1916-1933 E-mail

Yours, Jack

(pg. 1-42)

The first set of general questions will apply to each of the readings we do in Yours, Jack.  However, not every question will fit every selection. 

They are followed by questions specific to the letters in our selection for the evening.  Finally, there are notes and brief biographies of some of the recipients of the letters.


General Questions

1.  What do you observe from these letters about Jack's heart? mind? soul?

2.  What did you learn about Jack's relationship with others? with God?

3.  Do you see hints of themes that Lewis will later develop in his published writings?

4.  What insight, if any, can you apply to your life?

5.  What is your favorite expression or passage or piece of advice?

Specific Questions

6.  What do you learn about Arthur Greeves?

7.  What do you think about the pre-conversion Lewis?


"Go up"/ "go down":  Expression used at Oxford and Cambridge when a student "goes up" to attend the university.  When a student is no longer enrolled, he "goes down."

Arthur Greeves (1895-1966):  Although actually a contemporary of Jack's older brother, Warnie, Arthur and Jack became friends in 1914.  They shared a love of Norse mythology and wrote many letters until Jack's death in 1963.  Lewis's letters to Greeves are published in They Stand Together ed. Walter Hooper.  
            Arthur had a weak heart so was considered to be in delicate health most of his life.  Not regularly employed, he lived off a family income.  He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London and was a competent landscape painter.  
            In the early years of their friendship, Arthur was a Christian and Jack was not.  By mid-life, Jack converted to Christianity, while Arthur drifted away from Christianity and tried a variety of religions including the Baha'i faith.  Toward the end of his life, he settled on Quakerism.  Lewis wrote of Greeves:

I learned charity from him and failed, for all my efforts, to teach him arrogance in return...If I had to write his epitaph, I should say of him what I could say of no one else known to me - ‘He despised nothing'.  Contempt - if not the worst, surely the most ludicrously inappropriate of the sins that men commit - was, I believe, unknown to him.  He fulfilled the Gospel precept: he ‘judged not'.
From C. S. Lewis Collected Letters, vol. I, p. 995

Mary Shelley Neylan (1908-97):  One of Lewis's students, they remained friends for life.  Lewis was godfather to Mary's first child, Sarah.  Some of the letters Lewis wrote to young Sarah appear in Letters to Children, ed. Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead.

© 2008 by Allyson Wieland