C.S. Lewis: A Biography

A. N. Wilson, Author W. W. Norton & Company $25 (334p) ISBN 978-0-393-02813-3
One might see the life of Christian apologist Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) as a Freudian case history. As an Oxford undergrad, he took up with Janie Moore, 25 years his senior, whom he passed off as his ``adopted mother''; she filled a gap left by the death of his mother when he was nine. When Moore, his companion for over 30 years, died, Lewis married Joy Davidman, an aspiring poet-novelist dying of cancer who had two small sons--her circumstances parallel to those of Lewis's own mother. Wilson ( Tolstoy ), though attuned to psychoanalytic theory, avoids reductionist psychobiography in this absorbing, intimate portrait of a secretive figure. He presents Lewis as a Romantic egoist in the tradition of Wordsworth and Yeats, as a seeker who transformed his obsession with childhood memories into moral fables for our age. Primary sources yield fresh insights into Lewis's Oxford circle, the Inklings, and particularly into his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien. Photos. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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