First of all, I’m reading Colin Duriez’ short book, TOLKIEN AND C.S. LEWIS: THE GIFT OF FRIENDSHIP (2003 by HiddenSpring Press) in which he explores not only the writing of both men and their faith in Christ, but also their friendship and how it developed out of scholarship.
Secondly, this brought to mind a contemporary Englishman who has made his career into one of promoting a loathing of Christians: Philip Pullman. I’ve noted in his interviews that while he has sometime claimed himself atheist and sometime agnostic, (but all the time humanist); he hasn’t taken many swings at the basic tenets of Christianity in his children’s books. (He does in his newest, though I haven’t read it yet and I’m on the library waiting list for THE GOOD MAN JESUS AND THE SCOUNDREL CHRIST, which is reviewed in the Guardian below.)
Other people have answered Pullman’s many claims about what Lewis wrote, what he meant and what Pullman thinks of him.4 I won’t go there except to point out that where Tolkien and Lewis were both Oxford dons and graduated from their alma maters with honors, Pullman barely squeaked out of Exeter College in Oxford with what he calls “a Third class BA in 1968…it was the year they stopped giving fourth class degrees otherwise I’d have got one of those".
I’m going to look at these works of fantasy from a slightly different point of view.
First of all, I’d like to point out that
Secondly, both Lewis’ and Tolkien’s works grew out of their experiences in World War I and World War II – the horror of fighting and being wounded as soldiers in WWI and the terror inspired by the Nazi invasion of Poland and other European countries and the English mobilization against it in WWII.
Last of all is perhaps my most serious counter-accusation: neither Lewis nor Tolkien set out to become celebrities. Both preferred the lives they led as
Others of interest:
First time I could find written record of