How much do I want to read more? 5/10

This biography underlines three parts of the same man:
1/ A creative writer known for the fabulous world of Narnia
2/ A man who became a faithful Christian in his mid-life and had been of great influence as an apologist.
3/ A lecturer on English literature

I just got started reading. At the beginning we get to see the importance of books in his early age to pump up his imagination:
On many rainy days, he found solace and company in reading these works and roaming freely across imagined literary landscapes. The books so liberally scattered throughout the “New House” included works of romance and mythology, which opened the windows of Lewis’s young imagination.


Praise

[quote, N. T. WRIGHT]
Many of us thought we knew most of what there was to know about C. S. Lewis. Alister McGrath’s new biography makes use of archives and other material that clarify, deepen, and further explain the many sides of one of Christianity’s most remarkable apologists. This is a penetrating and illuminating study.

[quote, LYLE W. DORSETT]
For people who might wonder if we need another biography of C. S. Lewis, McGrath’s crisp, insightful, and at times quite original portrait of the celebrated Oxford Christian will change their minds.

PREFACE

Who is C. S. Lewis (1898–1963)? For many, probably most, Lewis is the creator of the fabulous world of Narnia, the author of some of the best-known and most discussed children’s books of the twentieth century, which continue to attract enthusiastic readers and sell in the millions.
Fifty years after his death, Lewis remains one of the most influential popular writers of our age.

But there is far more to C. S. Lewis than this.
Lewis the Christian writer and apologist, concerned to communicate and share his rich vision of the intellectual and imaginative power of the Christian faith—a faith he discovered in the middle of his life and found rationally and spiritually compelling. Much to the annoyance of some, his Mere Christianity is now often cited as the most influential religious work of the twentieth century.

Yet there is a third aspect to Lewis, perhaps the least familiar to most of his admirers and critics: the distinguished Oxford don and literary critic who packed lecture theatres with his unscripted reflections on English literature, and who went on to become the first occupant of the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge. Few might now read his Preface to “Paradise Lost” (1942); in its day, however, it set a new standard through its clarity and insight.

Many commentators back in the 1960s believed that Lewis’s fame was transitory. His inevitable decline into obscurity, many then believed, was just a matter of time—a decade at most. It is for this reason that the final chapter of this work tries to explain, not simply why Lewis became such a figure of authority and influence, but why he remains so today.

This biography sets out, not to praise Lewis or condemn him, but to understand him—above all, his ideas, and how these found expression in his writings.

Like Lewis, I was an atheist as a younger man, before discovering the intellectual riches of the Christian faith.

Chapter 1: The Soft Hills of Down: An Irish Childhood

Surrounded by Books: Hints of a Literary Vocation

One of Lewis’s most persistent memories of his youth is that of a home packed with books. Albert Lewis might have worked as a police solicitor to earn his keep, but his heart lay in the reading of literature.

On many rainy days, he found solace and company in reading these works and roaming freely across imagined literary landscapes. The books so liberally scattered throughout the “New House” included works of romance and mythology, which opened the windows of Lewis’s young imagination.

Solitude: Warnie Goes to England

Everything we know about Lewis around 1905 suggests a lonely, introverted boy with hardly any friends, who found pleasure and fulfilment in the solitary reading of books.