1,000th Post Party!

It’s the 1,000th post on A Pilgrim in Narnia! Huzzah!

I began this blog way back in 2011 as a sandbox project for thoughts about C.S. Lewis’ writings. “Pilgrimage” was a word-picture I was using a lot for my life then, at a time when I couldn’t afford to go anywhere! As a result, I was trying to create pilgrimages of the mind and heart.

I found this metaphor worked well for stories and fictional worlds, too. Narnia is, after all, both a sacred place and a land of adventure.

Thinking about the reader joining other pilgrims on the palmer’s way gives us a powerful way to appreciate our journeys into Narnia, Middle-earth, Discworld, Lilliput, Earthsea, New Urth, Panem, Ringworld, Oz, the Enderverse, the Field of Arbol, ancient Avalon and Númenor, the worlds of Harry Potter or the Dark Tower, Jane Austen‘s drawing-room, the New England states of H.P. Lovecraft or Stephen King, Neil Gaiman‘s London or America, or L.M. Montgomery‘s land of wonder, Prince Edward Island. These worlds are not just destinations, but by going there we are shaped and challenged and given new visions of what is good and true and beautiful.

Intriguingly, I also believe that by going to fictional and fantastic worlds we are given new visions of what is possible.

The word-picture of “Pilgrimage” worked, I think. And it still works. That’s largely a fluke. Though I should update the blog design, I have found the header to be constantly relevant to what I am doing. As I imagined it myself, readers can imagine C.S. Lewis walking down that country road. For whatever reason, we can imagine walking with him to whatever land he wants to take us to in his children’s novels, his science fiction, his theological novels, his myths retold, his literary history, and his teaching about spiritual life.

Again, largely outside of my hands, the blog has certainly grown. A lot of that is that I consistently post, and I tend to post good material. There are some howlers and some posts that fall out of relevance, but not much I regret.

The blog has grown in scope. Very quickly I realized that the Inklings were implicated with one another–philosophically, religiously, historically, and in terms of their experiments in mythmaking, poetry, and fiction. So I knew that A Pilgrim in Narnia needed to be an Inklings project. I don’t always speak with authority in the things I write, but I do try to speak as a good reader.

And A Pilgrim in Narnia has grown in impact. I will share some statistics in a follow-up post, but a quick glance at the data is cool. I had to leave the US out of this map because they are 80% of my visitors and made ll the world pale, but you can see the global reach of A Pilgrim in Narnia to 215 countries and independent territories.

And, statistically, contact has been good. A Pilgrim in Narnia has received more than 895,000 hits, with fairly consistent growth. With 18,000 comments, 100 guest posts, hundreds of thousands of shares–almost 50,000 shares on Facebook alone!–and 7,500 followers, I’m sort of amazed at the reach of what I still think of as an “academic blog.”

It is pretty humbling, honestly.

So, today, as we celebrate our 1,000th post on A Pilgrim in Narnia, let’s have a little party!

Where I live in Prince Edward Island, it is really dishonourable to have a party–even an unexpected one–that doesn’t include food and drink–an ethic the Inklings shared, I think. There’s a chance below for you to extend that part of the party, but meanwhile, why don’t we have some fun?

Let’s do some sharing and a bit of a giveaway.

Throughout the day, I’m going to update this post and share some of my favourite posts on Twitter, @BrentonDana and @PilgrimInNarnia–from my tentative first post to the terrible most popular post. In the comments below, I’d love for you to share some of your own highlights:

  • Regardless of genre or author, what book (or series) is, for you, the most powerful place of pilgrimage?
  • What for you remains C.S. Lewis’ most impactful book?
  • What is your favourite story, poem, cycle, or character in Tolkien’s expansive legendarium?
  • What have you discovered of the “other Inklings” over your years of reading?
  • Beyond Narnia and Middle-earth, what is your favourite speculative universe? What draws you to that world?
  • If you are new to the blog, welcome! If you are a long-term reader, what has been one of the more memorable posts that you think is worth sharing?
  • Now that Christopher Tolkien has died, what do you hope the next Middle-earth volume will be?
  • Where should the field of Inklings Studies go?
  • Are there any Inklings of the future writing today?
  • What will adaptations of Inklings stories look like on film and TV in the 2020s?

