The Personal Heresy is a series of articles, three each by C.S. Lewis and E. M. W. (Eustace Mandeville Wetenhall) Tillyard, first published on April 27, 1939 by Oxford University Press and later reprinted, also by Oxford University Press, in 1965. The book has been reprinted in 2008 by Concordia University Press with an Introduction by Lewis scholar Bruce L. Edwards and a new Preface by the editor, Joel D. Heck. The central issue of the essays is whether a piece of imaginative writing, particularly poetry, is primarily a reflection of the author's personality (Tillyard's position) or is about something external to the author (Lewis's position). The two positions may be summarized briefly as the subjective position (Tillyard) and the objective position (Lewis). In general, Lewis attempts to keep poetry within the reach of the common person, while Tillyard thinks of the poet as a person who is "a cut above the common person."  Two settings of the work currently exist. 

Oxford University Press (27 April 1939)
Printing:  Humphrey Milburn
Green fabric hardback with gold title/author on spine
Jacket: Dark green authors and title on green field.

150 pages

Printing History:

Sold for 6s.


Setting 2

Concordia University Press (2008)
Printing: Morgan Printing, Austin, TX
Edited by Joel D. Heck
Introduction by Bruce L. Edwards
Paperback: Cover by Progressive Information Technologies. Red title/author on black field with grey and red flourishes above black editor on grey field.

ISBN: 978-1-8818481-0-3
129 pages

Printing History:

Print run of 500. 



Oxford Paperbacks (1965)
Printing: Lithograph of O1 by Vivian Ridler
Paperback: White title/author on blue fields, feature photos of Drs. Tillyard and Lewis.
150 pages

Printing History:
Sold for 6s. ($1.50)

Setting 1


A Controversy

PH1-O1a-1-39-Jacket Front




The Personal Heresy