George Sayer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
George Sayer
BornGeorge Sydney Benedict Sayer
1 June 1914
Bradfield, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Died20 October 2005(2005-10-20) (aged 91)
United Kingdom
OccupationTeacher, author

George Sydney Benedict Sayer (1 June 1914 – 20 October 2005) was a teacher at Malvern College and is probably best known for his biography of the author C. S. Lewis.[1]


Sayer was born at Bradfield in Berkshire, England. He was educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond, in Perthshire, Scotland, and at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was tutored by C. S. Lewis.[1] He joined the staff of Malvern College in 1945 after having been a Captain in the British Army Intelligence Corps on account of his fluent German. Sayer became Head of English in 1949.

Lewis and Sayer became close friends to the extent that Lewis sought Sayer's advice when considering marrying Joy Gresham. On Lewis's death, Sayer was made a trustee of the Lewis estate.[2]

Sayer was also a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien.[1] Excerpts from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were recorded in Malvern in 1952, at the home of George Sayer. The recordings were later issued on long-playing gramophone records.[3] In the liner notes for J. R. R. Tolkien Reads and Sings his The Hobbit & The Fellowship of the Ring, George Sayer wrote that Tolkien would relive the book as they walked and compared parts of the Malvern Hills to the White Mountains of Gondor.[4]

Jeremy Paxman, a pupil at Malvern College from 1964 to 1968, described Sayer as "the most wonderful, inspirational teacher ... a profoundly decent and compassionate man ... the sort of teacher you dream of having".[2]


Sayer became a convert to Catholicism and had a keen interest in theology.

Personal life[edit]

Sayer's first wife, Moira Casey died in 1977 following a long illness.[2] In 1983 Sayer married Margaret Cronin.[1]

Major work[edit]

Sayer, George (1988) Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times Part memoir and part biography. The work is recommended by Douglas Gresham as one of the very best C. S. Lewis biographies available.<ref>"C.S. Lewis". Retrieved 9 May 2010.</ref


  1. ^ a b c d Telegraph obitiary Published 7 Nov 2005 Retrieved 9 May 2010
  2. ^ a b c Guardian obituary 4 November 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2010
  3. ^ Humphrey, C. 1977 Tolkien: A Biography New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-04-928037-6
  4. ^ Sayer, G: J. R. R. Tolkien Reads and Sings his the Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring Caedmon 1979 (based on an August, 1952 recording by George Sayer)