The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis
New York : Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1960. Hardcover. 192 pages ; 21 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
Love has not one, but many faces. C. S. Lewis, in this candid, wise, and warmly personal book, describes the four basic kinds of human love—affection, friendship, erotic love, and the love of God. Rarely has anyone moved so quickly and so unerringly to the heart of the matter, permitting the reader to feel that he is sharing in the most intimate and private thoughts of a rich and free spirit.
The Four Loves explores the possibilities —and the painful problems—of the love between parents and children, the love of men for men and women for women, of men and women for each other, and the love of God which may enrich all love. There is tenderness and brilliance in this sensitive, but nonetheless relentless, pursuit of understanding of love's vulnerability. Lewis explores the problems of sex, possessiveness, jealousy, pride, false sentimentality, good and bad manners in loving (it is bad manners to be formally courteous in intimate moments— there should be no "public faces in private places"), of the need for more laughter and play—and less solemn technique—between lovers. There are risks that accompany the rewards of love, but C. S. Lewis recommends the risks—"hell is the only place outside of heaven where we can be safe from the dangers of love." The Four Loves is a book of remarkable insight and eloquence. All who have shared in any of the Four Loves—or who hope to—will find it is written for them.
"Great expectations always attend the appearance of a new book by C. S. Lewis. Practically no modern writer commands his special gifts of wit, fervor, reason and meaning." —WASHINGTON STAR
C. S. LEWIS has played a rich part in both the intellectual and scholarly life of England by virtue of his captivatingly original mind and his brilliant style, which have established him on both sides of the Atlantic as one of the most celebrated writers of our time. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ire-land, in 1898. Following his youth and early education, so much of which was poignantly recounted in Surprised by Joy, he entered Oxford University in 1917. Before a term had passed, however, he enlisted in the British Army. Commissioned a second lieutenant, he served in France, where he was wounded. He returned to Oxford at the war's end, first as a student, and then as a teacher. At present he holds the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English Literature at Cambridge University.
Mr. Lewis is the author of an impressive array of more than a score of books, both popular and scholarly, among them, The Screwtape Letters, Till We Have Faces, Reflections on the Psalms, and The World's Last Night.
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