Change in 1997 Edition of Sayer Biography Jack

The Lewis Legacy-Issue 75, Winter 1998 The C. S. Lewis Foundation for Truth in Publishing

The 1997 paperback edition of George Sayer’s excellent biography Jack has a new introduction. It begins, “Eight years have passed since the first edition of this book was published. I have written this introduction to take into account some new information about C. S. Lewis that has come into my possession, and to refute certain false and misleading allegations that have been written about him.”

Most surprising: “I have had to alter my opinion of Lewis’s relationship with Mrs. Moore. In chapter eight of this book I wrote that I was uncertain about whether they were lovers. Now after conversations with Mrs. Moore’s daughter, Maureen, and a consideration of the way in which their bedrooms were arranged at The Kilns, I am quite certain that they were. They did not share a room, but Lewis had a room which, until an outside staircase was built some years later, could be entered only by going through Mrs. Moore’s bedroom.” [See p. 2.] Sayer used to differ with Lindskoog on this.

Sayer says of portrayals of Lewis, “They are nearly all to some extent distortions. Thus I really cannot recognize the C. S. Lewis of the immensely successful film Shadowlands, which stars Anthony Hopkins, as the man I knew.” He objects more strongly to A. N. Wilson’s best selling biography and David Holbrook’s The Skeleton in the Wardrobe.

Sayer, a Roman Catholic, says “Whole books have been written to demonstrate that he was really a fundamentalist or even in his heart a Roman Catholic. He would have loathed this — loathed too the efforts that have been made to capture him for one sect or another and done what he could to resist them.” [In fact, fundamentalists do not try to claim Lewis. That popular misconception can be traced to Walter Hooper.]