- In celebration of the centenary year of C.S. Lewis's birth, Adey, coauthor of C.S. Lewis's 'Great War,' shows that understanding the two sides of C.S. Lewis's personality - reason and imagination - is the key to understanding his writings. Adey devotes chapters to C.S. Lewis's literary criticism, his fiction for adults and children, his apologetics and his essays, addresses and letters. Adey contends that the roles of dreamer (imagination/romanticism) and mentor (reason/rationalism) manifested themselves throughout C.S. Lewis's writing career, and they were often in conflict in his early manhood. Through a careful analysis of C.S. Lewis's writings, Adey concludes that C.S. Lewis plays the role of dreamer in novels like Perelandra and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As a moralist and rationalist, the mentor C.S. Lewis is to be found in his apologetic works like The Great Divorce and Miracles. Though Adey's prose is engaging and accessible, his book is an unremarkable study that reveals little new about C.S. Lewis's life and work.
→ From Publishers Weekly
- Adey (Class & Idol in the English Hymn, Univ. of Washington, 1989) devotes a chapter to each of the types of writing that C.S. Lewis produced: literary history, criticism, literary theory, adult fiction, children's literature, poetry, letters, and essays and speeches. While recognizing his shortcomings, Adey defends C.S. Lewis as a solid literary historian and critic, setting C.S. Lewis in the context of his times and the literary world he inhabited, making use of much unpublished material. He defends C.S. Lewis against literary attacks that took place during his lifetime and after his death. While an excellent study of C.S. Lewis's literary output, this work would be tough going for anyone not already familiar with C.S. Lewis's oeuvre. For an introduction to C.S. Lewis, one should seek out George Sayer's Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times (Crossroad, 1994) or Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper's C.S. Lewis: A Biography (Harvest, 1995).
→ From Library Journal
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