Item description for C. S. Lewis: A Life by Michael White...
Arguably the most influential Christian writer of the twentieth century, C. S. Lewis founded his literary reputation on the now classic critical work, The Allegory of Love. Within the next five years he would garner international acclaim as the author of The Screwtape Letters and Out of the Silent Planet, the first of three science fiction novels that owe much to his dynamic friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien. In 1950, with the publication of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he would win the hearts of children worldwide. Yet Clive Staples Lewis's path to renown not only as a groundbreaking literary critic and novelist but also as a Christian theologian was at times intellectually and emotionally chaotic, as award-winning author Michael White reveals in this probing new biography. He follows the young Lewis, a nervous man profoundly depressed by the death of his mother, in a spiritually tormented course that would take him to the upper ranks of English letters. He deconstructs Lewis's novels and religious works to reveal the frequently tormented soul and imagination from which they sprung. Most importantly, he delves into the mythos that has long surrounded Lewis and rediscovers the man beneath.
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Studio: Da Capo Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.8" Height: 1.3" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Sep 20, 2004
Publisher Da Capo Press
ISBN 0786713763 ISBN13 9780786713769
Availability 0 units.
More About Michael White
Michael White is a former science editor for British "GQ "who has taught science at d'Overbroeck's College in Oxford. His other books include the international best-seller "Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science" (with John Gribbin), the award-winning "Isaac Newton: the Last Sorcerer, Life Out There," and "Weird Science," He is currently working on a book about scientific rivalry from Newton to Bill Gates. White lives with his wife and family near London.
Reviews - What do customers think about C. S. Lewis: A Life?
An atheist writes on C.S. Lewis Feb 2, 2007
White, Michael. 2004. C.S. Lewis: A Life. NY: Carroll & Graf.
One might wonder how the author, an atheist, would treat Lewis, once an atheist as well, but known by his writings as a foremost Christian apologist, author of the Narnia series, science fiction, scholarly studies, and other works. White generally treats Lewis with respect and clarity, although he consistently debunks any saintly attributes that Christians may hold of him. White is, for example, intrigued with the complex relationship of Lewis to his father and brother (Warnie), as well as with Mrs. Moore (whom he took responsibility for after her son was killed in war) and Arthur Greeves (a lifelong friend who was a homosexual), and embeds them throughout the biography. He ably discusses Lewis' scholarship and friendship with his male literary friends, the Inklings, especially focusing on the ensuing social distance between Tolkien (whom White has also written a book about) and Lewis. White is biased--for example, he describes Wheaton college as consisting of conservative Christians, classified as bigoted, hard-hearted and old-fashion. He wonders how such people can "morph" Lewis, who drank, smoked and told bawdy jokes, into the esteemed evangelical he is recognized as today. In a usually good review of the life of Lewis, discrepancies and biases of this sort turn up. Nevertheless, I would commend Lewis followers to read the book, if only because it presents him in a more negative and human light than other biographies.
A superficial and uninformative biography Dec 29, 2004
Skip this one. Michael White's biography of C.S. Lewis is riddled with groundless guesswork in place of innovative research or thoughtful interpretation. In describing Lewis's early life,for example, he refers to Lewis's "overactive imagination," and comments that Lewis listened to "pointless, meaningless" sermons when he was taken to church as a boy. On what, exactly, does he base such conclusions? These are the sorts of unverified, opinionated comments that even a freshman English student would be expected to avoid in his research, and they are peppered throughout the book. Further, the prose itself is colorless. One wonders at the sheer lack of vocabulary. The book offers nothing that might flesh out the intellectual context of Lewis's best known works. This biography is a waste of time.