Some Highlight Posts

  • The First Post: “The Art of Letter Writing in the Digital Age” was the very first post I wrote, on Aug 11, 2011, and I have updated it since because I still kind of like it. I think that C.S. Lewis’ letters are a great treasure. That he detested writing them makes them even more valuable: there was a cost to his personal correspondence, and we are richer for it.
  • The First Viral Post: Featured on WordPress’s “Freshly Pressed,” my first viral post was published on Jul 4, 2013, and republished in 2018. “The Land Where Oz is North of Middle-earth: Reflections of a Speculative Cosmographer” was just a short, fun post about how fantasy maps are pretty neat! By the time this came out, I had found my stride, and the post helped boost readership.
  • The Worst Post … And the Most Popular: I don’t regret writing this post, but I almost do. With more than 28,000 hits, “Fifty Shades of Bad Writing” remains my most popular post–though that audience has slid away. I don’t love that my tone is so mocking in this sarcastapost. Perhaps E.L. James is a lovely person, and I don’t love doing bad book reviews. It also makes me cringe that hundreds of posts on some of the best literature of history, it’s the 50 Shades phenomenon that hit big.
  • The Top C.S. Lewis Post: Though I have gone out in a dozen directions, C.S. Lewis is my bread and butter in terms of popularity, engaged readership, and thoughtful posts that I have put a lot of work into. Viewed more than 20,000 times, “Screwtape on Pleasure and Distraction” remains my top Lewis post, and 13 of my top 15 posts are about Lewis.
  • The Top Tolkien Post: I am very cautious about writing Tolkien posts. Tolkienists are precise about their reading and sometimes exacting in their assessment of other people’s work. I respect the scholarship and don’t feel that I have something to challenge there. I have ten Tolkien posts, though, that have been viewed 1,000 times or more. At the top of that list is “The Tolkien Letters that Changed C.S. Lewis’ Life,” which has been viewed 6,665 times as of today! It’s a cool post about a transformational letter.
  • The Least Popular Post Ever: At the very bottom, with only 236 views, is “1946 TIME Review of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce.” That’s pretty cool, so it surprises me. Also don’t on that list is “The Peculiar Background to L.M. Montgomery’s “The Alpine Path” (L.M. Montgomery Series) #LMMI2018‘”–a funny exploration post, I thought–and “Teaching Screwtape for a New Generation: My Conference Talk & Paper,” a post that early readers appreciated before the world moved on.

The Giveaway!

I will also host a little giveaway, with some C.S. Lewis resources including a 1st edition copy of The Great Divorce. It is not an expensive item (perhaps about $40 value), but a relatively rare souvenir of what I think is Lewis’ most important work of fiction (someday I’ll have to defend that claim!).

Besides the 1st edition, another second can pick between one of these great prizes:

  • Lyle Dorsett’s edited volume, The Essential C.S. Lewis;
  • C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy in a single volume;
  • Jerry Root’s The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis; or
  • Marsha Daigle-Williamson’s Reflecting the Eternal: Dante’s Divine Comedy in the Novels of C.S. Lewis

There are some provisos and rules below–including the apology that the mailed prizes are limited to the US, Canada, and Europe. If you win from another country, I’ll share something digital with you that you’ll enjoy and pick another winner.

Here’s how you can join in the 1,000 Post Party and be eligible for a prize:

Plus, I would like you to do one or more of these three things:

  • Share A Memory: On this post or on Wednesday’s party post, share your favourite blog, guest post, comment convo, or series on A Pilgrim In Narnia (if you share your memory here, that may jog some memories of my own)
  • Share a Link: Reblog, facebook-share, or retweet this announcement, and then share the link to that share with the blog’s twitter account, @PilgrimInNarnia
  • Share a MealSend a ham to a professor of literature in postwar country and get an entry! Okay, a ham may not be the best gift, and maybe you don’t know any professors in distress. But if you share on this post or tweet the deets to @PilgrimInNarnia that you have donated a meal to a family displaced by war, I will put in the draw

I appreciate the many great folks who share my work on facebook and other social media (approaching 100,000 direct social media shares, not including viral shares), but I don’t have a way to track those shares. This is basically a one entry per person kind of thing. My personal Twitter account is @BrentonDana, and I hope you will follow me there (I will follow back). I’m using @PilgrimInNarnia for this giveaway because I have a lot of @BrentonDana conversations that make it harder to track. Follow @PilgrimInNarnia and share this news for a chance to win.

