Wikipedia cs lewis

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C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis
C.s.lewis3.JPG

Lewis, age 48

BornClive Staples Lewis
29 November 1898(1898-11-29)
Belfast, Ireland
Dee'd22 November 1963(1963-11-22) (aged 64)
Oxford, Ingland
Pen nameClive Hamilton, N. W. Clerk
ThriftNovelist, scholar, broadcaster
GenreChristian apologetics, fantasy, science feection, childer's leeteratur
Notable warksThe Chronicles of Narnia
Mere Christianity
The Allegory of Love
The Screwtape Letters
The Space Trilogy
Till We Have Faces
Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life
SpooseJoy Davidman (m. 1956; d. 1960)

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) wis a Breetish novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, leeterar creetic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, an Christian apologist. He held academic poseetions at baith Oxford Varsity (Magdalen College, 1925–1954) an Cambridge Varsity (Magdalene College, 1954–1963). He is best kent for his warks o feection, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, an The Space Trilogy, an for his non-feection Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, an The Problem of Pain.

Sours: https://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis

About C.S. LEWIS

Find out all you need to know about the author

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Image credit: The Wade Center

Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement.

Lewis wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. C. S. Lewis’s most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics in The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

  • November 29, 1898:

    Clive Staple Lewis born in Belfast, Ireland.

  • August 23, 1908:

    Lewis’s mother, Florence Augusta (‘Flora’) Hamilton Lewis, dies.

  • September 18, 1908

    Sent to the Wynyard School in Watford, Hertfordshire, England.

  • September 1910:

    Enrolls as boarding student at Campbell College, Belfast, Ireland; leaves in December due to respiratory problems.

  • September 1911:

    Enrolls at Cherboug House near Malvern College, England; abandons his Christian faith.

  • April 1914:

    Meets Arthur Greeves, who becomes a lifelong friend.

  • September 19, 1914:

    Is privately tutored by W. T. "The Great Knock" Kirkpatrick.

  • December 1916:

    Receives a scholarship to University College, Oxford.

  • June 8, 1917:

    Enlists in British Army.

  • April 1918:

    Lewis’s close friend Paddy Moore reported killed in battle.

  • April 15, 1918:

    Wounded in Battle of Arras.

  • December, 1918:

    Discharged from British Army.

  • 1919:

    Moves in with Moore’s mother, Mrs Janie King Moore, and sister, Maureen.

  • May 20, 1919
    Spirits in Bondage

    Publishes Spirits in Bondage under the pseudonym Clive Hamilton.

  • May 20, 1925:

    Appointed English Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he tutors English Language and Literature.

  • May 11, 1926:

    Meets friend and colleague J.R.R. Tolkien.

  • September 20, 1926:
    Dymer under the pseudonym Clive Hamilton.

    Publishes Dymer under the pseudonym Clive Hamilton.

  • September 24, 1929:

    Lewis’s father, Albert Lewis, dies in Belfast.

  • 1929:

    Abandons atheism and converts to theism.

  • October 11, 1930:

    Lewis, the Moores, and later Warren, Lewis's brother, move into "The Kilns".

  • September 1931:

    Converts to Christianity.

  • May 25, 1933:
    The Pilgrim’s Regress

    Publishes The Pilgrim’s Regress.

  • May 21, 1936:
    Allegory of Love

    Publishes The Allegory of Love.Buy this book

  • September 23, 1938:
    Out of the Silent Planet.

    Publishes the first novel in the Space Trilogy series, Out of the Silent Planet.Buy this book

  • April 25, 1940:

    Weekly meetings of the "Inklings" begin.

  • October 18, 1940:
    The Problem of Pain

    Publishes The Problem of Pain.Buy this book

  • August 1941:
    Mere Christianity

    Begins war-time broadcast talks on Christianity, later collected as Mere Christianity.Buy this book

  • January 26, 1942:

    Attends the first meeting of Oxford University's Socratic Club.

  • February 9, 1942:
    The Screwtape Letters

    Publishes The Screwtape Letters.Buy this book

  • July 13, 1942:
    broadcast Talks

    Publishes Broadcast Talks, based on BBC recordings.

  • October 8, 1942:
    Paradise Lost

    Publishes A Preface to Paradise Lost.

  • January 6, 1943:
    The Abolition of Man

    Publishes The Abolition of Man.Buy this book

  • April 19, 1943:
    Christian Behavior

    Publishes Christian Behaviour, based on BBC recordings.

  • April 20, 1943:
    Perelandra

    Publishes the second novel in the Space Trilogy series, Perelandra.Buy this book

  • October 9, 1944:
    Beyond Personality

    Publishes Beyond Personality, based on BBC recordings.

  • August 16, 1945:
    That Hideous Strength

    Publishes the third novel in the Space Trilogy series, That Hideous Strength.Buy this book

  • January 14, 1946:
    The Great Divorce

    Publishes The Great Divorce.Buy this book

  • June 28, 1946:

    Awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity by the University of St. Andrews.

  • May 12, 1947:
    Miracles

    Publishes Miracles.Buy this book

  • September 8, 1947:

    Appears on the cover of Time magazine.

  • 1948:

    Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

  • September 13, 1949:
    The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses.

    Publishes The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses.Buy this book

  • October 16, 1950:
    The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

    Publishes the first novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.Buy this book

  • January 12, 1951

    Mrs. Moore dies.

  • October 15, 1951:
    Prince Casbian

    Publishes the second novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia.Buy this book

  • July 7, 1952:
    Mere Christianity

    Publishes Mere Christianity, which combines previously published Broadcast Talks (1942), Christian Behavior (1943), and Beyond Personality (1944).Buy this book

  • September 15, 1952:
    in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    Publishes the third novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.Buy this book

  • September 7, 1953:
    The Silver Chair

    Publishes the fourth novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Silver Chair.Buy this book

  • 1954:

    Becomes chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge.

  • September 6, 1954:
    The Horse and His Boy

    Publishes the fifth novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Horse and His Boy.Buy this book

  • September 16, 1954:
    English Literature in the Sixteenth Century.

    Publishes English Literature in the Sixteenth Century.

  • May 2, 1955:
    The Magician's Nephew

    Publishes the sixth novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Magician’s Nephew.Buy this book

  • September 19, 1955:
    Surprised By Joy

    Publishes Surprised By Joy.Buy this book

  • March 19, 1956:
    The Last Battle

    Publishes the seventh, and final, novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Last Battle.Buy this book

  • April 23, 1956:

    Marries Joy Davidman Gresham.

  • September 10, 1956:
    Till We Have faces

    Publishes Till We Have Faces.Buy this book

  • September 8, 1958:
    Reflections on the psalms

    Publishes Reflections on the Psalms.Buy this book

  • June 1959:

    Becomes, with T. S. Eliot, a member of the Commission to Revise the Psalter.

  • March 28, 1960:
    Publishes The Four Loves

    Publishes The Four Loves.Buy this book

  • July 13, 1960:

    Lewis’s wife dies.

  • September 9, 1960:
    Studies in Words

    Publishes Studies in Words.Buy this book

  • June 1961:

    Diagnosed with kidney inflammation.

  • September 29, 1961:
    A Grief Observed

    Publishes A Grief Observed under the pseudonym N. W. Clerk.Buy this book

  • October 13, 1961:
    An Experiment in Criticism

    Publishes An Experiment in Criticism.Buy this book

  • November 22, 1963:

    Dies.

  • January 27, 1964:
    Letters to Malcolm

    Posthumously publishes Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer.Buy this book

  • May 7, 1964:
    The Discarded image

    Posthumously publishes The Discarded Image.Buy this book

  • June 9, 1966:
    Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature

    Posthumously publishes Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature.Buy this book

Sours: https://www.cslewis.com/us/about-cs-lewis/
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The Chronicles of Narnia

Series of children's fantasy novels by C. S. Lewis

"Narnia" redirects here. For other uses, see Narnia (disambiguation).

This article is about the book series. For the film series, see The Chronicles of Narnia (film series). For other adaptations, see Adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia.

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels by British author C. S. Lewis. Illustrated by Pauline Baynes and originally published between 1950 and 1956, The Chronicles of Narnia has been adapted for radio, television, the stage, film and computer games. The series is set in the fictional realm of Narnia, a fantasy world of magic, mythical beasts and talking animals. It narrates the adventures of various children who play central roles in the unfolding history of the Narnian world. Except in The Horse and His Boy, the protagonists are all children from the real world who are magically transported to Narnia, where they are sometimes called upon by the lion Aslan to protect Narnia from evil. The books span the entire history of Narnia, from its creation in The Magician's Nephew to its eventual destruction in The Last Battle.

The Chronicles of Narnia is considered a classic of children's literature and is Lewis's best-selling work, having sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages.

Background and conception[edit]

Although Lewis originally conceived what would become The Chronicles of Narnia in 1939 (the picture of a Faun with parcels in a snowy wood has a history dating to 1914),[2] he did not finish writing the first book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe until 1949. The Magician's Nephew, the penultimate book to be published, but the last to be written, was completed in 1954. Lewis did not write the books in the order in which they were originally published, nor were they published in their current chronological order of presentation. The original illustrator, Pauline Baynes, created pen and ink drawings for the Narnia books that are still used in the editions published today. Lewis was awarded the 1956 Carnegie Medal for The Last Battle, the final book in the saga. The series was first referred to as The Chronicles of Narnia by fellow children's author Roger Lancelyn Green in March 1951, after he had read and discussed with Lewis his recently completed fourth book The Silver Chair, originally entitled Night under Narnia.

Lewis described the origin of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in an essay entitled "It All Began with a Picture":

The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: "Let's try to make a story about it."[2]

Shortly before the start of World War II, many children were evacuated to the English countryside in anticipation of attacks on London and other major urban areas by Nazi Germany. As a result, on 2 September 1939, three school girls named Margaret, Mary and Katherine came to live at The Kilns in Risinghurst, Lewis's home three miles east of Oxford city centre. Lewis later suggested that the experience gave him a new appreciation of children and in late September[6] he began a children's story on an odd sheet of paper which has survived as part of another manuscript:

This book is about four children whose names were Ann, Martin, Rose and Peter. But it is most about Peter who was the youngest. They all had to go away from London suddenly because of Air Raids, and because Father, who was in the Army, had gone off to the War and Mother was doing some kind of war work. They were sent to stay with a kind of relation of Mother's who was a very old professor who lived all by himself in the country.

In "It All Began with a Picture" C. S. Lewis continues:

At first, I had very little idea how the story would go. But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it. I think I had been having a good many dreams of lions about that time. Apart from that, I don't know where the Lion came from or why he came. But once he was there, he pulled the whole story together, and soon he pulled the six other Narnian stories in after him.[2]

Although Lewis pleaded ignorance about the source of his inspiration for Aslan, Jared Lobdell, digging into Lewis's history to explore the making of the series, suggests Charles Williams's 1931 novel The Place of the Lion as a likely influence.[8]

The manuscript for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was complete by the end of March 1949.

Name[edit]

The name Narnia is based on Narni, Italy, written in Latin as Narnia. Green wrote:

When Walter Hooper asked where he found the word 'Narnia', Lewis showed him Murray's Small Classical Atlas, ed. G.B. Grundy (1904), which he acquired when he was reading the classics with Mr [William T.] Kirkpatrick at Great Bookham [1914–1917]. On plate 8 of the Atlas is a map of ancient Italy. Lewis had underscored the name of a little town called Narnia, simply because he liked the sound of it. Narnia – or 'Narni' in Italian – is in Umbria, halfway between Rome and Assisi.[10]

Publication history[edit]

The Chronicles of Narnia's seven books have been in continuous publication since 1956, selling over 100 million copies in 47 languages and with editions in Braille.[11][12][13]

The first five books were originally published in the United Kingdom by Geoffrey Bles. The first edition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was released in London on 16 October 1950. Although three more books, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Horse and His Boy, were already complete, they were not released immediately at that time, but instead appeared (along with The Silver Chair) one at a time in each of the subsequent years (1951–1954). The last two books (The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle) were published in the United Kingdom originally by The Bodley Head in 1955 and 1956.

In the United States, the publication rights were first owned by Macmillan Publishers, and later by HarperCollins. The two issued both hardcover and paperback editions of the series during their tenure as publishers, while at the same time Scholastic, Inc. produced paperback versions for sale primarily through direct mail order, book clubs, and book fairs. HarperCollins also published several one-volume collected editions containing the full text of the series. As noted below (see Reading order), the first American publisher, Macmillan, numbered the books in publication sequence, whereas HarperCollins, at the suggestion of Lewis's stepson, opted to use the series' internal chronological order when they won the rights to it in 1994. Scholastic switched the numbering of its paperback editions in 1994 to mirror that of HarperCollins.

