A Personal Heresy

C.S. Lewis gave the most annoying character in the Chronicles of Narnia the same name as a man he debated early in his career.

In a book published in 1937 under the title, “The Personal Heresy: A Controversy,” Lewis debated Eustace Mandeville Wetenhall Tillyard about the proper manner in which to interpret literature. Eustace is the name used, as you will recall, of the annoying cousin in the book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and in subsequent stories.

I based the layout off of a G.K. Chesterton sketch from 1933 which I have a copy of hanging in my office with the G.K.C. quote, “Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.” I plan to do a number of sketches following this pattern featuring a famous author and a selection of their works.

The books on the table, upon which Lewis is leaning, represent a selected bibliography spanning Lewis’ entire writing career. The first book Spirits in Bondage is a collection of three different sections of poetry he had written while still an atheist. The final book is Lewis’ autobiographical work which describes his journey from atheism to theism to Christianity entitled Surprised by Joy.