Saturday, February 17, 2024

Seven Christian authors

The Wade Center is on the campus of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Its purpose: "We emphasize the ongoing relevance of seven British Christian authors who provide a distinctive blend of intellect, imagination, and faith: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dorothy L. Sayers, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams."

I visited there sometime in the 1970s with a friend and haven't been back since. One memory is having seen the wardrobe that had been owned by Lewis and may have been the inspiration for the wardrobe that provided access to Narnia. There are also Tolkien's writing desk and a chair and desk that belonged to Lewis. But the main attractions of the Center are its collections. The materials are non-circulating but there is no charge and the Reading Room is open to the public.

One of the first books I read about (as opposed to by) C.S. Lewis was The Christian World of C.S. Lewis (Eerdmans, 1964) by Clyde Kilby, the first curator of the Wade Center. Kilby had met Lewis and corresponded with him until Lewis died in 1963. He was responsible for beginning the collections. The Kilby book is available, second hand, or on-demand, at Amazon. I still have the copy I bought in 1968.

The Wade Center publishes VII, a journal about its seven authors. Readers of this blog will know that four of them have been of particular interest to me: Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien, and Sayers.

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