Discover great truths from C. S. Lewis’s mentors
C. S. Lewis was perhaps the greatest Christian thinker of the twentieth century. He delighted us in The Chronicles of Narnia, intrigued us in The Screwtape Letters, mystified us in The Space Trilogy, and convinced us in Mere Christianity. His influence on generations of Christians has been immeasurable.
But who influenced C. S. Lewis? What were the sources of his inspiration? Who were his spiritual mentors? Who were his teachers?
Drawn from Lewis’s personal library, annotations, and references from his writings, the selections in this book bring us into contact with giants such as Dante, Augustine, and Chaucer, as well as introduce us to more contemporary writers such as G. K. Chesterton, Charles Williams, George MacDonald, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Over 250 selections provide a vast array of inspiration from those who have shone forth as messengers of light in Lewis’s own thinking, writing, and spiritual growth.
A rare glimpse into the intellectual, spiritual, and creative life of one of literature’s great writers, From the Library of C. S. Lewis is a treasury of insight and wisdom.
From the Hardcover edition.
James Stuart Bell wrote his master’s thesis on C. S. Lewis, receiving his M. A. from University College Dublin, in Ireland. The owner of Whitestone Communications and the former executive editor of Moody Press and director of religious publishing for Doubleday, Bell has authored six books, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Bible.
Anthony Palmer Dawson assisted Dr. Barbara Reynolds with the four-volume Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers, and is a contributor to SEVEN: An Anglo-American Literary Review published by the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College, Illinois. He has served on the Wade Center Steering Committee for eighteen years and provides technical and editorial support for SEVEN. Dawson holds a B.S. degree from Olivet Nazarene University, and the M.A. from Wheaton College, where he is currently employed as the Associate Director of Computing Services.
From the Hardcover edition.
Weighing in just shy of four hundred pages, From the Library of C. S. Lewis, compiled by James Stewart Bell, Jr., is no literary lightweight. This book is laden with great words from great minds. In an attempt to quantify the unquantifiable, Bell endeavored to catalogue those who influenced Lewis spiritual journey.
While Bell wrote his masters thesis on Lewis, he allows the selected authors to speak for themselves, creating a powerful anthology, which includes poetry, apologetics, fiction, allegories, and letters. Lewis affection for a solid thought provoking argument makes this book one to savor. Come sated as a reader and sample the eclectic works of great minds from ages past.
Most of the entries appear to be a mere 800 words, however, considering the authors no word is misplaced. Some of the language resounds of bygone days when being well read was customary, modern readersespecially laymen unfamiliar with theological jargon may struggle. It is worth the effort to grasp the lofty ideas that served as a springboard for Lewis own great thoughts.
Without reservation, I recommend this book for anyone who cares to invest the time and energy it takes to contemplate such diversity. The bibliography alone is a treasure trove of titles. Homeschoolers, laypersons, mystics, and those unacquainted with these intellectual giants would enjoy this book. -- Suzanne Rae Deshchidn, Christian Book Previews.com
“This is the perfect entrance to the world C. S. Lewis inhabited, and it arrives just when that world of books is under threat of extinction. Thanks to those who have given us such a gold mine.”
–Walter Hooper, Literary Advisor to the C. S. Lewis Estate, one of the world’s leading authorities on the life and works of C. S. Lewis, and the editor of dozens of Lewis’s works
“This is a knowledgeable and inspired selection from what C. S. Lewis called the ‘old books’ that nurtured his mind, spirit, and imagination. All who love the writings of the master will enjoy these engaging passages from the vast range of Lewis’s reading and relish the light that they cast upon his concerns.”
–Colin Duriez, author of A Field Guide to Narnia, Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, and The C. S. Lewis Encyclopedia
“C. S. Lewis, one of the great men of letters of the twentieth century, loved books. To truly know Lewis, one must become familiar with the body of literature that marked his life. Jim Bell and Tony Dawson give curious students of Lewis a glimpse of the books and authors that informed his life’s work and kindled his imagination.”
–Jerry Root, assistant professor of Christian Formation and Ministry at Wheaton College, co-editor of The Quotable C. S. Lewis and C. S. Lewis scholar
“One of the great benefits of reading C. S. Lewis is his singular ability to introduce his own readers to the works of other authors. In this volume, Bell and Dawson have made it easier for us to uncover the literary influences and preferences that characterized Lewis’s own reading. The editors have arranged these excerpts around a variety of appealing subjects such as fantasy and imagination, suffering, prayer and contemplation, and God’s love. This arrangement invites the reader to enter into the selections devotionally–to enjoy and benefit from these literary treasures much as Lewis himself did. This book is an excellent resource for those interested in meeting new authors, as well as a wonderful way to remind ourselves of favorite texts too long neglected.”
–Marjorie Lamp Mead, associate director of The Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College, co-editor of Brothers and Friends: The Diaries of Major Warren Hamilton Lewis and C. S. Lewis: Letters to Children