The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3 and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $20.02
Learn More
Sell It Now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume lll: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963 Hardcover – January 9, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0060819224 ISBN-10: 0060819227 Edition: 1ST

8 New from $258.96 14 Used from $150.00 2 Collectible from $300.00
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$258.96 $150.00
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Series: Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 1840 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1ST edition (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060819227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060819224
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 2.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #762,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English literature at Oxford University until 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. His major contributions in literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature, and popular theology brought him international renown and acclaim. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include The Chronicles of Narnia, Out of the Silent Planet, The Four Loves, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity.


Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales mÁs importantes del siglo veinte y podrÍa decirse que fue el escritor cristiano mÁs influyente de su tiempo. Fue profesor particular de literatura inglesa y miembro de la junta de gobierno en la Universidad Oxford hasta 1954, cuando fue nombrado profesor de literatura medieval y renacentista en la Universidad Cambridge, cargo que desempeÑÓ hasta que se jubilÓ. Sus contribuciones a la crÍtica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantÁstica y teologÍa popular le trajeron fama y aclamaciÓn a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribiÓ mÁs de treinta libros, lo cual le permitiÓ alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aÚn atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada aÑo. Sus mÁs distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las CrÓnicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.

From The Washington Post

Reviewed by Cynthia L. Haven In January 1949, when C.S. Lewis was only 50, he thought his life was over. "I feel my zeal for writing, and whatever talent I originally possessed, to be decreasing; nor (I believe) do I please my readers as I used to." The unassuming Oxford don once said he'd be remembered as "one of those men who was a famous writer in his forties and dies unknown."

Then he began having nightmares about lions.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was written quickly and published in 1950, became an enduring success. "I don't know where the Lion came from or why he came," Lewis wrote later. "But once He was there He pulled the whole story together, and soon He pulled the six other Narnian stories in after him."

Some of the era's most magical children's literature and science fiction came from the pen of this unprepossessing professor of medieval and Renaissance literature; modern Christianity's most approachable and eloquent apologias were articulated by this former atheist. Yet despite international fame, to all external appearances, he led an uneventful, bookish life.

This last volume of his Collected Letters covers not only the Narnia novels but his brief marriage to the divorced American writer Joy Davidman; his major work of criticism, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century; and the overdue professional recognition he won when he was granted an endowed chair at Cambridge after years of snubs at Oxford, where he remained a lowly, overworked tutor.

Editor and friend Walter Hooper calls him "one of the last great letter-writers" -- the last of a generation who did not lift a telephone receiver when he had something to say or tap out e-mails on a computer keyboard. Some of the recipients richly merited his ink: the detective novelist, theologian and Dante translator Dorothy L. Sayers; St. Giovanni Calabria of Verona (correspondence in Latin); T.S. Eliot; the sci-fi maestro Arthur C. Clarke; and the American writer Robert Penn Warren. In these letters, Lewis swaps quips in Latin and Greek and quotes Spenser, Statius, Beowulf, Horace, Wordsworth, Terence and Augustus. Other letters were from cranks, whiners and down-and-out charity cases; he answered them all.

"The pen has become to me what the oar is to a galley slave," he wrote of the disciplined torture of writing letters for hours every day. He complained about the deterioration of his handwriting, the rheumatism in his right hand and the winter cold numbing his fingers. In the era of the ballpoint, he used a nib pen dipped in ink every four or five words.

The letters undermine the myth of a scholarly bachelor idyll. The enemies of peace were in his own household -- especially Janie Moore, the mother of a fellow soldier killed in World War I, sometimes referred to as his "mother" and by Warren as a "horrid old woman." "Strictly between ourselves," Lewis wrote to a friend, "I have lived most of it (that is now over) in a house wh. was hardly ever at peace for 24 hours, amidst senseless wranglings, lyings, backbitings, follies, and scares," he wrote. "I never went home without a feeling of terror as to what appalling situation might have developed in my absence. Only now that it is over (tho' a different trouble has taken its place) do I begin to realize quite how bad it was." His brother Warren's chronic drunkenness was the "different trouble." Oxford was no refuge; when Lewis assumed the Cambridge post, it ended "nearly thirty years of the tutorial grind," exhausting donkey-work that regularly burned 14 hours a day.

