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Letters to an American Lady Paperback – December 19, 1967

4.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

-- J. R. R. Tolkien
"Deeply interesting and very moving."

-- Robert Cromie in Chicago Tribune
"A literary gem."

-- Christianity Today
"The reader will discover testimony for the patient faith and generous life of the private man who was this century's most famous Christian apologist. . . . Lewis readers will treasure these letters for the glimpse they offer into the personal witness of the man."
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) taught English literature at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities and wrote more than thirty influential scholarly and popular books. Among his many famous works are Mere Christianity,The Screw tape Letters, the Chronicles of Narniavolumes, Miracles, and Surprised by Joy.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans; reprint edition (December 19, 1967)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080281428X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802814289
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul M. Dubuc on April 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of letters written by C. S. Lewis to an American woman during the last 13 years of his life. I found it pretty dull reading at first. The book only contains Lewis' half of the conversation and most of the letters are pretty short or deal with trivial matters. But, for those who are interested in a more of a personal glimpse of Lewis there are some interesting insights offered: Like what he thought about what journalists have written about him in papers and magazines, his correspondence during the years of his marriage to Joy Davidman (and after her death), the heaviness of the load of correspondence he carried on with many people. Lewis appears to have seen letter writing as more of a duty than a pleasure. He often complained that the load of personal mail made his life miserable, especially at Christmastime. Yet he seems to have faithfully read and answered all those letters.
Toward the end of the book the letters get more lengthy and and interesting. I was particularly struck by Lewis' attitude toward dying. He was able to look forward to his eventual death with a genuine hope and longing for the better world beyond these "shadowlands" and he was able to encourage this lady along those lines through the problems they both had with aging and poor health. I hope such a mature attitude of faith will be mine also when my time comes. It is the hallmark of a life lived for the glory and love of God.
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Format: Paperback
Of course CS Lewis has proven to be the most popular Christian author of the 20th century. And for good reason. He's articulate, well-reasoned, and he certainly has a way with words. This book gives an inside look at Lewis as he corresponds with an American woman whom he apparently never met. The letters were written between 1950 until he died in 1963. If you like reading other peoples' mail (what is it, esp. we Americans have, with such things?), then this can make for interesting reading. Much of what he says here, though, is pretty trivial and doesn't get very deep. But if you want a personal glimpse of Lewis, its probably worth the read.
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Format: Paperback
This is a lovely short book. Lewis' correspondent has her share of health problems, money worries, and family and work troubles. He shows himself a kind and generous man, spiritually encouraging this woman whom he was never to meet, as well as helping her financially. He has a kind and tactful way of expressing himself when they disagree. This book shows a very human side of Lewis. I found his advice very pertinent.
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By _scm_1 on January 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy Lewis's letters about as much as anything he wrote. And I've always been impressed with the fact that he wrote everyone back who ever wrote to him (something many modern writers with the luxury of email will never do). Lewis spent a lot of money on postage and it took up a huge amount of his time. This lady he wrote to here kind of bugged me with her neediness, and I can't imagine that she didn't bug Mr. Lewis. But he seems to have plowed on through and kept up his correspondence and encouragement to her. You can go through the book pretty quickly. Recommended for the Lewis fan.
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Format: Paperback
Letters to an American Lady is a compilation of letters C.S. Lewis wrote to a woman in the US named Mary, whom he never met face-to-face, over the last 13 years of his life (1950-1963). While most other Lewis books, essays, lectures, etc, introduce the reader to his theology, philosophy and imagination, this book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the man himself. We learn of his day-to-day routine, his various health maladies, his thoughts on cats and dogs (turns out he's more of a "cat person"), and his genuine humility and desire to encourage others. The reader also learns how Lewis dealt with the sickness and death of his wife, and, just three years after that, his own impending demise. And although these letters are "mere" personal correspondences not originally meant for publication, one may still glean a good bit of wisdom from them, as well. Lewis ("Jack" to his friends) has much to say to Mary about dependence upon God and others, the need for one to live in the present, the Christian's appropriate attitude toward death, and much more. For anyone who wants to get to know C.S. Lewis as a person--and receive some wise counsel while so doing--this is a great little book.
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By LSM on August 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Everything by C.S. Lewis is well worth reading. Love this man's spiritual insights, passion and compassion. I've tried to read everything I can of Lewis's and I have just a few more books to go. Highly recommend EVERYTHING Lewis writes. You won't be wasting your time!
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Format: Paperback
Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was a novelist, academic, medievalist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist who held academic positions at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He wrote many other books, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, Problem of Pain, The Screwtape Letters, A Grief Observed, The World's Last Night, The Abolition of Man, The Great Divorce, God in the Dock, Christian Reflections, etc.

This posthumous 1967 book contains Lewis's letters to a "widow four years older than Lewis... [Who} Once financially independent... had fallen upon privation and... [had] serious family problems... Lewis arranged through his American publishers a small stipend for her...
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