A. N. Wilson’s life of C. S. Lewis comes only a year or so after George B. Sayer’s Jack: C. S. Lewis and His Times.[1] It is at least the fourth substantial biography of Lewis to have appeared in recent years. It does not add a great deal of “hard” information, though there are some valuable memories collected from conversations Wilson has had with friends and acquaintances of Lewis and a vividly independent reappraisal of the known facts. Perhaps it should be called a biographical portrait rather than a full-scale biography. It is adequately documented, but you would not go to it as to a reference book. Indeed, none of the existing biographies is exactly that, and Wilson’s is much the most freshly written of them all.

It is structured on a simplified Freudian model, unpretentious and sensitively handled, which...


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