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He wept with his stepfather when Joy died of cancer, and led the mourners behind the casket when husband followed wife to the graveyard. Douglas Howard Gresham (born November 10, 1945)[1] is an American British stage and voice-over actor, biographer, film producer, and executive record producer. Lewis’ stepsons David and Douglas Gresham.Douglas joined us from his home in Malta to talk about the book, his relationship with the author, and The Logos’s Theatre’s upcoming stage adaptation.Listen below! [27] Other works that she influenced or helped with include Reflections on the Psalms (1958) and The Four Loves (1960). Though Davidman was deeply in love with Lewis, there was no reciprocation on his side. During the marriage, Gresham wrote his most famous work Nightmare Alley in 1946, while Davidman did freelance work and cared for the house and children. The news from Dallas had stunned pupils during dinner at his boarding school in Surrey. Gresham's mother had become friends with C. S. Lewis through correspondence, and the friendship blossomed, eventually leading to marriage in 1956. Gresham has written an autobiography titled Lenten Lands, which chronicles his life from birth to the age of 28 in 1973. You would be surprised (or perhaps you would not?) [13], She married her first husband, author William Lindsay Gresham, on 24 August 1942 after becoming acquainted with him through their mutual interest in communism. [9][37], As a widower, Lewis wrote A Grief Observed which he published under the pseudonym of N. W. Clerk, describing his feelings and paying tribute to his wife. [46], sfn error: no target: CITEREFLionel1998 (, "Don King (ed. For her book of poems, Letter to a Comrade, she won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition in 1938 and the Russell Loines Award for Poetry in 1939. [18] Gresham had at first similar Christian convictions as Joy, but soon rejected them; he continued to have extramarital affairs and developed an interest in tarot cards and the I Ching. The son of Joy Davidman, Douglas watched his mother and “Jack” fall in love and marry. Lewis influenced her work and conversion, and became her second husband after her permanent relocation to England in 1956. About Douglas Gresham in brief. The Major in turn passed the estate to Douglas and David ten years later. [20][21], Confessing to be a "complete Anglomaniac", Davidman returned to England with her sons in November 1953. [10], For her collection of poems, Letter to a Comrade, she won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition in 1938. [3], After finishing high school at Evander Childs High School at fourteen years old,[7] she read books at home until she entered Hunter College in the Bronx at the age of fifteen, earning a BA degree at nineteen. "[4] In 1939, she won the Russell Loines Award for Poetry for this same book of poems. Joy later married author C.S. 30 of … She read H. G. Wells's The Outline of History at the age of eight and was able to play a score of Chopin on the piano, after having read it once and not looking at it again. [42][43] A cinema film version was released in 1993, with Anthony Hopkins as Jack (C. S. Lewis) and Debra Winger (in an Academy Award-nominated performance) as Joy Davidman. Douglas Gresham found his way. Bill Gresham had become disillusioned with the Communist Party while volunteering in Spain during the Spanish Civil War to fight fascism and influenced Davidman to leave the party after the birth of their sons. They had two sons, David Lindsay Gresham (born 27 March 1944) and Douglas Howard Gresham (born 10 November 1945). Though his mother converted to Christianity, much of his family is of Jewish descent. It sold 3,000 copies, double that of US sales. Douglas “Neil” Horton. Lewis vividly. "[32] Davidman underwent several operations and radiation treatment for the cancer. As a boy, Gresham lived at "The Kilns," the Oxfordshire home Lewis shared with his brother Warnie, and then Davidman. Brimfield – Sylvia “Rose” Wenger, 90, of Brimfield, passed away on November 4, 2020. Helen Joy Davidman was born on 18 April 1915 into a secular middle-class Jewish family in New York City, of Polish-Jewish and Ukrainian-Jewish descent. [36], Upon leaving the hospital a week later, she was taken to The Kilns and soon enjoyed a remission from the cancer. Appears as a character in William Nicholson 's play Shadowlands. [40] Nicholson's work drew in part from Douglas Gresham's book Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and CS Lewis. It