04 August, 2012

Colin Duriez

A sort of a biography of Lewis and Tolkien and the points at which their lives intersected. I did know that they were friends ~ i would think that almost everyone knows about the Inklings and the readings and talks that were done within that group of friends ~ but i don’t think that i knew previously that there was a work element in their friendship, as they both held similar views on the teaching of English and affected the Oxford School, or that Tolkien was able to influence Lewis’s move to Cambridge after he had been turned down for a professorship at Oxford several times. Different backgrounds the men had, though of similar ages (Tolkien was about six years older, i think), brought up in radically different locations, yet with similar experiences in that both experienced early loss of one (Lewis) or both parents and the dislocation that must involve.

Duriez is quite an accomplished writer, with a lot of expertise, it would appear, in Lewis-ology (surely there’s a word for that? There’s certainly an entire scholarly industry built around the man. Lewisania?), and this book reflects the work he has put into it ~ the subtitle seems to undersell it, as this is far more than just a “Story”. Apart from anything else, there are some sixty pages of back matter, which give some indication of the work he has put into the book. Worth my time; i’m glad i found it and read it.

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