“Those Who Lived to see Such Times”: Suggested Readings from the Wade Authors during Times of Uncertainty

C.S. Lewis at RAF Chaplaincy School, 1944

C.S. Lewis at R.A.F. Chaplaincy School, 1944. Image in the public domain. Original print at R.A.F. Chaplaincy Branch Archive, R.A.F. Museum, Hendon, London.

The world is currently experiencing a unique and unsettling time with the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). As you are aware, most businesses have closures or limited services, cultural and social centers such as libraries and museums (including the Wade Center) are closed to the public, large public events have been cancelled, and individuals are being encouraged to keep their distance for safety in order to prevent the spread of the virus. This isolation is hard, and it has made many fearful. However, our current circumstances are very reminiscent of what five of the seven Wade authors experienced while living in 20th century Britain through some of the most difficult periods in modern history. During this time, they witnessed both world wars, and four of them (Owen Barfield, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and J.R.R. Tolkien) lived to see the unsettling days of nuclear weapons. Rationing was also a problem during these war years, as supplies were limited, certainties rare, and little luxuries or meaningful moments with loved ones all the more precious.

Dorothy L. Sayers during World War II

Dorothy L. Sayers during World War II in her Air Raid Warden attire. Image property of the Wade Center. From the Muriel St. Clare Byrne Collection archive.

During weeks of nightly bombings in Britain during World War II, Sayers and Tolkien served as Air Raid Wardens, helping to enforce public safety measures and watch for bomb threats. C.S. Lewis served in the Home Guard in and around Oxford. He was also writing weekly newspaper installments that later became The Screwtape Letters and traveling regularly to speak to Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) servicemen and chaplains. In addition, Lewis gave radio talks on the BBC that encouraged listeners and shared basic truths of Christianity to homes all across Britain, pointing people to God and to eternal things beyond the chaos of war. These radio talks were later published as Mere Christianity. Tolkien was writing letters to his son serving in the R.A.F., and steadily penning The Lord of the Rings. Sayers’s war work was prodigious. In addition to her radio dramas on the life of Christ, The Man Born to be King, she gave a number of broadcast talks designed to encourage the British people during the hardships of war. She also worked on several writing projects including a collaboration with other writers on works that, they hoped, would help rebuild society once the war was over.

Apart from their war work, all seven of the Wade authors, and the works they produced for the audiences of the past, still have much to offer us today, particularly in this unprecedented moment of history. There is good reason why these particular books are still available as their words hold power to instruct and encourage us now as they have done for thousands of other people over the decades. In this regard, both fiction and non-fiction works are valuable in the different ways that they interact with the human mind, heart, and soul. Let your preferences direct what you read. In other words, select books that you enjoy and also what you feel would be most helpful.

The Wade Center staff has selected a number of titles for recommended reading, with a brief description of each. Please share this information with others in need of good reading resources. While library and business closures may make some of these works harder to obtain, there are also digital methods of purchase and access that will be highlighted. We also encourage readers to continue to enjoy these titles once the Coronavirus emergency has ended as they are applicable for all seasons, and life will continue to have future challenges. There is no expiration date on the nourishment that good words give.

For those of us living to see such times as these, we leave the last words to Gandalf the wizard from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings:

“‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo.

‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, Chapter 2

C.S. LEWIS – Recommended Readings

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE by C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity: One of Lewis’s most famous works of apologetics providing an overview of the tenets of faith held in common by all Christians. This is a compilation of the talks Lewis gave over B.B.C. Radio during World War II. Available in a variety of print formats, on Kindle, and audiobook.

“Learning in War-Time”: This pivotal essay was first given by Lewis as a sermon in St. Mary the Virgin Church in Oxford on December 22, 1939, and was originally published as “None Other Gods: Culture in War Time.” It is Lewis’s defense for the value of the practice of learning, and the necessity of maintaining life-giving pursuits, even in the midst of war. Available in the book The Weight of Glory in a variety of print formats, on Kindle, and audiobook.

“On Living in an Atomic Age”: First published as an article in 1948, this essay by Lewis discusses how to think and live in the era of uncertainty with the coming of the atomic bomb. The piece appeared three years after atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Available in the book Present Concerns in print or Kindle formats.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Lewis’s beloved seven-book series of tales and adventures that take place in the magical world of Narnia. A favorite choice for both children and adults, the Narnia series is available in a wide variety of editions including print, Kindle, and audiobook. There is also a dramatized version produced by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre and adapted by Paul McCusker; this is available for purchase and digital download.

For more resources on C.S. Lewis, see his author resources page on the Wade Center’s website. It includes a bibliography of works organized by genre.

J.R.R. TOLKIEN – Recommended Readings

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien’s epic fantasy tale which takes readers to Middle-earth, the home of elves, dwarves, hobbits, and many other inhabitants. In this story, Frodo the hobbit and his companions embark on a perilous quest to destroy the One Ring and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron. Available in a variety of print editions, on Kindle, and audiobook. A B.B.C. Radio full-cast dramatization, adapted by Brian Sibley, is also available for digital download.

The Hobbit: The prelude to The Lord of the Rings in which Bilbo the hobbit, a band of dwarves, and Gandalf the wizard set off to recapture stolen treasure from Smaug the dragon. Available in a variety of print editions, on Kindle, and audiobook. A B.B.C. Radio full-cast dramatization is also available for digital download.

“On Fairy-Stories”: Tolkien’s famous essay defending and explaining the genre of fairy tales and fantasy literature. This work is included in the following titles, all available in a variety of print formats: Tree and Leaf, The Tolkien Reader, Tales from the Perilous Realm. Audiobook and Kindle versions are available for Tales from the Perilous Realm, which also includes several short stories by Tolkien, and is read by Derek Jacobi.

For more resources on J.R.R. Tolkien, see his author resources page on the Wade Center’s website. It includes a bibliography of works organized by genre.

DOROTHY L. SAYERS – Recommended Readings

The Man Born to be King by Dorothy L. Sayers

THE MAN BORN TO BE KING by Dorothy L. Sayers

“Why Work?”: In this essay by Sayers, she defines vocation as purposeful, creative, and a sacred act in that it glorifies God. The famous quote: “The only Christian work is good work well done” comes from this essay. You can find it in Letters to a Diminished Church, discussed below.

