Last Updated on March 3, 2020 by AIFS Abroad Customized Faculty-Led
“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart.” – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves.
The United Kingdom is home to many great writers and their stories; Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and more. A couple weeks ago, I went to Oxford which is about 55 miles from Central London to visit C.S. Lewis’s home, also known as The Kilns. C.S. Lewis is the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, The Four Loves, The Screwtape Letters, etc. Once I arrived to The Kilns, I was very surprised. While I expected an entrance and reception similar to that of a museum, it was instead very informal and like I was going to someone’s house. Additionally, the tour was done by a graduate student who lives and studies in Oxford and is also a part of a program that honors C.S. Lewis’s work.
Why I Like C.S. Lewis
One of the reasons I like C.S. Lewis is the way in which he wrote and thought. Both were very logical, sequential and detailed yet simple. Moreover, he backed up general statements with what everyday people can relate to, similar to the quote above. Additionally, he was someone who put his money where his mouth was. He also took action on what he believed and studied vigorously to evaluate those beliefs.
Furthermore, the way he cherished friendships and family is inspiring. One can argue, as we all are, he was the result of the relationships he had with his friends and family. In his book, The Four Loves, he wrote about the four different Greek words for love. In English, there is only one word for love, ‘love’. However in Greek, there are four words. As Tom from 500 Days of Summer says, the word ‘love’ can get thrown around a lot and can begin to mean less. The Four Loves explores what love means in various ways.
After visiting The Kilns, I briefly visited where C.S. Lewis was buried. Next, I headed to The Eagle and Child pub. This pub is where C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien (Writer of The Lord of the Rings) and others would meet weekly to eat, drink and talk. Despite the owners of the pub changing, you can still capture the feel of a traditional pub that these great authors would have experienced.
Apart from this, Oxford is a very pretty college town full of historic buildings and shops that are over 100 years old. Overall, the day trip felt very academic but it still managed to be great. I highly recommend visiting both Oxford and The Kilns to everyone.
Sangwook Ha is an Economics major at California State University, Fullerton who is studying abroad on an AIFS Customized Faculty-Led program in London, England.