In the five decades since, Lewis' life and work – from that much-loved septet of children's classics, 'The Chronicles of Narnia', to a pew's-length of theological books – have been increasingly discussed and analysed by writers and commentators until the number of books about C S Lewis have grown to vastly outnumber the substantial number he wrote himself.
With so much Lewisiana out there, anyone playing catch-up might not be entirely sure where to begin. Well, I have come across the perfect solution: a new book in the 'Brief Guides' series...
Paul Simpson's well-researched, highly accessible and very readable A Brief Guide to C. S. Lewis is an affectionate and enthusiastic tribute to Lewis' work, providing a concise yet fact-filled introduction to Lewis' fiction, an overview of his other writings, a biography and a look at all the many different versions of his stories that have appeared on radio, TV, stage and film.
In doing so, the author draws on new interviews with (to quote the publisher's blurb) "some of the many talented people who have worked on these adaptations". In compliance with current requirements for transparency, I need to declare an interest in that I am among those whom Mr Simpson interviewed about my radio dramatisations of The Chronicles of Narnia, my book Shadowlands and the various incarnations through which that particular project passed on its journey from small to big screen.
Mention of Shadowlands – the story of the love between Lewis and the American writer, Joy Davidman, and their battles with the grisly spectre of cancer – prompts me (if you'll pardon the indulgence) to mention the re-publication, today, of that particular volume with a new introduction and a most generous Foreword by Alistair McGrath, C S Lewis' most recent biographer.
You can order Paul Simpson's A Brief Guide to C S Lewis here.
And get your copy of Shadowlands: The True Story of C S Lewis and Joy Davidman here.