I recently saw a quote that was credited to CS Lewis and being a HUGE admirer of his work I wanted to find the context of the quote and read more of his thoughts on the subject. Here is the quote I saw:
The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. " — C.S. Lewis
He is THE ultimate internet detective and I woke up the next morning with an email from him (yes, he informed through an email instead of telling me when he came to bed later that night), that he had found a talk from the early "80's" where the quote was very similar, but not exact, but there was a source listed. Here is the quote he found:
As C. S. Lewis said, "A housewife's work . . . is the one for which all others exist." The source listed for this quote was page 262 of "Letter of CS Lewis" 1966 edition.
I thought, GREAT!, I have this book, and so the mystery may be solved! However, I had the revised and enlarged edition printed in 1988, so of course, it would be on a differnet page. So I read the book, which is an AMAZING read if you are a Lewis fan. The letters written during and after his wifes' illness and death are gut-wrenching, tender and romantic! Anyway, back to the quote search. I finally found the correct letter, written on 16 March 1955 to a "Mrs Ashton" from Magdalene College, Oxford. Here is the quote in its entirety:
“I think I can understand that feeling about a housewife’s work being like that of Sisyphus (who was the stone rolling gentleman). But it is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, miners, cars, government etc exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? As Dr. Johnson said, “To be happy at home is the end of all human endeavour”. (1st to be happy to prepare for being happy in our own real home hereafter: 2nd in the meantime to be happy in our houses.) We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist…” (pg 447-Letter of CS Lewis 1988 ed.)
So, I think what has happened with the original quote, is that someone put Lewis' quote into their own words and cited Lewis as the original author and it was put forth from then on as what Lewis himself had said.
If anyone has any different information on the original quote listed, please let me know, but until I find a source, I will not use the quote because I have been burned in the past using a quote with an incorrect source and it was embarrassing.
I am so glad I kept searching because I don't know when I would have ever read the book "Letters of CS Lewis". There is a very touching tribute and biography, from his brother, Warren, in the '88 edition that is really good also. I reccommend this book to everyone!