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The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis first edition 1945

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis first edition 1945


London: Geoffrey Bles, 1945


8vo., pale yellow publisher’s cloth, painted rust-coloured label to spine, ruled and lettered in black with publisher’s name to foot; in the original unclipped dust jacket (7s. 6d. net.); pp. [vi], 7-118, [ii]; generally a very good example, near-contemporary ownership name and date in ink to ffep; a couple of light marks, rear endpaper partially attached to lower board; in the very good dust jacket which is sunned along the backstrip with some general shelf marking to the lower panel, and a couple of chips and nicks to spine ends; one closed tear to lower panel discretely repaired internally with archival tape.   


First edition of this supernatural theology title, in which the inhabitants of hell are granted the opportunity to travel by bus between the two realms. It was first serialised in an Anglican newspaper, The Guardian, between 1944 and 1945, and published here in book form shortly after. 


Written at, and perhaps influenced by the end of the Second World War, Lewis meditates on the fundamental dichotomy between good and evil, with the revolutionary idea that the gates of hell are locked by its inhabitants - from the inside. 

“Whatever Blake may have meant by the Marriage of Heaven and Hell, some sort of marriage between them is continually attempted” (Dust jacket).

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