was at this time that Lewis recognised that he had fallen in love with her, realising how despondent he would feel to lose her. In ashes, yet with hopes that she, In the book, he recounts his wavering faith due to the overwhelming grief which he suffered after Davidman's death, and his struggle to regain that faith. Joy was the only woman whom he had met... who had a brain which matched his own in suppleness, in width of interest, and in analytical grasp, and above all in humour and a sense of fun. She first met him in August 1952, when she made a trip to the United Kingdom, after a two-year correspondence with him. They have five children: three sons, James, Timothy, and Dominick, and two daughters, Lucinda, and Melodie. Douglas Gresham remembers well the day that JFK was shot. [23] Davidman found a flat in London and enrolled David and Douglas at Dane Court Preparatory School,[24] but she soon ran into financial difficulties when Gresham stopped sending money for support. He attended Rockwood Grade School and Gresham Union High School. "[5] When Gresham did return home, the couple began to look to religion for answers. He has written an autobiography titled Lenten Lands, … While Douglas is still a devout Christian, his brother David returned to Judaism after the death of their mother. [4] In 2020, Gresham revealed that his brother David had died several years earlier in a Swiss mental hospital and that his uncle had diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia as a young man.[6]. McALLEN - Ronnie Gresham, 41, a former longtime Hereford resident, died Thursday, March 25, 1999. After an introduction by a fellow American writer, Chad Walsh, Davidman began a correspondence with C. S. Lewis in 1950. When Douglas Gresham was eight years old, his mother, Joy Davidman, introduced him and his brother David to the man who would eventually become their stepfather: C. S. Lewis, known to his friends and family as “Jack.” Gresham chronicled this remarkable relationship in Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman & C. S. Lewis(Macmillan, 1988). Douglas Gresham is a Christian like Lewis and his mother, while David Gresham turned to his mother's ancestral faith, becoming Orthodox Jewish in his beliefs. March 5, 2019; ... Lewis was married to Joy Davidman, mother of Gresham and his brother David, and Davidman died in 1960 after a difficult bout with cancer. ", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Joy_Davidman&oldid=997918293#Life_with_William_Lindsay_Gresham, American expatriates in the United Kingdom, American people of Ukrainian-Jewish descent, Converts to Anglicanism from atheism or agnosticism, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Bide, Peter (2015). Douglas Gresham. [41] The play was transferred successfully to Broadway in 1990–91 with Nigel Hawthorne and Jane Alexander starring, and was also revived in London in 2007. Douglas Gresham: My spiritual journey was sort of a strange one I guess in a way. None of the devout, however, have the sort of perspective on Narnia that Douglas Gresham does. to know how much of a strange sort of happiness and even gaiety there is between us. [35] The marriage did not win wide approval among Lewis's social circle, and some of his friends and colleagues avoided the new couple. C.S. [22] Cynthia Haven speculates that the activities of HUAC might have been a factor in her decision to emigrate and not return, given her political affiliations in the past. Gresham's mother died of cancer in 1960, and Lewis continued to raise Douglas and his elder brother David. After several lunch meetings and walks accompanying Davidman and his brother, Warren Lewis wrote in his diary that "a rapid friendship" had developed between his younger brother and Davidman, whom he described as "a Christian convert of Jewish race, medium height, good figure, horn rimmed specs, quite extraordinarily uninhibited." She wrote about the influence of these stories: "They developed in me a lifelong taste for fantasy, which led me years later to C. S. Lewis, who in turn led me to religion. [2] His mother was of Jewish descent. She was provided with a good education, piano lessons and family vacation trips. [17], When Gresham received a large sum for the movie rights to Nightmare Alley, the family moved to an old mansion with acreage in the New York countryside, where Davidman began to write her second novel, Weeping Bay and Gresham also started his second novel, Limbo Tower. Gresham is Davidmans son, he meets as a child C. S. Lewis and his brother Warnie at the Kilns. Douglas