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The Narnian: The Life & Imagination of C.S. Lewis

Author(s): Alan Jacobs

ISBN13: 9780060766900

ISBN10: 0060766905

Publisher: HARPER SANFRANCISCO

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  • The White Witch, Aslan, fauns and talking beasts, centaurs and epic battles between good and evil , all these have become a part of our collective imagination through the classic volumes of The Chronicles of Narnia. Over the past half century, children everywhere have escaped into this world and delighted in its wonders and enchantments. Yet what we do know of the man who created Narnia? This biography sheds new light on the making of the original Narnian, C. S. Lewis himself.

    Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential religious writer of his day. An Oxford don and scholar of medieval literature, he loved to debate philosophy at his local pub, and his wartime broadcasts on the basics of Christian belief made him a celebrity in his native Britain. Yet one of the most intriguing aspects of Clive Staples Lewis remains a mystery. How did this middle-aged Irish bachelor turn to the writing of stories for children , stories that would become among the most popular and beloved ever written?

    Alan Jacobs masterfully tells the story of the original Narnian. From Lewiss childhood days in Ireland playing with his brother, Warnie, to his horrific experiences in the trenches during World War I, to his friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien (and other members of the "Inklings"), and his remarkable late-life marriage to Joy Davidman, Jacobs traces the events and people that shaped Lewiss philosophy, theology, and fiction. The result is much more than a conventional biography of Lewis: Jacobs tells the story of a profound and extraordinary imagination. For those who grew up with Narnia, or for those justdiscovering it, The Narnian tells a remarkable tale of a man who knew great loss and great delight, but who knew above all that the world holds far more richness and meaning than the average eye can see.

  • Alan Jacobs



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    There have been a number of biographies of Lewis over the years by the likes of Walter Hooper, A.N. Wilson, and George Sayer. This new study stands out from the lot in that it covers more than just the facts of Lewiss life. Jacobs (literature, Wheaton Coll.) aims to unravel the origins of Lewiss imagination and write a life of the mind. He is interested in tracing how a child from Ulster grew up to become an Oxford don and a great Christian thinker. Jacobs doesnt overlook Lewiss shortcomings either, aptly demonstrating how some of his best work was produced at the most difficult times in his life. Occasionally sympathetic but mostly balanced, this riveting biography is destined to become a standard work on Lewis for some time. Highly recommended. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

    - Library Journal

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The Narnian: The Life & Imagination of C.S. Lewis