C.S. Lewis: Recommended Resources
Since the number of books about C. S. Lewis has risen to flood levels, we asked the experts in this issue to give us their recommendations for the best ones.
The unanimous choice for the "must-have" reference book on C. S. Lewis's life and work is Walter Hooper's C. S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide (HarperCollins, 1996). Hooper's authoritative 940-page volume gives a thorough overview of Lewis's life, major works, key ideas, and bibliography, as well as a helpful "Who's Who" and "What's What."
In addition to the numerous collections of Lewis's writings that Walter Hooper has already edited, he has spent several decades collecting and editing Lewis's letters, culminating in the definitive three-volume Collected Letters published by HarperCollins (2004, 2005). While you're perusing Lewis's extensive correspondence, don't forget his Letters to Children, edited by Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead (Simon & Schuster, 1995).
Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis, written by Lewis's former student and friend George Sayer (Crossway, 1988, 1994), is generally acknowledged to be the best overall biography. David C. Downing's The Most Reluctant Convert (InterVarsity, 2002) illuminates Lewis's intellectual journey to faith, Lyle W. Dorsett's Seeking the Secret Place: The Spiritual Formation of C. S. Lewis (Brazos Press, 2004) traces Lewis's spiritual development, and Alan Jacobs's new biography, The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis (HarperCollins, 2005), explores his imaginative development.
Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham does a wonderful job of humanizing Lewis in his biography, Jack's Life: The Life Story of C. S. Lewis (Broadman & Holman, 2005), a book that would be appropriate for younger readers as well. C. S. Lewis: Images ...