As you celebrate with friends and family on this Thanksgiving Day, I hope you will take a moment to remember C.S. Lewis who died on this date in 1963, the same day as John F. Kennedy and Aldous Huxley. According to Humphrey Carpenter in The Inklings, Lewis was the first person to whom Tolkien trusted a look at what was to become “The Lay of Leithian.” Tolkien rejected many of Lewis’s revisions but attended to his criticism and thrived on his enthusiasm. In 1929, suffering under the strain of a then troubled marriage, Tolkien wrote in his diary, “Friendship with Lewis compensates for much.”
This year, I am thankful for the works of all of the Oxford Inklings. As Tolkien was partially responsible for Lewis’s conversion from atheism and materialism to the Christian life, Lewis was more than partially responsible for mine. Without him, I would not have found the works of Tolkien, Williams or Barfield. I would know less about myself, the world in which I live and the worlds beyond.
“Dearest Daughter. I knew you would not be long in coming to me. Joy shall be yours.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy