Non-fiction CS Lewis

Published on April 23rd, 2013


CS Lewis: A Life by Alister McGrath

For more than half a century, C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series has captured the imagination of millions. In C. S. Lewis: A Life, Dr Alister McGrath recounts the unlikely legacy of this Oxford don, who spent his days teaching medieval English Literature and his nights writing a bestselling fantasy series for children. To write this biography McGrath studied all of Lewis’s correspondence and archival materials in chronological order, so as to illuminate afresh this much-loved author’s life. Alister challenges some of the previously held beliefs about the timing of Lewis’s shift from atheism to theism and Christianity. This definitive biography paints a portrait of a deeply original thinker who became an inspiring, though reluctant, prophet for our times. Hodder & Stoughton

The Evening Standard

Melanie McDonagh

I can’t say I share all McGrath’s enthusiasms: Mere Christianity never did much for me and A Grief Observed has never comforted any bereaved person I know. But those of us who have been changed for ever by Lewis’s introduction to vanished worlds must be grateful for this sympathetic and thorough account.


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The Daily Telegraph

Philip Womack

McGrath is a clear-eyed, learned companion … This is a finely balanced book, which allows Lewis’s works to speak for themselves without drawing crude parallels with his life, something that Lewis himself would have admired. And it leaves the reader marvelling at the joy and wonder that inhabit the Narnia books: that enchanted glimpse into something beautiful and eternal.


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The Observer

Peter Stanford

His book is billed as a biography, but it is simultaneously more and less than that. More in that it weaves in a thoughtful, erudite lit-crit appraisal of the writings, plus an unabashed serenade for Lewis’s theology (McGrath is himself a theology professor at King’s College, London and a very public defender of the faith). Less in that, though he covers key episodes familiar from other biographies, McGrath picks and chooses the details that suit his purpose of painting Lewis as a modern prophet.


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The Spectator

Paul Johnson

Several biographies have been written, not to much avail, and now Alister McGrath, a professor of historical theology, has compiled a painstaking, systematic and ungrudging examination of his life and works. Despite all the trouble he has taken, his book lacks charm and does not make one warm to his subject.


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