C S Lewis The Man and His Works

C.S. Lewis, the man behind the famous “Chronicles of Narnia” series, was born in Ireland in 1898 as Clive Staples Lewis, and baptized into the Church of Ireland. His mother died of cancer when he was a child and his father was distant. As he grew in stature, he grew away from his boyhood church, only to return to it in his thirties. He liked to say, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen-not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." Lewis served in World War I and was wounded in battle. He was influenced greatly by his friend, J.R.R. Tolkien in his life and work. Lewis did not marry until he was almost sixty years old. His wife died within four years of their marriage, and he died within three years of her.

 As a child, Lewis had a true love for animals and nature, and he wrote several stories using them as the main character, and he loved Beatrix Potter stories. As a teenager, he fell away from the church and became an atheist. He began to dabble in the occult and mythology, and started using poetry and opera as a method of expression. C.S. Lewis authored more than thirty books in his lifetime and was known as one of the most influential Christian writers of his era. His books spanned the varying genre of children’s literature, fantasy and theology among others.

 Lewis ventured into the science fiction genre one day after he and his friend Tolkkien had been lamenting over the state of fiction novels in their day. They both agreed to write a science fiction novel of their own. Lewis eventually created a whole series beginning with Out of the Silent Planet, and Tolkkien was not able to complete his before his death. 

His most famous works were those in the Chronicles of Narnia series. This is a collection of children’s fantasy novels based in the land of Narnia, where the four heroes are children. These novels are based on his Christian faith, and each of the characters in the books, as well as the theme of the books, are based on what he learned about his faith and his relationship to God. A famous quote by him “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly.”

 In addition to those books mentioned above, he also wrote several books about theology that remain popular today: The Pilgrims Regress, The Screwtape Letters, Abolition of Man and Mere Christianity among others. Some of his more well known books of literary criticism include: A Preface to Paradise Lost, The Allegory of Love, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century and Studies in Words. He wrote two autobiographies: Surprised by Joy and A Grief Observed and his poetry includes: Spirits in Bondage, Dymer, Poems and Narrative Poems, the latter of which was published posthumously.

 For more information, please see the following sources:

CS Lewis Official Page

CS Lewis Institute

Into the Wardrobe

CS Lewis Foundation

CS Lewis Biography

Literary Biography

Complete List of Books

Children's Narnia Site

The Order of Narnia

Lewis the Man

Companion to Narnia

The Wardrobe