Saturday 3 January 2015

TV biography of CS Lewis by AN Wilson

For UK residents, this excellent 1 hour biographical documentary on CS Lewis is aviable as a podcast from the BBC for the next four weeks:

This is beautifully filmed and very well constructed - and indeed includes some surprising and novel elements such as an interview with June Flewett who as a child was a wartime evacuee at The Kilns, and much loved by both Jack and Warnie; and an interview with actor Robert Hardy who was a pupil at Magdalen College.

The present is AN Wilson, undeniably a heavyweight expert on English Literature; and one who - although still presenting as a strange and mannered personage - has mellowed with age from the almost-unbearable rampant smugness and snobbery of his youth.

Wilson wrote a mostly-bad biography of Lewis about 25 years ago, at a time when he was divorcing his wife/ losing his Christian faith - and developing a spiteful animus against the subject of his biography. But since then he has publicly recovered his Christianity and apparently developed a warmer appreciation of Lewis. I would dissent from several of his biographical interpretations, but they not unreasonable.

Anyway, Wilson does an excellent job here - getting a great deal of information into the hour without any sense of hurrying - and this is one of the best documentaries I've seen for a while.

Lewis-ites should try and watch it. 

(An alternative availability of the show is listed in the comments below)


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