The text on this page is from David Lavery, "An Owen Barfield Readers Guide." Seven 15 (1998): 97-112.

Owen Barfield on C. S. Lewis

Owen Barfield on C. S. Lewis. Ed. G. B. Tennyson. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan U P, 1989.

Though many a visitor to Orchard Row (Barfield’s home in Kent prior to the death of his wife Maud in 1980) and to the Walhatch in Forest Row (the retirement hotel in which Barfield spent his final years) came to talk only of Lewis, sometimes little or no interest in Barfield’s own achievements, the ever-modest Barfield seemed always prepared to discuss "Jack" instead of Owen. Lewis’s exemplary "Second Friend," "the man who disagrees with you about everything" (Surprised by Joy 199-200), Barfield spent a good portion of the second half of his own life, both before and after Lewis’s death in 1963, answering questions about and putting into writing his memories and observations on his more famous contemporary. (As a solicitor Barfield even took care of Lewis’ financial matters, which were compounded by his large earnings from the royalties of his best-selling books). Tennyson’s invaluable edition of Owen Barfield on C. S. Lewis brings together all the important essays and interviews in which Barfield speaks of his life-long friend. In a most approachable, revealing, and candid book Barfield confesses that "Lewis was, I believe, the only person in whose company I frequently felt myself to be painfully slow-witted" (39). But we learn too that Barfield saw a clear and distinct antithesis in their respective positions: ""Lewis had the very strong feeling that you couldn't relate [imagination] in any way to truth with destroying its essence as imagination; he was in love with it. . . . Yes, he was in Romantic love with it. . . . But I wanted to marry it." (137).


Table of Contents

Introduction, by G. B. Tennyson

1. C. S. Lewis

2. Introduction to Light on C. S. Lewis

3. C. S. Lewis in Conversation'

4. Either: Or: Coleridge, Lewis, and Romantic Theology

5. C. S. Lewis and Historicism

6. Some Reflections on The Great Divorce

7. Lewis, Truth, and Imagination

8. Lewis and/or Barfield

9. The Five C. S. Lewises

10. Conversations on C. S. Lewis

Early Days with C. S. Lewis (with Walter Hooper)

Reflections on C. S. Lewis (with Clifford Monks)

C. S. Lewis, A Retrospect (with G. B. Tennyson)

11. C. S. Lewis in Barfield's Fiction and Verse
"The Things That Are Caesar's!"
Poems on C. S. Lewis