The Jack I Knew
When Douglas Gresham was eight years old, his mother, Joy Davidman, introduced him and his brother David to the man who would eventually become their stepfather: C. S. Lewis, known to his friends and family as "Jack." Gresham chronicled this remarkable relationship in Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman & C. S. Lewis(Macmillan, 1988). In addition to serving as the Creative and Artistic Director of the C. S. Lewis Company and co-producer of the upcoming film version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Gresham has recently published a new biography of Lewis, Jack's Life: The Life Story of C. S. Lewis(Broadman & Holman, 2005). In it, he calls Jack "the finest man and best Christian I have ever known."
In the introduction to your new book, you write, "This is merely the simple recounting of the story of what I believe to be the extraordinary life of an extraordinary man." What are you trying to offer in your biography of Jack that is different from the other biographies of him that have been published?
All too often, Jack's personality and his traits of honor, courage, duty, and commitment seem to get lost in the verbiage that clutters the pages of books about him. His wonderful sense of humor, his consciousness of his own sinfulness and of his salvation from it—these are missing from most writings about him, yet they were the essential characteristics of his personality.
I suppose I have tried to write about what sort of man he really was.
Your book focuses on the private, home life of Jack, with his public life taking place off stage, so to speak. In what ways did Jack have a far more demanding domestic life than most Oxford students and dons of his day?
Jack's unconditional acceptance of the responsibility to care ...