The writings of C. S. Lewis cannot be fully understood apart from a grasp of his formative adolescent years. Unfortunately, many biographies speed over this important season of Lewis’s life. Slowing down to focus on his younger years, this detailed portrait of “Jack” Lewis helps us discover seeds of what would inform his later writings—such as his delight in literature, his key relationships, his suffering and struggles, and his intense pursuit of joy. The chapters unfold the habits and tastes he developed while at boarding school, in college, and in the army, revealing where we see these themes appear in his works—bringing to life the man readers have come to know as C. S. Lewis. Volume 1 in a trilogy offering a comprehensive view of the life of C. S. Lewis.
Table of Contents:
Young Jack Lewis at Wynyard School: 1908–1910
Off to Malvern: 1910–1914
Making a Friend: Spring 1914
Jack and War Come to Great Bookham: Fall 1914
Reading for Kirkpatrick and for Pleasure: 1914
War and Romance: 1915
A Conflicted Soul: 1916
Oxford and War: 1917–19189
The End of Youth
“A unique coming-of-age biography of C. S. Lewis that stands out in revealing how his early life shaped the future Lewis: body, mind, and soul. It vividly captures the whole person of Lewis—not only an aspect of him but also the variety and depth of his defining features. The result is an eye-opening, important, and rich portrait that benefits from the teeming knowledge and thorough research of the author. It includes the often-neglected, lasting significance of the people who impacted the often-solitary young Lewis, with illuminating flash-forwards to the future Lewis.”
Colin Duriez, author,C. S. Lewis: A Biography of FriendshipandTolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship
“Harry Lee Poe’sBecoming C. S. Lewisbreaks new ground in the study of Lewis’s life. Specifically, Poe concentrates on the early years of Lewis’s life—an area largely neglected or glossed over by other biographers—and explores in rich detail the people, ideas, and experiences that shaped Lewis’s adult life. Mining the fertile cache of material available in the Lewis Papers—the eleven-volume archive compiled by Lewis’s brother, Warren—Poe offers convincing arguments about how Lewis’s earliest interests find expression in his adult writings. The themes found later in Lewis’s magisterial works had their inception in Lewis’s youthful writings, particularly in his lifelong correspondence with his boyhood friend Arthur Greeves. Readers intent on obtaining a deeper understanding of the most important Christian writer of the last hundred years will findBecoming C. S. Lewisa welcomed treasure trove.”
Don King,author,C. S. Lewis, Poet;Plain to the Inward Eye; andThe Collected Poems of C. S. Lewis
“Many fans of C. S. Lewis will savor having so much detail on his early years gathered together in one biography. This portrait of an artist as a young man is based on remarkably rich information that we have concerning Lewis’s formative experiences and influences. Harry Lee Poe adds much helpful context and commentary.”
George M. Marsden,author,C. S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity”: A Biography
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