C.S. Lewis

By: Vanessa Betancourt

The Life of C.S. Lewis

C.S. (Clive Staples) Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland on November 29, 1998. He was born to Albert and Flora Lewis. His older brother Warren was born three years earlier in 1895. Lewis had a very happy early childhood because in Northern Ireland the Civil conflict hadn’t started yet, and the Lewis’ were very well off. That happy childhood came to an end in 1908 when his mother lost her battle to cancer. Due to C.S. and Warren’s mother dying they were sent to a boarding school in England. C.S. hated going to school there. Luckily, in 1910 the school closed and C.S. and his brother returned to Ireland. After a year, C.S. and his brother returned to England. There he developed a passion for literature. He also developed a passion for French, German, and Italian. He became fluent in all three languages.

In 1916 Lewis got accepted into Oxford University. Soon after he enrolled at Oxford, he volunteered to go into the military. He fought for the British army in Northern France in World War 1. After the war in 1918 Lewis returned to Oxford University. After 29 years he graduated from Oxford University. Going on to become a professor of medieval and renaissance literature at Magdalene Cambridge College.

Lewis married his wife Joy Gresham in 1956 and she lost her battle to cancer in 1960.

After her death, Lewis's own health weakened, and in the summer of 1963 he resigned from his job at Cambridge. He died on November 22, 1963. He has continued to inspire reader for generation after generation.

Lewis' Works

In addition to being a professor he started to publish books. His first big publishing was The Pilgrim’s Regress (1933). This was about his journey to the Christian faith. His Other works that followed won him praise not only as a writer of books on the Christian Faith, but also as a writer of educational works and admired stories. The Allegory of Love (1936), which is still considered a work of art today. It was about a history of love literature from the early Middle Ages to Shakespeare's time. Out of the Silent Planet (1938) was the first of three books which were science fiction novels.

When Lewis turned to writing children's books, his publisher and some of his friends tried to discourage him; they thought it would hurt his status as writer of serious works. J.R.R. Tolkien in particular criticized Lewis's first Narnia book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He thought that there were too many elements that clashed—a Father Christmas and an evil witch, talking animals and children. He didn't let J.R.R. Tolkien's opinion on the book stop him from publishing it.

After the publication of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 1950, Lewis wrote six more Narnia books. He published the final one, The Last Battle, in 1956. Although critics and reviewers didn’t like the books at first, the books gained popularity through word of mouth. The Narnia books have sold more than 100 million copies and are one of the most loved Children’s series ever.