Booknote: “C.S. Lewis in America” by Mark Noll


C. S. Lewis in America: Readings and Reception, 1935–1947, by Mark A. Noll. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2023, xviii + 158 pages, $18.69, paper.

The works of C. S. Lewis have found a home in America for nearly nine decades. His technical studies in literary criticism, imaginative works, and expositions of the Christian faith have been well received by Christians of various denominations. Avid Lewis readers are found among adherents of both Protestant and Catholic traditions. Reviews of Lewis’s books were numerous and not limited to Christian publications, but also appeared in secular magazines and journals. One would be hard pressed to think of other writers so highly acclaimed by such a diverse readership.

With modest revisions, the book contains three lectures delivered under the auspices of Wheaton College’s Marion E. Wade Center at its 2022 Ken and Jean Hansen Lectures.

Noll recounts the reception of Lewis’s writing during the pivotal years of 1935–1947, a period that included the Great Depression, World War II, and the early years of the Cold War. A helpful table lists his books published in America during that time, from The Pilgrim’s Regress (1935) to Miracles (1947)—seventeen books in all—arranged in three categories: literary scholarship, imaginative writing (including The Screwtape Letters and the Ransom Trilogy), and Christian exposition (5).


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