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.
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
Harry Lee Poe’s biography of Lewis’s early years is an engaging book filled with glimpses of the celebrated author that cannot be found in any other biography of Lewis.
—Lyle W. Dorsett, Director Emeritus, Marion E. Wade Center; Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism Emeritus, Beeson Divinity School; author, And God Came In and Seeking the Secret Place
The Child is father of the Man.’ Anyone who doubts this observation by Wordsworth should read this excellent new biography of C. S. Lewis. Poe goes into great depth, drawing heavily on unpublished sources, recounting the first two decades of Lewis’s life in splendid detail. Even seasoned readers of Lewis will find much that is new and illuminating in this readable biography.
—David C. Downing, Codirector, Marion E. Wade Center
Harry Lee Poe is the Charles Colson Chair of Faith and Culture at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, and author of a number of books. He is an indirect descendant of the family of Edgar Allan Poe, and president of the Poe Foundation. He was the director of the Poe writers conference in 2007.