CS Lewis biography and books reviewed

C.S. (Clive Staples) Lewis, also known as Jack was born in the Northern Irish town of Belfast in 1898. He was one of two boys born to his father Albert J. Lewis and his mother Florence Augusta Hamilton Lewis, his brother Warren Hamilton Lewis was born in 1895. His upbringing was comfortable and the library of the family home was full of books that the young Lewis enjoyed reading. CS Lewis endured as difficult as year as can be imaged when, in 1908, his mother, father and brother all died.

After Lewis's mother's death in 1908, he was sent to boarding school in England. CS Lewis attended Oxford University between April 1917 and September 1917 but the arrival of his 19th birthday and the fact that the the First World War was still raging saw CS Lewis join the front line and witness that horror that was the Somme. He was wounded during the Battle of Arras in April 1918 and was assigned in Andover, England until the end of the war. He was discharged from the armed forces in December 1919.

CS Lewis returned to Oxford University to study Greek, English and Latin literature plus philosophy and ancient history in which he graduated with first class honours. It was during this time at Oxford that he became a good friend of a certain Professor JRR Tolkien and they set up a literature group together called "The Inklings". After spending twenty nine years at Oxford University he became, in 1955, a Professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University.

In 1933, CS Lewis had his first book published, it was entitled Pilgrim's Regress and this was a tale of his spiritual faith. The Allegory of Love followed in 1936 and Out of the Silent Planet in 1938. The Second World War (1939 - 1945) then followed.

In the period between 1950 and 1956, Lewis wrote the books that he will always be best remembered for, The Chronicles of Narnia, which contained six books which began with the publication of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and was completed by The Last Battle. These books have sold over 100 million copies and are amongst the most loved in children's fiction.

After the publication of The Last Battle in 1956 he married his wife Joy. Helen Joy Davidman was an American writer, communist and athiest. It was thought at the time that the marriage between Joy and CS Lewis was a marriage of convenience as it allowed Joy to claim UK citizenship and avoid deportation. However, the marriage proved strong and in time they sought a Christian marriage, their original marriage had been civil. The Christian marriage was performed beside Joy's hospital bed and the 21st March 1956 with time of an essense due to Joy's poor health. Although Joy did recover for a while she died four years later.

Joy died of cancer in 1960 and Lewis's own health also began to suffer. He died in 1963, aged 64, on the same day as President J. F. Kennedy.

CS Lewis inspiration

In 1916 CS Lewis first read Phantastes by George MacDonald which had a profound effect on his faith and his writing due to its deep sense of the holy.

CS Lewis timeline

CS Lewis Foundation ... Living the Legacy - Inspired by the life and legacy of C.S. Lewis, our mission is to advance the renewal of Christian thought and creative expression throughout the world of learning and the culture at large.

CS Lewis reviews

The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis

On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan’s song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible.

"How do you go about reviewing the most beloved books of all time? This is the question I have been asking myself while re-reading the books for the umpteenth time. While these books where big back in the day the main question and direction I wanted to explore is… are they still relevant today?"

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The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Carnegie Medal Winner: 1956 (The Last Battle)

With the Chronicles of Narnia cemented himself as a master story teller and perfected writing novels that would survive the test of time and still entertain and educate children and adults everywhere to this day. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is arguably one of the finest stories in English literature from the 20th century.

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The Horse And His Boy by CS Lewis

Bree, the horse, has been kidnapped from Narnia and longs to return there. Shasta, on the verge of being sold into slavery, decides to run away with him in search of the home he's always dreamed of. But the journey is full of surprises and fraught with dangers, and when the companions uncover a treasonous plot, it also becomes a race against time. The Horse And His Boy is an exciting adventure through a different part of Narnia, telling a different kind of story that shows what a true genius CS Lewis, showcasing just how real Narnia was as a country.

"The Horse And His Boy is an exciting adventure through a different part of Narnia, telling a different kind of story that shows what a true genius CS Lewis, showcasing just how real Narnia was as a country."

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Prince Caspian by CS Lewis

Narnia's freedom is under threat from the evil King Miraz and in desperation Prince Caspian, the rightful heir to the throne, blows the Great Horn to summon Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy back to Narnia.

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The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis

A king and some unexpected companions embark on a voyage that will take them beyond all known lands. As they sail farther and farther from charted waters, they discover that their quest is more than they imagined and that the world's end is only the beginning.

"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the second most popular book in the Narnian series and proof that Lewis does not need a big bad enemy or an apocalyptic event to make a Narnian story engaging."

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The Silver Chair by CS Lewis

Eustace and Jill are whisked to the land of Narnia where Aslan, the great Lion, needs their help to find the missing Prince Rilian, Caspian’s beloved son. The search takes them through some of the most dangerous underland of Narnia, and into the path of an evil enchantress who has dire plans for the prince…

"The Silver Chair is the second last adventure that Lewis wrote about Narnia and manages to maintain interest in the highly popular series and attempt to begin to wrap up the Narnia chronicles."

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The Last Battle by CS Lewis

Narnia... where lies breed fear... where loyalty is tested... where all hope seems lost. During the last days of Narnia, the land faces its fiercest challenge—not an invader from without but an enemy from within. Lies and treachery have taken root, and only the king and a small band of loyal followers can prevent the destruction of all they hold dear.

"The last installment of the Narnia Chronicles is a dark, twisted and often confusing story that is still highly debated to this date. Dripping with supposed religious allegory and with the dark and often depressing tone it can be quite full on, especially for younger readers."

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