Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English literature at Oxford University until 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. His major contributions in literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature and popular theology brought him international renown and acclaim. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year.
C S Lewis is known worldwide for his Chronicles of Narnia, but he wrote more than 30 other books and became renowned as one of the greatest spiritual writers of the mid-20th century. Some of the influences that went into those works can be found here, even though Lewis was in the period 1922-27 still an atheist and wrapped up in the world of Oxford academia. Walter Hooper, the writer's literary executor and former personal secretary, has condensed the diaries to take out the more 'banal' extracts. Banality and Lewis are words that do not normally go together, and certainly in these five years of his life we find a man flexing his emotional muscles in a big way. A gregarious character - though unpopular with some because of his erudition and sharp observation - Lewis kept a diary at the insistence of his friend and probable lover Janie King Moore, who was old enough to be his mother. The intimacies between them have long been the cause of speculation but no answers are to be found here. That is perhaps because Mrs Moore insisted on having the diaries read to her each evening and valued her chaste reputation. These diaries allow us to see the lively, vivacious youth who later became a brilliant writer during his naive formative years. They do not form a great work of literature in themselves but they do grant us a glimpse of the descriptive powers that would soon be put to such eloquent use. (Kirkus UK)