I’ll close the contest Friday at 4pm Eastern. As I noted, I can only mail the prizes to residents of Canada, the United States, or Europe, including the UK. My apologies to the world, but the UK, the US, and Canada do make up 90% of my visitors, and I have worked hard to make this blog free–even paying out of my own pocket to erase the ads. The giveaway books are from my own collection.  The copy of The Great Divorce is a 1st printing, 1st edition from 1945 without a dust cover, eminently readable in fair to good condition with some pencil marks. It is more of a personal collection than an investment. If a US reader wins, for safety reasons I may wait to mail with US post when I go there in May.

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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38 Responses to 1,000th Post Party!

  1. lolalwilcox says:

    Congratulations! I’ll attempt several responses to different questions. First, Beyond Narnia and Middle-earth, what is your favourite speculative universe? What draws you to that world? It is Anne MacCaffrey’s dragon-rider series about PERN. The main attraction is Robinson, the bard, the bard training school, their work to help right outcome in the world of Pern, etc. Of all the books the three children’s books: Dragon Singer, Dragon Song and Dragon Drums are what gets read again and again to myself, children, grandchildren….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: A Dickieson Festpost – Idiosophy

  3. joviator says:

    I’ll take this question: “Beyond Narnia and Middle-earth, what is your favourite speculative universe?”
    For me, it’s the real world of Medieval Europe, as portrayed in the few surviving manuscripts. We can see the scribes being serious, solemn, humorous, and whimsical, as well as some moods I can’t even name. What were they thinking? What are the facts I don’t have because they were too basic to write down, that would make it all make sense? All I have to answer that is speculation. I’ll always be grateful to the Inklings for inspiring me to look in that direction.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was going to quip that your answer doesn’t count, but of course that’s not true. It is certainly sculpted, shaped, interpreted, built, speculative. This world was a late discovery for me, 20s, late 20s I think. I’m gathering it little by little–though I am affected by Lewis & Tolkien, so I am admittedly reading “through” sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Tokien’s Beowulf, as presented by Christopher, strikes me as a good example of this – including his speculatively reconstructed ‘source’. And ‘More Tolkien lectures’/lecture notes’ strikes me as a desirable publication – or series! – (though not strictly ‘Middle-earth’), but how possible or likely, I don’t know….

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Brent Sprinkle says:

    One of my favorite posts from you Brenton (nice name!) is a surprising one given the main topic of discussion on here…your post on the band twenty one pilots! I was already in love with this band for their style of music and the sense that their lyrics were powerful, even though I didn’t know how much I was missing in them. Your post opened me up to their whole world-building effort that had somehow escaped my knowledge before. I also enjoy all your posts here on Tolkien and Lewis as well and have found a treasure trove of resources here posted by you. So thank you! Also thank your son for having great taste in music!

    Like

    • Thanks Brent (Great name!)
      That 21 Pilots concert was a lot of fun. I don’t know if the lyrics are wholly coherent, but the Trench album is pretty amazing.
      Thanks for the note! I’ll pass it on to Nicolas (whose band Moment of Eclipse intends to be the next gen 21P).
      bd

      Like

  5. dalejamesnelson says:

