2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of C.S. Lewis, and although his writings remain as influential as ever--Lewis himself remains--for many of his biggest fans-- somewhat of an enigma.
Lewis' legacy is as vast as it is varied. He was a towering intellectual figure with impeccable academic credentials and yet a popular novelist for both children and adults publishing both The Chronicles of Narnia and his Space Trilogy. Lewis was also an accomplished apologist and advocate of the Christian faith and completed numerous timeless classics such as Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, and The Four Loves along with a host of other books, stories, and insightful essays.
In C.S. Lewis: A Life, renowned historian and former Oxford professor Alister McGrath paints a definitive and comprehensive portrait of the life of C. S. Lewis. McGrath combines crisp prose with a highly informative but accessible narrative that highlights every corner of Lewis' often obscure world from his days as an introverted child spending endless hours reading and imagining to his ascension to fame as a British novelist. Lewis' complex relationships with his brother, father, Joy Davidman, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Inklings are all examined in detail as is recently discovered personal correspondence. But McGrath also delves into Lewis' psyche and his faith, reexamines his conversion in light of new evidence, and brings the entire story together in a biography that N.T. Wright has called "A penetrating and illuminating study".
C.S. Lewis has, perhaps, influenced more Christians than any other modern writer. But there is so much more to the man than his writings. There is a remarkable story within the storyteller. Alister McGrath tells that story with precision, honesty, and humor.
McGrath's new biography of C. S. Lewis is excellant. it's filled with information based on extensive scholarship but is nonetheless extremely readable. It not only devotes great attention to the formation and character of Lewis, it offers incisive and balanced analyses of all his main literary works. I devoured Lewis's works in my youth. His impact on me was profound and lasting, and McGrath clearly explains why so many can say the same thing.
McGrath sheds new light on the life of the incomparable C.S. Lewis. This is an important book.
author of Bonhoeffer
Many of us thought we knew most of what there is to know about C.S. Lewis. Alister McGrath's new biography makes use of archives and other material that clarify, deepen, and further explain the many sides of one of Christianity's most remarkable apologists. This is a penetrating and illuminating read.
Alister McGrath has written a meticulously researched, insightful, fair-minded, and honest account of a fascinating man's life. His book is especially distinctive in its placing of Lewis in his vocational and social contexts, but it also provides a compelling account of the development of Lewis' Christian mind. This will be an indispensable resource for fans and scholars of Lewis.
For people who might wonder if we need another biography of C.S. Lewis, McGrath's crisp, insightful, and at times quite original portrait of the celebrated Oxford Christian will change their minds.
-Lyle W. Dorsett
A welcome addition to the biographical literature on C.S. Lewis, which includes several valuable new perspectives. McGrath's book will gain a permanent position in Lewis scholarship for his brilliant and, to my my mind, undeniable re-dating of Lewis' conversion to Theism. How we all missed this for so long is astonishing.
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