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The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume II: Books, Broadcasts, and the War 1931-1949 Hardcover – June 29, 2004
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Some letters are also written to help people with spiritual questions, "plot good" of some sort, or pray with people like his Italian priest friend, with whom he corresponded in Latin. (Given here in English and Latin.) You can also find many interesting observations on a variety of topics sprinkled about. ("Poetry I take to be the continual effort to bring language back to the actual.")
But the adjective that may best describe Lewis in many of these letters is "fun-loving.Read more ›
Also, and more importantly, in the latter part of this book C.S. Lewis begins answering fan mail, and in these he talks a lot about theology. These letters are especially interesting and worthwhile to read. In this volume one can also find a letter in which Lewis clearly states his inclusivistic beliefs (I don't remember which one off hand, but it was towards the beginning somwhere).
If you enjoy reading C.S. Lewis material, or if you want to see into the life of a giant of the Christian faith, this is an amazing opportunity for you.
Walter Hooper, in the preface to this volume, mentions that Owen Barfield divided Lewis into three different men: the popular theologian, the literary critic, and the writer of popular fiction. Being a fan of Lewis the literary critic doesn't mean you know Lewis the popular theologian exists, and being a fan of Lewis the writer of popular fiction doesn't necessarily mean you like Lewis the literary critic. But fans of all three Lewises owe Walter Hooper a great debt of thanks for editing three thousand-page volumes of the man's letters.
In the first volume, Lewis's correspondence was divided between his father, his brother, and his "First Friend" Arthur Greeves; with a few letters to people such as Cecil Harwood, Owen Barfield, and Leo Baker thrown in for good measure. Here, he writes to many, many people, and is much more interesting: former pupils (Dom Bede Griffiths, Mary Neylan), Sister Penelope, Dorothy Sayers, Americans . . . The years covered by this volume (1931 - 1949) cover some of Lewis's best work: The Screwtape Letters, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strenght, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, and his talks for the BBC that eventually became Mere Christianity. (This period also included more scholarly work such as his Preface to Paradise Lost and The Abolition of Man; also his editing of the Essays Presented to Charles Williams.) He talks about the etymology of Old Solar, the proper pronunciation of double vowels in Old English (palely v. paley), and how to properly read Milton, among other things.Read more ›
(1) Regardless of your opinion of Christianity, it would be hard to deny that the contrast between the pre-conversion Lewis of Volume 1 and the post-conversion Lewis of Volume 2 is pretty remarkable.
(2) One thing remarkable about the Lewis of Volume 2 is his ability to speak the truth in love. I hope that when I need to criticize I do it as kindly as Lewis does.
(3) Whatever type of love Lewis felt for Mrs. Moore in earlier days, it seems pretty clear that in Volume 2 it is charity (and living up to a commitment).
(4) Fans of Lewis naturally gravitate to the writings of the other Inklings, thinking perhaps that they're in for more of the same, but Volume 2 shows how different the Inklings really were from one another, and that they were often bound together more by friendship than a common worldview.
(5) The sense of impending doom at the start of WWII when Warnie is still in the army is overwhelming.
(6) The part of Volume 2 after WWII is dominated by Lewis's thank-you notes to Americans who sent him packages of food, paper, etc. The insight into "Austerity Britain" is useful, but these notes get a bit tiresome after a while.
(7) Hooper-haters really need to cut him some slack. This book (at least, my British edition) is physically beautiful, and Hooper has (in my opinion) done a great job with the contents. His annotations are exactly what's needed to put the letters in context--no more, no less. (Compare his restraint to the out-of-control annotators of the new Norton editions.)
(8) It takes a very good book *about* Lewis to come close to matching the quality of Lewis's own writings, even those not intended for publication. I look forward to starting Volume 3 this evening!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some of Lewis' best writing is in this volume -- some of the wisest, the funniest, and the most interesting to those who want to know about his thought and life. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Steve V
I love the letters written by someone to others ........ Seems more intimate and honest !!! C. S. Lewis is particularly good and insightful reading !!! A little C. S. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Tony L. Watkins
I thoroughly enjoy reading the letters of C. S. Lewis. If you are a Lewis buff and like biographies about him this is a must read!Published 10 months ago by Timothy Eldridge
I'm a fan of his. I like everything he writes. He has a way of logically leading you to the conclusions he proffers and in which he passionately believes. Read morePublished 13 months ago by dark timber
It helps to complete the understanding of the man. Reading it is like eating peanuts! A "must" for all Lewis lovers.Published on January 2, 2014 by Martha Linder
It is as being in a real conversation with CSLeis. All his themes are hear. A complete Lewis. from literature to theology. First classPublished on August 3, 2013 by Jorge Norber Ferro