• A Preface to Paradise Lost

  • By: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $25.09

Buy for $25.09

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

C. S. Lewis's illuminating reflections on Milton's Paradise Lost, the seminal classic that profoundly influenced Christian thought as well as Lewis's own.

In Preface to Paradise Lost, the Christian apologist and revered scholar and professor of literature closely examines the style, content, structure, and themes of Milton's masterpiece, a retelling of the biblical story of the Fall of Humankind, Satan's temptation, and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Considering the story within the context of the Western literary tradition, Lewis offers invaluable insights into Paradise Lost and the nature of literature itself, unveiling the poem's beauty and its wisdom.

Lewis explains and defends the literary form known as "Epic," pondering simple yet perceptive questions such as: What is an Epic? Why, in the seventeenth century, did Milton choose to write his story in this style? In what sense is Paradise Lost similar to the Homeric poems or the Anglo Saxon Beowulf? In what sense did Milton develop Virgil's legacy? 

With the clarity of thought and style that are the hallmarks of his writing, Lewis provides answers with a lucidity and lightness that deepens our understanding of this literary form and both illuminates Milton's immortal epic and its meaning and inspires readers to revisit it. Ultimately, he reminds us why elements including ritual, splendor, and joy deserve to exist and hold a sacred place in human life. 

One of Lewis's most revered scholarly works, Preface to Paradise Lost is indispensable for literature, philosophy, and religion scholars and for ardent fans of Lewis's writings. 

©1961 C. S. Lewis (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about A Preface to Paradise Lost

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Scholastic Treasure from CSL

As with all his literary criticism, Lewis is here operating at his highest level of expertise. While he is invaluable as a lay theologian and philosopher (because he distills highly complex concepts and makes them accessible and clear), in those modes of popular writing (Mere Christianity, Problem of Pain, et al), he never claims more than to be sort of translating the high thoughts of others into graspable prose.

However, in this book (and also in The Discarded Image and the soon-to-be-audible English Literature from the Sixteenth Century), Lewis expounds as a true master.

If you're coming to this book as a CSL fan first, with only a peripheral interest in Milton's epic, you may still have a good time with it, though, because the book's subject matter and the history of bad takes on Milton set Lewis up to talk religion often and insightfully along the way.

John Lee is a great choice for the narration. Sometimes he hits his "t"s like it's THE MOST IMPORTANT T SOUND EVER SPOKEN, but it's nothing your treble settings can't smoothe out.

I think it's a miracle these scholarly CSL books are getting performed on audible.

1 person found this helpful