Gresham is the last person living who knew C. S. Lewis well. She wrote at least four, but they were not used and she returned to New York City to work for The New Masses where she wrote a controversial movie column, reviewing Hollywood movies in a manner described as "merciless in her criticisms." He married Rodriguez when the divorce became final in August 1954. [29], In 1956, Davidman's visitor's visa was not renewed by the Home Office, requiring that she and her sons return to America. Lewis paid the school fees and found Davidman and her sons a house in Oxford close to The Kilns. Gresham was the son of writers William Lindsay Gresham and Joy Davidman. [30][31], The couple continued to live separately after the civil marriage. Lewis and moved into “The Kilns,” the home Lewis shared with his brother, Warnie, in Oxford, England. He wrote to a friend: "new beauty and new tragedy have entered my life. My mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have good ones) has ever been to me. The relationship that developed between Davidman and Lewis has been featured in a television BBC film, a stage play, and a theatrical film named Shadowlands. In the film, Gresham is played by the American actor Joseph Mazzello. Perhaps more. [4] Douglas Gresham is a Christian, as were Lewis and his mother,[5] while David returned to the Orthodox Judaism of their mother's ancestors while still a child in Lewis's home. Lewis’s stepson, Doug Gresham, gives a very personal reflection on the man he knew as ‘Jack’ I never knew ‘C.S. At Lewis' death in 1963, his estate went to his brother Major Warren Hamilton Lewis. Hooper never responded to the charges, but Lewis’s stepson Douglas Gresham came to Hooper’s defense, and a former student, Alistair Fowler, reported talking with … There is no character derived from Douglas' brother David in the film or in the stage play on which the film was based, although both Douglas and David were portrayed as characters in the original teleplay (1985) on which the stage play was based. Lewis published A Grief Observed under a pseudonym in 1961, from notebooks he kept after his wife's death revealing his immense grief and a period of questioning God. Douglas Gresham is the son of Joy Davidman, who later married C.S. [28] Davidman's book Smoke on the Mountain: An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments was published in 1955 in England with a preface by C. S. Lewis. Prior to this he owned four farms in Tasmania, Australia, with his wife Merrie and their four children. "[6] A sickly child, suffering from a crooked spine, scarlet fever and anaemia throughout her school years, and attending classes with much older classmates, she later referred to herself at this time as being "bookish, over-precocious and arrogant". Resume them on her Easter Day. Through their religious studies, the couple, in particular, began to read and be influenced by the books of C.S. Davidman at first studied Judaism, but decided to study all religions and concluded that "the Redeemer who had made himself known, whose personality I would have recognized among ten thousand—He was Jesus." [4][5] At an early age, she read George MacDonald's children's books and his adult fantasy book, Phantastes. Lewis ultimately comes to a place of peace and gratitude for having received and experienced the gift of a true love. “When my brother decided to become Jewish rather than Christian—he’d already been through Islam and tried Buddhism—Jack went out of his way to get special pots and pans for him so he could cook his own kosher food and get kosher food from the Jewish shop in the middle of the … She was chosen by Stephen Vincent Benét, who commended Davidman for her "varied command of forms and a bold power. [5][9][10] In 1936, after several of Davidman's poems were published in Poetry, editor Harriet Monroe asked her to work for the magazine as reader and editor. Sylvia "Rose" WengerBRIMFIELD – Sylvia "Rose" Wenger, 90, of Brimfield, passed away on November 4, 2020. Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis, speaks at Erskine. Read more. She was the author of several books, including two novels. Lewis agreed to enter into a civil marriage contract with her so that she could continue to live in the UK, telling a friend that "the marriage was a pure matter of friendship and expediency". "[4], She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. Douglas Howard Gresham is an American British stage and voice-over actor, biographer, film producer, and executive record producer. Gresham has written an autobiography titled Lenten Lands, which chronicles his life from birth to the age of 28 in 1973. Her parents, Joseph Davidman and Jeanette Spivack (married 1909), arrived in America in the late 19th century. Sentence of death has been passed on Joy, and the end is only a matter of time. Douglas Gresham (along with his brother, David) became the heir to C.S. American-British actor, biographer and film producer, "Press Release: Narnia Comes To Watertown", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Douglas_Gresham&oldid=997918690, British people of Ukrainian-Jewish descent, Articles with dead external links from February 2016, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Actor, voice-over actor, biographer, film producer, executive record producer, This page was last edited on 2 January 2021, at 21:53. [4][19], Davidman had become interested in C. S. Lewis while still in America. The couple became estranged, even though they continued to live together. He had just arrived in England with his mother and his brother, and Lewis had invited them to come and stay with him for a few days at the Kilns. After his parents' divorce in 1954, he relocated to England with his mother and elder brother. Wed 3 Oct 2007 19.04 EDT. The couple went on a belated honeymoon to Wales and then by air to Ireland. Lewis dedicated “The Horse and His Boy” to the then 9-year-old Douglas. He wept with his stepfather when Joy died of cancer, and led the mourners behind the casket when husband followed wife to the graveyard. Lewis. Neil of Gresham, Oregon passed away on Friday May 8th 2020. Born Jewish and raised atheist, Joy embraced first communism and then Christianity. [44], C. S. Lewis wrote an epitaph originally on the death of Charles Williams; he adapted it to place on his wife's grave. ), Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman", "Books: 'Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman, "Shadowlands by William Nicholson Study Guide", "Theater: For C. S. Lewis, Does Love Conquer All? Douglas Gresham and his wife, Merrie, lived at Rathvinden House in Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, Ireland, before moving to their house in Malta in 2008. This was not straightforward in the Church of England at the time, because she was divorced, but a friend and Anglican priest, Reverend Peter Bide,[34] performed the ceremony at Davidman's hospital bed on 21 March 1957. She died from metastatic carcinoma involving the bones in 1960. In October 1956, Davidman was walking across her kitchen when she tripped over the telephone wire and fell to the floor, thereby breaking her left upper leg. In March 1957, Warren Lewis wrote in his diary: "One of the most painful days of my life. She was born in East Peoria on December 12, 1929 to Crofton and Mary Lee (Douglas) Gresham. In October 1959, a check-up revealed that the cancer had returned, and as of March 1960, was not responding to radiation therapy, as before. I was an atheist and the daughter of an atheist". Mr. Gresham was born in Hereford. Lewis developed a heart condition two years later and went into a coma, from which he recovered, but he died a year later—three years after his wife. While an atheist and after becoming a member of the American Communist Party, she met and married her first husband and father of her two sons, William Lindsay Gresham, in 1942. Warren Lewis wrote: "For Jack the attraction was at first undoubtedly intellectual. ! In April 1960, Lewis took Davidman on a holiday to Greece to fulfil her lifelong wish to visit there, but her condition worsened quickly upon return from the trip, and she died on 13 July 1960. Gresham sometimes had drunken outbursts, once smashing his guitar on a chair. PHOTOS FROM LUNA GRIÑO-INOCIAN. Lewis, whom adopted Joy's two sons. And field, and forest, as they were "Marrying C. S. Lewis", in, This page was last edited on 2 January 2021, at 21:51. Re-born from holy poverty, [7], Douglas Gresham and his wife, Merrie, lived at Rathvinden House in Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, Ireland, before moving to their house in Malta in 2008. By Jonathon Van Maren Douglas Gresham remembers the day he first met C.S. Davidman grew up in the Bronx with her younger brother, Howard, and with both parents employed, even during the Great Depression. For most of her life she was a homemaker. Douglas Gresham and his older brother, David, arrived in England in 1953 when their mother left America and a ruined marriage. William Gresham was the author of Nightmare Alley, the classic of American noir literature, while Joy