Volume 39 (2023)

Discovering a legendary author’s previously unpublished writing is part of the sleuthing magic of scholarship. This volume of VII shares some of that newly unearthed work and sends out a call for readers to join in finding more.

Volume 39 features twelve previously unpublished letters from C.S. Lewis, written during his tenure as general editor for the Nelson’s Medieval and Renaissance Library series. Steven Beebe and Joel Heck show how these letters reveal a rarely seen professional side of the man best known for his spiritual insight and fantastical imagination. All of these letters, part of a recently acquired archive of correspondence, are transcribed here, along with several photographs of the originals.

Continuing to explore more deeply into the life and writings of Lewis, Clark Moreland analyzes Lewis’s response to the Cold War and the possible shift that the threat of apocalypse generated in Lewis’s thinking about war. And Carrie Birmingham examines Lewis’s preoccupation with his days as a public schoolboy and seeks to answer a common question: why did Lewis devote an outsized amount of space in Surprised by Joy to the travails of that period in his life?

While Volume 39 is largely filled with Lewis scholarship, it also features a piece on Lewis’s contemporary and interlocutor, Dorothy L. Sayers. Kathryn Wehr looks at the source text for Sayers’s Canterbury play, The Zeal of Thy House, and shows where Sayers’s version of the fire and rebuilding of Canterbury Cathedral both diverges from and aligns with that original telling in order to elevate the story.

Book reviews of recent publications, as well as remembrances of colleagues whose friendship and scholarship will be missed, round out this volume of VII. Finally, along with other Inklings-related publications and institutions, VII offers an exciting opportunity for crowd-sourcing original—as yet unpublished—letters from C.S. Lewis. More details are in Volume 39!

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Published: 2024-02-02


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