Friday, October 24, 2014

#544


After the death of Joy, Lewis recorded his thoughts concerning his grief.  In 1961 these thoughts were published in A Grief Observed.  The book was originally published under the pseudonym N.W. Clerk.  After Lewis died the book was republished in 1964 with C.S. Lewis named as the author.

We will be reading A Grief Observed, along with The Problem of Pain, beginning in January 2015.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#543



July 13, 1960 Joy died.  On July 18th her funeral is held at the Oxford Crematorium.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

#541


Facing deportation, Joy was married to Lewis on April 23, 1956 in a civil ceremony allowing her to remain in England.  Almost a year later, March 21, 1957 they are married in an ecclesiastical ceremony by the Rev. Peter Bide.  During this time Joy was found to be suffering from cancer and the truth of their mutual love was acknowledged.  Joy moved into the Kilns to live under the same roof with her husband.

From Warnie's Diary:

"One of the most painful days of my life.  Sentence of death has been passed on Joy, and the end is only a matter of time.  But today she had one little gleam of happiness . . . at 11 a.m. we all gathered in Joy's room . . . communicated, and the marriage was celebrated.  I found it heartrending, and especially Joy's eagerness for the pitiable consolation of dying under the same roof as J[ack]."

The Rev. Peter Bide, known to have a healing gift, laid hands on Joy and prayed over her on the marriage day.  Instead of moving into the Kilns to die, Joy's health miraculously improved and the new couple have three years of marriage before the cancer returned.  Joy dies in 1960.

Monday, October 13, 2014

#540


September 24, 1952

Joy meets Lewis for the first time for lunch at the Eastgate Hotel in Oxford.  The lunch party seems to have been comprised of Lewis, Joy, Phyllis Williams (Joy's friend she was staying with in London), and a fourth member?  I have gone through all of my Lewis biographies (I checked 8) and can find no conclusive documentation for the other individual, if there even was one.  Possibly Warnie, some say George Sayer, some do not say anything.  If you go by the movie Shadowlands (both versions) we find Jack and Warnie meeting Joy at a hotel for tea.  If you know the historic truth to the mystery let me know.  What is known is that Lewis and Joy did have lunch at the Eastgate Hotel in Oxford on September 24, 1952, and there met for the first time.

Friday, October 10, 2014

#539


Smoke on the Mountain: An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments was written by Joy Davidman and published in 1953.  Joy was able to finish the book in 1952 when she made her first trip to England, personally meeting C.S . Lewis for the first time.  Joy dedicated Smoke on the Mountain to C.S. Lewis and Lewis wrote the forward to the book.

From the Forward:

Joy Davidman is one who comes to us from the second generation of unbelief; her parents, Jewish in blood, "rationalist" by conviction.  This makes her approach extremely interesting to the reclaimed apostates of my own generation; the daring paradoxes of our youth were the stale platitudes of hers.  "Life is only an electrochemical reaction.  Love, art, and altruism are only sex.  The universe is only matter.  Matter is only energy.  I forget what I said energy is only."; thus she describes the philosophy with which she started life.  How, from the very first, it failed to accommodate her actual experience, how, as a result of this discrepancy, she was for some years almost "two people," . . . The essay* describes exactly how "the universe" - indeed, something much more important than it - broke in.  For of course every story of conversion is the story of a blessed defeat.


* Lewis is referring to an essay Joy contributed to a collection of essays from adult converts titled These Found the Way (1951).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#538

Jack and Warnie Lewis

On reception of Joy's first letter to C.S. Lewis:

"Lewis's brother, Major Warren Hamilton Lewis, noted the date of the letter in his diary.  Major Lewis observed that 'until 10th January 1950 neither of us had ever heard of her; then she appeared in the mail as just another American fan, Mrs. W. L. Gresham from the neighborhood of New York.  With however,'  the Major noted, 'the difference that she stood out from the ruck by her amusing and well-written letters, soon J[ack] and she had become 'pen-friends.''"

Found on page 70 of And God Came In