Item description for The Pilgrim's Regress by C. S. Lewis & Michael Hague...
Overview The first book written by Lewis after his conversion, this is, in a sense, the record of Lewis' own search for meaning and spiritual satisfaction--a search that eventually led him to Christianity. "Stands favorable comparison with its great model by John Bunyan".--Chicago Tribune.
Publishers Description The first book written by C. S. Lewis after his conversion, The Pilgrim's Regress is, in a sense, the record of Lewis's own search for meaning and spiritual satisfaction -- a search that eventually led him to Christianity.Here is the story of the pilgrim John and his odyssey to an enchanting island which has created in him an intense longing 7mdash; a mysterious, sweet desire. John's pursuit of this desire takes him through adventures with such people as Mr. Enlightenment, Media Halfways, Mr. Mammon, Mother Kirk, Mr. Sensible, and Mr. Humanist and through such cities as Thrill and Eschropolis as well as the Valley of Humiliation.Though the dragons and giants here are different from those in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Lewis's allegory performs the same function of enabling the author to say simply and through fantasy what would otherwise have demanded a full-length philosophy of religion.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Pilgrim's Regress by C. S. Lewis & Michael Hague has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christianity Today - 07/01/2013 page 84
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.16" Height: 0.59" Weight: 0.805 lbs.
Release Date Jan 10, 1992
Publisher WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING CO.
ISBN 0802806414 ISBN13 9780802806413
Availability 0 units.
More About C. S. Lewis & Michael Hague
Clive Staples Lewis, born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1898, was for more than thirty years Fellow and Tutor of Magdalen College, Oxford, and at the time of his death in 1963 was professor of medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University. His many books -- of fiction, poetry, theology, literary scholarship, and autobiography -- include The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, Miracles, and the seven volumes that comprise The Chronicles of Narnia.
C. S. Lewis was born in 1898 and died in 1963.
C. S. Lewis has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about PILGRIMS REGRESS?
A Searing Commentary Sep 21, 2006
While on the surface this book is an allegorical journey of Lewis' progressive conversion experience, it gets little "press" as a commentary on society. Just about everything modern (and even post-modern) civilization hold dear is put in its proper perspective in this novel (autobiography). Continuing on in his diatribe against the Establishment (e.g., the "world" and its values) in "That Hideous Strength" and "Abolition of Man," Lewis picks apart specific philosophies and values in everything from what we now call post-modernism back to Spencer, politics to art, hedonism to ascetism.
Read C.S. Lewis' first fiction Aug 16, 2006
If the first fiction by Lewis you read is the seven volume Narnian set, the rest of his works can appear rather puzzling. Lewis said to Tolkien, there wasn't anything available of the sort of thing he liked to read, so he'd have to write it himself; arguably both Tolkien and Lewis wrote for readers who liked to read what they liked to read, and in so doing struck a deep vein and a lost chord.
This book was originally published by Catholic publishers Ward and Sheed who naturally pitched it to their Catholic readers. However, that got Lewis regarded as an RC, a reputation he was anxious to live down, and he referred lightly to the publishers as "Ward and Sneed". That was only the first of many misunderstandings he'd be involved in simply because he wrote what he wanted, ignoring the dictates, as it were, of the market.
This book has been released in various versions. Some have, as Lewis intended, notes or annotations explaining the allegorical meaning, for instance the Red and Black savages are communists and fascists, respectively. Oddly enough, at one point Bantam published a pocket version leaving off these notes, which transforms the allegory to a "straight" fantasy, and leaves many readers confused.
Tolkien said he didn't write allegory, and the Narnian Chronicles, despite certain correspondences are not allegory, but this book is. The form is based on John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Regress. Ironically, Bunyan began his work with a long poem apologizing for the fact that it's an allegory. Lewis spent much of his time apologizing that his books weren't. Why we still read them is that he refused to conform to his times (and their notion of "best-sellers", and therefore has outlived them.
Between this, his first fictional work and 'Till We Have Faces, his last, Lewis output varied widely, not in quality but in style and genre. This volume, with the graphic enhancement of a well-known illustrator of Tolkien, re-introduces us to the long-forgotten genre of allegory at its most imaginative and captivating. Lewis demonstrates his unique gift of resonating with diverse readers and making a story his own.
