It's tempting to steal the annotater's thunder and reveal the secrets of the text. The Screwtape Letters needs no introduction, after all—few Christian books are as well-known or as often compared to John Bunyan's masterful Pilgrim's Progress.
Lewis's fable about a senior demon advising his novice nephew isn't meant primarily to entertain. When the author finished it, in fact, he remembered the writing process as a time of acute temptation and spiritual struggle. By delving into anti-Christian thought, however, he shows how to resist temptation and refute the arguments flung at us by the world.
C. S. Lewis was a scholar and cultural critic par excellence, and The Screwtape Letters draws on his knowledge of literature, philosophy, theology, science, etc. to defend Christianity and provide Christians with a guide for resisting earthly powers.
These references have begged for annotated versions of his books for a long time, especially as readers become less and less widely read. The Screwtape Letters - Annotated Edition takes a huge step toward filling this gap, providing definitions of rare or archaic words, explanations of historical, cultural, and literary references, brief discussions of theological concepts, and more.
This edition does NOT interpret Lewis's work, something he disdained. Rather, Paul McCusker makes it understandable to a broader audience. He's not an academic, but he did receive the blessing of Douglas Gresham (Lewis's stepson) to complete his task.
An introduction sets the book in its historical context, though McCusker doesn't reveal facts about Lewis's own biography, another practice Lewis detested. Annotations are in red in the sidebar. This is a very handsome edition of a very excellent book. If you want to get even more out of this great Christian classic, or if you're a C. S. Lewis fan, this is a must-have for your personal library.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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