Letters to a Diminished Church: In this title, Sayers brings doctrines of the church to life, showing how they are applicable today, and ways in which they are incorporated with science, literature, and history. In addition to the “Why Work” essay discussed above, other recommended essay titles include: “The Greatest Drama Ever Staged,” “The Triumph of Easter,” and “Creed or Chaos?” Available in print and Kindle formats. Many of the same essays are also available in an earlier anthology, The Whimsical Christian.

Lord Peter Wimsey detective stories: Sayers is a masterful detective fiction writer. Her detective, the  aristocrat Lord Peter Wimsey, is featured in a number of novels and short stories. A listing of the novels is available on the Wade Center’s website. Titles are available in a print, Kindle, and audiobook formats.

The Man Born to be King: A twelve-play cycle based on the life of Christ. These religious dramas were originally broadcast as radio plays on B.B.C. Radio and are now available in book form. C.S. Lewis read this play cycle annually as part of his Lenten devotions. The current in-print version is available in paperback or Kindle edition.

For more resources on Dorothy L. Sayers, see her author resources page on the Wade Center’s website. It includes a bibliography of works organized by genre.

GEORGE MACDONALD – Recommended Readings

Since the works of George MacDonald are now entirely in the public domain, you can find most of them free and available online.

Project Gutenberg: This free e-book site offers a wide variety of the works of George MacDonald and many other authors.

LibriVox: For those who enjoy audiobooks, LibriVox offers a vast assortment of audiobook material from books in the public domain, including works by George MacDonald. These audio recordings are made by volunteer readers from around the world, and vary in quality of reading, but are a great way to explore various works of literature. You may also find that different chapters in a book have different readers.

Amazon Kindle: Kindle users will also be able to find many of MacDonald’s works available at very low prices, such as the Complete Works currently selling for $0.99. 

Individual Recommended Titles by George MacDonald

The Wise Woman by George MacDonald

THE WISE WOMAN by George MacDonald

The Wise Woman: A fairy tale of two spoiled children, a princess and a shepherd’s daughter, their choices, and their dealings with a kind but firm guardian, the Wise Woman, who is determined to save them from themselves. Alternate titles for this work are: The Lost Princess and A Double Story.

Unspoken Sermons: Three volumes of essays by George MacDonald on theological topics. Recommended titles: “The Consuming Fire,” “Light,” and “The Truth in Jesus.”

Fairy Tales: The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie are novel-length fairy tales, and are enjoyable for readers of all ages. Try reading them aloud with your family. Other recommended shorter fairy tales are: “The Golden Key,” “The Light Princess,” and “The Day Boy and the Night Girl” (alternate title: “The Romance of Photogen and Nycteris”).

Sir Gibbie: One of MacDonald’s most beloved realistic fiction novels. The story is set in the highlands of Scotland and centers on an orphan boy who cannot speak, but whose life is full of love and generosity.

For more resources on George MacDonald, see his author resources page on the Wade Center’s website. It includes a bibliography of works organized by genre.

G.K. CHESTERTON – Recommended Readings

Many of the works of G.K. Chesterton are in the public domain and available free online.

Project Gutenberg: This free e-book site offers a wide variety of the works of Gilbert Keith Chesterton and many other authors.

LibriVox: For those who enjoy audiobooks, LibriVox offers a vast assortment of audiobook material from books in the public domain, including works by G.K. Chesterton. These audio recordings are made by volunteer readers from around the world, and vary in quality of reading, but are a great way to explore various works of literature. You may also find that different chapters in a book have different readers.

Amazon Kindle: Kindle users will also be able to find many of Chesterton’s works available at very low prices, such as The G.K. Chesterton Collection (50 books) currently selling for $1.99. 

Individual Recommended Titles by G.K. Chesterton

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

ORTHODOXY by G.K. Chesterton

Orthodoxy: G.K. Chesterton’s highly regarded work of apologetics and his spiritual autobiography. This work forms the core of all that is Chesterton. If you only read one book by G.K. Chesterton, let it be this one.

Father Brown detective stories: Father Brown is Chesterton’s brilliant detective who also happens to be a Catholic priest. There are five collections of short detective stories, the first one titled The Innocence of Father Brown.

The Man Who Was Thursday: What is often described as a “metaphysical mystery thriller” and one of Chesterton’s finest novels. The setting of Edwardian era London forms the backdrop to the investigation of Gabriel Syme, poet and amateur police detective, who is on assignment to uncover the truth behind a ring of anarchists – arriving upon conclusions no one could have foreseen.

The Everlasting Man: A history of humanity, Christ, and Christianity which serves to some extent as a rebuttal of H.G. Wells’s The Outline of History. This book greatly influenced the faith of C.S. Lewis and was listed in his top ten list of influential books.

Manalive: A novel about not taking life for granted, and seeing the world through eyes of wonder. Follow the exploits of Innocent Smith, and judge for yourself just how “innocent” he really is.

For more resources on G.K. Chesterton, see his author resources page on the Wade Center’s website. It includes a bibliography of works organized by genre.

OWEN BARFIELD – Recommended Readings

This Ever Diverse Pair by Owen Barfield

THIS EVER DIVERSE PAIR by Owen Barfield

This Ever Diverse Pair: An autobiographical novel which explores the divergence between a man and his professional persona, personified as two co-workers in a law office who know just the right pressure points to annoy each other in a number of humorous and poignant scenarios. Barfield wrote this book at a time when his practice of the law felt to be stifling his creativity as a writer and thinker. Available as a paperback edition.

Poetic Diction: A study of the metaphors, style, and vocabulary used in poetic language with additional commentary on myth and the origins of language. This work was influential for both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Available as a paperback edition.

For more resources on Owen Barfield, see his author resources page on the Wade Center’s website. It includes a bibliography of works organized by genre.

CHARLES WILLIAMS – Recommended Readings

Descent of the Dove by Charles Williams

THE DESCENT OF THE DOVE by Charles Williams

Descent of the Dove: A non-fiction work outlining the history of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Available in paperback and Kindle editions.

