The growing appeal
dear friend Tolkien felt wounded and abandoned by Lewis – although Lewis tended to blame Tolkien for the split.
“He chose friends very carefully, people who were brilliant, who he could relate to and who gave him something. But he always kept his distance from them. He didn’t tell them everything about himself, he kept secrets. He didn’t even tell his closest friend Tolkien that he had married Joy Davidman.”
But, I ask, how would McGrath have got on with Lewis – would they have been friends? “I don’t think we would have got on very well. We wouldn’t have had that much in common. I tend to see Lewis as a trophy of grace. God could even use this strange and awkward man. Lewis had a lot of rough edges.”
And on those rough edges hang quite a tale. If you’ll excuse the use of words, McGrath’s book lays bare Lewis’ odd sexual and family life. And these rough edges are rather refreshing.
Today’s evangelical leader has to be squeaky clean – pretty wife who shares the ministry, but not the good stuff, three kids, nice teeth and never touching a drop of the hard stuff. God forbid if an evangelical leader smoked!
Step forward CS Lewis – pipe smoker, heavy drinker, morning tippler, lover of his dead best friend’s mother and a secretive man who was rather economical with the truth.