Sunday, August 2, 2020

"C.S. Lewis: Letters to Children" ed. by Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead

Well, now I just want to give C. S. Lewis a big hug and adopt him.  Or have him adopt me.  My goodness, what a delight this little book is!

As you can imagine, C. S. Lewis had many young fans who loved his books, especially the Chronicles of Narnia.  And many of those kids wrote to him, some of them repeatedly!  In fact, he carried on a years-long correspondence with quite a number of young people, even critiquing stories they sent him and so on.  Now, some of these letters were from his godchildren, or the children of friends, but many are from complete strangers.

And the kindness, the warmth, the compassion, and the understanding that he showed them just... endeared him to me in a way I was not expecting.  Lewis clearly remembered what it had been like to BE a child, and since that's something I also vividly recall, I feel a kinship to him now.

This is a wonderful collection, and I loved it.

Particularly Good Bits: 

When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up (p. 5).

Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we've got to do (3) Things we like doing.  I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don't like because other people read them (p. 27).

...it is so interesting to hear exactly what people do like and don't like, which is just what grown-up readers never really tell (p. 33).

You see, I don't think age matters so much as people think.  Parts of me are still 12 and I think other parts were already 50 when I was 12 (p. 34).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: G for good, clean, wholesome, uplifting, delightful, kind, serious, important, beautiful writing.

This is my 28th book read from my TRB shelves for #TheUnreadShelfProject2020.

6 comments:

  1. Aaaaw, Lewis is my favorite, and the letters to children I've read (the ones that are in the big compendiums) are the SWEETEST. <3

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    1. Samantha, I would like to read his bigger compendiums now. He had a wonderful letter-writing talent! Any you recommend?

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    2. My favorite ones are The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis volumes 2 & 3--apparently 1 is a bit strange (pre-conversion Lewis), so I haven't read it yet. It's so fun to watch his slow transition from Christian-who-doesn't-quite-understand-all-the-doctrine to more-or-less-orthodox-Christian to mellow-adult-Lewis. The volumes are rather expensive on Amazon, but I found them at my local library both as books and kindle books, so check that out, too. :)

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    3. Thanks, Samantha! I will see if my library has them :-)

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  2. Ack YES I love this book so much; the letters make me feel as if I know C.S. Lewis... if only a little bit. I love his heart.

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    1. Kendra, that's exactly it! I love his heart. You put that perfectly.

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