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By Kathryn Ann Lindskoog (Author)
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Item description for SURPRISED BY C.S. LEWIS by Kathryn Ann Lindskoog...

Here are dozens of surprising aspects of the life and writings of C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and Dante. (George MacDonald loved the writings of Dante, and C. S. Lewis loved the writings of both Dante and MacDonald.) Contents range from the quick, surprising fun of "Who Is This Man?" to the practical, down-to-earth instruction of "C. S. Lewis's Free Advice to Hopeful Writers" and the adventurous scholarship of "Spring in Purgatory" and "Mining Dante".

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Mercer University Press
Pages   232
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.26" Width: 6.34" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   1.06 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 1, 2001
Publisher   Mercer University Press
Edition  New  
ISBN  0865547289  
ISBN13  9780865547285  

Availability  105 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2016 01:57.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Kathryn Ann Lindskoog

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kathryn Lindskoog is a prolific writer, teacher, and literary critic. She is probably best known for her book C. S. Lewis: Mere Christian, an examination of the work of Lewis, who wrote to her, You know my work better than anyone else I ve met: certainly better than I do myself. Among her twenty-one other books are Creative Writing for People Who Can t Not Write and the three-volume Dante s Divine Comedy: Journey to Joy. The mother of two grown children, she lives in California with her husband.
Ranelda Mack Hunsicker, a former elementary and high school teacher, is now a freelance writer of books and articles and a staff writer for Chuck Swindoll s Insight for Living ministry. She has written five books, including In God We Trust: Stories of Faith in American History (with Tim Crater), The Hidden Price of Greatness (with Ray Beeson) and a biography of David Brainerd. She and her husband live in California."

Kathryn Ann Lindskoog currently resides in the state of California.

Kathryn Ann Lindskoog has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Classics for Young Readers

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Lewis, C.S.
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > 20th Century
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about SURPRISED BY C.S. LEWIS?