Books[edit]

The seven books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia are presented here in order of original publication date:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)[edit]

Main article: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, completed by the end of March 1949 and published by Geoffrey Bles in the United Kingdom on 16 October 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie, who have been evacuated to the English countryside from London following the outbreak of World War II. They discover a wardrobe in Professor Digory Kirke's house that leads to the magical land of Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan, a talking lion, save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who has reigned over the land of Narnia for a century of perpetual winter with no Christmas. The children become kings and queens of this new-found land and establish the Golden Age of Narnia, leaving a legacy to be rediscovered in later books.

Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951)[edit]

Main article: Prince Caspian

Completed after Christmas 1949 and published on 15 October 1951, Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia tells the story of the Pevensie children's second trip to Narnia, a year after their first. They are drawn back by the power of Susan's horn, blown by Prince Caspian to summon help in his hour of need. Narnia as they knew it is no more, as 1,300 years have passed, their castle is in ruins, and all Narnians have retreated so far within themselves that only Aslan's magic can wake them. Caspian has fled into the woods to escape his uncle, Miraz, who has usurped the throne. The children set out once again to save Narnia.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)[edit]

Main article: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Written between January and February 1950 and published on 15 September 1952, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader sees Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their priggish cousin, Eustace Scrubb, return to Narnia, three years after their last departure. Once there, they join Caspian's voyage on the ship Dawn Treader to find the seven lords who were banished when Miraz took over the throne. This perilous journey brings them face to face with many wonders and dangers as they sail toward Aslan's country at the edge of the world.

The Silver Chair (1953)[edit]

Main article: The Silver Chair

Completed at the beginning of March 1951 and published 7 September 1953, The Silver Chair is the first Narnia book not involving the Pevensie children, focusing instead on Eustace. Several months after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Aslan calls Eustace back to Narnia along with his classmate Jill Pole. They are given four signs to aid them in the search for Prince Caspian's son Rilian, who disappeared ten years earlier on a quest to avenge his mother's death. Fifty years have passed in Narnia since the events from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; Eustace is still a child, but Caspian, barely an adult in the previous book, is now an old man. Eustace and Jill, with the help of Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle, face danger and betrayal on their quest to find Rilian.

The Horse and His Boy (1954)[edit]

Main article: The Horse and His Boy

Begun in March and completed at the end of July 1950,The Horse and His Boy was published on 6 September 1954. The story takes place during the reign of the Pevensies in Narnia, an era which begins and ends in the last chapter of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The protagonists, a young boy named Shasta and a talking horse named Bree, both begin in bondage in the country of Calormen. By "chance", they meet and plan their return to Narnia and freedom. Along the way they meet Aravis and her talking horse Hwin, who are also fleeing to Narnia.

The Magician's Nephew (1955)[edit]

Main article: The Magician's Nephew

Completed in February 1954 and published by Bodley Head in London on 2 May 1955, The Magician's Nephew serves as a prequel and presents Narnia's origin story: how Aslan created the world and how evil first entered it. Digory Kirke and his friend Polly Plummer stumble into different worlds by experimenting with magic rings given to them by Digory's uncle. In the dying world of Charn they awaken Queen Jadis, and another world turns out to be the beginnings of the Narnian world (where Jadis later becomes the White Witch). The story is set in 1900, when Digory was a 12-year-old boy. He is a middle-aged professor by the time he hosts the Pevensie children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 40 years later.

The Last Battle (1956)[edit]

Main article: The Last Battle

Completed in March 1953 and published 4 September 1956, The Last Battle chronicles the end of the world of Narnia. Jill and Eustace return to save Narnia from the ape Shift, who tricks Puzzle the donkey into impersonating the lion Aslan, thereby precipitating a showdown between the Calormenes and King Tirian. This leads to the end of Narnia as it is known throughout the series, but allows Aslan to lead the characters to the "true" Narnia.

Reading order[edit]

Fans of the series often have strong opinions over the order in which the books should be read. The issue revolves around the placement of The Magician's Nephew and The Horse and His Boy in the series. Both are set significantly earlier in the story of Narnia than their publication order and fall somewhat outside the main story arc connecting the others. The reading order of the other five books is not disputed.

A 1970 Collier-Macmillan edition paperback boxed set (cover art by Roger Hane), where the books are presented in order of original publication

When first published, the books were not numbered. The first American publisher, Macmillan, enumerated them according to their original publication order, while some early British editions specified the internal chronological order. When HarperCollins took over the series rights in 1994, they adopted the internal chronological order. To make the case for the internal chronological order, Lewis's stepson, Douglas Gresham, quoted Lewis's 1957 reply to a letter from an American fan who was having an argument with his mother about the order:

I think I agree with your [chronological] order for reading the books more than with your mother's. The series was not planned beforehand as she thinks. When I wrote The Lion I did not know I was going to write any more. Then I wrote P. Caspian as a sequel and still didn't think there would be any more, and when I had done The Voyage I felt quite sure it would be the last, but I found I was wrong. So perhaps it does not matter very much in which order anyone read them. I'm not even sure that all the others were written in the same order in which they were published.

In the 2005 HarperCollins adult editions of the books, the publisher cites this letter to assert Lewis's preference for the numbering they adopted by including this notice on the copyright page:

Although The Magician's Nephew was written several years after C. S. Lewis first began The Chronicles of Narnia, he wanted it to be read as the first book in the series. HarperCollins is happy to present these books in the order in which Professor Lewis preferred.

Paul Ford cites several scholars who have weighed in against this view, and continues, "most scholars disagree with this decision and find it the least faithful to Lewis's deepest intentions". Scholars and readers who appreciate the original order believe that Lewis was simply being gracious to his youthful correspondent and that he could have changed the books' order in his lifetime had he so desired.[24] They maintain that much of the magic of Narnia comes from the way the world is gradually presented in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – that the mysterious wardrobe, as a narrative device, is a much better introduction to Narnia than The Magician's Nephew, where the word "Narnia" appears in the first paragraph as something already familiar to the reader. Moreover, they say, it is clear from the texts themselves that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was intended to be read first. When Aslan is first mentioned in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, for example, the narrator says that "None of the children knew who Aslan was, any more than you do" — which is nonsensical if one has already read The Magician's Nephew. Other similar textual examples are also cited.[26]

Doris Meyer, author of C. S. Lewis in Context and Bareface: A guide to C. S. Lewis, writes that rearranging the stories chronologically "lessens the impact of the individual stories" and "obscures the literary structures as a whole". Peter Schakel devotes an entire chapter to this topic in his book Imagination and the Arts in C. S. Lewis: Journeying to Narnia and Other Worlds, and in Reading with the Heart: The Way into Narnia he writes:

The only reason to read The Magician's Nephew first [...] is for the chronological order of events, and that, as every story teller knows, is quite unimportant as a reason. Often the early events in a sequence have a greater impact or effect as a flashback, told after later events which provide background and establish perspective. So it is [...] with the Chronicles. The artistry, the archetypes, and the pattern of Christian thought all make it preferable to read the books in the order of their publication.

Main characters[edit]

Aslan[edit]

Main article: Aslan

Aslan, the Great Lion, is the titular lion of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and his role in Narnia is developed throughout the remaining books. He is also the only character to appear in all seven books. Aslan is a talking lion, the King of Beasts, son of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea. He is a wise, compassionate, magical authority (both temporal and spiritual) who serves as mysterious and benevolent guide to the human children who visit, as well as being the guardian and saviour of Narnia. C. S. Lewis described Aslan as an alternative version of Jesus as the form in which he may have appeared in an alternative reality.[28][citation not found][29] In his book Miracles, C.S. Lewis argues that the possible existence of other worlds with other sentient life-forms should not deter or detract from being Christian:

[The universe] may be full of lives that have been redeemed in modes suitable to their condition, of which we can form no conception. It may be full of lives that have been redeemed in the very same mode as our own. It may be full of things quite other than life in which God is interested though we are not.[30]

Pevensie family[edit]

The four Pevensie siblings are the main human protagonists of The Chronicles of Narnia. Varying combinations of some or all of them appear in five of the seven novels. They are introduced in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (although their surname is not revealed until The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), and eventually become Kings and Queens of Narnia reigning as a tetrarchy. Although introduced in the series as children, the siblings grow up into adults while reigning in Narnia. They go back to being children once they get back to their own world, but feature as adults in The Horse and His Boy during their Narnian reign.

All four appear in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian; in the latter, however, Aslan tells Peter and Susan that they will not return, as they are getting too old. Susan, Lucy, and Edmund appear in The Horse and His Boy – Peter is said to be away fighting giants on the other side of Narnia. Lucy and Edmund appear in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where Aslan tells them, too, that they are getting too old. Peter, Edmund, and Lucy appear as Kings and Queens in Aslan's Country in The Last Battle; Susan does not. Asked by a child in 1958 if he would please write another book entitled "Susan of Narnia" so that the entire Pevensie family would be reunited, C. S. Lewis replied: "I am so glad you like the Narnian books and it was nice of you to write and tell me. There's no use just asking me to write more. When stories come into my mind I have to write them, and when they don't I can't!..."[31][citation not found]

Lucy Pevensie[edit]

Main article: Lucy Pevensie

Lucy is the youngest of the four Pevensie siblings. Of all the Pevensie children, Lucy is the closest to Aslan, and of all the human characters who visit Narnia, Lucy is perhaps the one who believes in Narnia the most. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe she initiates the story by entering Narnia through the wardrobe, and (with Susan) witnesses Aslan's execution and resurrection. She is named Queen Lucy the Valiant. In Prince Caspian she is the first to see Aslan when he comes to guide them. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it is Lucy who breaks the spell of invisibility on the Dufflepuds. As an adult in The Horse and His Boy, she helps fight the Calormenes at Anvard. Although a minor character in The Last Battle, much of the closing chapter is seen from her point of view.

Edmund Pevensie[edit]

Main article: Edmund Pevensie

Edmund is the second child to enter Narnia in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, where he falls under the White Witch's spell from eating the Turkish Delight she gives him. Instantiating the book's Christian theme of betrayal, repentance, and subsequent redemption via blood sacrifice, he betrays his siblings to the White Witch, but quickly realizes her true nature and her evil intentions, and is redeemed by the sacrifice of Aslan's life. He is named King Edmund the Just. In Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader he supports Lucy; in The Horse and His Boy he leads the Narnian delegation to Calormen and, later, the Narnian army breaking the siege at Anvard.

Susan Pevensie[edit]

Main article: Susan Pevensie

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Susan accompanies Lucy to see Aslan die and rise again. She is named Queen Susan the Gentle. In Prince Caspian, however, she is the last of the four to believe and follow Lucy when the latter is called by Aslan to guide them. As an adult queen in The Horse and His Boy, she is courted by Prince Rabadash of Calormen, but refuses his marriage proposal, and his angry response leads the story to its climax. In The Last Battle, she has stopped believing in Narnia and remembers it only as a childhood game, though Lewis mentioned in a letter to a fan that he thought she may eventually believe again: "The books don't tell us what happened to Susan ... But there is plenty of time for her to mend, and perhaps she will get to Aslan's country in the end—in her own way."

Peter Pevensie[edit]

Main article: Peter Pevensie

Peter is the eldest of the Pevensies. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe he kills a Talking Wolf to save Susan, and leads the Narnian army against the White Witch. Aslan names him High King, and he is known as Peter the Magnificent. In Prince Caspian he duels the usurper King Miraz to restore Caspian's throne. In The Last Battle it is Peter whom Aslan entrusts with the duty of closing the door on Narnia for the final time.

Eustace Scrubb[edit]

Main article: Eustace Scrubb

Eustace Clarence Scrubb is a cousin of the Pevensies, and a classmate of Jill Pole at their school Experiment House. He is portrayed at first as a brat and a bully, but comes to improve his nasty behaviour when his greed turns him into a dragon for a while. His distress at having to live as a dragon causes him to reflect upon how horrible he has been, and his subsequent improved character is rewarded when Aslan changes him back into a boy. In the later books, Eustace comes across as a much nicer person, although he is still rather grumpy and argumentative. Nonetheless, he becomes a hero along with Jill Pole when the pair succeed in freeing the lost Prince Rilian from the clutches of an evil witch. He appears in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle.

