Jack Kennedy wasn’t the only one to die 50 years ago today. C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley passed away too. Here’s my Guardian piece about Huxley.
On 22 November 1963 the world was too preoccupied with the Kennedy assassination to pay much attention to the passing of two writers from the other side of the Atlantic: CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley. Fifty years on, Lewis is being honoured with a plaque in Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey, to be unveiled in a ceremony on Friday. The fanfare for Huxley has been more muted.
There are various reasons for this: The Chronicles of Narnia propelled their author into the Tolkien league; Shadowlands, the film about his life starring Anthony Hopkins, moved millions; and his writings on religious topics made him a global figure in more spiritual circles. There is a CS Lewis Society of California, for example; plus a CS Lewis Review and a Centre for the Study of CS Lewis & Friends at a university in Indiana.
Aldous Huxley never attracted that kind of attention. And yet there are good reasons for regarding him as the more visionary of the two…