C. S. Lewis' Top Ten, Vol. I
What made bestselling author C. S. Lewis such a great writer with so many admirers? One answer to that question is Lewis’ vast reading across the entire canon of Western literature, from Homer and the Bible to some lesser-known works of the early twentieth century. Before one can become a great writer, one must be a great reader.
In 1962, an interviewer asked Lewis: “What books did most to shape your vocational attitude and your philosophy of life?” In response, Lewis offered the following top ten list:
1. Phantastes by George MacDonald
2. The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton
3. The Aeneid by Virgil
4. The Temple by George Herbert
5. The Prelude by William Wordsworth
6. The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto
7. The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
8. Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
9. Descent into Hell by Charles Williams
10. Theism and Humanism by A.J. Balfour
Based on his books, marginal notes, and personal letters, Lewis’ reading of these books is thoroughly documented. In addition, Will Vaus offers a brief biography of each author with a helpful summary of their book. Lewis’ Top Ten goes to the sources of the ideas and ideals reflected in Lewis’ own books. With this handy three-volume series, readers can discover new authors and learn what Lewis believed was most important in his own life and writings.
Volume One discusses the first three books:
Phantastes, The Everlasting Man, and The Aeneid