Jill Pole[edit]

Main article: Jill Pole

Jill Pole is a schoolmate of Eustace Scrubb. She appears in The Silver Chair, where she is the viewpoint character for most of the action, and returns in The Last Battle. In The Silver Chair Eustace introduces her to the Narnian world, where Aslan gives her the task of memorising a series of signs that will help her and Eustace on their quest to find Caspian's lost son. In The Last Battle she and Eustace accompany King Tirian in his ill-fated defence of Narnia against the Calormenes.

Digory Kirke[edit]

Main article: Digory Kirke

Digory Kirke is the nephew referred to in the title of The Magician's Nephew. He first appears as a minor character in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, known only as "The Professor", who hosts the Pevensie children when they are evacuated from London and defends Lucy's story of having found a country in the back of the wardrobe. In The Magician's Nephew the young Digory, thanks to his uncle's magical experimentation, inadvertently brings Jadis from her dying homeworld of Charn to the newly-created world of Narnia; to fix his mistake Aslan sends him to fetch a magical apple which will protect Narnia and heal his dying mother. He returns in The Last Battle.

Polly Plummer[edit]

Main article: Polly Plummer

Polly Plummer appears in The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle. She is the next-door neighbour of the young Digory Kirke. She is tricked by a wicked magician (who is Digory's uncle) into touching a magic ring which transports her to the Wood between the Worlds and leaves her there stranded. The wicked uncle persuades Digory to follow her with a second magic ring that has the power to bring her back. This sets up the pair's adventures into other worlds, and they witness the creation of Narnia as described in The Magician's Nephew. She appears at the end of The Last Battle.

Tumnus[edit]

Main article: Mr. Tumnus

Tumnus the Faun, called "Mr Tumnus" by Lucy, is featured prominently in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and also appears in The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle. He is the first creature Lucy meets in Narnia, as well as the first Narnian to be introduced in the series; he invites her to his home with the intention of betraying her to Jadis, but quickly repents and befriends her. In The Horse and His Boy he devises the Narnian delegation's plan of escape from Calormen. He returns for a brief dialogue at the end of The Last Battle. A mental image of a faun in a snowy wood was Lewis's initial inspiration for the entire series; Tumnus is that faun.[2]

Caspian[edit]

Main article: Prince Caspian (character)

Caspian is first introduced in the book titled after him, as the young nephew and heir of King Miraz. Fleeing potential assassination by his uncle, he becomes leader of the Old Narnian rebellion against the Telmarine occupation. With the help of the Pevensies, he defeats Miraz's army and becomes King Caspian X of Narnia. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader he leads an expedition out into the eastern ocean to find Seven Lords whom Miraz had exiled, and ultimately to reach Aslan's Country. In The Silver Chair he makes two brief appearances as an old, dying man, but at the end is resurrected in Aslan's Country.

Trumpkin[edit]

Main article: Trumpkin

Trumpkin the Dwarf is the narrator of several chapters of Prince Caspian; he is one of Caspian's rescuers and a leading figure in the "Old Narnian" rebellion, and accompanies the Pevensie children from the ruins of Cair Paravel to the Old Narnian camp. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader we learn that Caspian has made him his Regent in Narnia while he is away at sea, and he appears briefly in this role (now elderly and very deaf) in The Silver Chair.

Reepicheep[edit]

Main article: Reepicheep

Reepicheep the Mouse is the leader of the Talking Mice of Narnia in Prince Caspian. Utterly fearless, infallibly courteous, and obsessed with honour, he is badly wounded in the final battle but healed by Lucy and Aslan. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader his role is greatly expanded; he becomes a visionary as well as a warrior, and ultimately his willing self-exile to Aslan's Country breaks the enchantment on the last three of the Lost Lords, thus achieving the final goal of the quest. Lewis identified Reepicheep as "specially" exemplifying the latter book's theme of "the spiritual life".

Puddleglum[edit]

Main article: Puddleglum

Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle guides Eustace and Jill on their quest in The Silver Chair. Though always comically pessimistic, he provides the voice of reason and as such intervenes critically in the climactic enchantment scene.

Shasta / Cor[edit]

Main article: Shasta (Narnia)

Shasta, later known as Cor of Archenland, is the principal character in The Horse and His Boy. Born the eldest son and heir of King Lune of Archenland, and elder twin of Prince Corin, Cor was kidnapped as an infant and raised as a fisherman's son in Calormen. With the help of the talking horse Bree, Shasta escapes from being sold into slavery and makes his way northward to Narnia. On the journey his companion Aravis learns of an imminent Calormene surprise attack on Archenland; Shasta warns the Archenlanders in time and discovers his true identity and original name. At the end of the story he marries Aravis and becomes King of Archenland.

Aravis[edit]

Main article: Aravis

Aravis, daughter of Kidrash Tarkaan, is a character in The Horse and His Boy. Escaping a forced betrothal to the loathsome Ahoshta, she joins Shasta on his journey and inadvertently overhears a plot by Rabadash, crown prince of Calormen, to invade Archenland. She later marries Shasta, now known as Prince Cor, and becomes queen of Archenland at his side.

Bree[edit]

Main article: Bree (Narnia)

Bree (Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah) is Shasta's mount and mentor in The Horse and His Boy. A Talking Horse of Narnia, he wandered into Calormen as a foal and was captured. He first appears as a Calormene nobleman's war-horse; when the nobleman buys Shasta as a slave, Bree organises and carries out their joint escape. Though friendly, he is also vain and a braggart until his encounter with Aslan late in the story.

Tirian[edit]

Main article: Tirian

The last King of Narnia is the viewpoint character for much of The Last Battle. Having rashly killed a Calormene for mistreating a Narnian Talking Horse, he is imprisoned by the villainous ape Shift but released by Eustace and Jill. Together they fight faithfully to the last and are welcomed into Aslan's Kingdom.

Antagonists[edit]

Jadis, the White Witch[edit]

Main article: White Witch

Jadis, commonly known during her rule of Narnia as the White Witch, is the main villain of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and The Magician's Nephew – the only antagonist to appear in more than one Narnia book. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, she is the witch responsible for the freezing of Narnia resulting in the Hundred Year Winter; she turns her enemies into statues and kills Aslan on the Stone Table, but is killed by him in battle after his resurrection. In The Magician's Nephew she is wakened from a magical sleep by Digory in the dead world of Charn and inadvertently brought to VictorianLondon before being transported to Narnia, where she steals an apple to grant her the gift of immortality.

Miraz[edit]

Main article: Miraz

King Miraz is the lead villain of Prince Caspian. Prior to the book's opening he has killed King Caspian IX, father of the titular Prince Caspian, and usurped his throne as king of the Telmarine colonizers in Narnia. He raises Caspian as his heir, but seeks to kill him after his own son is born. As the story progresses he leads the Telmarine war against the Old Narnian rebellion; he is defeated in single combat by Peter and then murdered by one of his own lords.

Lady of the Green Kirtle[edit]

Main article: Lady of the Green Kirtle

The Lady of the Green Kirtle is the lead villain of The Silver Chair, and is also referred to in that book as "the Queen of Underland" or simply as "the Witch". She rules an underground kingdom through magical mind-control. Prior to the events of The Silver Chair she has murdered Caspian's Queen and then seduced and abducted his son Prince Rilian. She encounters the protagonists on their quest and sends them astray. Confronted by them later, she attempts to enslave them magically; when that fails, she attacks them in the form of a serpent and is killed.

Rabadash[edit]

Main article: Rabadash

Prince Rabadash, heir to the throne of Calormen, is the primary antagonist of The Horse and His Boy. Hot-headed, arrogant, and entitled, he brings Queen Susan of Narnia – along with a small retinue of Narnians, including King Edmund – to Calormen in the hope that Susan will marry him. When the Narnians realize that Rabadash may force Susan to accept his marriage proposal, they spirit Susan out of Calormen by ship. Incensed, Rabadash launches a surprise attack on Archenland with the ultimate intention of raiding Narnia and taking Susan captive. His plan is foiled when Shasta and Aravis warn the Archenlanders of his impending strike. After being captured by Edmund, Rabadash blasphemes against Aslan. Aslan then temporarily transforms him into a donkey as punishment.

Shift the Ape[edit]

Main article: Shift (Narnia)

Shift is the most prominent villain of The Last Battle. He is an elderly TalkingApe – Lewis does not specify what kind of ape, but Pauline Baynes' illustrations depict him as a chimpanzee. He persuades the naïve donkey Puzzle to pretend to be Aslan (wearing a lion-skin) in order to seize control of Narnia, and proceeds to cut down the forests, enslave the other Talking Beasts, and invite the Calormenes to invade. He loses control of the situation due to over-indulging in alcohol, and is eventually swallowed up by the evil Calormene god Tash.

Title characters[edit]

Appearances of main characters[edit]

Character Book
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952) The Silver Chair (1953) The Horse and His Boy (1954) The Magician's Nephew (1955) The Last Battle (1956) Total

Appearances

Aslan Major7
Peter Pevensie MajorMinor 3
Susan Pevensie MajorMinor 3
Edmund Pevensie MajorMinor Minor 5
Lucy Pevensie MajorMinor Minor 5
Eustace Scrubb MajorMajor3
Jill Pole MajorMajor2
(Professor) Digory Kirke Minor MajorMinor 3
Polly Plummer MajorMinor 2
(Mr) Tumnus MajorMinor Minor 3
Prince/King Caspian MajorMinor Cameo4
Trumpkin the Dwarf MajorMinor Cameo3
Reepicheep the Mouse Minor MajorMinor 3
Puddleglum MajorCameo2
Shasta (Prince Cor) MajorCameo2
Aravis Tarkheena MajorCameo2
Bree MajorCameo2
King Tirian Major1
Jadis (The White Witch) MajorMajor2
King Miraz Major1
The Lady of the Green Kirtle Major1
Prince Rabadash Major1
Shift the Ape Major1

Narnian geography[edit]

The Chronicles of Narnia describes the world in which Narnia exists as one major landmass encircled by an ocean. Narnia's capital sits on the eastern edge of the landmass on the shores of the Great Eastern Ocean. This ocean contains the islands explored in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. On the main landmass Lewis places the countries of Narnia, Archenland, Calormen, and Telmar, along with a variety of other areas that are not described as countries. The author also provides glimpses of more fantastic locations that exist in and around the main world of Narnia, including an edge and an underworld.

Influences[edit]

Lewis's life[edit]

Lewis's early life has parallels with The Chronicles of Narnia. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to a large house on the edge of Belfast. Its long hallways and empty rooms inspired Lewis and his brother to invent make-believe worlds whilst exploring their home, an activity reflected in Lucy's discovery of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[36] Like Caspian and Rilian, Lewis lost his mother at an early age, spending much of his youth in English boarding schools similar to those attended by the Pevensie children, Eustace Scrubb, and Jill Pole. During World War II many children were evacuated from London and other urban areas because of German air raids. Some of these children, including one named Lucy (Lewis's goddaughter) stayed with him at his home The Kilns near Oxford, just as the Pevensies stayed with The Professor in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[37]

Influences from mythology and cosmology[edit]

Drew Trotter, president of the Center for Christian Study, noted that the producers of the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe felt that the books' plots adhere to the archetypal "monomyth" pattern as detailed in Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces.[38]

Lewis was widely read in medieval Celtic literature, an influence reflected throughout the books, and most strongly in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The entire book imitates one of the immrama, a type of traditional Old Irish tale that combines elements of Christianity and Irish mythology to tell the story of a hero's sea journey to the Otherworld.[39][40]

Planet Narnia[edit]

Michael Ward's 2008 book Planet Narnia proposes that each of the seven books related to one of the seven moving heavenly bodies or "planets" known in the Middle Ages according to the Ptolemaic geocentric model of cosmology (a theme to which Lewis returned habitually throughout his work). At that time, each of these heavenly bodies was believed to have certain attributes, and Ward contends that these attributes were deliberately but subtly used by Lewis to furnish elements of the stories of each book:

In The Lion [the child protagonists] become monarchs under sovereign Jove; in Prince Caspian they harden under strong Mars; in The "Dawn Treader" they drink light under searching Sol; in The Silver Chair they learn obedience under subordinate Luna; in The Horse and His Boy they come to love poetry under eloquent Mercury; in The Magician's Nephew they gain life-giving fruit under fertile Venus; and in The Last Battle they suffer and die under chilling Saturn.

