C.S. Lewis: The Man Who Reached Millions

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” These words were once uttered by one of the most well-known and influential Christian writers of the last century. This man was born as Clive Staples Lewis and called “Jack” by friends and family; however, he later became known to the world as C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia.

The Irish Man

The beginning of this brilliant man began on November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland when he was born to Albert J. and Florence Lewis. He grew up with one brother, Walter. Clive Staples Lewis was educated at many different schools which included: Campbell College of Belfast, Malvern College, and a private tutorage under William T. Kirkpatrick. In 1916, he went on to receive a scholarship to University College, Oxford, but later left to join the British Army during WWI.

During the course of his lifetime, C.S. Lewis became a man who would experience a good proportion of grief in his life. His mother died from cancer when he was nine, and a little over fifty years later his wife, Joy Davidman, whom he married late in his life, would die of cancer as well. Under the regime of the British army, Lewis’s roommate and close friend Paddy Moore would be killed in battle in 1918; however, not long after, Lewis, himself, would be injured in a battle that left him discharged from the army.

Lewis would go on to lead an exceptional career life. From 1925 to 1954, he worked as a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University. While at Oxford, he became affiliated with a group known as the “Inklings” , an informal group that met twice a week and which included J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson. In his last years, Lewis then went on to finish his career by becoming the chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge. Over the course of his life and in between his careers, he would be busy penning the Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity among others.

The Christian Man

He would become known as one of the most influential men in Christian literature, and all of his writings would be littered with Christian themes and symbolism; in contrast, although he was raised and baptized at birth in the Church of Ireland, Lewis admitted to being an atheist as a teenager in life. It would be almost fifteen years later that he would later convert back to Christianity and become a prominent member of church again. In many of his works, he attributes this change to his best friend, Tolkien.

The Author: The Chronicles of Narnia

His most renowned work would become line of seven children’s books written over an expanse that cover a land known as Narnia. Aslan, one of the most renowned character from the series, was said to be his own depiction of the story of Christ. To this day, this series has many Christian followers who enjoy the hidden message and motifs of this world.

He conceived the idea in 1939, but it would take him a decade to write the first novel: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The next six would be published one year after another till 1956. One of the most unique facts about this series is one of the last books in the series The Magician’s Nephew would later become the first book in the series. The land of Narnia was even said to be taken from the Latin name of Narni, Italy.

C.S. Lewis’s would go on over the next fifty years to be a bestselling success and would even be created into a film series. Many authors would even go on to be influenced by his writing and his works. J.K. Rowling, Katherine Paterson, Philip Pullman, and Neil Gaiman are just a few select authors that have learned and benefited in their writings from his works.


C. S. Lewis died on November 22, 1963 of renal failure. His death was not widely publicized because on the same day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. “Men must endure their going hence” has been written on his tombstone.

“C.S. Lewis Classics ::: About C.S. Lewis.” C.S. Lewis Classics ::: Homepage . Harper Collins, 2008. Web. 28 Jan. 2012.

Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. London: Collins, 1956. Print.

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