C. S. Lewis: A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet
The recent Narnia films have inspired a resurgence of interest in C. S. Lewis, the Oxford academic, popular theologian and, most famously, creator of the magical world of Narnia - and this authoritative new biography, published to mark the 50th anniversary of Lewis's death, sets out to introduce him to a new generation. Completely up to date with scholarly studies of Lewis, it also focuses on how Lewis came to write the Narnia books, and why they have proved so consistently engaging. Accessible and engaging, this new biography will appeal to fans of the films, readers of Lewis and of theologian and apologist Alister McGrath himself.
To the question of whether the world really needs another biography of C. S. Lewis, McGrath's lucid and unsentimental portrait of the Christian champion responds with a resounding "yes." The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Lewis's death, and times have changed and evangelical sentiments have matured. McGrath offers a new and at times shocking look into the complicated life of this complex figure, in a deeply researched biography. The author takes us headlong into the heart of a Lewis we've known little about: his unconventional affair with Mrs. Jane Moore; his hostile and deceptive relationship with his father; his curiosity about the sensuality of cruelty. McGrath navigates the reader through these messy themes, ultimately landing us onto the solid ground of Lewis's postconversion legacy. He shows with skill, sympathy, dispassion, and engaging prose that Lewis, like the rest of us, did the best he could with the hand he was dealt. But he got over it, as must all those who would prefer a Lewis without shadows. -- Publishers Weekly, starred review Many of us thought we knew most of what there was 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 study. -- N. T. Wright Alister McGrath's new biography of C. S. Lewis is excellent. 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 the man, it offers incisive and balanced analyses of all his main literary works. Lewis's impact on me was profound and lasting, and Dr McGrath clearly explains why so many believers and Christians leaders today would say the same thing. -- Timothy Keller 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 mind, undeniable re-dating of Lewis's conversion to Theism. How we all missed this for so long is astonishing! -- Michael Ward, author of Planet Narnia Alister McGrath sheds new light on the incomparable C. S. Lewis. This is an important book. -- Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer This biography is the one Lewis's admirers - especially those who, like him, believe that books are to be read and enjoyed - should prefer to all others. -- Booklist, starred review
Alister McGrath is Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education at King's College London, and head of its Centre for Theology, Religion, and Culture. He is also Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, and President of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. After initial academic work in the natural sciences, Alister turned to the study of theology and intellectual history, while occasionally becoming engaged in broader cultural debates about the rationality and relevance of the Christian faith. He is the author of many academic and theological works, as well as the bestselling The Dawkins Delusion.