Lewis's interest in the literary symbolism of medieval and Renaissance astrology is more overtly referenced in other works such as his study of medieval cosmology The Discarded Image, and in his early poetry as well as in Space Trilogy. Narnia scholar Paul F. Ford finds Ward's assertion that Lewis intended The Chronicles to be an embodiment of medieval astrology implausible, though Ford addresses an earlier (2003) version of Ward's thesis (also called Planet Narnia, published in the Times Literary Supplement). Ford argues that Lewis did not start with a coherent plan for the books, but Ward's book answers this by arguing that the astrological associations grew in the writing:

Jupiter was... [Lewis's] favourite planet, part of the "habitual furniture" of his mind... The Lion was thus the first example of that "idea that he wanted to try out". Prince Caspian and The "Dawn Treader" naturally followed because Mars and Sol were both already connected in his mind with the merits of the Alexander technique.... at some point after commencing The Horse and His Boy he resolved to treat all seven planets, for seven such treatments of his idea would mean that he had "worked it out to the full".

A quantitative analysis on the imagery in the different books of The Chronicles gives mixed support to Ward's thesis: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, and The Magician's Nephew do indeed employ concepts associated with, respectively, Sol, Luna, Mercury, and Venus, far more often than chance would predict, but The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Last Battle fall short of statistical correlation with their proposed planets.[45]

Influences from literature[edit]

George MacDonald's Phantastes (1858) influenced the structure and setting of "The Chronicles".[clarification needed] It was a work that was " a great balm to the soul".[46]

Plato was an undeniable influence on Lewis's writing of The Chronicles. Most clearly, Digory explicitly invokes Plato's name at the end of The Last Battle, to explain how the old version of Narnia is but a shadow of the newly revealed "true" Narnia. Plato's influence is also apparent in The Silver Chair when the Queen of the Underland attempts to convince the protagonists that the surface world is not real. She echoes the logic of Plato's Cave by comparing the sun to a nearby lamp, arguing that reality is only that which is perceived in the immediate physical vicinity.[47]

The White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe shares many features, both of appearance and character, with the villainous Duessa of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, a work Lewis studied in detail. Like Duessa, she falsely styles herself Queen; she leads astray the erring Edmund with false temptations; she turns people into stone as Duessa turns them into trees. Both villains wear opulent robes and deck their conveyances out with bells. In The Magician's Nephew Jadis takes on echoes of Satan from John Milton's Paradise Lost: she climbs over the wall of the paradisal garden in contempt of the command to enter only by the gate, and proceeds to tempt Digory as Satan tempted Eve, with lies and half-truths. Similarly, the Lady of the Green Kirtle in The Silver Chair recalls both the snake-woman Errour in The Faerie Queene and Satan's transformation into a snake in Paradise Lost.

Lewis read Edith Nesbit's children's books as a child and was greatly fond of them.[51] He described The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe around the time of its completion as "a children's book in the tradition of E. Nesbit".[52]The Magician's Nephew in particular bears strong resemblances to Nesbit's The Story of the Amulet (1906). This novel focuses on four children living in London who discover a magic amulet. Their father is away and their mother is ill, as is the case with Digory. They manage to transport the queen of ancient Babylon to London and she is the cause of a riot; likewise, Polly and Digory transport Queen Jadis to London, sparking a very similar incident.[51]

Marsha Daigle-Williamson argues that Dante'sDivine Comedy had a significant impact on Lewis's writings. In the Narnia series, she identifies this influence as most apparent in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair. Daigle-Williamson identifies the plot of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as a Dantean journey with a parallel structure and similar themes. She likewise draws numerous connections between The Silver Chair and the events of Dante's Inferno.

Colin Duriez, writing on the shared elements found in both Lewis's and J. R. R. Tolkien’s works, highlights the thematic similarities between Tolkien's poem Imram and Lewis's The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.[56]

Influences on other works[edit]

The Chronicles of Narnia is considered a classic of children's literature.[57][58]

Influences on literature[edit]

The Chronicles of Narnia has been a significant influence on both adult and children's fantasy literature in the post-World War II era. In 1976, the scholar Susan Cornell Poskanzer praised Lewis for his "strangely powerful fantasies". Poskanzer argued that children could relate to Narnia books because the heroes and heroines were realistic characters, each with their own distinctive voice and personality. Furthermore, the protagonists become powerful kings and queens who decide the fate of kingdoms, while the adults in the Narnia books tended to be buffoons, which by inverting the normal order of things was pleasing to many youngsters. However, Poskanzer criticized Lewis for what she regarded as scenes of gratuitous violence, which she felt were upsetting to children. Poskanzer also noted Lewis presented his Christian message subtly enough as to avoid boring children with overt sermonizing.[59]

Examples include:

Philip Pullman's fantasy series, His Dark Materials, is seen as a response to The Chronicles. Pullman is a self-described atheist who wholly rejects the spiritual themes that permeate The Chronicles, yet his series nonetheless addresses many of the same issues and introduces some similar character types, including talking animals. In another parallel, the first books in each series – Pullman's Northern Lights and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – both open with a young girl hiding in a wardrobe.[60][61][62]

Bill Willingham's comic book series Fables makes reference at least twice to a king called "The Great Lion", a thinly veiled reference to Aslan. The series avoids explicitly referring to any characters or works that are not in the public domain.[citation needed]

The novel Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson has Leslie, one of the main characters, reveal to Jesse her love of Lewis's books, subsequently lending him The Chronicles of Narnia so that he can learn how to behave like a king. Her book also features the island name "Terabithia", which sounds similar to Terebinthia, a Narnian island that appears in Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Katherine Paterson herself acknowledges that Terabithia is likely to be derived from Terebinthia:

I thought I had made it up. Then, rereading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis, I realized that I had probably gotten it from the island of Terebinthia in that book. However, Lewis probably got that name from the terebinth tree in the Bible, so both of us pinched from somewhere else, probably unconsciously."[63]

Science-fiction author Greg Egan's short story "Oracle" depicts a parallel universe in which an author nicknamed Jack (Lewis's nickname) has written novels about the fictional "Kingdom of Nesica", and whose wife is dying of cancer, paralleling the death of Lewis's wife Joy Davidman. Several Narnian allegories are also used to explore issues of religion and faith versus science and knowledge.[64]

Lev Grossman's New York Times best-seller The Magicians is a contemporary dark fantasy about an unusually gifted young man obsessed with Fillory, the magical land of his favourite childhood books. Fillory is a thinly veiled substitute for Narnia, and clearly the author expects it to be experienced as such. Not only is the land home to many similar talking animals and mythical creatures, it is also accessed through a grandfather clock in the home of an uncle to whom five English children are sent during World War II. Moreover, the land is ruled by two Aslan-like rams named Ember and Umber, and terrorised by The Watcherwoman. She, like the White Witch, freezes the land in time. The book's plot revolves heavily around a place very like the "wood between the worlds" from The Magician's Nephew, an interworld waystation in which pools of water lead to other lands. This reference to The Magician's Nephew is echoed in the title of the book.[65]

J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has said that she was a fan of the works of Lewis as a child, and cites the influence of The Chronicles on her work: "I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry is told he has to hurl himself at a barrier in King's Cross Station – it dissolves and he's on platform Nine and Three-Quarters, and there's the train for Hogwarts."[66] Nevertheless, she is at pains to stress the differences between Narnia and her world: "Narnia is literally a different world", she says, "whereas in the Harry books you go into a world within a world that you can see if you happen to belong. A lot of the humour comes from collisions between the magic and the everyday worlds. Generally there isn't much humour in the Narnia books, although I adored them when I was a child. I got so caught up I didn't think CS Lewis was especially preachy. Reading them now I find that his subliminal message isn't very subliminal."[66]New York Times writer Charles McGrath notes the similarity between Dudley Dursley, the obnoxious son of Harry's neglectful guardians, and Eustace Scrubb, the spoiled brat who torments the main characters until he is redeemed by Aslan.[67]

The comic book series Pakkins' Land by Gary and Rhoda Shipman in which a young child finds himself in a magical world filled with talking animals, including a lion character named King Aryah, has been compared favorably to the Narnia series. The Shipmans have cited the influence of C.S. Lewis and the Narnia series in response to reader letters.[68] In 2019, Francis Spufford wrote The Stone Table, an unofficial Narnia continuation novel.[69]

Influences on popular culture[edit]

As with any popular long-lived work, contemporary culture abounds with references to the lion Aslan, travelling via wardrobe and direct mentions of The Chronicles. Examples include:

Charlotte Staples Lewis, a character first seen early in the fourth season of the TV series Lost, is named in reference to C. S. Lewis. Lost producer Damon Lindelof said that this was a clue to the direction the show would take during the season.[70] The book Ultimate Lost and Philosophy, edited by William Irwin and Sharon Kaye, contains a comprehensive essay on Lost plot motifs based on The Chronicles.[71]

The second SNL Digital Short by Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell features a humorous nerdcore hip hop song titled Chronicles of Narnia (Lazy Sunday), which focuses on the performers' plan to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at a cinema. It was described by Slate magazine as one of the most culturally significant Saturday Night Live skits in many years, and an important commentary on the state of rap.[72] Swedish Christian power metal band Narnia, whose songs are mainly about the Chronicles of Narnia or the Bible, feature Aslan on all their album covers.[73][74] The song "Further Up, Further In" from the album Room to Roam by Scottish-Irish folk-rock band The Waterboys is heavily influenced by The Chronicles of Narnia. The title is taken from a passage in The Last Battle, and one verse of the song describes sailing to the end of the world to meet a king, similar to the ending of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. C. S. Lewis is explicitly acknowledged as an influence in the liner notes of the 1990 compact disc.

During interviews, the primary creator of the Japanese anime and gaming series Digimon has said that he was inspired and influenced by The Chronicles of Narnia.[75]

Christian themes[edit]

Main article: Religion in The Chronicles of Narnia

Lewis had authored a number of works on Christian apologetics and other literature with Christian-based themes before writing the Narnia books. The character Aslan is widely accepted by literary academia as being based on Jesus Christ.[76] Lewis did not initially plan to incorporate Christian theological concepts into his Narnia stories. Lewis maintained that the Narnia books were not allegorical, preferring to term their Christian aspects a "supposition".[77][78]

The Chronicles have, consequently, a large Christian following, and are widely used to promote Christian ideas. However, some Christians object that The Chronicles promote "soft-sell paganism and occultism" due to recurring pagan imagery and themes.[79][80][81][82][83][84]

Criticism[edit]

Consistency[edit]

Gertrude Ward noted that "When Lewis wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he clearly meant to create a world where there were no human beings at all. As the titles of Mr. Tumnus' books testify, in this world human beings are creatures of myth, while its common daily reality includes fauns and other creatures which are myth in our world. This worked well for the first volume of the series, but for later volumes Lewis thought up plots which required having more human beings in this world. In Prince Caspian he still kept the original structure and explained that more humans had arrived from our world at a later time, overrunning Narnia. However, later on he gave in and changed the entire concept of this world - there have always been very many humans in this world, and Narnia is just one very special country with a lot of talking animals and fauns and dwarves etc. In this revised world, with a great human empire to the south of Narnia and human principality just next door, the White Witch would not have suspected Edmund of being a dwarf who shaved his beard - there would be far more simple and obvious explanations for his origin. And in fact, in this revised world it is not entirely clear why were the four Pevensie children singled out for the Thrones of Narnia, over so many other humans in the world.(...) Still, we just have to live with these discrepencies, and enjoy each Narnia book on its own merits."[85]

Accusations of gender stereotyping[edit]

In later years, both Lewis and the Chronicles have been criticised (often by other authors of fantasy fiction) for gender role stereotyping, though other authors have defended Lewis in this area. Most allegations of sexism centre on the description of Susan Pevensie in The Last Battle when Lewis writes that Susan is "no longer a friend of Narnia" and interested "in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations".