He summarized the net result: "I am a hard, cold, black man inside and in my life have not wept enough." That problem, at least, was soon to be solved -- taking us to the biggest riddle of his life. Lewis's romance, immortalized in the movie "Shadowlands," is touted as one of the great love stories of the century. But as we read it in real time, Lewis more resembles a schoolboy who doesn't want to be seen walking home with a girl.

It's not at all clear why. Joy Davidman had been a Yale Younger Poet, cherry-picked by Auden, and held a master's degree from Columbia. Even Lewis's biographer and chum George Sayer, otherwise hostile to Davidman, describes her as an attractive, "amusingly abrasive New Yorker." Yet Lewis, in letters, had clumsily referred to her as "queer," "ex-communist, Jewess-by-race, convertite."

Under her influence, Lewis wrote his finest novel, Till We Have Faces. Yet he worried that the quotation on the title page -- Shakespeare's "Love is too young to know what conscience is" -- might be too close to the dedication. "Otherwise, though the lady would not, the public might, think they had some highly embarrassing relation to each other." Embarrassing? Like their wedding a week before, on April 23, 1956?

Davidman was diagnosed with cancer that summer, and Lewis finally 'fessed up with a wedding announcement the following Christmas. "You will not think anything wrong is going to happen," Lewis wrote to Dorothy Sayers. "Certain problems do not arise between a dying woman and an elderly man." Problems? Like sex? At times, he seemed to pass the marriage off as an act of charity.

In a sense it was -- but not in the way others guessed. Although many have impugned the motives of Davidman, the reason is revealed in a footnote: Lewis confided to his friend Sheldon Vanauken that he had married "to prevent the Government deporting her to America as a communist." She had been a prominent party member, and the congressional red scare was in full swing when she fled the United States.

Yet within a few months, Lewis was writing to Sayers, "My heart is breaking and I was never so happy before: at any rate there is more in life than I knew about." And elsewhere: "We are crazily in love."

A miraculous three-year remission ensued, providing the most blissful episode of Lewis's later life. Davidman died in 1960. Lewis followed on Nov. 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was shot.

A humdrum life? Hardly. But most will read these letters for more than Lewis's life story. Through the triumphs and anguish, the frustrations and bereavement, Lewis's letters unspool his spiritual autobiography.

It's time to reclaim Lewis from the religious right, which has made of him an unlikely champion. The same audience would, perhaps, find it hard to square its adulation with his genuine curiosity about Hinduism, his love of The Iliad, his endorsement of Zoroastrianism as "one of the finest of the Pagan religions," and his eagerness to see more recognition for the Persian epic The Shahnameh. They might be more surprised that he supported his elder stepson's eventual entrance into a yeshiva. Lewis's religion was nuanced. He didn't believe in word-for-word inerrancy of the Bible, saying that too few "know by the smell . . . the difference in myth, in legend, and a bit of primitive reportage."

In any case, Lewis's wry, erudite, often spiritually profound letters are too good to be co-opted. He could be a bit of a prig, but his inner life is no dusty relic, irrelevant to our world today. In fact, in an era of New Age fuzziness, his mental clarity refreshes.

Reviewed by Cynthia L. Haven
Copyright 2007, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.


More About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Customer Reviews

It is C.S. Lewis.
wtklobe
Hooper is a thorough and thoughtful editor,supplying ample footnotes and biographical sketches so that readers understand the context of the letters.
David C. Downing
Wonderful window on his life.
Emerald Queen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By L. Marie on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Given the fact that this letters collection deals mainly with the latter stages of Lewis's life, I really think this is the best of the three collections.

The main reason is that we get a clearer picture into the mind of the man who created Narnia, wrote the painfully honest and cathartic "A Grief Observed" after the loss of his wife, Joy and we start to see a man who takes faith to a new level in his life, from an intellectual and notionalistic approach to a real, raw encounter with God.