    Brenton, your prompts suggest a few comments –
    I think Christopher Tolkien completed the presentation of his father’s Middle-earth work. There may be a few technical linguistic remains that will appear in specialist journals, but aside from that kind of thing, I don’t think there are even rumors, are there? There are a few Tolkienian items that could come out someday: (1) a compilation of transcripts of Tolkien’s interviews; this was a project under way at one time, but seems to have been dropped; (2) more letters; (3) Tolkien’s diary.
    Where should Inklings studies go? I recommend a four-year moratorium to give people a chance to catch up with published things such as Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer, CSL’s Lost Aeneid, etc.
    Regarding other Inklings – I’ve read lots of Charles Williams, Warnie Lewis’s published diary and one of his French history books, most of Owen Barfield’s books, etc. David Cecil wrote a good account of my favorite artist, Samuel palmer, in his book Visionary and Dreamer. (Palmer is the visionary; Edward Burne-Jones is the dreamer.)
    Well worth looking into are some writers whom I sometimes think of as being (in) the penumbra of the Inklings. Dorothy L. Sayers is the one you always hear about, but I like poet Ruth Pitter more. Sometime-attendee John Wain’s biography of Samuel Johnson is very good, and of course his early autobiographical book Sprightly Running is enjoyable. I liked Bede Griffiths’ early autobiographical The Golden String. Poet Martyn Skinner, whom I wrote about here at Pilgrim, deserves to be better known.
    Then there are some authors who had some kind of personal connection with Lewis without being “penumbra” folk. Years ago, with some interest I read Lewis’s former pupil Martin Lings’s book Ancient Beliefs and Modern Superstitions; Lings is associated with a group of intellectuals with strong aesthetic interests in world religions. (Lings gave Lewis some books by the group’s revered figure Guenon; Lewis said “as obvious a quack as ever I smelled out.”) I expect to look into poet and critic Herbert Palmer, whom Lewis seems to have known but not as well as he knew their friend in common, Ruth Pitter. There are poets Christopher Hassall and Andrew Young to look into. Among scholars, there’s George Watson (I recommend his book Preface to The Faerie Queene to those who are interested in one of Lewis’s lifetime favorites, the Elizabethan poet Spenser [with two Ss, please]) and Basil Willey. And there are more, of course.
    Dale Nelson

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Dale! Some brief moments of response:
      CJRT: I haven’t heard any rumours, but I don’t know what the manuscript fragments will produce. And yes … where are all the letters?.
      Where should Inklings studies go? Maybe … but could it be that they haven’t captured scholarly imagination? I’ve read the CSL Aeneid. I’m not sure what to say about it. What about you?
      You have definitely Inkings-ized. I’ve not read anything from David Cecil. I am reading Pitter’s poems now. Just started. A lot about insects at first! I don’t know if I’ll continue much until after the semester is over.
      Poet Martyn Skinner, whom I wrote about here at Pilgrim, deserves to be better known: post here: https://apilgriminnarnia.com/2018/04/04/tiny-fairies-j-r-r-tolkiens-errantry-and-martyn-skinners-sir-elfadore-and-mabyna-by-dale-nelson/.
      “Penumbra” is a nice metaphor. I’m amazed all the authors you have read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dalejamesnelson says:

        A. C. Harwood and Roger Lancelyn Green were two more people of the penumbra of the Inklings.

        As Lewis did, I reject Anthoposophy, but there are good things in Harwood’s book The Recovery of Man in Childhood, of which I read some, in time to be influenced by some of those passages in the raising of the four Nelson children. Lewis wrote to Harwood (19 Nov. 1958): “Many thanks for the book, which I have read, everywhere with interest and nearly everywhere with pleasure: more often than you might expect, with agreement. Some of the pleasure was due to the fact that you are one of the decreasing number who still write real English — no clichés, no jargon, and a live rhythm.” A letter expressing CSL’s disagreement with Anthroposophy is to Owen Barfield in July 1940.

        Roger Lancelyn Green was, of course, with Walter Hooper author of the first book-length biography of CSL. The book by Green that I know best, though I haven’t read much of it, is probably Tellers of Tales, which went through multiple editions. Green and his wife, and Lewis and Joy, toured Greece before Joy’s death.

        Which raises an unanswerable question — if the Inklings were still going when Lewis became close to Joy, would he have brought her along? An unanswerable question. Incidentally, Joy’s first husband was the author of a novel called Nightmare Alley, an entry in the Library of America:

        https://www.loa.org/books/1-crime-novels-american-noir-of-the-1930s-and-40s

        William Lindsay Gresham dedicated this novel to Joy.