Philip Pullman, inimical to Lewis on many fronts, calls the Narnia stories "monumentally disparaging of women".[86] His interpretation of the Susan passages reflects this view:

Susan, like Cinderella, is undergoing a transition from one phase of her life to another. Lewis didn't approve of that. He didn't like women in general, or sexuality at all, at least at the stage in his life when he wrote the Narnia books. He was frightened and appalled at the notion of wanting to grow up.[87]

In fantasy author Neil Gaiman's short story "The Problem of Susan" (2004),[88][89][90] an elderly woman, Professor Hastings, deals with the grief and trauma of her entire family's death in a train crash. Although the woman's maiden name is not revealed, details throughout the story strongly imply that this character is the elderly Susan Pevensie. The story is written for an adult audience and deals with issues of sexuality and violence and through it Gaiman presents a critique of Lewis's treatment of Susan, as well as the problem of evil as it relates to punishment and salvation.[89]

Lewis supporters cite the positive roles of women in the series, including Jill Pole in The Silver Chair, Aravis Tarkheena in The Horse and His Boy, Polly Plummer in The Magician's Nephew, and particularly Lucy Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Alan Jacobs, an English professor at Wheaton College, asserts that Lucy is the most admirable of the human characters and that generally the girls come off better than the boys throughout the series (Jacobs, 2008: 259)[citation not found].[91][unreliable source?][92][unreliable source?] In her contribution to The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy, Karin Fry, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, notes that "the most sympathetic female characters in The Chronicles are consistently the ones who question the traditional roles of women and prove their worth to Aslan through actively engaging in the adventures just like the boys."[93] Fry goes on to say:

The characters have positive and negative things to say about both male and female characters, suggesting an equality between sexes. However, the problem is that many of the positive qualities of the female characters seem to be those by which they can rise above their femininity ... The superficial nature of stereotypical female interests is condemned.[93]

Nathan Ross notes that "Much of the plot of 'Wardrobe' is told exclusively from the point of view of Susan and Lucy. It is the girls who witness Aslan being killed and coming back to life - a unique experience from which the boys are excluded. Throughout, going through many highly frightening and shocking moments, Susan and Lucy behave with grown up courage and responsibility. Their experiences are told in full, over several chapters, while what the boys do at the same time - preparing an army and going into battle - is relegated to the background. This arrangement of material clearly implies that what girls saw and did was the more important. Given the commonly held interpretation - that Aslan is Jesus Christ and that what the girls saw was a no less than a reenacting of the Crucifixion - this order of priorities makes perfect sense".[94]

Taking a different stance altogether, Monika B. Hilder provides a thorough examination of the feminine ethos apparent in each book of the series, and proposes that critics tend to misread Lewis’s representation of gender. As she puts it "...we assume that Lewis is sexist when he is in fact applauding the 'feminine' heroic. To the extent that we have not examined our own chauvinism, we demean the 'feminine' qualities and extol the 'masculine' - not noticing that Lewis does the opposite."[95]

Accusations of racism[edit]

In addition to sexism, Pullman and others have also accused the Narnia series of fostering racism.[86][96] Over the alleged racism in The Horse and His Boy, newspaper editor Kyrie O'Connor wrote:

While the book's storytelling virtues are enormous, you don't have to be a bluestocking of political correctness to find some of this fantasy anti-Arab, or anti-Eastern, or anti-Ottoman. With all its stereotypes, mostly played for belly laughs, there are moments you'd like to stuff this story back into its closet.[97]

Gregg Easterbrook, writing in The Atlantic, stated that "the Calormenes, are unmistakable Muslim stand-ins",[98] while novelist Philip Hensher raises specific concerns that a reader might gain the impression that Islam is a "Satanic cult".[99] In rebuttal to this charge, at an address to a C. S. Lewis conference, Dr. Devin Brown argued that there are too many dissimilarities between the Calormene religion and Islam, particularly in the areas of polytheism and human sacrifice, for Lewis's writing to be regarded as critical of Islam.[100]

Nicholas Wanberg has argued, echoing claims by Mervyn Nicholson, that accusations of racism in the books are "an oversimplification", but he asserts that the stories employ beliefs about human aesthetics, including equating dark skin with ugliness, that have been traditionally associated with racist thought.[101]

Critics also argue whether Lewis's work presents a positive or negative view of colonialism. Nicole DuPlessis favors the anticolonial view, claiming "the negative effects of colonial exploitations and the themes of animals' rights and responsibility to the environment are emphasized in Lewis' construction of a community of living things. Through the negative examples of illegitimate rulers, Lewis constructs the 'correct' relationship between humans and nature, providing examples of rulers like Caspian who fulfil their responsibilities to the environment."[102] Clare Etcherling counters with her claim that "those 'illegitimate' rulers are often very dark-skinned" and that the only "legitimate rulers are those sons and daughters of Adam and Eve who adhere to Christian conceptions of morality and stewardship – either white English children (such as Peter) or Narnians who possess characteristics valued and cultivated by the British (such as Caspian)."[103]

Adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia[edit]

Main article: Adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia

Television[edit]

Various books from The Chronicles of Narnia have been adapted for television over the years.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was first adapted in 1967. Comprising ten episodes of thirty minutes each, the screenplay was written by Trevor Preston, and directed by Helen Standage.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was adapted again in 1979, this time as an animated cartoon co-produced by Bill Melendez and the Children's Television Workshop, with a screenplay by David D. Connell.

Between 1988 and 1990, the first four books (as published) were adapted by the BBC as three TV serials. They were also aired in America on the PBS/Disney show WonderWorks.[104] They were nominated for a total of 16 awards, including an Emmy for "Outstanding Children's Program"[105] and a number of BAFTA awards including Best Children's Programme (Entertainment/Drama) in 1988, 1989 and 1990.[106][107][108]

On 3 October 2018, the C.S. Lewis Company announced that Netflix had acquired the rights to new film and television series adaptations of the Narnia books.[109] According to Fortune, this was the first time that rights to the entire Narnia catalogue had been held by a single company.[110]Entertainment One, which had acquired production rights to a fourth Narnia film, also joined the series. Mark Gordon, Douglas Gresham and Vincent Sieber will serve as executive producers.[111]

Radio[edit]

A critically acclaimed BBC Radio 4 dramatisation was produced in the 1980s, starring Maurice Denham as Professor Kirke. Collectively titled Tales of Narnia, the programmes covered the entire series with a running time of approximately 15 hours. In the UK, BBC Audiobooks released both audio cassette and compact disc versions of the series.[citation needed]

Between 1998 and 2002, Focus on the Family produced radio dramatisations of the entire series through its Radio Theatre programme.[112] Over one hundred performers took part including Paul Scofield as the storyteller and David Suchet as Aslan. Accompanied by an original orchestral score and cinema-quality digital sound design, the series was hosted by Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham and ran for just over 22 hours. Recordings of the entire adaptation were released on compact disc between 1999 and 2003.[citation needed]

Stage[edit]

Many stage adaptations of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have been produced over the years.

In 1984, Vanessa Ford Productions presented The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at London's Westminster Theatre. Adapted by Glyn Robbins, the play was directed by Richard Williams and designed by Marty Flood. The production was later revived at Westminster and The Royalty Theatre and went on tour until 1997. Productions of other tales from The Chronicles were also staged, including The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1986), The Magician's Nephew (1988) and The Horse and His Boy (1990).[citation needed]

In 1997, Trumpets Inc., a Filipino Christian theatre and musical production company, produced a musical rendition of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" that Douglas Gresham, Lewis's stepson (and co-producer of the Walden Media film adaptations), has openly declared that he feels is the closest to Lewis's intent. The book and lyrics were written by Jaime del Mundo and Luna Inocian, while the music was composed by Lito Villareal.[113][114]

The Royal Shakespeare Company premiered The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1998. The novel was adapted as a musical production by Adrian Mitchell, with music by Shaun Davey.[115] The show was originally directed by Adrian Noble and designed by Anthony Ward, with the revival directed by Lucy Pitman-Wallace. Well received by audiences, the production was periodically re-staged by the RSC for several years afterwards.[116]

Film[edit]

Main article: The Chronicles of Narnia (film series)

Sceptical that any cinematic adaptation could render the more fantastical elements and characters of the story realistically,[failed verification] Lewis never sold the film rights to the Narnia series.[118][failed verification] In answering a letter with a question posed by a child in 1957, asking if the Narnia series could please be on television, C. S. Lewis wrote back: "They'd be no good on TV. Humanised beasts can't be presented to the eye without at once becoming either hideous or ridiculous. I wish the idiots who run the film world [would] realize that there are stories which are for the ear alone."[119][citation not found]

The first novel adapted was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Released in December 2005, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was produced by Walden Media, distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, and directed by Andrew Adamson, with a screenplay by Ann Peacock, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus.

The second novel adapted was The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Released in 2008, it was co-produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures, co-written and directed by Andrew Adamson, with Screenwriters including Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.

In December 2008, Disney pulled out of financing the remainder of the Chronicles of Narnia film series.[120][121] However, Walden Media and 20th Century Fox eventually co-produced The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which was released in December 2010.

In May 2012, producer Douglas Gresham confirmed that Walden Media's contract with the C.S. Lewis Estate had expired, and that there was a moratorium on producing any Narnia films outside of Walden Media.[122] On 1 October 2013, it was announced that the C.S. Lewis Company had entered into an agreement with the Mark Gordon Company to jointly develop and produce The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair.[123] On 26 April 2017, Joe Johnston was hired to direct the film.[124] In October, Johnston said filming is expected to begin in late 2018. In November 2018, these plans were halted because Netflix had begun developing adaptations of the entire series.[125][126]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ abcdLewis, C. S. (1982). On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. p. 53. ISBN .
  2. ^Edwards, Owen Dudley (2007). British Children's Fiction in the Second World War. p. 129. ISBN .
  3. ^Lobdell, Jared (2016). Eight Children in Narnia: The Making of a Children's Story. Chicago, IL: Open Court. p. 63. ISBN .
  4. ^Grundy, G. B. (1904). "Plate 8". Murray's small classical atlas. London: J. Murray. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  5. ^Kelly, Clint (2006). "Dear Mr. Lewis". Response. 29 (1). Retrieved 22 September 2008.
  6. ^Edward, Guthmann (11 December 2005). "'Narnia' tries to cash in on dual audience". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 15 May 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2008.
  7. ^GoodKnight, Glen H. (3 August 2010). "Narnia Editions & Translations". Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  8. ^Hooper, Walter (1979). "Outline of Narnian history so far as it is known". Past Watchful Dragons: The Narnian Chronicles of C. S. Lewis. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. pp. 41–44. ISBN .
  9. ^Brady, Erik (1 December 2005). "A closer look at the world of Narnia". USA Today. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  10. ^Rilstone, Andrew. "What Order Should I Read the Narnia Books in (And Does It Matter?)". The Life and Opinions of Andrew Rilstone, Gentleman. Archived from the original on 30 November 2005.
  11. ^See Walter Hooper's C. S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide
  12. ^"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis : Christian Allegory - Theme Analysis". LitCharts.com. SparkNotes. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  13. ^Lewis, C.S. (1947). Miracles. London & Glasgow: Collins/Fontana. p. 46.
  14. ^Private collection, Patricia Baird
  15. ^Lewis, C. S. (1990). Surprised by Joy. Fount Paperbacks. p. 14. ISBN .
  16. ^Wilson, Tracy V. (7 December 2005). "How Narnia Works". HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  17. ^Trotter, Drew (11 November 2005). "What Did C. S. Lewis Mean, and Does It Matter?". Leadership U. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  18. ^Huttar, Charles A. (22 September 2007). ""Deep lies the sea-longing": inklings of home (1)". Mythlore.
  19. ^Duriez, Colin (2004). A Field Guide to Narnia. InterVarsity Press. pp. 80, 95.
  20. ^Barrett, Justin L. (2010). "Some Planets in Narnia: a quantitative investigation of the Planet Narnia thesis"(PDF). Seven: an Anglo-American literary review (Wheaton College). Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  21. ^Downing, David C. (2005). Into The Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles. Jossey Bass. pp. 12–13. ISBN .
  22. ^Johnson, William C.; Houtman, Marcia K. (1986). "Platonic Shadows in C. S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles". Modern Fiction Studies. 32 (1): 75–87. doi:10.1353/mfs.0.1154. S2CID 162284034. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  23. ^ abLindskoog, Kathryn Ann (1997). Journey into Narnia: C. S. Lewis's Tales Explored. Hope Publishing House. p. 87. ISBN .
  24. ^Walsh, Chad (1974). C. S. Lewis: Apostle to the Skeptics. Norwood Editions. p. 10. ISBN .
  25. ^Duriez, Colin (2015). Bedeviled: Lewis, Tolkien and the Shadow of Evil. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books. pp. 180–182. ISBN .
  26. ^"CS Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia author, honoured in Poets' corner". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 February 2013
  27. ^"CS Lewis to be honoured in Poets' Corner". BBC News. Retrieved 23 November 2012
  28. ^Poskanzer, Susan Cornell (May 1976). "Thoughts on C. S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia". Language Arts. 53 (5): 523–526.
  29. ^Miller, Laura (26 December 2005). "Far From Narnia". The New Yorker.
  30. ^Young, Cathy (March 2008). "A Secular Fantasy – The flawed but fascinating fiction of Philip Pullman". Reason.
  31. ^Chattaway, Peter T. (December 2007). "The Chronicles of Atheism". Christianity Today.
  32. ^Paterson, Katherine (2005). "Questions for Katherine Paterson". Bridge to Terabithia. Harper Trophy.
  33. ^Egan, Greg (12 November 2000). "Oracle".
  34. ^"Decatur Book Festival: Fantasy and its practice « PWxyz". Publishers Weekly blog. Archived from the original on 11 September 2010.
  35. ^ abRenton, Jennie. "The story behind the Potter legend". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2006.
  36. ^McGrath, Charles (13 November 2005). "The Narnia Skirmishes". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 May 2008.
  37. ^"Artist weaves faith into acclaimed comics". Lubbockonline.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  38. ^
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Narnia
"Could you believe me if I said I'd been right out of the world—outside this world—last summer?" — Eustace, to Jill Pole

This article is Out of Universe: it covers a subject that does not exist in the world of Narnia. (See the WikiNarnia Format for more information.)

