C. S. Lewis was an internationally recognized literary figures, who is widely regarded as a pioneer of the children’s fantasy novels. Often hailed as the ‘Father of Modern Fantasy’ he was among the most versatile authors who wrote on a diverse range of topics and genres. He authored many poems, science fiction novels, literary critical books, non-fictional Christian religious books and fantasy stories. He is best known for children’s fantasy novel ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, which received immense success and has also been made into one of the highest grossing movies of the 21st century. Some of his other notable works include the widely acclaimed books on Christian faith-‘The Case for Christianity’, ‘Christian Behaviour’, ‘Mere Christianity’, ‘Miracles’ and ‘The Problem of Pain’. Many of his writings on Christianity are used today all over the world by many Christian missionaries and preachers, who practice and profess the religion to millions of people. He also held prestigious positions at Oxford University and Cambridge University. His writings have been translated in more than 30 languages all over the world and have sold millions of copies.
- Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland to Albert James Lewis, a solicitor and Florence Augusta, who was the daughter of an Anglican priest.When he was seven years old, his family relocated to the East Belfast area and as a child he loved to read fantasy stories and was intrigued by imaginary creatures and anthropomorphic animals.In 1908, he attended the Wynyard School, located in Watford, before which he was privately tutored at home. He later attended the Campbell College but dropped out due to respiratory problems.Later, he went to a heath-resort in Malvern town, where he attended the Cherbourg House preparatory school. During his stay in Malvern, he became passionate about mythology.In 1913, he got admitted to the Malvern College, but dropped out as he could not mingle with other fellow students and was privately tutored at home by William T. Kirkpatrick.In 1916, he was granted a scholarship to study at the University College, Oxford but the following year he took a hiatus from his education in order to join the British Army.In 1918, he was wounded in the World War I, following which he suffered from depression. After his health improved, he was assigned to work in Andover, England. In December that year he was discharged off the army and continued his education.Career
- In 1919, he came out with his first publication ‘Sprits in Bondage’, a book of poems, which was published under the pen name Clive Hamilton.In 1925, he was appointed as a lecturer of English literature at the Magdalen College, University of Oxford. He had also previously served as a philosophy tutor at the University College of Oxford.In 1933, his fictional fantasy novel ‘The Pilgrim's Regress’, which was one of his first published works of prose fiction, was published by J.M. Dent and Sons in the United Kingdom.In 1936, his non-fictional book titled ‘The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition’ was published. The book was an account of how love was perceived in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.On April 27, 1939 his work ‘The Personal Heresy’, which was a collection of articles written by him and Eustace Tillyard, a British scholar, was published by the Oxford University Press.In the 1940’s , he published several non-fictional books like ‘The Problem of Pain’, ‘The Case for Christianity’, ‘A Preface to Paradise Lost’, ‘Broadcast Talks’, ‘The Abolition of Man’, ‘Christian Behaviour’ and ‘Beyond Personality’.In 1945, he came out with the science fiction novel ‘That Hideous Strength’ and the same year his other religious work ‘The Great Divorce’, that highlights the Christian concept of heaven and hell was published.In 1950, his novel ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, the first of his seven series of children’s fantasy novel, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ was published by the Geoffrey Bles publishing house.During the 1950’s, he came out with six novels from the ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ series- ‘The Magician's Nephew’, ‘The Horse and His Boy’, ‘Prince Caspian’, ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’, ‘The Silver Chair’ and ‘The Last Battle’.In 1956, his mythological novel ‘Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold’ was published. The novel was his re-told account of the Greek mythological figures, ‘Cupid and Psyche’.In 1960, his non-fictional book titled ‘Miracles’ was published. The same year he also came out with three other non-fictional books: ‘The Four Loves’, ‘Studies in Words’ and ‘The World's Last Night and Other Essays’.In 1961, his critical book ‘An Experiment in Criticism’ was published by the Cambridge University Press and the same year his other work of writing ‘A Grief Observed’ was published under the pen name, N.W. Clerk.Major Works
- His ground-breaking children’s fantasy series ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ has been made into three commercially successful films in 2005, 2008 and 2010. The films were one of the highest grossing films of all time and it has also been adapted for BBC Radio 4.Personal Life & Legacy
- In 1956, he wedded Joy Davidman, an American writer. She died in 1960 after suffering from cancer.He died at the age of 64 due to renal failure. He was laid to rest at the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Headington, Oxford.In 2005, a two-hour television biopic of him titled ‘C. S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia’ was made. His role was portrayed by English actor, Anton Rodgers.Trivia
- This acclaimed Irish writer who lost his dog Jacksie at the age of four, announced that he wished to be addressed as Jacksie and refused to respond to his own name.
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The Chronicles of Narnia: Never Has the Magic Been so Real (Radio Theatre) [Full Cast Drama] [Audio Cd]
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Out of the Silent Planet / Perelandra / That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy)
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C.S. Lewis: The Signature Classics Audio Collection: The Problem of Pain, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity
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