        Dale Nelson

        Liked by 2 people

      • dalejamesnelson says:

        I mentioned poet Andrew Young (the subject of a recent biography, which I haven’t read.)*

        He, and author and glass engraver Laurence Whistler, were interested in starting a literary journal that would have reflected what Lewis called the Tao, in contrast to journals such as Horizon. Whistler approached Lewis, who responded with great interest (see his letter of 9 Jan. 1947). Wouldn’t it have been something if they had gotten funding, and the journal had survived, and we still saw issues of Portico showing up in our mailboxes or perhaps checked its online site?

        A poet and critic (and friend of Owen Barfield, I believe) known to Lewis — perhaps in the penumbra of the Inklings, or the penumbra of the penumbra, was George Rostrevor Hamilton, whose name I first saw as author of a poem quoted in Barfield’s Saving the Appearances. Lewis praised Hamilton’s The Tell-Tale Article, a lively and shrewd critique of modern poets such as Auden. Now just to get you even more interested in Hamilton (that is, at least, those of you who are readers of a certain age, and remember the Ballantine fantasy releases, etc.) — he is thanked by E. R. Eddison in one of his fantasy-romances, Mistress of Mistresses.

        Dale Nelson

        *https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/caught-in-a-crystal-cage/

        Liked by 1 person

      • dalejamesnelson says:

        There’s also a JRRT piece, a satire about the industrialization of Oxford, “The End of Bovadium” —

        http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/The_End_of_Bovadium

        It doesn’t sound very commercial, does it? But I hope a well-annotated edition will be published, and not too obscurely.

        Dale Nelson

        Liked by 1 person

    • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

      With respect to unpublished Tolkien ‘stuff’, how easily can one get to know what’s available? For example, the Wade Center has two nice lists conveniently online – with a goodly number of letters, but not many other Tolkien papers. What about other collections? Who has what not only neatly catalogued, but handily set out online for any and everyone to see? And what do ‘we’ know something about, but which has not been accessibly catalogued? Is anyone busy collected and noting uncollected Tolkien letters, as Arend Smilde is with respect to Lewis?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lolalwilcox says:

    What for you remains C.S. Lewis’ most impactful book? It’s in the Narnia series, the moment when Aslan says “I’m a lamb in your world.” This is the moment of my personal conversion; I was reading it aloud to my first-born son who was in a backpack, happy as long as I kept pacing the living room and reading. Though raised a Christian, this is the moment when my personal faith was born.

    Like

    • Thanks so much for telling this story, Lola.
      That need-to-held period is a powerful time for missing sleep or going a little crazy, but a moment of spiritual enlightenment is less common! Cool story.

      Like

  7. hatrack4 says:

    Congratulations! I will have reached my 1,000th post by the end of this week, but with a lot less views, followers, etc. You do a great job of making academic topics seem like a conversation by the fire. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m amazed how much you post, Mark. How quickly did you get there?

      Liked by 1 person

      • hatrack4 says:

        A little under three years. Once I got into the groove, I was doing one post M-F, then I noticed how much activity that I got on Saturday, but a months later, it was every day. If something is outside my usual Christian observations, it becomes an extra post, scheduled for the morning. My posts may not have your quality, but then again, I am retired, mostly.

        Like

        • Well, we are doing different things. It’s funny, I get a lot less traffic on the weekend. After 3 or 4 on Friday, I’m down about 30%.
          My problem is that I like this writing and will do it forever. I will probably be reducing to once a week in the future. We’ll see.

          Liked by 1 person

          • hatrack4 says:

            I will be reading it, regardless of the quantity. As for the weekends, I have some great numbers and some really bad numbers.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Do you also do Twitter or another social media?

              Liked by 1 person

              • hatrack4 says:

                I put a link to the site on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. I rarely get responses through Tumblr. Some of my Facebook friends, including my wife, read the Facebook page links. I seem to have recently lost my Twitter readers. But really don’t understand Twitter. Too limited on comment length. I feel my intelligence draining when I am on it for too long – although your comments are entertaining and Beth Moore is sometimes hilarious. Timothy Keller – thought provoking.

