Beware of Publishers

You can write a masterpiece, only to have it ruined by an inattentive publisher. It would be bad enough if they filled your retelling of Romeo and Juliet with typos, what if you had just penned the ultimate authority on grammar, or perhaps, spelling? Last month, British lexicographer Susie Dent released Word Perfect, a “brilliant […]

On the Nature of Virtue

Are you virtuous? If you have high moral standards, there’s a fair chance you are. If you fall short of that mark, moral excellence is a goal which few completely attain in this life. If you’d like to learn more about virtue, there is a free book I would like to recommend to you. In […]

Why C.S. Lewis Remained Protestant

I find it intriguing how so many Roman Catholics wonder why all Protestants don’t find “crossing the Tiber” irresistible. C.S. Lewis disappointed his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien by not joining him in that church. As we prepare to commemorate another Reformation Day, I would like to share one of C.S. Lewis’ patient responses to that […]

The Good, Bad & Ugly of Dendroglyphs

Have you ever carved your initials, or some other pictograph (perhaps a heart?) in the bark of a tree? I never thought much about such things until I learned about the key role played by their bark in a tree’s health. Now I tend to consider this arboreal graffiti* as unfortunate. I haven’t found any […]

Don’t Be a Pirate

Pirates make for interesting reading. The Inklings thought so. In a 1932 letter to his brother, C.S. Lewis mentions Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Pirate. “I am now reading through [a Scott biography], and am just at the Shetland and Orkney diary:89 which you will constantly have been reminded of if you have read The […]

On the Nature of Mascots

Brits and Americans share many things. That includes English as a primary language. Well, sort of. Aside from some people’s inclination to misspell words—such as adding a superfluous letter “u” to words like colour and humour—we agree on most things. Well, add quotation marks to the arena of dissimilarities. Nevertheless, we’re normally able to decipher […]

Filling the Shoes of Giants

One thing all humans have in common, is that we are mortal. Immortality is not inherent to our nature, and eternal life can only come as a gift from our Creator. All men and women live and die. In the words of Ecclesiastes: It is the same for all, since the same event [i.e. death] […]

C.S. Lewis and Garters

I don’t know whether or not C.S. Lewis wore garters. And, trust me, I have no interest in learning the answer to that trivia question. Nevertheless, a recent advertisement caught my eye in a 1925 issue of the American Legion Weekly. Never having worn a garter, it struck me as interesting ad placement—in a veteran’s […]

C.S. Lewis as a Stepfather

Step-parenting well can be a challenge. In many cases it brings great joy to both parent and child. But in some unfortunate cases, parenting the biological child of another can seem nearly impossible. If you needed another reason to respect C.S. Lewis—and I recognize most readers of Mere Inkling don’t—consider the case of his stepsons. […]

Translating Foreign Languages

How many languages can you translate into English? If the answer is >0, I envy you. I’ve studied four,* and passed all the tests, but have an actual aptitude in none. If I were thus gifted, I would be transferring some of the world’s literary wealth into my native tongue—and vice versa. One of my […]