The Place of the Lion: One of Williams’s seven novels described as “supernatural thrillers.” In this story, archetypes are embodied as gigantic animals roaming the earth, such as the Lion of Strength and the Butterfly of Beauty. Their interactions in the world cause havoc, but also produce engaging insights into the hearts of the humans they encounter. This book was highly admired by C.S. Lewis when he first read it in February 1936, and helped start the friendship between Lewis and Williams. Available in print and Kindle editions.

Image of the City and other Essays: A selection of essays by Williams which serves as an introduction to the diversity of his work as well as providing great insight into his thought and the various recurring themes in his works. Available in print and Kindle editions.

For more resources on Charles Williams, see his author resources page on the Wade Center’s website. It includes a bibliography of works organized by genre.

The Wade Authors in the Blogosphere

Blogs come in a variety of topics and formats. They invite in-depth looks at a multitude of topics, as well as glimpses into the lives and interests of people from around the world. In the case of the Wade authors, there are a number of scholars, enthusiasts, and organizations dedicated to the study of their lives and works that offer some helpful resources delivered via blogs; including the Wade Center (as is evident to you, our readers).

In this post, we will take a look at some of the blogs where the Wade authors are studied and appreciated. This is by no means a comprehensive list! We hope it will serve as a useful starting point to whet your appetite for continued exploration and as a means to learning more about the seven authors of the Wade Center and related subject areas. The following details were gathered from the blogs directly, so if you manage one of the blogs below and have additional or updated descriptions, please contact us.

Have other suggestions for intriguing Wade related blogs? Post them in the comments below!

*Note that we are not including podcasts or general websites in these lists; rather, we are defining a blog as a regular series of textual, date-stamped posts.

 

Along-the-Beam

Image from: alongthebeam.com

BROAD TOPICS & MULTIPLE WADE AUTHORS

These blogs discuss multiple Wade authors and/or related topics.

Diana Pavlac Glyer blog: A blog of intermittent posts from Lewis, Tolkien, and Inklings scholar Diana Glyer. She is Professor of English at Azusa Pacific University.

“I Have An Inkling” blog by Mark Sommer: Posts about news, books, and other topics relating to the Inklings, which included 4 of the 7 Wade authors (Barfield, Lewis, Tolkien, Williams).

“Islands of Joy”: A blog focused on the theme of “Sehnsucht” (meaning joy or longing), which C.S. Lewis wrote about; this deep sense of desire is most often evoked by art, poetry, literature, music, or nature. Several writers contribute to this blog.

“Kalimac’s Corner” by David Bratman: Personal blog of Bratman, a scholar who specializes in Lewis, Tolkien, and the Inklings.

“Letters from the Edge of Elfland” by David Russell Mosley: David has a PhD in theology from Nottingham University and writes posts (“letters”) about theology, creativity, and their places in everyday life. His posts can include content on Lewis, Tolkien, and Chesterton.

“Transpositions”: A blog on theology, imagination, and the arts managed by The Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA) at the University of St. Andrew’s, Scotland. Several writers contribute to this blog.

 

BLOGS FROM SOCIETIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

C.S. Lewis Foundation: Interviews with C.S. Lewis scholars, information about the Foundation, and words of encouragement. The C.S. Lewis Foundation is based in Redlands, CA.

C.S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga, Tennessee:  Contains news on the Society, and Lewis-related topics and information. Moderated by Rev. David Beckmann.

George MacDonald Society Blog: Posts include Society news and events notices, book announcements, and MacDonald related topics. Moderated by Mike Partridge. The George MacDonald Society is based in the United Kingdom.

Tolkien Society: Publishes Society news and a wide variety of Tolkien related topics. This blog has multiple authors. The Tolkien Society is based in the United Kingdom.

 

BLOG ON GEORGE MACDONALD

“Works of George MacDonald” by Michael Phillips: A website that maintains several “blog” resources under its “Regular Features” and other tab sections, including MacDonald Q&A, information on MacDonald rare book editions, daily devotionals, prayers, blessings, and poems, etc. Phillips is the author of George MacDonald, Scotland’s Beloved Storyteller (Bethany House, 1987), and has adapted MacDonald’s works for contemporary readers.

 

BLOG ON CHARLES WILLIAMS

“The Oddest Inkling” by Sørina Higgins: A blog dedicated to exploring the life, works, and ideas of Charles Williams. The earlier posts on the blog are particularly helpful for an overview of Williams’s ideas and biography. Higgins is in the process of posting overviews of works by Charles Williams in publication order. She serves as Chair of the Literature & Language Department at Signum University’s Mythgard Institute, and is currently a doctoral student at Baylor University.

 

BLOGS ON C.S. LEWIS

“Along the Beam” by Rebekah Valerius: Posts on Lewis and integrated approaches to Christian apologetics. Valerius is a graduate student studying apologetics at Houston Baptist University.

Crystal Hurd blog – Hurd is an educator and Lewis scholar from Virginia. She is currently researching the parents of C.S. Lewis, Albert and Flora Lewis, and her posts focus on books, Lewis, and related topics.

“Dangerous Idea” by Victor Reppert: The personal blog of Reppert contains posts on C.S. Lewis in the areas of reason, science, and philosophy, as well as other topics of interest. Reppert also manages a blog titled “Dangerous Idea 2” and a blog study guide of Lewis’s Mere Christianity. Reppert is the author of C.S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason (InterVarsity Press, 2003).

David Beckmann blog: Personal blog of Rev. David Beckmann and dedicated to helping others learn more about the life and works of C.S. Lewis, with an emphasis on spiritual topics. Beckmann is the founder and moderator of the C.S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga, TN.

“Essential C.S. Lewis” by William O’Flaherty: Provides daily quotes by C.S. Lewis, and includes links to other Lewis-related resources (podcasts and scholar interviews).

“The Lamppost: C.S. Lewis, Narnia, and Mere Christianity” by Will Vaus: Provides information on Vaus’s books, travels, and a variety of Lewis-related topics particularly in the area of theology. Vaus is a pastor, public speaker, and the author of several books about C.S. Lewis and his works.

Mark Neal blog: Personal blog with topics relating to C.S. Lewis, particularly on the function and life of the imagination. Neal is co-author of the book The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis with Dr. Jerry Root (Abingdon Press, 2015).

