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Spirits in Bondage: A Cycle of Lyrics

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A rare glimpse of a young C. S. Lewis.

2020 Top Shelf Book Cover Award Winner

Spirits in Bondage reveals the earliest published thoughts of C. S. Lewis. However, we find an unfamiliar Lewis—not the mature Christian but the young atheist cynic, who fought in the harrowing Great War. In these poems Lewis dreads the dangerous world that keeps us from living meaningful lives.

Introduced by Karen Swallow Prior, this beautiful print edition of Spirits in Bondage will nuance our understanding of C. S. Lewis.

Praise for Spirits in Bondage

This slim volume of lyrics was indeed the start of a stellar career, and those who love the father will surely find … something irresistible about his literary first-born.

—Michael Ward, University of Oxford, co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis

This cycle of poems helps us pinpoint the difference conversion made to one of the world's most celebrated converts.

–Peter J. Leithart, Theopolis Institute, Author of The End of Protestantism

The author of these poems had already heard the summons of divine joy but was not yet ready to believe it, and could scarcely have imagined all that it portends.

—Ben Myers, The Millis Institute, Australia, author of The Apostles’ Creed

These beautifully crafted poems, made stronger by their adherence to forms as diverse as the sonnet and triolet, will make fascinating reading for anyone interested in discovering how Lewis achieved such clarity about the darkness he eventually left behind, and in how pagan honor and virtue prepared him for the transformative light of the gospel.

—David Lyle Jeffrey, Baylor University, author of Scripture and the English Poetic Imagination

In these poems Lewis vacillates between a longing for beauty and a frustration with a universe he believes governed by a cruel, capricious God. Reading Spirits in Bondage, therefore, throws into relief the astounding changes he undergoes in becoming the foremost Christian apologist of the twentieth century.

—Don W. King, Montreat College, author of C. S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse and The Collected Poems of C. S. Lewis: A Critical Edition

Anyone who wants to know Lewis more fully should read this book.

—Mark Neal, co-author of The Neglected C. S. Lewis, and The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis

For years, C. S. Lewis longed to be a poet. Thanks to Lexham Press’s re‐release of Spirits in Bondage, we have a rare glimpse not only into Lewis’s early poetry but also his thought as a young atheist.

—Ryan J. Pemberton, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, author of Called: My Journey to C. S. Lewis’s House and Back Again and Walking with C. S. Lewis: A Companion Guide

  • Introduction by Karen Swallow Prior
  • Prologue
  • Part 1: The Prison House
  • Part 2: Hesitation
  • Part 3: The Escape
  • Title: Spirits in Bondage: A Cycle of Lyrics
  • Author: C. S. Lewis
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Pages: 256
  • Format: Logos Digital, Hardcover
  • Trim Size: 5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781683593706

C. S. Lewis (1898–1963) was one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. He taught medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge University. He wrote more than thirty books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, including The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Screwtape Letters, and Till We Have Faces. Spirits in Bondage was his first published book.

Sample Pages from Spirits in Bondage

$10.99

Print list price: $14.99
Save $4.00 (26%)