Wednesday, August 30, 2006


For those of us who have read A.N Wilson's mendacious biography of C.S Lewis or his goofy book on Jesus this is quite siimply the funniest thing which has ever happened in the entire history of English literature.


Anonymous said...

"If I went through every single letter to check the start of each sentence I wouldn't have written the book."

Well, yes, but wouldn't it be a good idea to check "every single letter" for more explicit signs of forgery? Or are we supposed to congratulate Wilson on his efficiency?


Philip said...

...Yep, that's funny.

How is Wilson's Lewis biography "mendacious"?

Andrew Rilstone said...

Well: there's the bit where Lewis says "I heard two students say that walking barefoot through the grass was Nazi and made you a homosexual; what is wrong with young people nowadays?" which Wilson reports as "Lewis was such an old fogey that he thought that walking barefoot in the grass was Nazi and made you a homosexual"; and there's the bit where he quotes the second hand story of Douglas Gresham catching Jack and Joy in "a compromising position", but doesn't quote what Douglas actually said when Wilson interviewed him (roughly, I never said it, it never happened.) And quite a bit of unattributed gossip.

The analysis of the Narnia books as stories and the critique of Mere Christianity from a theological point of view are, on the other hand, very good.

Brendan Moody said...

I haven't read Wilson's biography, but there's an interesting analysis of it at

Philip said...

Ah, fair enough. I've heard some quite vociferious criticism of Wilson's book from people who disagree with his presentation of Lewis, but I'd not heard that he'd been actively deceitful. (Mind you, I haven't read the book in years.)

Given this latest development, I suppose it's possible that Wilson's just easily confused about what's fact and what isn't. Which isn't, admittedly, what you want in a biographer.