“Mere C.S. Lewis” by Ken Symes: Covers topics relating to Lewis and politics, apologetics, ethics, and evangelism.

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” by Brenton Dickieson: A blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis and the worlds he touched, including children’s literature, apologetics, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, and writing, as well as the work of his fellow Inklings J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. Dickieson is a university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada.

 

BLOGS ON J.R.R. TOLKIEN

Dimitra Fimi blog: Personal blog of Fimi, who is Senior Lecturer in English at Cardiff Metropolitan University and co-editor of the book A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages (HarperCollins, 2016).

“The Flame Imperishable” by Jonathan McIntosh: A theology blog on Tolkien, St. Thomas Aquinas, and related topics. McIntosh is a Fellow of Humanities at New Saint Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho, and teaches courses on the Great Books, medieval thought, Tolkien, and other areas.

John Garth blog: Personal blog on a variety of Tolkien topics, particularly World War I. Garth is a freelance writer, researcher and reader, and a widely-acclaimed Tolkien and World War I scholar. He is the author of Tolkien and the Great War (Houghton Mifflin, 2003).

“Lingwë – Musings of a Fish” by Jason Fisher: Tolkien scholar Jason Fisher provides the following list describing his blog topics: “J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, the Inklings, J.K. Rowling, and fantasy literature in general; language, linguistics, and philology; comparative mythology and folklore.” He is the editor of Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays (McFarland, 2011).

LOTR Project by Emil Johansson: Blog relating to the creative and ambitious web project dedicated to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, including an extensive Middle-earth genealogy, a historical timeline of Middle-earth, and statistics of the population of Middle-earth. Johansson is a Chemical Engineering student currently living in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“Parma-kenta” by Troels Forchhammer: This blog is maintained by a Danish Tolkien scholar, and contains lists to many Tolkien resources & headlines, as well as posts of varied Tolkien-related topics. A key feature is “Tolkien Transactions” – a review of online Tolkien content that Forchhammer has deemed interesting enough to share with his blog readers.

“Sacnoth’s Scriptorium” by John D. Rateliff: Personal blog of Rateliff, who is an independent Tolkien scholar and author of The History of the Hobbit (Houghton Mifflin, 2007).

“Tolkien and Fantasy” by Douglas A. Anderson: The blog defining itself as “musings on Tolkien and modern fantasy literature.” Anderson is the editor of the books The Annotated Hobbit (Houghton Mifflin, 2002), Tales Before Tolkien (Del Rey / Ballantine Books, 2003), and Tales Before Narnia (Del Rey / Ballantine Books, 2008).

“The Tolkienist” by Marcel R. Aubron-Bülles: Contains a wide variety of Tolkien-related topics by Aubron-Bülles, who is a German freelance journalist and translator.

“Too Many Books and Never Enough” by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull: Personal blog of Tolkien scholars Hammond and Scull on a variety of topics relating to Tolkien studies. Hammond and Scull are known for their in-depth reference books on Tolkien’s life and works, Tolkien bibliography, books on Tolkien’s artwork, and their work editing Tolkien’s books. Christina is the former librarian of Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, England. Wayne is Chapin Librarian in the special collections department of the Williams College Libraries in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

“Wormtalk and Slugspeak” by Michael Drout: A personal blog featuring various Tolkien topics, Anglo-Saxon and medieval studies, and the study of language patterns in literature. Drout is Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Study of the Medieval at Wheaton College, Norton, MA where he teaches Old & Middle English, medieval literature, fantasy, science fiction and writing. He is the editor of Tolkien’s Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics and the Tolkien Studies journal.

George MacDonald in Italy

George MacDonald, ca. 1860s-1870s.

George MacDonald, ca. 1860s-1870s. Wade Center Photo Collection: GM / P-1.

George MacDonald’s life led him on extensive travels. In 1872-1873 he offered a successful lecture tour in the United States. He also traveled throughout Great Britain as well as various countries in Europe. However, apart from Scotland and England, the country where he spent the most time was Italy, which became a second home for his family in MacDonald’s later years. How did a Scottish Victorian author come to have such a close connection to Italy? That is what this blog post will explore.

The MacDonald family experienced numerous health issues over the years. George MacDonald himself was in “delicate” health and suffered frequent illness from a young age, particularly with pleurisy. He also battled asthma, lung infections and bleeding, and bouts of debilitating exhaustion as a result of his extensive efforts to write, travel, and speak. Such strenuous work and activities were necessary to support his large family of eleven children. By the 1850s, it was evident that he was suffering from tuberculosis. Out of concern for his health, Lady Byron (wife of Lord Byron and a friend of MacDonald’s), arranged to send George, his wife Louisa, and their daughter Mary to Algiers, where he would be able to recuperate in a more moderate climate.  In September 1856 the three traveled to northern Africa where they remained until May 1857, while the other MacDonald children stayed at home in the care of relatives. The rest cure was beneficial, and MacDonald returned home to Huntly, Scotland strengthened and healthier. The warmer climate and diverse culture in Algiers had not only been rejuvenating, but had also fascinated him.

Algiers came to mind when, in 1877, MacDonald’s daughter Mary developed an advanced case of consumption. Usually a lively and engaged girl, Mary had become withdrawn and listless during her illness, which caused her family great concern. MacDonald was also suffering from an episode of poor health at the same time, and so the decision was made to take Mary to southern Europe or Africa in hopes that the climate could improve her health much as it had done for her father back in 1857. The decision to choose Italy was largely due to a family friend who was accompanying the MacDonalds abroad. The friend, Hatty Russell, spoke Italian and her mother lived in Nervi, Italy, so in spite of the political turmoil present in Italy at that time, it became the chosen destination.

The MacDonald Family, 1876.

The MacDonald Family, 1876. L to R, 1st row: Maurice, Winifred, Bernard; 2nd row: Ronald, Robert Falconer, Irene, George MacDonald, MacKay, Mary; 3rd row (standing): Grace, Greville, Louisa, Lilia, Ted Hughes (Mary’s fiance). Wade Center Photo Collection: GM / P-9.

