As it says in the sub-title, C. S. Lewis & His Circle offers a collection of Essays and Memoirs from the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society. As one might expect from Oxford University Press, this book is top notch, both in its content and in its presentation.
The book is edited by Judith and Brendan Wolfe who it has been my delight to meet upon more than one occasion when visiting and speaking to the Oxford Society. The third editor, Roger White of Azusa Pacific University, it is also my privilege to know. They have done a superb job of selecting and editing the essays and memoirs for this book out of the many presentations given to the Oxford Society over the past 30 plus years.
Part I contains two sections. The first has essays on philosophy and theology. The second contains essays on literature. Many of the authors in this section will be well known to Lewis fans and scholars: Alister McGrath, Elizabeth Anscombe, Kallistos Ware, Rowan Williams, and Walter Hooper among them. This is truly a stellar cast of presenters.
As good as Part I is, my favorite portion of the book is probably Part II which contains two categories of memoir. One is memories of C. S. Lewis, his family and friends specifically. The other is memories of the Inklings more generally. This section of the book has some excellent presenters as well. Joan Lewis Murphy was CSL's second cousin. George Sayer is well known as the author of perhaps the best biography on Lewis. Ronald Head was Lewis' pastor at Headington Quarry. Peter Bide was the priest who married Lewis and Joy Davidman. Stella Aldwinckle was the founder of the Socratic Club. Then we have another piece from the pen of Walter Hooper, Lewis' secretary in the last months of his life. We also have memoirs from two Inklings: Owen Barfield and John Wain.
This volume contains insights into C. S. Lewis and the Inklings that may be familiar to many as well as fresh information that may be new to some readers. The book has been praised as "a treat" by no one less than N. T. Wright, and I would have to agree. Every Lewis or Inklings fan and scholar should have this book on his or her shelf.