Davidman was best known for her book Smoke on the Mountain, about the Ten Commandments. David Gresham and finally, a trip to Wheaton A friend and I finally were able to get up to the Wade Center a couple of weeks ago. The book narrates his experiences during this time.... Later on, Davidman married Lewis, and soon after that became seriously ill and died. She spent Christmas and a fortnight at The Kilns with the brothers. Davidman published her best known work, Smoke on the Mountain: An Interpretation of the Ten Commandments, in 1954 with a preface by C. S. Lewis. [8] In 1935, she received a master's degree in English literature from Columbia University in three semesters, while also teaching at Roosevelt High School. … In the film, Gresham is played by the American actor Joseph Mazzello. She helped Lewis with his writing, organised his financial records and wardrobe, and had the house renovated and redecorated. In 1985, a television version was made by the BBC One, starring Joss Ackland as Lewis and Claire Bloom as Davidman. Gresham came on as executive producer of recording artist Meg Sutherland's debut album in 2014, successfully signing her to Sprig Music in March with producer Christopher Hopper. While Douglas Gresham is, like Lewis and his mother, a Christian, David returned to the Orthodox Judaism of their mother's family while still a child in Lewis's home. She joined the American Communist Party in 1938. It had very little to do with my relationship with Jack in some ways and huge amounts in other ways. [38][39], Shadowlands is a dramatised version of Davidman's life with C. S. Lewis by William Nicholson which has been filmed twice. She was married to Loyd Wenger on April 2, 1950. Douglas Gresham acknowledged in a 15 November 2005 interview on NPR that he and his brother are estranged,[3] although in a 4 December 2005 interview he did say that they are in email contact. Like cast off clothes was left behind Douglas Gresham acknowledged in a 15 November 2005 interview on NPR that he and his brother are estranged, although in a 4 December 2005 interview he did say that they are in email contact. Has a brother named David Gresham. The couple were separated in 1954, and Joy moved to England with her two sons. [15] Davidman wrote that her husband had telephoned her, one day in spring 1946, telling her that he was having a nervous breakdown, and did not know when he would return home. [5][9] Bill Gresham had become disillusioned with the Communist Party while volunteering in Spain during the Spanish Civil War to fight fascism[14] and influenced Davidman to leave the party after the birth of their sons. Helen Joy Davidman (18 April 1915 – 13 July 1960) was an American poet and writer. Often referred to as a child prodigy, she earned a master's degree from Columbia University in English literature at age twenty in 1935. Young Douglas was just eight years old—and already an enormous Narnia fan —when his mother, Joy Davidman, Christian convert who moved to England from the United States, married C.S. His mother's writings had featured the Jews in an unsympathetic manner, particularly one " shohet " (ritual slaughterer). Davidman's style in these poems showed an influence by Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Neil was born in Portland, Oregon on July 20, 1935 to Douglas and Faye Horton. So, yes, I recommend this book to all who love Lewis and his literary work!! Podcast Discussion. The son of Joy Davidman, Douglas watched his mother and “Jack” fall in love and marry. We are in the middle of a chapter-by-chapter commentary on The Horse and His Boy, which is dedicated to C.S. He is played by Joseph Mazzello in the film directed by Richard Attenborough. Lewis. Her cousin Renée Rodriguez had moved into the Gresham home and was keeping house for the family while she was away. Davidman resigned her teaching position to work full-time in writing and editing. Gresham was born in 1945 to American writer Joy Davidman. There is no character derived from Douglas' brother David in the film or in the stage play on which the film was based, although both Douglas and David … Although much of her work during this period reflected her politics as a member of the American Communist Party, this volume of poetry was much more than implied by the title, and contained forty-five poems written in traditional and free verse that were related to serious topics of the time such as the Spanish Civil War, the inequalities of class structure and male-female relationship issues.

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