Delighting in CSLewis, Geo. Macdonald, and Dante  Jul 17, 2002
Curiosity, tenacity, and dedicated truth-seeking have produced this delightful book. There is fresh meat here to nourish doctoral candidates for decades. The work's clarity of expression, depth of argument, breadth of illustration, humour and thoughtful tutoring are worthy of a session with Oxford's Inklings. Lindskoog's Primavera discovery alone would have ensured her a welcome there.
Lindskoog writes about certain literature by three men--Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), George MacDonald (1824-1905), C. S. Lewis (1898-1963). Sharing a belief in a changeless universe ordered by a loving God, their highly rational works and complex symbolism have a timeless appeal. Each engages in a "dialect of desire," leading the reader into the universal appeal of the Christian's certain hope in the Message of the Suffering Servant. (But each
is greatly enjoyed by readers who don't care about or accept their religious beliefs.)
This book is a collection of 23 essays. Due diligence unearthed the influence of Beatrix Potter on Lewis, Lewis' anti-anti-Semitism in the GREAT DIVORCE and George MacDonald's stories with dual meanings and prophetic warnings. But most of the book is taken up with some truly startling, sparkling, and sober revelations which also enlighten and delight.
In the due-diligence type, Lindskoog traces meticulously and with great originality the surprising connections of these men with each other and with events, art and authors before and during their times. In Beatrix Potter, whose books he read as a child, Lewis found "at last, beauty", intense desire, and pleasure "in another dimension". In "Where is the Ancient City of Tashbaan?" geography and politics combine to provide the background Lewis used in THE HORSE AND HIS BOY of the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. (Lindskoog learned from Brad Brenneman that THE CHRONICLES are for sale in Tashkent in Russian translation.) In "All or Nothing: A Newly Discovered Lewis Essay", she paraphrases the text of a Lewis article that Perry Bramlett discovered and generously shared with her.
Only Dante was active in politics, but politics was the bane of each. Dante was framed as an embezzler and banished from Florence; MacDonald lost his church when accused of preaching "unbiblical" universal redemption, and Lewis, scorned by Oxford for his popularization of sacred concerns, left for a warm welcome at Cambridge. Indeed, if Germany had invaded England, Lewis might have been killed by the Nazis for writing of "subhuman dwarfs in black shirts called the Swastici" in THE PILGRIM'S REGRESS (1933).
Lindskoog reveals surprising evidence that in THE GREAT DIVORCE (modeled on Dante's DIVINE COMEDY) Lewis' "Beatrice" (Sarah Smith) is a Jewish woman overflowing with heavenly love. As a bonus, Lindskoog and others had noted the resemblance of the Sarah Smith hymn to OLD TESTAMENT Psalms. Lindskoog credits Joshua Pong for pointing her to Psalm 91, Lewis' obvious source.
Using cognition and noting coincidence, Lindskoog takes us ever further up and further in toward the connection among the works of these three authors and others. Each points, whether in canto or correspondence, verse or prose, with relentless consistency toward the eternal fountain. It's this reliability which helps Lindskoog uncover Lewis' debt to Sadhu Sundar Singh,
for example, in THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH. "Links in a Golden Chain: C. S. Lewis, George Macdonald, and Sadhu Sundar Singh" ends whimsically with circumstantial evidence for a mystical passing of Sundar Singh's mantle on to MacDonald and from him to Lewis.
In "Roots and Fruits of the Secret Garden", Lindskoog shows us the historic links between MacDonald's CARASOYN (1871), Frances Hodgson Burnett's THE SECRET GARDEN (1911), Willa Cather's MY ANTONIA (1918) and D. H. Lawrence's LADY CHATTERLY'S LOVER (1928). Colin as shepherd boy, Colin as a motherless, crippled child, and then, thanks to Barbara Reynolds, Colin as a
crippled adult. Animals, gardens, invalids, rescues, moors, and wise women figure in one after the other. (Lawrence's book, however, is stunted by its narrowing, inward-looking worship of physical love with no link to spiritual reality.)
Equally fresh is "The Salty and the Sweet: Mark Twain, George MacDonald, and C. S. Lewis". The Twain and MacDonald families had traded hospitality, books, and a proposal to write the Great Scottish-American novel together. Twain's children, fond of MacDonald's AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND, asked their father to invent stories about its hero, Diamond. Although co-authorship was never realised, Lindskoog shows that Twain bought and read MacDonald's SIR GIBBIE while writing HUCKLEBERRY FINN. She
traces some remarkably specific contents of SIR GIBBIE that Twain included in HUCKLEBERRY FINN. She explains her convincing theory of why Twain did this.
Something "difficult to see" over the centuries is revealed for the first time by Lindskoog in her masterful analysis of Botticelli's Primavera as an "intentional Christian allegory," a tableau of Dante's sacred Garden of Eden at the peak of Mount Purgatory, with Beatrice at the center. Because it is a NeoPlatonic painting, this scene also appears as a tableau of figures from classic mythology.
Lindskoog also leads the casual reader or the scholar through 50 new insights of hers into specific phrases in Dante's many-faceted DIVINE COMEDY. Her 20 non-biblical discoveries involve, among other things, astronomy, animal husbandry, geology, geometry, sexual ethics, metaphysics, and church
politics. The other 30 are even more striking; all are Biblical allusions or illustrations of Dante's that have been overlooked or sadly misunderstood until now.
Dante, Lewis and MacDonald deal with the kind of death that leads to rebirth. Writing to point the way of faith, not deeds, through secular snares toward heavenly reward, each put into verse "things difficult to think." The timeless gift of all three is summarised in Lewis's praise for MacDonald's ability to trouble "the oldest certainties" and shock "us more fully awake than we are for most of our lives."
Closely reasoned, wittily presented, and based on solid evidence, Lindskoog's book rouses and enlightens her readers, cheerfully acknowledging the threads that others have contributed to her tapestry of discoveries. I hope the inevitable doctoral theses which will follow her leads exhibit the same integrity and credit the fertile source of their inspiration.


A good stew  Feb 18, 2002
Lindskoog has a special taste for coincidences, unexpected connections, odd synchronicities, and the like. In this book she indulges her taste to the full, with enjoyable results. For those who already have some direct knowledge of Lewis, MacDonald, and Dante, this book will fill in blanks that they did not know, maybe, were there.

I particularly enjoyed reading about the connections between MacDonald and Mark Twain. Perhaps Lindskoog's case that _Sir Gibbie_ influenced Twain's _Huckleberry Finn_ by provoking its author should be taken under consideration by Twain scholars. I think it is a strong one.

The book is, as its title indicates, in the way of a potpourri, rather than a unified case. There is no connection here to the Dark Tower controversy explored by Lindskoog in her book _Sleuthing C. S. Lewis_.


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