The untold story of the woman who married C. S. Lewis and inspired the movieShadowlands
When Joy Davidman died of cancer in 1960, C. S. Lewis, her husband of only four years, wrote one of the great twentieth-century classics about loss and grief. Who was the American woman about whom Lewis says in A Grief Observed, -It is incredible how much happiness, even how much gaiety, we sometimes had together after all hope was gone-? Who was this woman whose love story with Lewis became the play, and later the major movie, Shadowlands?
Although best known as Lewis's wife, Joy Davidman was an accomplished writer in her own right, with several published works to her credit. Out of My Bone tells Davidman's life story in her own words through her numerous letters -- most never published before -- and her autobiographical essay -The Longest Way Round.-
Gathered and expertly introduced by Don W. King, these letters reveal Davidman's persistent search for truth, her curious, incisive mind (-lithe and quick and muscular as a leopard, - Lewis later said), and her arresting, sharply penetrating voice. They chronicle her journey from secular Judaism to atheism to Communism to Christianity and offer insightful glimpses into life -- both literary and everyday -- in the America and England of her time. Davidman also writes about the struggles of her earlier marriage to William Lindsay Gresham and of trying to reconcile her career goals with her life as mother of two sons. Most poignantly, perhaps, these letters expose Davidman's mental, emotional, and spiritual state as she confronted the cancer that eventually took her life at age 45.
Moving and riveting, Out of My Bone reveals anew the singular woman whom C. S. Lewis deeply loved and who deeply influenced his later writings.
Don W. King is professor of English at Montreat College and editor of Christian Scholar's Review. He is the author of over sixty articles on C. S. Lewis, and his other books include C. S. Lewis, Poet and Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter.