywhere else, the kind of man and the kind of Christian that was C. S. Lewis.


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