The Screwtape Letters.London: Geoffrey Bles, 1942 Stock Code: 132223
With the dust jacketFirst edition, first impression. Taking the form of a series of letters between an experienced devil and a subordinate, The Screwtape Letters addresses numerous questions of Christian theology. Though the book sparkles with wit, Lewis found its composition difficult and unpleasant: "The strain produced a sort of spiritual cramp... It almost smothered me before I was done" (cited in Zaleski, Literary Lives of the Inklings, p. 296). Lewis dedicated the work to J. R. R. Tolkien, who was somewhat uneasy about the book; so profound was Tolkien's belief in the powers of evil that he thought it unwise for Lewis to write humorously on the subject. Perhaps in response to this concern, Lewis included as the book's epigraph a quotation from Luther, "The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to the texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn", and another from Thomas More: "The devill... the prowde spirite... cannot endure to be mocked."
Octavo. Original black cloth, printed paper label to spine. With dust jacket.
Contemporary presentation inscription "Eva from Margaret Wordsworth July 11th 1942" and later ownership signature "ERD Dingle Oct 15/65" to front free endpaper; bookseller's ticket to rear pastedown. A very good copy in the jacket, printed on flimsy wartime paper and consequently very scarce; with some soiling, chips and tears without loss to text, spine panel darkened, tape repairs on verso.
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