Saturday, January 10, 2009

Jack & Joy: C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman

On this day in 1950, C.S. Lewis received the first letter from Joy Davidman Gresham, an American who would later become his wife via civil ceremony in 1956 then in a religious ceremony in 1957. Joy died of cancer in 1960.

In his diary, Lewis's brother Warren wrote, "Until 10 January 1950 neither of us had ever heard of her; then she appeared in the mail as just another American fan, Mrs. W.L. Gresham from the neighborhood of New York. With, however, the difference that she stood out from the ruck by her amusing and well-written letters, and soon J and she had become 'pen-friends.'"

Their story is told, albeit altered for the sake of film, in two film productions of Shadowlands, but I much prefer the account of Joy's son Douglas Gresham as told in his book Lenten Lands.


Jeff LaSala said...

Cool, and on my birthday, too. :)

Even if it's not perfectly accurate, I really did like Anthony Hopkin's Jack in Shadowlands.

Robert Velarde said...

Happy (belated) birthday! Of the Shadowlands films I prefer the BBC version starring Joss Ackland as Lewis in C.S. Lewis Through the Shadowlands. Ackland, by the way, does an excellent job as Screwtape in an audiobook version.

Hopkins is a fine actor, but his portrayal of Lewis as a dapper, elegant individual is far from what Lewis was like in real life (most of the time Lewis looked as though he just pulled his wardrobe from beneath a pile of dirty laundry!).