The C.S. Lewis Collection at Taylor University

(reprinted from Will Vaus’ weblog (link on the left)

Taylor University boasts one of the best collections of C. S. Lewis first editions, original manuscripts and letters in all of the United States, second only to that of the Wade Center at Wheaton College. This is thanks to Dr. Edwin Brown, former Associate Professor of Medicine at Indiana University, who amassed one of the finest private collections of C. S. Lewis first editions in the world. A number of years ago this collection was sold to Taylor University so that it might be more accessible to C. S. Lewis scholars. The collection is complemented by the presence of pub furniture also collected by Ed Brown and resembling the Eagle & Child pub in Oxford where C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and others of the Inklings group met.

Another great asset of the Edwin Brown Collection is this first edition of Mere Christianity given by C. S. Lewis to Joy Davidman Gresham at their first meeting:

On page 78, in the midst of Lewis's chapter on Sexual Morality, Joy wrote at the bottom of the page:

What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

This is a quotation from Shelley's poem, Love's Philosophy.
Then on page 86 Joy wrote:

What if the quieter love does not come?
It cannot be achieved alone.

Is there any question that Joy's first annotation reveals that she was in love with C. S. Lewis beginning with their first meeting in 1952? And certainly her second annotation refers to the failure of love in her marriage to Bill Gresham. Thankfully the story didn't end there. The kisses and the quieter love were experienced in the eventual marriage of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman, though accompanied with much pain and grief.


1 comment:

Roger R. said...

I guess WV's guess at Joy's meaning would depend on the context of the page. Joy's quote might mean almost anything otherwise.