"An excellent book. In its sharp imagery, its clever inferences, its suspense, its characterization, and its occasional grotesque humor, it stands favorable comparison with its great model by John Bunyan,"---Chicago Tribune. This robust satire of modern cultural fads and spiritual dangers is now fully unraveled. 256 pages, hardcover. Eerdmans.
Modeled after John Bunyan's famous Pilgrim's Progress, C. S. Lewis's Pilgrim's Regress represents a number of firsts for Lewis -- the first book he wrote after his conversion to Christianity, his first book of fiction, and the first book he published under his own name.
This splendid annotated edition, produced in collaboration with the Marion E. Wade Center in Wheaton, Illinois, helps readers recover the richness of Lewis's allegory. Often considered obscure and difficult to read, The Pilgrim's Regress nonetheless remains a witty satire on cultural fads, a vivid account of spiritual dangers, and an illuminating tale for generations of pilgrims old and new.
Editor David C. Downing's critical introduction provides needed biographical and cultural context for fully appreciating The Pilgrim's Regress. Downing relies throughout both on his own expertise and on previously unpublished sources from Lewis himself to identify allusions to other authors, translate quotations, and explain humor hidden within Lewis's text. Among the hundreds of annotations are references that draw parallels to Lewis's later works, including Mere Christianity, Surprised by Joy, and the Chronicles of Narnia.
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.
-- author of The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis
"Among all of C. S. Lewis's books, the one most in need of annotation is The Pilgrim's Regress, which fairly bristles with allusions to writers and ideas, some ancient, some recent, some famous, some obscure. It takes a learned and discerning scholar to tease out all these references. Fortunately, David Downing is just such a scholar, and this book is an outstanding contribution to Lewis studies."
-- author of The Way into Narnia: A Reader's Guide
"Downing's consistently thorough and well-informed annotations do a superb job of clarifying and enlivening this difficult, but very important, early work by C. S. Lewis. All readers of Lewis will be grateful."
-- author of A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis
"The Pilgrim's Regress, the first book Lewis wrote after becoming a Christian, remains one of the best records of how he went from cynical atheist to joyous believer. It is no exaggeration to say that David Downing's superb annotations allow those of us who do not share Lewis's vast philosophical, literary, and linguistic background to understand and enjoy this classic work in a way not possible before. A must for all serious Lewis fans."
-- author of The A-Z of C. S. Lewis
"C. S. Lewis spoke of the 'needless obscurity' of this early fiction of ideas. Later he added notes and an explanatory preface for the reader of seventy years ago. Now David C. Downing has gone further and helped to make Lewis's engaging and classic modern pilgrim's quest even more accessible for today's reader. I've reread The Pilgrim's Regress more often than many of Lewis's writings and am delighted at this new edition."
Catholic Library World
"This annotated edition will be welcomed by all those who enjoy Lewiss other books and want to understand this one. . . . Downing provides definitions for obscure terms and writers alluded to in the text, translations of and information about foreign phrases, and many other useful notes that elucidate otherwise baffling passages and make the book far more comprehensible and enjoyable. . . . An essential purchase for all academic libraries."
The Presbyterian Outlook
"Despite the limitations of Regress, revealing Lewis to be a talented author who had not yet fully mastered his craft, it is still a worthwhile and often delightful read. It brims with insights into the intellectual world of the 1920s and early 30s that still ring true. Most important for Lewis fans, Downings annotations guide the reader through his thicket of ideas and point out the themes in the narrative. . . . In Downings hands, The Pilgrims Regress comes to life."
Congregational Libraries Today
"Fortunately for modern readers, a student once asked Lewis to annotate a copy of [The Pilgrims Regress] so he could understand it better. This annotated copy is in the hands of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College in Illinois. With the excellent editorial skills of David C. Downing, the published version now offers scholars easier access. . . . Highly recommended for Lewis scholars."
"Helps readers better understand this rich allegory by providing notes of explanation for hundreds of otherwise obscure quotes and references contained within the book. . . . Fans of C. S. Lewis will appreciate fully understanding the first of his fictional allegories and its relation to his later works."
The Living Church
"Lewis's notes, expanded and supplemented by David Downing, make a difficult book readable to the point of great enjoyment in parts and useful in the extreme in evaluating and appreciating Lewis's overall contribution to championing the Christian faith. . . . The Wade Annotated Edition ofThe Pilgrim's Regress belongs on every Lewis devotee's shelf with gratitude to Downing for his valuable labors."
"If you have never read (or finished, or understood) The Pilgrim's Regress, help is now available. . . . With this version, it's like having Lewis and Downing walk through the book with us as we read."