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."
―C. S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis or Jack by his friends, was an Irish author and scholar. Lewis is known for his work on medieval literature, Christian apologetics, literary criticism and fiction. He is best known today for his children's series The Chronicles of Narnia.

Lewis was a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, and both were leading figures in the Oxford literary group The Inklings. Due in part to Tolkien's influence, Lewis converted to Christianity, becoming "a very ordinary layman of the Church of England". His conversion would have a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim. Late in life he married the American writer Joy Gresham, who died of bone cancer four years later at the age of 45.

Lewis' works have been translated into over 30 languages and continue to sell over a million copies a year; the books that comprise The Chronicles of Narnia have sold over 100 million copies. A number of stage and screen adaptations of Lewis' works have also been produced, the most notable of which is the 2005 Disney film adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which grossed US$745,000,000 worldwide.

Biography

C. S. Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1898, into an Anglican family. His grandfather, Thomas Hamilton, was an Anglican vicar. As a teenager, he abandoned the Christianity of his home and became interested in mythology and the occult. He enrolled in Oxford, but his studies were interrupted by World War I. He enlisted, was commissioned, and was then wounded in action. While convalescing, he became very close to Jane Moore, the mother of a fellow soldier. They were close, and even lived under the same roof for years, though the details of their relationship are unclear. In part as a result of his friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien, Lewis came to believe in God at age 31 and in Jesus Christ two years later. He married Joy Gresham, first in a civil ceremony of convenience and later in a Christian ceremony. She died of bone cancer soon thereafter. Lewis himself died of renal failure in 1963.

Childhood

Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland (now in Northern Ireland) on November 29, 1898. His father was Albert James Lewis (1863-1929), a solicitor whose father had come to Ireland from Wales. His mother was Flora Augusta Hamilton Lewis (1862-1908), the daughter of a Church of Ireland priest. He had one older brother, Warren Hamilton Lewis (Warnie). At the age of four, shortly after his dog Jacksie was hit by a car, Lewis announced that his name was now Jacksie. At first he would answer to no other name, but later accepted Jacks which became Jack, the name by which he was known to friends and family for the rest of his life. At six his family moved into Little Lea, the house the elder Mr. Lewis built for Mrs. Lewis, in Strandtown, Northern Ireland.

Lewis was initially schooled by private tutors before being sent to the Wynyard School in Watford, Hertfordshire, in 1908, the same year that his mother died of cancer. Lewis's brother had already enrolled there three years previously. The school was soon closed due to a lack of pupils—the headmaster Robert "Oldie" Capron was soon after committed to an insane asylum. Tellingly, in Surprised By Joy, Lewis would later nickname the school "Bergen-Belsen concentration camp|Belsen". There is some speculation by biographer Alan Jacobs that the atmosphere at Wynyard greatly traumatized Lewis and was responsible for the development of "mildly sadomasochistic fantasies". Four of the letters that the adolescent Lewis wrote to his lifelong friend Arthur Greeves (out of an overall correspondence of nearly 300 letters) were signed "Philomastix" ("whip-lover"), and two of those also detailed women he would like to spank.

After Wynyard closed, Lewis attended Campbell College in the east of Belfast about a mile from his home, but he left after a few months due to respiratory problems. As a result of his illness, Lewis was sent to the health-resort town of Malvern, Worcestershire, where he attended the prep-school Cherbourg House (known to Lewis as "Chartres"). It was during his time at Cherbourg at the age of 13 that he abandoned his childhood Christian faith and became an atheist, becoming interested in mythology and the occult.

In September 1913 Lewis enrolled at Malvern College, where he would remain until the following June. Later he would describe its culture as a "burning desert of competitive ambition" relieved only by the "oasis" of pederastic loves between upperclassmen and the younger students, though he would also call this a "perversion".[1] After leaving Malvern he moved to study privately with William T. Kirkpatrick, his father's old tutor and former headmaster of Lurgan College.

As a young boy, Lewis had a fascination for anthropomorphic animals, falling in love with Beatrix Potter's stories and often writing and illustrating his own animal stories. He and his brother Warnie together created the world of Boxen, inhabited and run by animals. Lewis loved to read, and as his father's house was filled with books, he felt that finding a book he had not read was as easy as "finding a blade of grass." He also had a mortal fear of spiders and insects as a child, and they often haunted his dreams.

As a teenager, he was wonderstruck by the songs and legends of what he called Northernness. These legends intensified a longing he had within, a deep desire he would later call "joy." He also grew to love nature — the beauty of nature reminded him of the stories of the North, and the stories of the North reminded him of the beauties of nature. His writing in his teenage years moved away from the tales of Boxen, and he began to use different art forms (epic poetry and opera) to try to capture his newfound interest in Norse mythology and the natural world. Studying with Kirkpatrick ("The Great Knock", as Lewis afterwards called him) instilled in him a love of Greek literature and mythology, and sharpened his skills in debate and clear reasoning.

World War I

Having won a scholarship to University College, Oxford in 1916, Lewis enlisted the following year in the British Army as World War I raged on, and was commissioned an officer in the third Battalion, The Somerset Light Infantry. Lewis arrived at the front line in the Somme Valley in France on his eighteenth birthday.

On 15 April 1917, Lewis was wounded during the Battle of Arras, and suffered some depression during his convalescence, due in part to missing his Irish home. On his recovery in October, he was assigned to duty in Andover, England. He was discharged in December 1918, and soon returned to his studies. Lewis received a First in Honour Moderations (Greek and Latin Literature) in 1920, a First in Greats (Philosophy and Ancient History) in 1922, and a First in English in 1923.

While being trained for the army Lewis shared a room and became close friends with another cadet, "Paddy" Moore. The two had made a mutual pact that if either died during the war, the survivor would take care of both their families. Paddy was killed in action in 1918 and Lewis kept his promise. Paddy had earlier introduced Lewis to his mother, Jane King Moore, and a friendship very quickly sprang up between Lewis, who was eighteen when they met, and Jane, who was forty-five. The friendship with Mrs. Moore was particularly important to Lewis while he was recovering from his wounds in hospital and his father refused to visit him. His father probably didn't visit him because he was not acting as a Christian should.

Jane Moore

There has been some speculation among some Lewis scholars as to the nature of the relationship between Lewis and Jane Moore. Lewis for most of his life introduced Moore as his "mother" to all his acquaintances. Lewis was exceptionally reticent on the matter in his autobiography, writing only "All I can or need to say is that my earlier hostility to the emotions was very fully and variously avenged". The biographer A. N. Wilson declared categorically that they had been intimate during the period of his convalescence, but this seems to be based on few and poorly interpreted letters, and owes something to Wilson's tendency to psychological interpretation. Walter Hooper, Lewis's literary executor, allowed that it was possible, but as a late acquaintance his data are all derivative, as are Wilson's. George Sayer, who was a student of Lewis and later a friend, wrote that, after talking to Jane Moore's daughter, he was quite certain that they were lovers. At any rate, their friendship was certainly a very close one. In December 1917 Lewis wrote in a letter to his childhood friend Arthur Greeves that Jane and Greeves were "the two people who matter most to me in the world".

After the war, in 1918 or 1919, Lewis and Moore shared a house, although Lewis also kept rooms at his college, and in 1930, they and Lewis's brother, Warren Lewis, moved into "The Kilns", a house in Risinghurst, Headington (a suburb of Oxford). They all contributed financially to the purchase of the house, which passed to Lady Dunbar of Hempriggs, Moore's daughter, when Warren died in 1973.

Moore has been much criticized for being possessive and controlling and making Lewis do a lot of housework. However, she was also a warmhearted, affectionate and hospitable woman who was well liked by her neighbours at The Kilns. "She was generous and taught me to be generous, too", Lewis said to his friend George Sayer.

Moore suffered from dementia in her later years and was eventually moved into a nursing home, where she died in 1951. Lewis visited her every day in this home until her death.

"My Irish life"

Lewis experienced a certain cultural shock upon first arriving in England: "No Englishman will be able to understand my first impressions of England," Lewis wrote in Surprised by Joy. "The strange English accents with which I was surrounded seemed like the voices of demons. But what was worst was the English landscape ... I have made up the quarrel since; but at that moment I conceived a hatred for England which took many years to heal."

Since boyhood Lewis immersed himself in Irish mythology and Irish literature and expressed an interest in the Irish language. He developed a particular fondness for W. B. Yeats, in part because of Yeats’ use of Ireland's Celtic heritage in poetry. In a letter to a friend Lewis wrote, "I have here discovered an author exactly after my own heart, whom I am sure you would delight in, W. B. Yeats. He writes plays and poems of rare spirit and beauty about our old Irish mythology." In 1921, Lewis had the opportunity to meet Yeats on two occasions, since Yeats had moved to Oxford.

Surprised to find his English peers indifferent to Yeats and the Celtic Revival movement, Lewis wrote: "I am often surprised to find how utterly ignored Yeats is among the men I have met: perhaps his appeal is purely Irish — if so, then thank the gods that I am Irish." Early in his career, Lewis considered sending his work to the major Dublin publishers, writing: "If I do ever send my stuff to a publisher, I think I shall try Maunsel, those Dublin people, and so tack myself definitely onto the Irish school." After his conversion to Christianity, his interests gravitated towards Christian spirituality and away from Celtic mysticism.

Perhaps to help cope with his homesick feelings, Lewis, occasionally, expressed a somewhat tongue-in-cheek chauvinism toward the English. Describing an encounter with a fellow Irishman he wrote: "Like all Irish people who meet in England we ended by criticisms of the inevitable flippancy and dullness of the Anglo-Saxon race. After all, ami, there is no doubt that the Irish are the only people ... I would not gladly live or die among another folk."

Due to his Oxford career, Lewis did indeed live and die among another folk, and he often expressed regret at having to leave Ireland. Throughout his life, he sought out the company of his fellow Irish living in England and visited Northern Ireland regularly, even spending his honeymoon there. He called this "my Irish life".

Conversion Back to Christianity

Although raised in a church going family in the Church of Ireland, Lewis became an atheist at the age of 13, and remained as such until he was 31 years old. His separation from Christianity began when he started to view his religion as a chore and as a duty; around this time he also gained an interest in the occult as his studies expanded to include such topics. Lewis quoted Lucretius as having one of the strongest arguments for atheism:

Nequaquam nobis divinitus esse paratam
Naturam rerum; tanta stat praedita culpa
Had God designed the world, it would not be
A world so frail and faulty as we see.

Though an atheist at the time, Lewis later described his young self (in Surprised by Joy) as being paradoxically "very angry with God for not existing".

Influenced by arguments with his Oxford colleague and friend J. R. R. Tolkien, and by G.K. Chesterton's book, The Everlasting Man, he slowly rediscovered Christianity. He fought greatly up to the moment of his conversion noting that he was brought into Christianity like a prodigal, "kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape." He described his last struggle in Surprised by Joy:

"You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England."

After his conversion to Theism in 1929, Lewis converted to Christianity in 1931. Lewis's 1931 conversion followed a long discussion and late-night walk with his close friends Tolkien and Hugo Dyson; after it Lewis converted to Christianity, while on his way to the Zoo with his brother, and joined the Church of England—somewhat to the regret of the devout Roman Catholic Tolkien, who had hoped he would convert to Catholicism. It should be noted that Chesterton was a Catholic as well.

Although a committed Anglican, Lewis' beliefs in many respects inclined to the Catholic rather than the Protestant tradition; for example, he accepted the Catholic doctrine of mortal sin, implying that he believed Christians could lose their salvation (which is at odds with Reformed views on justification. This opinion was expressed by the demon Screwtape, in his book The Screwtape Letters.

Lewis was also sympathetic to the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. His references to the subject in his final work, Letters to Malcolm, find him taking a line similar to the Roman Catholic theologian John Henry Newman's approach in "The Dream of Gerontius".(It seems likely that Newman in turn took his position from Catherine of Genoa's "Purgation and Purgatory".)

Also, Lewis is sometimes considered to have serious elements of Orthodox Christianity belief. Literary and church figures quote his works as sources of Lewis' hidden Orthodox Christian belief.