                Like

  8. lolalwilcox says:

    What have you discovered of the “other Inklings” over your years of reading? I was moved by the story of Charles Williams posting the only Arthurian Torso manuscript to Lewis, and dying on the way home in the bombing. Part of my work is in Arthurian legend, and a friend had a good time scouring England to bring the book to me in Wyoming (70’s). That led to reading the novel series – very unusual books even for this experienced fantasy/science fiction reader. I feel they are a treasure waiting to be discovered and understood.
    Happy 1000 posts!

    Like

    • I know that Charles Williams’ poetry is hard, but I quite love the Arthurian Torso 5 chapters and his Arthurian poetry. Far better than the novels, actually (though I reach for the novels to read for fun more often). Lewis worked hard editing that book. The manuscripts left over show him doing draft after draft of his introduction–unusual for him.

      Like

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Dorothy Sayers’s wonderful notes to her translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy are full of quotations from Williams’s The Figure of Beatrice, which itself is now transcribed online:

        https://www.fadedpage.com/showbook.php?pid=20180723

        I first enjoyed his work in her quotations, but did not immediately make the connection when I encountered his name later in an Arthurian context!

        Like

  9. Ben says:

    I’ll answer the following question: Beyond Narnia and Middle-earth, what is your favourite speculative universe? What draws you to that world?
    My favourite speculative universe, even including Narnia and Middle-Earth, is the Field of Arbol as we get to know it in the Ransom Trilogy. Why? I guess because of all the mediaeval thinking behind it. I think what does it most for me are those little perceptions of depth that we get when e.g. in the epilogue of Out of the Silent Planet Lewis cites that Latin writer about Oyarses (Is the quote actually true or did Lewis make it up? I’d guess the latter.). It ‘breaks in’ to our real history. And it is great to reread the series after reading The Discarded Image.
    I think I should honorarily mention actual mediaeval Europe as well, I would not have thought about it, but the Joviator above is quite right. Well, maybe the picture that mediaeval Europeans had of their world rather than how it really was.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Allyson says:

    My favorite posts of yours were the LM Montgomery comparisons with CS Lewis. I had not thought of them side-by-side before. Both are beloved authors of mine. I also enjoyed following you on your chronological read through the Lewis canon. Saved your timeline so that I can take the journey sometime. (Maybe in retirement, ha!)

    Like

  11. L.A. Smith says:

    Congratulations on your 1000th post, Brenton! An impressive achievement, especially considering the quality of your posts. Here’s some of my answers to your questions above. It’s tricky, I have more than one answer for many, because it’s just so hard to choose!
    1. Book or series as most powerful places of pilgrimage – if you mean by “pilgrimage” a place to wander where the goal is spiritual refreshment, I would have to say The Space Trilogy. Or perhaps The Great Divorce. More on those later.
    2. Lewis’ most impactful book – SO hard to choose. I’m going to cheat a bit and divide it between fiction/non-fiction. For non-fiction, it will have to be Mere Christianity. I had the great good blessing of picking this up at the beginning of my spiritual journey, not long after my conversion, when I was trying to figure out what being a Christian meant (I did not grow up in a Christian home). This book gave me the grounding in my faith I needed, and good philosophical arguments for the faith. Fiction: again, SO hard to pick! I will have to choose two. Perelandra and The Great Divorce. Perelandra for the wildly innovative and deeply layered tale of a world just facing the first temptation, and the struggles of a human who knows exactly the consequences of the wrong choice. The conversations between Ransom and the Lady never fail to bring me to my knees. The Great Divorce, again because of the imaginative take on what comes after life, and how our choices are continually bringing us closer or further from God and all that is good.
    3. Tolkien favourite – I have only read The Hobbit and LOTR. But I’m voting for all three LOTR for this. Like so many other people did, I discovered that adults could have fantasy stories, too, by reading these books (over and over again).
    4. Other Inklings – I kinda fail at this. I have read some Charles Williams but I have a hard time getting into him, tbh. Same with George McDonald.
    5. Favourite speculative universe other than Inklings – oh, another hard one. I LOVE Pern, as mentioned above. But I’m going to throw out a different one. I truly loved the Thomas Covenant books by Stephan Donaldson. His portrayal of The Land (an almost Perlandrian place of goodness and beauty) and the races that inhabit it, and the anti–hero Thomas Covenant, who mars the perfection of the Land and tries to undo his mistakes, made a great story for me. It got a little tiresome by the end (my complaint about Wheel of Time, too, and definitely about GOT) but oh, I loved these books when I first discovered them back in the 80s.
    6. Most memorable post? – probably for me it would be the post where you revealed the link you had discovered between Screwtape and the Ransom stories. Fab!

