The Man Who Created Narnia: The Story of C.S. Lewis
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
Lisa Arsenault is an elementary-school teacher in Ajax, Ontario.
C.S. Lewis, famous as the creator of the Narnia Chronicles, has been the
subject of many biographies written for adults. This one, written for
adolescent fans, is a clear, straightforward account of his childhood,
family relationships, marriage, and several careers (as a professor at
both Oxford and Cambridge, a prolific writer, and a radio lecturer).
His Christianity is central to any understanding of Lewis’s
character; Coren successfully explains Lewis’s particular brand of
“muscular” Christianity (with its almost sensuous enjoyment of
earthly pleasures—an important theme throughout the Narnia stories)
and establishes that his epicurean philosophy was not at odds with his
faith. Love came to Lewis late in life, and the joy he felt at this
unexpected experience is handled in a manner suitable for young readers.
Readers seeking the sources of Lewis’s inspiration for the Narnia
Chronicles (apart from the obvious Christian symbolism) will be
disappointed. Coren confines himself to facts rather than speculation,
and we are left to wonder precisely what experiences, fantasies, and
dreams led to the creation of Lewis’s masterpieces. Nonetheless, this
is a well-written and comprehensive overview of Lewis’s life that is
replete with photographs and an extensive further-reading list.