That Hideous Strength

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Positive

Cover of That Hideous Strength

Author: C.S. Lewis

Series: Ransome Trilogy

Age Range: Young Teens+

Period: Mid 20th C

Genres:  ArthurianClassicSciFi


The NICE, a scientific institute, has bought up Bragdon Wood, the land around a small university, and seems to have unlimited powers and support. Mark Studdock, a young sociologist lecturer, gets involved with the institute, which his wife Jane, an unwilling clairvoyant, turns to help Ransome and his friends. The story turns on the awakening of Merlin who sleeps under Bragdon Wood. Through Ransome, he receives power from the planetary Oyeresu, and causes the downfall of the institute and its directors.


On a very simplistic level, no more than a small-band-of-goodies-outwits- evil-scientists story. But this is the culmination of the Ransome trilogy and Lewis wants to see the otherworldly powers have their effect on earth. On a personal level, the story revolves around Mark and Jane Studdock, a modern young couple, who separately rediscover the true meaning of love and of marriage and of faith. On a larger level it is the natural extension of Lewis' framework of planetary angels; the passage where the different planets' oyeresu descend on Ransome and Merlin is truly magical.

Tuesday 1st January 2002