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Appears in Collections:History and Politics eTheses
Title: The Reception of C. S. Lewis in Britain and America
Author(s): Derrick, Stephanie Lee
Supervisor(s): Bebbington, David William
Keywords: C. S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia
Mere Christianity
history of the book
history of reading
history of Christianity in Britain
popular religion
American Christianity
British Broadcasting Corporation
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Since the publication of the book The Screwtape Letters in 1942, ‘C. S. Lewis’ has been a widely recognized name in both Britain and the United States. The significance of the writings of this scholar of medieval literature, Christian apologist and author of the children’s books The Chronicles of Narnia, while widely recognized, has not previously been investigated. Using a wide range of sources, including archival material, book reviews, monographs, articles and interviews, this dissertation examines the reception of Lewis in Britain and America, comparatively, from within his lifetime until the recent past. To do so, the methodology borrows from the history of the book and history of reading fields, and writes the biography of Lewis’s Mere Christianity and The Chronicles of Narnia. By contextualizing the writing of these works in the 1940s and 1950s, the evolution of Lewis’s respective platforms in Britain and America and these works’ reception across the twentieth century, this project contributes to the growing body of work that interrogates the print culture of Christianity. Extensive secondary reading, moreover, permitted the investigation of cultural, intellectual, social and religious factors informing Lewis’s reception, the existence of Lewis devotees in America and the lives of Mere Christianity and The Chronicles of Narnia in particular. By paying close attention to the historical conditions of authorship, publication and reception, while highlighting similarities and contrasts between Britain and America, this dissertation provides a robust account of how and why Lewis became one of the most successful Christian authors of the twentieth century.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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