Montreat exhibit focuses on the work of C.S. Lewis

Special to Black Mountain News

Step through the giant wardrobe to enter the land of Narnia from “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” novel. You can also catch a glimpse of Middle Earth and 1920s England.

The Presbyterian Heritage Center (PHC) in Montreat is opening a new exhibit, “C.S. Lewis, the Inklings & Friends," which features rare first editions, one-of-a-kind artifacts, letters, magazines, film clips and other materials highlight the fiction, fantasies and faith writings of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as pioneering female detective novelist Dorothy Sayers and others.

The PHC kicked off the celebration of Lewis and his friends with the world’s largest Lewis conference earlier this month with a sell-out crowd of over 625 attendees.

Lewis is perhaps the most popular Christian writer of the 20th and now 21st centuries. The Oxford and Cambridge, England, teacher and author was featured in the cover of Time Magazine. His fantasy novels ranked ninth among American favorites in a 2019 public opinion poll by the Public Broadcasting System. Tolkien’s "Lord of the Rings" came in fifth in the same poll.

“This exhibit has one of the most comprehensive displays of first editions, scholarly works, Christian writings, fiction and fantasy novels ever put together on C.S. Lewis and his circle of writer friends,” notes PHC Education Chairman John Akers.

First editions of the Narnia series, "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" series are just a few rare items on view. This display was created from the PHC Collection; the Hal Poe Collection at Union University; the Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College; University of East Anglia, England; and rare book collectors.

The C.S. Lewis, Inklings and Friends exhibit is displayed through August of 2020. You can visit the PHC from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. on Sundays, during November and December. The center will be closed Thanksgiving Day and the day after (Nov. 28 – 29), Christmas and the day after (Dec. 25 – 26) and Sundays, Dec. 22 & 29.

The Presbyterian Heritage Center is a non-profit educational organization providing museum exhibits, a reference library and other materials on the history of Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley, the heritage of the Reformed and Presbyterian Churches and worldwide missions.

The PHC is located at 318 Georgia Terrace, Montreat, steps away from Lake Susan. For more information, visit or call 669-6556.