The author

In addition to his scholarly work, Lewis wrote a number of popular novels, including his science fiction Space Trilogy and his fantasy Narnia books, most dealing implicitly with Christian themes such as sin, the Fall, and redemption.

The Pilgrim's Regress

His first novel after becoming a Christian was The Pilgrim's Regress, his take on John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress which depicted his own experience with Christianity. The book was critically panned at the time, particularly for its esoteric nature - as to read it requires a close familiarity with classical sources.

In a footnote of the biography D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight of Faith 1939-1981 by Iain Murray, Murray notes the following: "Lewis is said to have valued ML-J's appreciation and encouragement when the early edition of his Pilgrim's Regress was not selling well. Vincent Lloyd-Jones and Lewis knew each other well, being contemporaries at Oxford. ML-J met the author again and they had a long conversation when they found both themselves on the same boat to Ireland in 1953. On the later occasion, to the question, 'When are you going to write another book?', Lewis replied, 'When I understand the meaning of prayer'."

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels for children and is considered a classic of children's literature. Written between 1949 and 1954 and illustrated by Pauline Baynes, the series is Lewis' most popular work having sold over 100 million copies in 41 languages. It has been adapted several times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage, and cinema. The series has been published in several different orders, and the preferred reading order for the series is often debated among fans.

The books contain many allusions to Christian ideas which are easily accessible to younger readers; however, the books are not weighty, and can be read for their adventure, colour and richness of ideas alone. Because of this, they have become favourites of children and adults, Christians and non-Christians. In addition to Christian themes, Lewis also borrows characters from Greek and Roman mythology as well as traditional British and Irish fairy tales. Lewis reportedly based his depiction of Narnia on the geography and scenery of the Mourne Mountains and "that part of Rostrevor which overlooks Carlingford Lough". Lewis cited George MacDonald's Christian fairy tales as an influence in writing the series.

The Chronicles of Narnia present the adventures of children who play central roles in the unfolding history of the fictional realm of Narnia, a place where animals talk, magic is common, and good battles evil. In the majority of the books, children from our world find themselves transported to Narnia by a magical portal. Once there, they are quickly involved in setting some wrong to right with the help of the lion Aslan who is the central character of the series.

Space Trilogy

His Space Trilogy or Ransom Trilogy novels (also called the Cosmic Trilogy) dealt with what Lewis saw as the then-current dehumanizing trends in modern science fiction. The first book, Out of the Silent Planet, was apparently written following a conversation with his friend J. R. R. Tolkien about these trends; Lewis agreed to write a "space travel" story and Tolkien a "time travel" one. Tolkien's story, "The Lost Road", a tale connecting his Middle-earth mythology and the modern world, was never completed. Lewis's main character of Ransom is based in part on Tolkien, a fact that Tolkien himself alludes to in his Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. The second novel, Perelandra, illustrates a new Garden of Eden, a new Adam and Eve, and a new "serpent figure" to tempt them. The story can be seen as a hypothesis of what could have happened if "our Eve" had resisted more firmly the temptation of the serpent. The last novel in the Trilogy, That Hideous Strength, also contains numerous references to Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth. Many of the ideas presented in the books, particularly in That Hideous Strength, are dramatizations of arguments made more formally in Lewis’ The Abolition of Man.

This last was based on the series of lectures Lewis had given at Durham University in 1943, designed to counter what he saw as a movement in contemporary literature and thought to de-humanise man. Lewis stayed in Durham, where he was overwhelmed by the cathedral. That Hideous Strength is in fact set in the environs of Durham University ('Edgestow').

It is claimed that Lewis began another science-fiction novel, The Dark Tower, but it is unfinished; it is not clear whether it was intended as part of the same series as the completed novels. The manuscript was eventually published in 1977, though controversy persists about its authenticity.

The Christian apologist

In addition to his career as an English professor and an author of fiction, Lewis is regarded by many as one of the most influential Christian apologists of his time.

His most famous works, the Chronicles of Narnia, contain many strong Christian messages and are often considered allegory. Lewis, an expert on the subject of allegory, maintained that the books were not allegory, and preferred to call the Christian aspects of them "sup-positional". As Lewis wrote in a letter to a Mrs. Hook in December 1958:

"If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair [a character in The Pilgrim's Progress] represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality however he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, 'What might Christ become like, if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?' This is not allegory at all."

Trivia

References

  1. ↑C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy; Harvest Books (1966) p.107

External links

Aslan-PC.JPG"Well done, son of Adam. For this fruit you have hungered and thirsted and wept."

The article was written and presented so well that it has been featured on the front page.

Sours: https://narnia.fandom.com/wiki/C._S._Lewis

Lewis wikipedia cs

C. S. Lewis

A statue of C.S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis opening the wardrobe

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), usually called C. S. Lewis, was a Britishscholar who wrote about 40 books.[1] He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.[2] He is famous for his fantasy works, essays, and writings on literature and theology. Lewis' theological works are usually apologetics, the defence of Christianity. Some of his most popular Christian writings were Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. His works have been translated into more than 30 languages. Lewis was a professor of literature at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

Lewis was married to American writer Joy Davidman (1915–1960) from 1956 until her death from bone cancer. He died of renal failure in Oxford.

His writing is popular with many people, and many of his books were made into movies. His most famous and popular fantasy work is The Chronicles of Narnia, which is a series of seven books.

He died in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.

References[change | change source]

  1. "C.S. Lewis (British author)". britannica.com. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  2. ↑J. A. W. Bennett, "Lewis, Clive Staples (1898–1963)", rev. Emma Plaskitt, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2010.

Other websites[change | change source]

Sours: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis
C.S. Lewis Biography

C. S. Lewis

British writer, medievalist, and Christian apologist

C. S. Lewis

Monochrome head-and-left-shoulder photo portrait of 50-year-old Lewis

Lewis, age 48

BornClive Staples Lewis
(1898-11-29)29 November 1898
Belfast, Ireland
Died22 November 1963(1963-11-22) (aged 64)
Oxford, England
Pen nameClive Hamilton, N. W. Clerk
OccupationNovelist, scholar, broadcaster
Alma materUniversity College, Oxford
GenreChristian apologetics, fantasy, science fiction, children's literature
Notable worksThe Chronicles of Narnia
Mere Christianity
The Allegory of Love
The Screwtape Letters
The Space Trilogy
Till We Have Faces
Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life
Spouse

Joy Davidman

(m. 1956; died 1960)​
Children2 step-sons; including Douglas Gresham
RelativesWarren Lewis
(brother)

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British writer and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University (Magdalen College, 1925–1954) and Cambridge University (Magdalene College, 1954–1963). He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. They both served on the English faculty at Oxford University and were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the Inklings. According to Lewis's 1955 memoir Surprised by Joy, he was baptised in the Church of Ireland, but fell away from his faith during adolescence. Lewis returned to Anglicanism at the age of 32, owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, and he became an "ordinary layman of the Church of England". Lewis's faith profoundly affected his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.

Lewis wrote more than 30 books which have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularised on stage, TV, radio, and cinema. His philosophical writings are widely cited by Christian apologists from many denominations.

In 1956, Lewis married American writer Joy Davidman; she died of cancer four years later at the age of 45. Lewis died on 22 November 1963 from kidney failure, one week before his 65th birthday. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis was honoured with a memorial in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Biography

Childhood

Little Lea, home of the Lewis family from 1905 to 1930

Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast in Ulster, Ireland (before partition), on 29 November 1898.[1] His father was Albert James Lewis (1863–1929), a solicitor whose father Richard Lewis had come to Ireland from Wales during the mid-19th century. Lewis's mother was Florence Augusta Lewis née Hamilton (1862–1908), known as Flora, the daughter of the Reverend Thomas Hamilton, a Church of Ireland priest, and the great-granddaughter of both Bishop Hugh Hamilton and John Staples. Lewis had an elder brother, Warren Hamilton Lewis (known as "Warnie").[2] He was baptised on 29 January 1899 by his maternal grandfather in St Mark's Church, Dundela.[3]

When his dog Jacksie was killed by a car, the four-year old Lewis adopted the name Jacksie. At first, he would answer to no other name, but later accepted Jack, the name by which he was known to friends and family for the rest of his life.[4] When he was seven, his family moved into "Little Lea", the family home of his childhood, in the Strandtown area of East Belfast.[5]

As a boy, Lewis was fascinated with anthropomorphic animals; he fell in love with Beatrix Potter's stories and often wrote and illustrated his own animal tales. Along with his brother Warnie, he created the world of Boxen, a fantasy land inhabited and run by animals. Lewis loved to read from an early age. His father's house was filled with books; he later wrote that finding something to read was as easy as walking into a field and "finding a new blade of grass".

The New House is almost a major character in my story.
I am the product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms,
upstair indoor silences, attics explored in solitude,
distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes,
and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books.

Surprised by Joy

Lewis was schooled by private tutors until age nine, when his mother died in 1908 from cancer. His father then sent him to England to live and study at Wynyard School in Watford, Hertfordshire. Lewis's brother had enrolled there three years previously. Not long after, the school was closed due to a lack of pupils, and the headmaster Robert "Oldie" Capron was committed to a psychiatric hospital. Lewis then attended Campbell College in the east of Belfast about a mile from his home, but left after a few months due to respiratory problems.

He was then sent back to England to the health-resort town of Malvern, Worcestershire, where he attended the preparatory school Cherbourg House, which Lewis referred to as "Chartres" in his autobiography. It was during this time that he abandoned the Christianity he was taught as a child and became an atheist. During this time he also developed a fascination with European mythology and the occult.

In September 1913, Lewis enrolled at Malvern College, where he remained until the following June. He found the school socially competitive. After leaving Malvern, he studied privately with William T. Kirkpatrick, his father's old tutor and former headmaster of Lurgan College.[9]

As a teenager, Lewis was wonderstruck by the songs and legends of what he called Northernness, the ancient literature of Scandinavia preserved in the Icelandic sagas.[10] These legends intensified an inner longing that he would later call "joy". He also grew to love nature; its beauty reminded him of the stories of the North, and the stories of the North reminded him of the beauties of nature. His teenage writings moved away from the tales of Boxen, and he began experimenting with different art forms such as epic poetry and opera to try to capture his new-found interest in Norse mythology and the natural world.

Studying with Kirkpatrick ("The Great Knock", as Lewis afterward called him) instilled in him a love of Greek literature and mythology and sharpened his debate and reasoning skills. In 1916, Lewis was awarded a scholarship at University College, Oxford.[11]

"My Irish life"

Lewis experienced a certain cultural shock on first arriving in England: "No Englishman will be able to understand my first impressions of England," Lewis wrote in Surprised by Joy. "The strange English accents with which I was surrounded seemed like the voices of demons. But what was worst was the English landscape ... I have made up the quarrel since; but at that moment I conceived a hatred for England which took many years to heal."

From boyhood, Lewis had immersed himself in Norse and Greek mythology, and later in Irish mythology and literature. He also expressed an interest in the Irish language,[13] though there is not much evidence that he laboured to learn it. He developed a particular fondness for W. B. Yeats, in part because of Yeats's use of Ireland's Celtic heritage in poetry. In a letter to a friend, Lewis wrote, "I have here discovered an author exactly after my own heart, whom I am sure you would delight in, W. B. Yeats. He writes plays and poems of rare spirit and beauty about our old Irish mythology."

In 1921, Lewis met Yeats twice, since Yeats had moved to Oxford. Lewis was surprised to find his English peers indifferent to Yeats and the Celtic Revival movement, and wrote: "I am often surprised to find how utterly ignored Yeats is among the men I have met: perhaps his appeal is purely Irish – if so, then thank the gods that I am Irish."[17][18] Early in his career, Lewis considered sending his work to the major Dublin publishers, writing: "If I do ever send my stuff to a publisher, I think I shall try Maunsel, those Dublin people, and so tack myself definitely onto the Irish school."

After his conversion to Christianity, his interests gravitated towards Christian theology and away from pagan Celtic mysticism (as opposed to Celtic Christian mysticism).[19]

Lewis occasionally expressed a somewhat tongue-in-cheekchauvinism towards the English. Describing an encounter with a fellow Irishman, he wrote: "Like all Irish people who meet in England, we ended by criticisms on the invincible flippancy and dullness of the Anglo-Saxon race. After all, there is no doubt, ami, that the Irish are the only people: with all their faults, I would not gladly live or die among another folk." Throughout his life, he sought out the company of other Irish people living in England and visited Northern Ireland regularly. In 1958 he spent his honeymoon there at the Old Inn, Crawfordsburn, which he called "my Irish life".

