Ben: Why do you suppose it is that so little attention has been paid in the past to Lewis’ Irish background and upbringing, especially when it comes to his religious background, growing up in an environment where the Lewis’ and the Tolkien’s of this world were unlikely to fraternize or be friends?
Alister: It’s partly because previous biographers weren’t really familiar with it. Nor had Lewis’s full correspondence – which makes clear the importance of his Irish identity, especially in his later period – been published. I had the advantage over previous biographers of both knowing – not just knowing about – Ireland, and having access to his full correspondence. Both helped me to see the importance of his Irish roots.