Year after year, C.S. Lewis’s poetry, nonfiction, and fiction—notably The Chronicles of Narnia—sell millions of copies around the world. New examinations and editions of his books, including Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters are never in short supply, and the coming months are particularly busy with new books by and about Lewis and his works.
“C. S. Lewis has become a veritable cottage industry in religious publishing circles,” said Robert N. Hosack, executive editor at Brazos Press, which is publishing Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians: Finding Authentic Faith in a Forgotten Age with C.S. Lewis in February. “Although he’s been dead for over fifty years, the ongoing success of his own books gives publishers every hope that they can capture the deep magic with new books about Lewis.”
Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians by Chris R. Armstrong (Feb. 15, ISBN 978-1-5874-3378-8) introduces the history of the medieval church, exploring key ideas, figures, and movements through a conversation with C.S. Lewis and other important thinkers.
Following in March 2016, Princeton University Press is releasing C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity: A Biography by George Marsden as part of its Lives of Great Religious Books series. Fred Appel, who is the religion editor at the publishing house, said Lewis’s writing style makes him a perennial favorite. “C.S. Lewis didn’t talk down, or write down, to people. He asked beautifully written questions in an engaging and clear way,” said Appel. “His brand of Christianity was not polarizing. He is more a figure people can rally around.”
This month, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. released Reflecting the Eternal: Dante’s Divine Comedy in the Novels of C.S. Lewis. The book shows how Lewis drew on the structure, themes, and narrative details of Dante’s medieval epic to present his characters as spiritual pilgrims growing toward God.
Coming in November, Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings (Kent State University Press) by Diana Pavlac Glyer and James A. Owen shows readers how encouragement and criticism made all the difference in books written by the Inklings. A companion coloring book by Owen is expected next spring.
Rounding out the Lewis books on offer soon is Reading C.S. Lewis: A Commentary by Wesley A. Kort (Oxford University Press), expected on December 1. The book provides commentary on Lewis’s major works while examining their themes and components.
Along with the C.S. Lewis books coming out, two new movies based on Lewis’s works are in the works. Mark Tauber, the senior v-p and publisher at HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins which owns the rights to Lewis’s estate, said The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, which is the fourth film in the Narnia franchise, is expected to reach theaters in 2017. HarperCollins is also developing a script for The Screwtape Letters.
In addition to acting as the keeper of Lewis’s writings, HarperCollins features seven of author’s nonfiction books, including The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, as part of their Signature Classics series. Coupled with the Narnia book series and Lewis’s adult nonfiction, “sales are very steady every year,” said Tauber.
“Lewis reaches kids whose parents are reading [Narnia] to them at seven [years-old] or earlier, then people in evangelical or Catholic settings and in Mormon churches are using his adult nonfiction in their teachings,” said Tauber. “He reaches across age groups and different faith traditions.”