Louisa, Mary, and three of the other MacDonald children — Lily, Irene, and Ronald — departed for Italy on September 25, 1877 along with Hatty Russell and a maid for Mary. George MacDonald remained in England with his other children, working hard to write his novel Paul Faber, Surgeon. The Italian group of MacDonalds settled in Nervi and rented a home named Palazzo Cattaneo where George and the other children joined them in November.

Rolland Hein writes the following description of Palazzo Cattaneo:

“Out the window lay a large, beautifully terraced garden filled with orange trees. And down the slope to the west shimmered the waters of the Ligurian Sea, placid and clear, dotted with little sailing vessels. . . .  MacDonald’s delight in his new surroundings rapidly grew. He now had greater solitude, cleaner air, and more beautiful sunsets than in England” (George MacDonald: Victorian Mythmaker. Nashville, TN: Star Song Publishing Group, 1993: 301-302).

The mild Italian climate enabled George to feel significantly better with little to no discomfort from his asthma or other lung ailments. Sadly, despite what seemed to be a promising recovery in her strength early in the trip, Mary’s health continued to steadily decline. She died on April 27, 1878, the first of several losses the MacDonald family would suffer in the years to come.

Realizing that remaining in Italy was a more affordable option for the family, they decided to stay another year. After their lease was up in Nervi, they relocated to Portofino and the house Villa Barratta. The new location was isolated and beautiful. There was no carriage road leading to the house, but the MacDonalds had a boat to row across the bay. They began to invest time in learning to speak Italian, and MacDonald was able to write steadily due to the solitude as well as his improved health. His novel Sir Gibbie, a favorite for many readers, was written during this time in Italy and completed by the end of 1878. While living in Portofino, the MacDonald family also entertained guests in their home and performed dramas of stories like The Pilgrim’s Progress. These acting endeavors were a great delight to the family and continued over the years as a way to provide hospitality as well as an extra source of income.

Some may wonder how the MacDonalds could afford to travel abroad when their finances were generally tight. The income generated by George’s speaking engagements and publications was supplemented, as mentioned above, by the family’s dramatic performances. In addition, a portion of their expenses was covered by the generosity of family friends. A kind and loving man, George MacDonald had a large circle of friends who were quite wealthy and were often moved to help the MacDonald family with practical needs for health, housing, and daily life. The MacDonalds in turn were always ready to welcome others into their home, providing warm hospitality and a haven to all who visited them. These visitors included many friends and relatives from Great Britain who were visiting Italy, as well as the needy among their neighbors such as orphaned children and the poor. In addition to these sources of income, Queen Victoria honored George MacDonald with an annual Civil List Pension in the amount of 100 pounds sterling beginning in 1877.

 

Before returning to England in mid-May 1879, the MacDonalds decided to officially make Italy their second home. They resolved to winter there regularly in the years to come and to settle in Bordighera (the images above show views from ca. 1880s and 2009), putting an offer on a house and intending to finalize the purchase upon their return in February 1880. When they arrived back in Italy, however, they were dismayed to find that the house owner was no longer willing to sell; though he did allow the MacDonalds to stay in the home while they made other living arrangements.

Met with a difficult problem to solve, MacDonald embarked on an endeavor to build a house for his family, which for him was an exciting project requiring his vast creativity. The house was designed with the needs for both a large family and the hospitality of guests in mind. Construction was affordable and happened quickly, and the family moved into their new home in Christmas 1880, naming it “Casa Coraggio” meaning “House of Courage.” William Raeper describes the house:

“It was planted at the front with Scotch firs, and the massive building itself had four floors and a stucco tower. It stood almost back to back with the English church, and only a gate separated the MacDonalds’ garden from the church grounds. The house was a gift from friends, a testimony to the esteem they had for MacDonald.” (George MacDonald. Lion Publishing, 1987: 351)

Michael Phillips writes that Casa Coraggio “quickly became the center of life for a rapidly growing colony of intellectual Scots and English in the area.” (George MacDonald: Scotland’s Beloved Storyteller. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1987: 319) Casa Coraggio not only gave the MacDonald family a wonderful home, but it also gave them adequate space for plays, lectures, musical performances, and the ability to host a steady stream of friends and relatives as well.

 

Barbara Reynolds explains in her article “Bordighera and the British” that the MacDonalds were part of a wave of British visitors to winter in Bordighera regularly. The novel Doctor Antonio, published in English in 1855 by Italian exile Giovanni Ruffini, introduced its British readers of the beautiful scenery in Bordighera and enticed them to visit. Reynolds goes on to say:

“Before long Bordighera was transformed into a British colony complete with Anglican church, a private library containing mainly English books, a museum, an English theatre, an English chemist, an English bank, and an English cemetery.” (Reynolds, Barbara. “Bordighera and the British.” VII. Vol. 12. Wheaton, IL: The Marion E. Wade Center, 1995: 3)

The British came to Italy not just because of the scenery, but also, like the MacDonalds, for health reasons and the hope of escaping or being cured of tuberculosis. Once there, they created a number of charitable and philanthropic endeavors in the area, sharing in the welfare-minded movements of the Victorian era of which MacDonald was also a part.

 

As mentioned earlier, the MacDonalds suffered additional deaths in the family during the years they lived in Italy. After Mary’s death in 1878, their fifteen-year-old son Maurice developed a cough and fever, and died two weeks later on March 5, 1879. They would also lose daughters Grace (d. May 5, 1884) and Lily (d. November 22, 1891), and their little granddaughter Octavia at just nine years old (d. 1891). MacDonald himself (d. September 18, 1905) was cremated in Britain but buried in Bordighera, next to his wife Louisa (d. January 13, 1902), and daughters Grace and Lily. It is perhaps fitting that despite his Scottish heritage and love of Britain, MacDonald’s final resting place should be in this enchanting place that he also greatly loved. Indeed, Bordighera not only nurtured George MacDonald with its beauty, but its temperate climate also helped to restore his health, thereby enabling him to have time and strength to write a number of his best-loved works — ones that would be enjoyed for generations to come.

 

Announcing VII Volume 32

We are pleased to announce the release of VII Volume 32, the Wade Center’s annual journal. Beginning with this issue, the title of our publication has changed from Seven: An Anglo-American Literary Review to VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center. (See the end of this post for more on the name change.) This volume of VII highlights influences on the Wade authors, particularly the importance of family, friendship, and career background. Crystal Hurd provides new insight and background information on C.S. Lewis’s relationship with his father, Albert Lewis. William Howard takes a closer look at the supportive friendship between George MacDonald and Lady Byron, the wife of poet Lord Byron. And Christine Fletcher examines Dorothy L. Sayers’s career in the advertising industry.

The relationship Albert Lewis had with his sons Warren (Warnie) and Clive (Jack) was complex, as is a common occurrence between parents and children. Albert’s good intentions as a father were sometimes misunderstood and often poked fun at by his two sons. In her profile on Albert Lewis, Crystal Hurd analyzes Albert’s motivations and the mid-Victorian tendencies that influenced his parenting. She explores several misunderstandings that caused Jack to have little affection for his father, including Albert’s choice of boarding school for Jack, his lack of visits during Jack’s wartime leave during WWI, and other father-son issues.

Warren, Albert, and C.S. Lewis, ca. 1908.

Warren, Albert, and C.S. Lewis, ca. 1908.

Hurd takes a look at a previously unpublished transcription of Albert’s sayings from the Wade’s C.S. Lewis manuscript collection (CSL / MS-94) as captured and caricatured by Warnie and Jack. The collection of sayings was titled The Pudaita Pie by the Lewis brothers, and refers to Albert’s “low” Irish pronunciation of the word “potato” (Kilby and Mead 8). It contains 100 personal and anecdotal comments gathered by both sons over the course of eight years along with an introduction by C.S. Lewis. The collection provides further insight into Albert’s personality, including his tendency to speak in confident statements on both trivial and significant matters:

33. Albert once pronounced that Birmingham was one of the most beautiful cities in England. However, when asked if he had ever visited, he replied he had not. (Paraphrase of statement inscribed by C.S. Lewis)

44. On hearing of any civil commotions, his usual comment was: “Aye! Well a whiff of grapeshot would soon settle that.” (Warren Lewis = inscriber)

In William Howard’s piece, he examines the origins of George MacDonald’s friendship with Lady Byron. His article relates MacDonald’s reaction to an account of the disintegration of the Byrons’ marriage presented to the press upon her death in 1860. Howard illuminates the touching nature of MacDonald’s friendship to Byron during a trying time. Howard also provides context into how Lady Byron’s other friends, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, reacted to the ending of the Byrons’ marriage.

Christine M. Fletcher guides us through Sayers’s advertising career and shows us how it influenced her ideas on creativity, good work, and the dangers of consumerism. This experience in the advertising industry was formative in the life of Dorothy L. Sayers. It not only helped provide financial support for the young writer, but it was also part of the world she created in her detective novels. (Dr. Fletcher’s talk given at the Wade Center in 2013 on “Theology in Wartime: Dorothy L. Sayers and C.S. Lewis” is also available on our website.)

Volume 32 also includes other articles on Lewis, Williams, and the Inklings. Remembrances in the issue honor Dr. Barbara Reynolds, a founding editor of VII; David Gresham, C.S. Lewis’s stepson; David Neuhouser, founder of the Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis and Friends at Taylor University; and Bruce L. Edwards, a foremost Lewis scholar and a mentor to many.

VII also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wade Center with the poem specially written by poet Luci Shaw to commemorate this milestone in the life of the Wade. Several photos from the celebration on October 29 accompany the poem.

vii-newcoverThe longtime VII reader will also note the updated subtitle of the journal. As scholarship on the seven Wade authors has grown and deepened over the past half century, there has been increased interest in the works of these authors worldwide. When Dr. Clyde S. Kilby, Dr. Barbara Reynolds, and Dr. Beatrice Batson founded VII in 1980, the majority of work being done on these authors was coming from Great Britain and the United States. The desire at that time was to strengthen ties between these groups of scholars, hence the name VII: An Anglo-American Literary Review. However, now with an increasingly international readership in mind, the subtitle no longer applies; thus, as of this volume of VII, the name was changed to VII: Journal of the Marion E. Wade Center in order to more adequately reflect the truly global readership and scholarship on these seven authors.

Please visit the VII website for more information about this volume and back issues. Note that beginning with Volume 31, VII is now available for purchase online.

Rates:
Individual (bought at Wade Center): $14.00 (plus tax)
Individual (shipped in U.S.): $18.00
Individual (shipped International): $29.00
Libraries (U.S.): $35
Libraries (International): $50

Works Cited:
Kilby, Clyde S., and Marjorie Lamp Mead. Brothers and Friends: The Diaries of Major Warren Hamilton Lewis. New York: Ballantine, 1988.

The Seven Literary Sages Christian History Issue: A closer look with Jennifer Woodruff Tait

ChristianHistory_2015The “Seven Literary Sages” Christian History issue 113 was released early in 2015 in honor of the Wade Center’s 50th anniversary, features the seven authors of the Wade Center, and highlights their continuing relevance to significant issues facing our world today. We have heard from many readers how much they enjoyed the issue, including  Dr. Leland Ryken, Professor of English Emeritus at Wheaton College, who comments: “This issue of Christian History is the best brief introduction to the Wade authors that exists. Its photographs are a feast to the eyes.  The accumulated information and insights are a treasure trove.”

Jennifer Woodruff Tait, managing editor of Christian History and Wade author enthusiast, graciously offers “Off the Shelf” readers some of her reflections on the “Seven Literary Sages” issue and its significance in her own life. Our thanks also go to Jennifer for the editorial expertise and creative work she contributed to make this issue such a success.


On November 22, 2013, C.S. Lewis was formally “installed” into Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey, gaining a memorial stone there along with such luminaries of British literature as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Byron, Dickens, Austen, the Brontë sisters, T.S. Eliot, and W.H. Auden. The service was dignified; the organ thundered; the choir sang. I was there. My husband, kids, and I spent the days before the service joining fellow Lewis enthusiasts at a meeting of the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society, a tour of the Kilns (Lewis’s home, now a museum), and a symposium on Lewis’s works and worth.

