Wednesday, 6 December 2006

OUT OF THE SHADOWS

Reading yesterday's edition of The Times, David spotted the following article on the issuing of a court injunction to give privacy rights to an adulterer "in the public eye".

He also spotted the (to us) very familiar accompanying illustration...


You see, the Hulton/Getty Images photograph (differently cropped) is also currently adorning the UK paperback edition of Shadowlands, my book about C S Lewis and Joy Davidman -- neither of whom, in case you wondered, were adulterers!


It's a fascinating example of how a single image can suggest several quite different things and I just hope that maybe the racier connotations associated with this photograph will have a subliminal effect on book-shoppers and help boost the sales of my modest little publication!

4 comments:

Scrooge said...

It would be nice to think that someone had selected that image used in the paper with some thought. We know, of course, that it was just a search through the computer library that threw up 'Couples-Artistic' which was then slotted in to fit the space !Maybe though, there was a sub-concious match because surely, Joy WAS, technically, in the eyes of the Catholic Church (who wouldn't have recognised her divorce) an adulterer.Hope it spurs on more sales of Shadowlands though. After only 40 years, it seems to have become a fairy tale based on truth with only your book to acknowledge what really happened.This is a shame really, because the truly fantastic elements of the story were completely missed by the subsequent adaptations.

Brian Sibley said...

Thanks for the nice things you say about my book...

And thank you for raising the question the status of the Lewis-Davidman marriage...

The 'religious technicality' that bothered the Church of England when C S Lewis married Joy Davidman was that a priest performed a 'Christian' marriage ceremony - as you will remember with Joy, at the the time, on her death-bed.

Lewis and Joy were already LEGALLY married following a civil registry-office ceremony but since Joy was a divorced woman the official C of E line was - as it still is - that re-marriage following divorce is not acceptable in the eyes of the Church.

And, yes, to that extent hard-liners very probably viewed Joy's second marriage as 'adulterous'.

Arguments against this argument - of which there are many! - include the fact that when Joy and her first husband (who was, incidentally, a serial adulterer!) were married they had not converted to Chritianity (from Judaism) and so any 'rules' about Christian marriage didn't really apply...

Today, many ministers of the C of E are willing to bless civil re-marriages (as was the case with HRH Prince Charles and Camilla) which to me seems like wanting your cake and eating it --- something which the Church (being subject to all Worldly imperfections) has always been quite good at!

Scrooge said...

Perhaps we pay too much heed to our own petty restrictions. Maybe we should say that, as there is little enough love in the world as it is, we should welcome any union that increases the total.

Brian Sibley said...

And that is precisely why the story of Lewis and Joy has always appealed to me: a story of unexpected love found late in life...