Not long ago, I dreamed of writing a book highlighting C. S. Lewis’s views on history. At the time, I thought this would be a solo endeavor. Then I found out that a former student of mine was exploring the idea at the same time. The result was a cooperative venture that is now a reality.
Further, the Wade Center—repository of all things Lewis—awarded me the Clyde Kilby Research Grant for 2022 that made another trip to the Center to complete the necessary research a lot easier on the budget.
Finally, a publisher showed interest early on, and I want to thank Bob Trexler of Winged Lion Press for his dedication to see the proposed book through all the publication stages.
So, I hope you will permit me to think that perhaps all of these fortuitous circumstances may have had some help from the hand of the Lord.
One of my prayers when it came to finding endorsements for this book was that a respected historian might find the book valuable and offer a good word about it. That respected historian, in the person of Mark Noll (who taught at both Wheaton College and Notre Dame University) provided the type of endorsement for which I was hoping. Then David Downing, Co-Director of the Wade Center, and Bruce Johnson, who is the general editor for Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal, added their approvals as well. We are blessed to have endorsements from Lewis scholars like these. Here is the back cover for the book with the full endorsements.
The Amazon link for the book is here.
Below is a portion of our conclusion.
The aim of this book … was to present a comprehensive view of C. S. Lewis as a historian. … Our thorough examination of his background and writings has validated this belief, transforming it from a mere intuition into a scholarly affirmation of the original thesis. … There is a strong case to be made, therefore, that readers of C. S. Lewis should take him seriously as a historian of the first rank. After all, only a man with a keen historical sense would ever say, as he did in “Learning in War-time,”
Most of all, perhaps we need intimate knowledge of the past. … A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village; the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age.
The great cataract of nonsense that Lewis perceived in his time has not gone away. With the addition of social media and 24-hours-a-day news flooding our brains, it is important to have that intimate knowledge of the past so that we are not misled. I hope many of you will take the opportunity to read our labor of love. We believe it can help us develop the immunity we all need from the nonsense.