On the way home, we visited Dublin, Ireland and attended the Sunday morning worship service at Trinity College. There I met a woman who became interested in our trip to the Lewis memorial. She obviously knew of Lewis’s status as a British author and had seen the movie Shadowlands. But she was puzzled by my being there on behalf of a Christian magazine. “Was Lewis particularly religious?” she asked.

And I wondered: Though Christians have valued his work for decades, how much did Lewis and his friends and mentors change the society around them? What legacy did they leave to the modern secular world?

That question was part of the reason I was in Oxford and London. I was covering the memorial celebration for issue 113 of Christian History magazine, which was dedicated to the seven authors whom the Wade Center collects. Released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Wade Center, we called the magazine “Seven Literary Sages: Why We Still Need Their Wisdom Today.” It told the story of how those “Seven Sages” took on secularists, materialists, and modernizers with their weapon of choice: the pen.

With the assistance of the Wade we assembled a lineup of knowledgeable scholars: Suzanne Bray, Matthew Dickerson, Crystal and David Downing, Colin Duriez, Brian Horne, Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson, Alister McGrath, Michael Ward, Ralph Wood, and Edwin Woodruff Tait. They explained to our readers in fresh and entertaining ways how the Seven Sages expressed a vision for society in areas ranging from economics to education to the environment; a vision for Christian literature in their powerfully moving treatments of goodness and self-sacrifice; and a vision for discipleship in their pictures of love in community. They also emphasized how millions read their books and by those books were inspired, by the help of God’s grace, to create art, practice goodness, and seek the truth. (I am one of them: from Prince Caspian to Lord of the Rings to Gaudy Night to The Greater Trumps to Orthodoxy, the logical arguments and poetic visions of the Seven Sages have enriched my Christian discipleship for decades.) And we were able to illustrate the entire issue with a range of gorgeous photographs, many from the Wade’s own collection.

The magazine has turned out to be one of our runaway best-sellers since Christian History returned to publication by Christian History Institute in 2010. It’s by far our most popular issue judging by the number of online readers as well as requests for print copies. I’m personally thrilled to have been part of introducing so many new readers to authors who, in many cases, I have known and loved since childhood. But, not wanting to neglect others who have known and loved these authors for years as well, I commend the issue to you. Read, marvel, and enjoy!


TaitJennifer Woodruff Tait (Ph.D., Duke University) is managing editor of Christian History magazine, managing editor of the Patheos Faith and Work Channel, a candidate for ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church, and author of The Poisoned Chalice and Histories of Us.  From 2004-2013 she was the recording secretary for the New York C.S. Lewis Society. She lives in Richmond, KY on an 8-acre farm with her husband (who proposed to her on the bridge in London where G.K. Chesterton proposed to Frances), her two daughters (both of whom love Narnia and Middle-earth), and her in-laws.

April Artifact of the Month: C.S. Lewis’s copy of Phantastes by George MacDonald

The Wade Center owns over 2,400 volumes from the personal library of C.S. Lewis. Most of the books were acquired from Wroxton College in 1986, and others have been added from time to time from other donors or purchases. The books offer a unique look into the reading habits, imagination, and mind of Lewis himself, and many of them contain his handwritten notes and markings. Such annotations are a big research draw for Lewis scholars who are able to discern significant aspects of Lewis’s response to his reading; a valuable step beyond simply knowing which titles were on his shelf. Besides the markings, however, are the books themselves as physical artifacts. Observing the different bindings, seeing which ones are worn or barely touched, adds to the stories the volumes tell. In some cases Lewis mentions specific books in his writings, and it is always a thrill for Wade patrons to then hold that same referenced book in their hands.

C.S. Lewis's copy of Phantastes by George MacDonald. (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, Everyman edition, undated)

C.S. Lewis’s copy of Phantastes by George MacDonald. (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, Everyman edition, undated)

One such example is Lewis’s copy of Phantastes written by another of the Wade’s authors, George MacDonald. Phantastes is a fantasy novel for adults which follows a young man, Anodos, on his journey of self discovery. In his preface to George MacDonald: An Anthology – 365 Readings, Lewis openly states the great influence of MacDonald’s works in his life: “I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him.” His introduction to MacDonald’s works began in 1916 when he picked up Phantastes at a train station bookstall while studying under the private tutelage of W.T. Kirkpatrick prior to his entrance to Oxford University. Lewis recalls the experience in his autobiography, Surprised by Joy:

“I and one porter had the long, timbered platform of Leatherhead station to ourselves. It was getting just dark enough for the smoke of an engine to glow red on the underside with the reflection of the furnace. The hills beyond the Dorking Valley were of a blue so intense as to be nearly violet and the sky was green with frost. My ears tingled with the cold. The glorious week end of reading was before me. Turning to the bookstall, I picked out an Everyman [edition] in a dirty jacket, Phantastes, a faerie Romance, George MacDonald. Then the train came in. I can still remember the voice of the porter calling out the village names, Saxon and sweet as a nut—‘Bookham, Effingham, Horsley train.’ That evening I began to read my new book.” — C.S. Lewis, chapter XI “Check,” Surprised by Joy

Lewis adds this further note in his MacDonald anthology preface: “I had looked at the volume on that bookstall and rejected it on a dozen previous occasions – the Everyman edition of Phantastes. A few hours later I knew that I had crossed a great frontier.”

Spine of Phantastes by George MacDonald.

Spine of Phantastes by George MacDonald.

Throughout Surprised by Joy, Lewis recounts moments during his childhood and young adult years where he has encounters with what he calls “joy” or the German term “sehnsucht,” which includes a quality of longing or desire. Peter Schakel in his book Imagination and the Arts in C.S. Lewis offers the following as a way to better understand Lewis’s concept of joy:

“It is an experience of intense, even painful, but desired, longing, which, after [Lewis’s] conversion, he came to believe was a desire for unity with the divine (though intermediate objects are mistaken for the ultimate object). … [Joy] is imaginative in that it is often set in motion by literature or music, which are the products of the imagination; it involves being transported beyond the physical and emotional to a rapturous state that could take place only in the imagination at an inspired level.” (p. 8) — Schakel, Peter J. Imagination And The Arts In C. S. Lewis: Journeying To Narnia And Other Worlds. Columbia: University Of Missouri Press, 2002.

