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Son of Helen Joy Davidman & Stepson of C.S. Lewis
Co-producer of The Chronicles of Narnia to be released December 9, 2005
Former broadcaster with TVWLtd., Australia & Australian Broadcasting Commission
Owner of the Rathvinden House, their in-house ministry of Christian hospitality, counseling, and psychotherapy
CBN.com To many, Lewis was a literary genius, but to Douglas Gresham, Lewis was "the finest man and the best Christian" he has ever known. There have been many accounts of the life of C.S. Lewis, or Jack as he liked to be called. However, Douglas, who is the stepson of Lewis, wants people to see the more personal side of the well-known author. Douglas says portrayals of Lewis seem to show a very serious man who doesn’t seem to have much joy, when in fact Lewis was a very kind, humorous man. Douglas also says that not many people know about Lewis’
time served in WWI and that it greatly influenced what he wrote. Gresham explains that his memoir of Lewis is not a scholarly work filled with academic analysis, but a "simple recounting of the story of what I believe to be the extraordinary life of extraordinary man."
Though many can only view C.S. Lewis as a profound apologist and literary genius, Douglas remembers that he was never able to associate Lewis with "great men" but, instead, found him to be very ordinary. He comments on Lewis's especially compassionate nature and goodness, in terms of virtue and quality. He also describes Lewis' Christian walk as being one of great commitment. Though Lewis wasn't an "excitable" man, his love for God was clearly evident to all those who knew him.
Douglas Gresham was eight years old when he met the extraordinary mind behind "The Chronicles of Narnia." He eventually lived as Lewis' stepson in England for many years and says, "I am sometimes asked what it is like living in the shadow of such a great man, and I always point out that Jack did not leave a shadow behind him in a glow. If I am able to reflect even the slightest spark of that glow, I am more than happy to do so."
Douglas Gresham was born in 1945, the second son of novelist William Gresham & poet/novelist Joy Davidman Gresham. His parents' marriage ended in 1954 due to his father's alcoholism, infidelity, and involvement with the cult of Dianetics. [His mother, Joy, went from atheism to agnosticism to Christianity.] Joy decided to take her two sons to England where she had previously enjoyed a six month trip. During that trip Joy had met her literary hero, Clive Staples Lewis (who didn't like his name and as a child changed it to Jacksie in honor of a small dog that he cherished), and thus, on her return to England, paid him frequent visits. In 1956 Joy and Lewis were married. It is well known that Lewis, a 58-year old life-long bachelor, originally married Joy in a civil ceremony so she could remain in England after her visa expired. They truly shared a special love for one another. This love only intensified after Joy was stricken with terminal cancer and the two renewed their vows at her hospital bedside. Joy died in the summer of 1960. Douglas continued to live with Lewis and says Lewis was never the same after Joy’s death. The next three years proved to be just as trying a Douglas’ father committed suicide in America followed by Lewis’ fatal heart attack in 1963. Shortly following this sweep of tragedy, Douglas at 21 married “Merrie” Conan-Davies and settled in her native Australia while pursuing various occupations including farming and radio broadcasting. During their time in Australia, Douglas and Merrie had five children, one of whom they adopted from Korea. Now Douglas and his family live in County Carlow, Ireland where he works full-time for the C.S. Lewis literary estate. He completely surrendered his life to Christ in 1990.
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