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The Lewis Legacy-Issue 77, Summer 1998

Not an Accurate Lion Original Article

In the spring 1998 issue of The Canadian C. S. Lewis Journal, editor Roger Stronstad reviews Terry Glaspey’s 1996 book Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C. S, Lewis. Stronstad reports that the first half of the book, an overview of Lewis’s life, is filled with errors. He gives some examples.
1. In 1907 the Lewis family moved into Little Lea, a grand old house. (In
1905 they moved into Little Lea, a brand new house.)

2. Lewis purchased Phantastes, by George MacDonald, in Great Bookham train
station. (He bought it at Leatherhead station.)

3. Lewis was called to serve in World War I. (Lewis volunteered.)

4. In the early 1920s Warren and many of Lewis’s friends wondered what he
saw in Janie Moore. (There is no evidence for this.)

5. Lewis was a rumpled professor at Oxford. (Lewis became a professor at
Cambridge, not at Oxford, where he was a tutor.)

6. Screwtape Letters became Lewis’s most popular book. (The Lion, the Witch
and the Wardrobe is Lewis’s most popular book.)

7. Dorothy Sayers was one of the Inklings. (She was not.)

8. Joy’s passport expired in 1960. (Her temporary right to English
residency expired in 1956. Her passport did not expire.)

9. Lewis married Joy at her bedside in 1956. (That marriage took place in 1957.)

As books and articles about Lewis proliferate, careless errors and false assumptions proliferate also. Too many authors rush into print wihout doing their homework. As Stronstad ruefully concludes, “Lewis deserves better treatment…”