Lewis was, quite simply, a champion of literature and its place in human culture and learning.
Alister McGrath is the latest in a long line of Lewis biographers. I think it’s a rather bold move to write about a subject that has been so well trod, but McGrath contributes something totally new to the study of one of the 20th century’s greatest writers. He provides compelling evidence that Lewis converted to Christianity a year later than scholars have previously thought. It’s astounding that no one has figured this out before, and it gives the book a unique edge.
But is it really necessary to have yet another biography on C.S. Lewis? Well, aside from the re-dating of Lewis’s conversion, C.S. Lewis: A Life is a beautifully written, cohesive, balanced narrative that gives a nice overview of Lewis’s life and works. So, yes, I think it’s a wonderful addition to the bunch and worth every penny of its twenty-five dollar cover price. It’s my favorite book of this year.
For those who are interested, McGrath has also written an academic study about Lewis’s significance as an intellectual. You can read more about it here.