It is very easy to see how Lewis has influenced so many writers today, even the new gneration, who are just beginning to write. His legacy continues on in the minds and pens of Christian thinkers and writers who desperately want to help individuals grow closer to God and examine their faith to keep it vital.

And Lewis is relevant, as J.G. Marking, author of "A Voice Is Calling," so clearly stated, "I believe to some degree every Christian author is likened to C.S. Lewis because he is the intellectual and literary bar that we are all measured against. And thus, in some way, his voice will resonate in all of ours, maybe forever."

This collection reveals more of the soul of Lewis than the mind, which is an even more intriguing glance.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Thundering Legion on May 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It was absolutely fascinating to crawl around inside the head of this brilliant man as he entered the most tumultuous period of his life. I cannot help but think of Till We Have Faces, as Lewis stuggles through the same difficult lessons of learning to let someone you love go into the arms of God and away from your own. Utterly real, this book is worth the 1700 page read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By K. Howe on September 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
All three of the volumes of Lewis's letters are spectacular, of course, but it's unfortunate that HarperCollins decided (after plenty of us had bought vols. 1 and 2 in paperback) that they were only going to release this volume in hardcover. I suppose I should have guessed since they put the first two paperback volumes in a slipcover (which never made sense to me before--who would buy that knowing the third volume was imminent?), and the IMMENSE size of this volume probably wouldn't have done well in paperback. All the same, it would have been nice to know ahead of time. Now I have to buy the first two volumes AGAIN, this time in hardcover, in order for my set to match. A more cynical man would find a conspiracy there.

At any rate, I can't be the only one checking back here periodically to see if/when they'll issue Vol 3 in paperback, so I hope this note (not really a review, I'm afraid) is helpful to others.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James on April 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't recommend this highly enough. I had thought this would be fairly bland, to be honest. I didn't really go for the "Letters to Children" collection. But this is a whole new ballgame.

Yes, there are times when, for example, letters of thanks for parcels of ham (during the rationing after The War) start to sort of run together. But I found something interesting in every letter, and many, many moments of insight into his thought and life that are exclusive to these letters.

I'm not sure how to predict the appeal of this collection for a casual Lewis fan. A lot depended, for me, on knowing a good deal about Lewis's life and work already (though plenty is instantly accessible as well). I would say it's primarily for the fan who has read much or most of Lewis's books. But people mean two different things when they say a work is "more for the established fan than the newcomer" and so on. They might mean that the work isn't very good but a firmly entrenched fan will enjoy it anyway... the way a Humphrey Bogart fan will get a kick out of "Beat the Devil," whereas nonfans judging it strictly as a film may find it taxing.

But alternately, they might mean that only a firmly entrenched fan will be able to thoroughly access and experience this very good work - that the advantage of being an insider is especially big. That's what I mean here If you've read the apologetics, the autobiography, the major fictions, and especially if you've also read the literary essays, you're the reader for whom this collection will be a great prize. Happy reading.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David C. Downing on March 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
All his life Lewis was a witty and thoughtful letter writer, and readers will find many passages in his correspondence as insightful and quotable as in his published books. Volume 3 is especially interesting as Lewis discusses his well-known books with readers, including charming letters to children answering their questions about Narnia. Lewis also became something of a spiritual mentor by mail after he became a famous author, so that many of his letters of spiritual direction to individual seekers compare favorably to Lewis's most insightful passages in his pubished books.

Walter Hooper has done a great service to all Lewis fans by publishing these volumes of Lewis's collected letters. Hooper is a thorough and thoughtful editor,supplying ample footnotes and biographical sketches so that readers understand the context of the letters. He often goes so far as to quote from a letter Lewis is responding to or a book he alludes to, so that reader can understand Lewis's remarks more fully. Lewis had a robust sense of humor, so his letters are as entertaining to read as they are insightful.

Lewis's letters are highly readable in themselves, but Walter Hooper has made this an especially valuable resource by virtue of his intelligent and knowledgeable editorial work . These letters will become an enduring part not only of Lewis's achievement, but also of Walter Hooper's achievement as exactly the right person to serve as the steward of Lewis's literary legacy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?