February Book

The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis

This book is both penetrating and humorous; wonderful satire and dripping with irony. It is a series of letters from ‘Screwtape’, a worldly-wise old devil, written to his nephew ‘Wormwood’, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. Although written nearly a century ago as a series of English newspaper articles during the Second World War, The Screwtape Letters remains a very profitable read for the Christian disciple. Whether this is your 1st time, or 21st time, to read this book, we trust that the daily discussion questions will enrich your engagement with this book.

Our daily posts will assume that you are able to read one ‘letter’ per day.

Consider purchasing this book here, as we will be reading it and exploring its main ideas throughout the month of February.

A free PDF version of the book is available here.

The Preface of the Book follows:

I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands.

There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight. The sort of script which is used in this book can be very easily obtained by anyone who has once learned the knack; but ill- disposed or excitable people who might make a bad use of it shall not learn it from me.

Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle. I have made no attempt to identify any of the human beings mentioned in the letters; but I think it very unlikely that the portraits, say, of Fr. Spike or the patient’s mother, are wholly just. There is wishful thinking in hell as well as on earth.

In conclusion, I ought to add that no effort has been made to clear up the chronology of the letters. Number XVII appears to have been composed before rationing became serious; but in general the diabolical method of dating seems to bear no relation to terrestrial time and I have not attempted to reproduce it. The history of the European War, except in so far as it happens now and then to impinge upon the spiritual condition of one human being, was obviously of no interest to Screwtape.

C. S. Lewis, Magdalen College. July 5, 1941