    I don’t have enough knowledge in the field to answer the rest of the questions intelligently. I come to your blog as very much a reader and fan of CS Lewis and the Inklings, not as an academic. Sometimes the discussions and posts here are a bit above my pay-grade, as they say, but I always appreciate the things I learn.

    Here’s to the next 1000!

    Like

  12. danaames says:

    Congratulations, and long may you write your blog!

    When I was a child, I “pilgrimaged” with “Little Women”. I resonated with the idealism it expressed, along with a certain piety. (I didn’t know about Anne until much later in my life, and I would have read Montgomery when I was younger if I had known.) In my 20s and 30s it was Lewis’ Narnia & Ransom; I went to “That Hideous Strength” a lot, for reassurance of the downfall of the evil – not sure one can describe all of the ending of THS as “happy”… I’ve appreciated Tolkien more as I’ve aged, but the books are longer and require more attention.

    “How the Irish Saved Civilization” was very important for me in my late 40s. The last couple of decades, the book I seem to return to most often is Athanasius’ “On the Incarnation”, for which Lewis wrote the terrific Introduction to Sr Penelope’s translation (which I think is quite good English, conveying the meaning well – other than not being nuanced enough regarding a couple of Greek words).

    I like the vast majority of your posts! The most important one for me was the invitation to read you thesis. That was a lot of fun! I’m still chewing on it and hoping to write on it during the summer.

    Dana

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Congratulations on your 1000th post!

    My favourite fictional universe… hmm, there are so many that I love.

    I’d love to visit the Neanderthal Earth in Robert J Sawyer’s Neanderthal trilogy.

    I’d love to visit the world where everyone has a daemon (animal spirit) in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

    But I think my favourite is Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea. I’d love to visit Roke and sail to all the islands.

    Like

  14. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Oops – didn’t see these last two posts till after your 4 p.m., and am overwhelmed by all the interesting questions (and have enjoyed all the varied reply-comments)…

    Tangential comment: I always like re-seeing the header! Looking at it this time reminded me that George Grant had his sort of conversion experience at a road-gate somewhere in Oxfordshire as a sort of conscientious-objector farm-labourer, before enjoying the Socratic Club after the war. (Not exactly answering any question – I’m glad my first Lewis was The Abolition of Man, and enjoy the complementarity of Lewis’s and Grant’s political-philosophical works.)

    But, last and foremost: Congratulations! – if I wish you Many Happy Returns of the Day, will that mean after every following millepost (if that word can have this sense)? A louring sort of wish, that would seem – though these thousand give the happy impression of having gone swimmingly!

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  15. I can’t really tell you my favourite post, or my favourite Lewis book, because I can’t decide whether The Great Divorce or The Screwtape Letters is my favourite, and I have enjoyed all of your posts about them both. I have also enjoyed the historical perspective you’ve provided with the “unpopular” Times review of TGD and other news article about Lewis and his works.

    I will say that of all the reading I’ve done in Lewis, there are three passages that had the greatest impact on my spiritual life: Screwtape’s “Law of Undulation,” the confrontation between Sarah Smith and her husband’s spirit in The Great Divorce (especially the part about the wrong use of pity), and the conversation in Letters to Malcolm regarding the nature of worship (“The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God”).

    Congratulations on 1000 posts!
    May we enjoy 1000 more!

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  16. Pingback: The “Pints with Jack” Podcast on Till We Have Faces @pintswithjack | A Pilgrim in Narnia

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