When he first read Phantastes, Lewis experienced joy or longing as had happened to him often before, but this time he noticed a difference in the quality of the encounter. He goes on to describe it in Surprised by Joy:

“I did not yet know (and I was long in learning) the name of the new quality, the bright shadow, that rested on the travels of Anodos [the main character in Phantastes]. I do now. It was Holiness. … Up till now each visitation of Joy had left the common world momentarily a desert … Even when real clouds or trees had been the material of the vision, they had been so only by reminding me of another world; and I did not like the return to ours. But now I saw the bright shadow coming out of the book into the real world and resting there, transforming all common things and yet itself unchanged. Or, more accurately, I saw the common things drawn into the bright shadow. … That night my imagination was, in a certain sense, baptized; the rest of me, not unnaturally, took longer. I had not the faintest notion what I had let myself in for by buying Phantastes.” — C.S. Lewis, chapter XI “Check,” Surprised by Joy

Although Lewis’s conversion to Christianity would not come until many years later, he cites this episode as a major step along the way, and his future reading of MacDonald’s works continued to delight and inspire him.

The following photos are from the interior of the Phantastes volume described above. Visitors to the Wade Center are welcome to request this, and the other volumes from Lewis’s library, for on-site viewing and personal study.

Endpapers

The endpapers of Phantastes. The Everyman edition series aimed to produce beautiful printings of classic books at modest and affordable prices.

Title page of Phantastes

Title page of Phantastes

Half-title page

The half-title page of Phantastes. An ownership signature in the upper right corner suggests the book was owned by someone before Lewis. The book itself carries no other notes or annotations, but it is worn and obviously has been read numerous times.

Reflections of a Fulbright Scholar: A Word from Olga Lukmanova on her Time at the Wade Center

In this post, Russian Fulbright scholar Olga Lukmanova shares about her recent work at the Wade Center over the past six months, how her involvement with the Wade began, and her future projects as she heads back to Russia. Olga is the first Fulbright Scholar at Wheaton College, and her main research focus is writing the first Russian language biography of George MacDonald. She was in Wheaton from September 2014 to February 2015, presented lectures on George MacDonald and J.R.R. Tolkien, in addition to other speaking engagements on campus during her time here. We are very grateful to Olga for sharing her time and talents with us, and wish her the best on her continued work and research.

Olga LukmanovaMy first proper introduction to the Marion E. Wade Center and its collection took place four years ago, in 2010 – although I actually remember hearing about the C.S. Lewis collection and seeing the famous wardrobe while it was still in Buswell Library, when I briefly visited Wheaton in 1993. In 2010 I was in the middle of working on my Ph.D. dissertation on George MacDonald’s fairy tales, and a good friend recommended me for participation in Wheaton’s European Summer Study Program, telling me about the Wade Center and its George MacDonald resources. The six weeks in Wheaton and at the Wade during the summer of 2010 became a haven of uninterrupted reading and writing as well as a chance to meet and get to know some very knowledgeable people, including Dr. Rolland Hein, Marjorie Mead, and Laura Schmidt, who pointed me to the right resources and provided much guidance and advice both during the summer and in the years since.

My dissertation was successfully defended in 2012, but my work on George MacDonald continued, and my publisher and I soon realized that, along with writing scholarly articles and translating his books, it would be helpful to produce a biography of MacDonald biography for his readers in Russia – especially given his remarkable life and the importance of understanding his theology and its practical outworking for a deeper appreciation of his books. So when I had a chance to apply for a Fulbright grant for visiting scholars, I proposed writing a Russian biography of MacDonald, and Wheaton College and the Wade Center graciously agreed to host me as a Fulbright scholar. The first question the Fulbright selecting committee asked me during the interview was, “Why do you need to go to America to study a Scot?” My explanation must have been sufficiently convincing, because I was given a grant to spend six months in Wheaton, researching and writing the book.

Well, my six months are almost up: I am returning to Russia on March 1st and back to my university classroom on March 3rd. I am bringing home 360 raw-ish pages of the biography, two large boxes of books (and dozens more on my e-reader), numerous scans of letters, articles, and individual book pages that were simply too many and too rich to process during my stay here, and new ideas as to what and how it should be put into the book as I continue going through biographical materials, family letters, and MacDonald’s texts. During my time in Wheaton I also managed to complete the book and lyrics for the musical ‘The Light Princess,’ based on MacDonald’s fairy tale, so I am looking forward to rehearsals and its final production in July 2015. In addition, I am planning to develop and launch a comprehensive Russian-language website on MacDonald’s life and work, which will feature excerpts from the biography, scholarly and popular articles, family letters and photos, Russian translations of his books (and links to where one can buy them) and many other materials.

Olga with Smaug the dragon in the Wade Center's museum.

Olga with Smaug the dragon in the Wade Center’s museum.

I am deeply grateful to the Wade Center staff for their warm welcome, assistance and friendship as well as the chance to share some of what I have been working on with others through the lectures I was able to give here. It was great fun doing research on the history and reception of Tolkien’s books in Russia and sharing my findings and conclusions with the Tolkien Society. All in all, this time at the Wade has been another reminder of just how life-giving and relevant, how brilliant and funny, how deep and compelling these seven authors are and how much they have to teach us (I remember the quiet thrill of looking at C.S. Lewis’ pencil marks in his personal copy of MacDonald’s sermons and feeling quite ridiculously proud of them both). It has also been good to be away from an intense teaching workload and to have the quiet and unhurried time and space to read, think, write, and meet with new and old friends, discussing everything under the sun, from church liturgy to Russian films, to MacDonald’s attitude to animals and theater. I am leaving feeling refreshed, comforted – and most of all, challenged to have faith and trust even when “in the feebleness of foiled effort, it wants yet more faith to rise and partake of the food that shall bring back more effort, more travail, more weariness” (George MacDonald).

Olga Lukmanova giving her lecture titled: "Tolkien to Russia: There and Back Again" at the Wade Center, January 29, 2015.

Olga Lukmanova giving her lecture titled: “Tolkien to Russia: There and Back Again” at the Wade Center, January 29, 2015.