Visitors to the Kilns library in Oxford can now enjoy a cup of tea in C.S. Lewis’s former home while reading Marsha Daigle-Williamson’s Reflecting the Eternal. Daigle-Williamson’s book shows how Lewis uses Dante’s Divine Comedy as his primary narrative model in his most famous novels.
Dr. Bethany Sollereder, who manages the library for C.S. Lewis’s Oxford home (The Kilns), recently sent along the above picture showing Daigle-Williamson’s book prominently displayed in a quiet study room saying, “This is exactly where and how the book was sitting as I walked in,” adding that, “[resident] scholars at the Kilns have already started reading the book. It is sitting in the common room, where it will be seen by all the passing tourists!”
The Kilns is designed to serve as a focal point of Christian hospitality, study, reflection and learned conversation between scholars, artists, and laity the world over. The house and the surrounding gardens inspired Lewis to write The Chronicles of Narnia.
Daigle-Williamson’s book will continue to be read by many visiting the library and is bound to facilitate numerous conversations over tea in classic Inkling fashion.
It is for Lewis fans, teachers of Lewis and their students, Lewis critics and scholars, Dante lovers, and general readers. Readers will learn more about the ideas, structural patterns, and narrative details in Lewis’s novels that have links to Dante’s poem, how a modern writer successfully turned medieval poems into modern stories, and how Lewis and Dante both expressed theological and spiritual principles in literature of the highest order.
Marsha Daigle-Williamson (PhD, University of Michigan) is Professor Emerita at Spring Arbor University where she taught English for over twenty-five years and won numerous teaching awards. She serves as translator for the Preacher to the Papal Household, and has translated sixteen books from the Italian as well as publishing over forty articles, profiles, and reviews. Dr. Daigle-Williamson has presented at the International Congress on Medieval Studies eight times in the past ten years and has been a member of The Dante Society of America for over fifteen years.