Listen to the Audio Tape if you can! Feb 24, 2006
I recently listened to this work of Lewis' as read by Whitfield from the 3rd edition. I have no doubt that I would have enjoyed reading it, but this narration truly brought it to life in a manner that reading might have failed to do.
Having some background certainly will help the reader to understand what Lewis is doing here. Certainly, someone unfamiliar with John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" would stand a pretty good chance of getting lost. I'm not sure I agree that familiarity with Lewis's other, later, writings is necessary although it certainly wouldn't hurt. Aside from Bunyan, I believe this work stands well on its own.
You might want to consider as well, reading the afterword to the 3rd edition in which Lewis gives some insight to his use of the word romanticism which he believes on second thought adds to some confusion due to it's broad use. Reading that in advance may add some needed enlightenment. Reading it a second time is probably a needed investment as new applications and understandings will appear. That is the nature of well written allegory.
Allegory is often a misunderstood literary vehicle. Lewis struggled with his relationship with JRR Tolkien at some levels because Tolkien absolutely despised allegory in all its forms and was wary of any work where he detected it. No doubt Lewis was well aware of that and got an earful through his association with Tolkien as well as his other acquaintances who over the years came to be known as the "Inklings" where current writings were read, critiqued and evaluated.
Lewis dabbled in allegory in other areas although no other work truly can be called a pure allegory so much as this, his first novel as a believer. The Narnia Chronicles contain allegorical literary devices but are not purely allegory. The Space Trilogy can be said to do the same but is even less allegorical than the Narnia Chronicles.
Really good allegory, doesn't require a key to give it understanding. This work of Lewis can be said to be really good allegory but there are some elements of higher literature (to be expected in a professor of Literature) and some language elements where Latin maxims are included without the benefit of translation. If you're reading this for anything other than entertainment you'll find you probably need to do some work to understand the subtle nuances that Lewis conveys in his use of these maxims as well as some of the names which will not be so readily apparent to the casual reader. That understood, the casual reader should still be able to come away with the gist of what Lewis is illustrating and be entertained in the process.
A brief word about the narration, as I listened to this on CD rather than reading it directly. It is outstanding! The use of many distinctive voices which are memorable and consistent make this a dramatic reading that is rivaled by few others I've ever heard. In fact, I'm almost tempted to push for your first experience to be hearing it that reading it for just that reason. There is a cadence to the reading that shows Lewis had a grasp on drama and poetry that I wish he'd have continued to evidence in his later works to the degree he did here. It is breathtaking and brilliant on its own merits whether you are in sympathy with his primary message or not.
Definite 5 stars all the way around! An excellent book.
Wonderful allegory Feb 18, 2006
This, the first book Lewis wrote after finding Christ, is an amazing story - a sort of homage to The Pilgram's Progress. In Regress the main character leaves his home of Puritania - ruled by a powerful but unseen Landlord - in search of his heart's desire, a beautiful island.
He wanders through all the philosophies of the world including Hedonism, Athiesm, Nihlism and many more "isms". All throughout, Lewis brilliantly manages to make complex theological and philosophical truths plain with simple allegory. There are moments of pure joy in this story. Highly reccomended.
A vivid, penetrating book... Feb 13, 2006
Pilgrim's Regress evidently enjoys mixed opinion among Lewisophiles, but personally I found the book fantastic. It's not an easy read, for the historical, literary, and philosophical elements are sometimes very hard to catch. But the way in which Lewis explores the complex ideas of life and existence is nothing short of incredible. People will undoubtedly benefit from this book in varying degrees, but as one who has struggled with the intellectual aspects of Christianity, while simultaneously being acutely aware of potentially supernatural facets of existence, this book is very enlightening, and worth a patient, careful read. The background elements are filled in nicely by Kathryn Lindskoog's "Finding the Landlord" (also recommended). Having read a number of Lewis' other works, and finding each worthy of some praise, this book actually moves near the top of my "formative works" list, alongside Pascal's Pensees (which is in another stratosphere of excellence, however). I would heartily recommend this to anyone with a philosophical bent, but would probably recommend reading "Surprised by Joy" as well. In short, by dealing with logic, longing, thought, and good/evil in an allegorical manner, Lewis provides a helpful goad for cultivating reflection and critical thinking, considering the nature of a Christian worldview in a painstaking manner, and brilliantly exploring the almost indescribable longing that we all experience, but might not acknowledge. The depth & circumspection of this exploration might be the most valuable element of the book.