Various critics have suggested that it was Lewis's dismay over the sectarian conflict in his native Belfast which led him to eventually adopt such an ecumenical brand of Christianity. As one critic has said, Lewis "repeatedly extolled the virtues of all branches of the Christian faith, emphasising a need for unity among Christians around what the Catholic writer G. K. Chesterton called 'Mere Christianity', the core doctrinal beliefs that all denominations share". On the other hand, Paul Stevens of the University of Toronto has written that "Lewis' mere Christianity masked many of the political prejudices of an old-fashioned Ulster Protestant, a native of middle-class Belfast for whom British withdrawal from Northern Ireland even in the 1950s and 1960s was unthinkable."[26]

First World War and Oxford University

Lewis entered Oxford in the 1917 summer term, studying at University College, and shortly after, he joined the Officers' Training Corps at the university as his "most promising route into the army".[27] From there, he was drafted into a Cadet Battalion for training.[27][28] After his training, he was commissioned into the Third Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry of the British Army as a Second Lieutenant. Within months of entering Oxford, he was shipped by British Army to France to fight in the First World War.[9]

On his 19th birthday (29 November 1917), Lewis arrived at the front line in the Somme Valley in France, where he experienced trench warfare for the first time.[27][28][29] On 15 April 1918, Lewis was wounded and two of his colleagues were killed by a Britishshell falling short of its target.[29][page needed] He suffered from depression and homesickness during his convalescence and, upon his recovery in October, he was assigned to duty in Andover, England. He was demobilized in December 1918 and soon restarted his studies.[30] In a later letter, Lewis stated that his experience of the horrors of war, along with the loss of his mother and unhappiness in school, were the basis of his pessimism and atheism.[31]

After Lewis returned to Oxford University, he received a First in Honour Moderations (Greek and Latin literature) in 1920, a First in Greats (Philosophy and Ancient History) in 1922, and a First in English in 1923. In 1924 he became a Philosophy tutor at University College and, in 1925, was elected a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College, where he served for 29 years until 1954.[32]

Janie Moore

During his army training, Lewis shared a room with another cadet, Edward Courtnay Francis "Paddy" Moore (1898–1918). Maureen Moore, Paddy's sister, said that the two made a mutual pact that if either died during the war, the survivor would take care of both of their families. Paddy was killed in action in 1918 and Lewis kept his promise. Paddy had earlier introduced Lewis to his mother, Janie King Moore, and a friendship quickly sprang up between Lewis, who was 18 when they met, and Janie, who was 45. The friendship with Moore was particularly important to Lewis while he was recovering from his wounds in hospital, as his father did not visit him.

Lewis lived with and cared for Moore until she was hospitalized in the late 1940s. He routinely introduced her as his mother, referred to her as such in letters, and developed a deeply affectionate friendship with her. Lewis's own mother had died when he was a child, while his father was distant, demanding, and eccentric.

Speculation regarding their relationship resurfaced with the 1990 publication of A. N. Wilson's biography of Lewis. Wilson (who never met Lewis) attempted to make a case for their having been lovers for a time. Wilson's biography was not the first to address the question of Lewis's relationship with Moore. George Sayer knew Lewis for 29 years, and he had sought to shed light on the relationship during the period of 14 years before Lewis's conversion to Christianity. In his biography Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis, he wrote:

Were they lovers? Owen Barfield, who knew Jack well in the 1920s, once said that he thought the likelihood was "fifty-fifty". Although she was twenty-six years older than Jack, she was still a handsome woman, and he was certainly infatuated with her. But it seems very odd, if they were lovers, that he would call her "mother". We know, too, that they did not share the same bedroom. It seems most likely that he was bound to her by the promise he had given to Paddy and that his promise was reinforced by his love for her as his second mother.[34]

Later Sayer changed his mind. In the introduction to the 1997 edition of his biography of Lewis he wrote:

I have had to alter my opinion of Lewis's relationship with Mrs. Moore. In chapter eight of this book I wrote that I was uncertain about whether they were lovers. Now after conversations with Mrs. Moore's daughter, Maureen, and a consideration of the way in which their bedrooms were arranged at The Kilns, I am quite certain that they were.[35]

However, the romantic nature of the relationship is doubted by other writers; for example, Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski write in The Fellowship that

When—or whether—Lewis commenced an affair with Mrs. Moore remains unclear.[36]

Lewis spoke well of Mrs. Moore throughout his life, saying to his friend George Sayer, "She was generous and taught me to be generous, too." In December 1917, Lewis wrote in a letter to his childhood friend Arthur Greeves that Janie and Greeves were "the two people who matter most to me in the world".

In 1930, Lewis moved into The Kilns with his brother Warnie, Mrs. Moore, and her daughter Maureen. The Kilns was a house in the district of Headington Quarry on the outskirts of Oxford, now part of the suburb of Risinghurst. They all contributed financially to the purchase of the house, which eventually passed to Maureen, who by then was Dame Maureen Dunbar, when Warren died in 1973.

Moore suffered from dementia in her later years and was eventually moved into a nursing home, where she died in 1951. Lewis visited her every day in this home until her death.

Return to Christianity

Lewis was raised in a religious family that attended the Church of Ireland. He became an atheist at age 15, though he later described his young self as being paradoxically "very angry with God for not existing" and "equally angry with him for creating a world". His early separation from Christianity began when he started to view his religion as a chore and a duty; around this time, he also gained an interest in the occult, as his studies expanded to include such topics.[38] Lewis quoted Lucretius (De rerum natura, 5.198–9) as having one of the strongest arguments for atheism:

Nequaquam nobis divinitus esse paratam
Naturam rerum; tanta stat praedita culpa

which he translated poetically as follows:

Had God designed the world, it would not be
A world so frail and faulty as we see.

(This is a highly poetic, rather than a literal translation. A more literal translation, by William Ellery Leonard, reads: "That in no wise the nature of all things / For us was fashioned by a power divine – / So great the faults it stands encumbered with.")

Lewis's interest in the works of the Scottish writer George MacDonald was part of what turned him from atheism. This can be seen particularly well through this passage in Lewis's The Great Divorce, chapter nine, when the semi-autobiographical main character meets MacDonald in Heaven:

... I tried, trembling, to tell this man all that his writings had done for me. I tried to tell how a certain frosty afternoon at Leatherhead Station when I had first bought a copy of Phantastes (being then about sixteen years old) had been to me what the first sight of Beatrice had been to Dante: Here begins the new life. I started to confess how long that Life had delayed in the region of imagination merely: how slowly and reluctantly I had come to admit that his Christendom had more than an accidental connexion with it, how hard I had tried not to see the true name of the quality which first met me in his books is Holiness.

He eventually returned to Christianity, having been influenced by arguments with his Oxford colleague and friend J. R. R. Tolkien, whom he seems to have met for the first time on 11 May 1926, as well as the book The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton. Lewis vigorously resisted conversion, noting that he was brought into Christianity like a prodigal, "kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape". He described his last struggle in Surprised by Joy:

You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen [College, Oxford], night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.

After his conversion to theism in 1929, Lewis converted to Christianity in 1931, following a long discussion during a late-night walk along Addison's Walk with close friends Tolkien and Hugo Dyson. He records making a specific commitment to Christian belief while on his way to the zoo with his brother. He became a member of the Church of England – somewhat to the disappointment of Tolkien, who had hoped that he would join the Catholic Church.[page needed]

Lewis was a committed Anglican who upheld a largely orthodox Anglican theology, though in his apologetic writings, he made an effort to avoid espousing any one denomination. In his later writings, some believe that he proposed ideas such as purification of venial sins after death in purgatory (The Great Divorce and Letters to Malcolm) and mortal sin (The Screwtape Letters), which are generally considered to be Roman Catholic teachings, although they are also widely held in Anglicanism (particularly in high churchAnglo-Catholic circles). Regardless, Lewis considered himself an entirely orthodox Anglican to the end of his life, reflecting that he had initially attended church only to receive communion and had been repelled by the hymns and the poor quality of the sermons. He later came to consider himself honoured by worshipping with men of faith who came in shabby clothes and work boots and who sang all the verses to all the hymns.

Second World War

After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the Lewises took child evacuees from London and other cities into The Kilns.[46] Lewis was only 40 when the war began, and he tried to re-enter military service, offering to instruct cadets; however, his offer was not accepted. He rejected the recruiting office's suggestion of writing columns for the Ministry of Information in the press, as he did not want to "write lies"[47] to deceive the enemy. He later served in the local Home Guard in Oxford.[47]

From 1941 to 1943, Lewis spoke on religious programmes broadcast by the BBC from London while the city was under periodic air raids.[48] These broadcasts were appreciated by civilians and servicemen at that stage. For example, Air Chief Marshal Sir Donald Hardman wrote:

"The war, the whole of life, everything tended to seem pointless. We needed, many of us, a key to the meaning of the universe. Lewis provided just that."[49]

The youthful Alistair Cooke was less impressed, and in 1944 described "the alarming vogue of Mr. C.S. Lewis" as an example of how wartime tends to "spawn so many quack religions and Messiahs".[50] The broadcasts were anthologized in Mere Christianity. From 1941, Lewis was occupied at his summer holiday weekends visiting R.A.F. stations to speak on his faith, invited by Chaplain-in-ChiefMaurice Edwards.[51]

It was also during the same wartime period that Lewis was invited to become first President of the Oxford Socratic Club in January 1942,[52] a position that he enthusiastically held until he resigned on appointment to Cambridge University in 1954.[53]

Honour declined

Lewis was named on the last list of honours by George VI in December 1951 as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) but declined so as to avoid association with any political issues.[54][55]

Chair at Cambridge University

In 1954, Lewis accepted the newly founded chair in Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he finished his career. He maintained a strong attachment to the city of Oxford, keeping a home there and returning on weekends until his death in 1963.

Joy Davidman

She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. My mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have good ones) has ever been to me. Perhaps more.

C. S. Lewis[56]

In later life, Lewis corresponded with Joy Davidman Gresham, an American writer of Jewish background, a former Communist, and a convert from atheism to Christianity. She was separated from her alcoholic and abusive husband, novelist William L. Gresham, and came to England with her two sons, David and Douglas. Lewis at first regarded her as an agreeable intellectual companion and personal friend, and it was on this level that he agreed to enter into a civil marriage contract with her so that she could continue to live in the UK. The civil marriage took place at the register office, 42 St Giles', Oxford, on 23 April 1956.[59][60] Lewis's brother Warren wrote: "For Jack the attraction was at first undoubtedly intellectual. Joy was the only woman whom he had met ... who had a brain which matched his own in suppleness, in width of interest, and in analytical grasp, and above all in humour and a sense of fun." After complaining of a painful hip, she was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, and the relationship developed to the point that they sought a Christian marriage. Since she was divorced, this was not straightforward in the Church of England at the time, but a friend, the Rev. Peter Bide, performed the ceremony at her bed in the Churchill Hospital on 21 March 1957.[61]

Gresham's cancer soon went into remission, and the couple lived together as a family with Warren Lewis until 1960, when her cancer recurred. She died on 13 July 1960. Earlier that year, the couple took a brief holiday in Greece and the Aegean; Lewis was fond of walking but not of travel, and this marked his only crossing of the English Channel after 1918. Lewis's book A Grief Observed describes his experience of bereavement in such a raw and personal fashion that he originally released it under the pseudonym N. W. Clerk to keep readers from associating the book with him. Ironically, many friends recommended the book to Lewis as a method for dealing with his own grief. After Lewis's death, his authorship was made public by Faber's, with the permission of the executors.

Lewis continued to raise Gresham's two sons after her death. Douglas Gresham is a Christian like Lewis and his mother,[63] while David Gresham turned to his mother's ancestral faith, becoming Orthodox Jewish in his beliefs. His mother's writings had featured the Jews in an unsympathetic manner, particularly on "shohet" (ritual slaughterer). David informed Lewis that he was going to become a ritual slaughterer to present this type of Jewish religious functionary to the world in a more favourable light. In a 2005 interview, Douglas Gresham acknowledged that he and his brother were not close, although they did correspond via email.[64] Douglas remains involved in the affairs of the Lewis estate.[citation needed] In 2020, Douglas revealed that his brother David had died several years earlier in a Swiss mental hospital and that his uncle had diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia as a young man.[65]

Illness and death

In early June 1961, Lewis began suffering from nephritis, which resulted in blood poisoning. His illness caused him to miss the autumn term at Cambridge, though his health gradually began improving in 1962 and he returned that April. His health continued to improve and, according to his friend George Sayer, Lewis was fully himself by early 1963.

On 15 July that year, Lewis fell ill and was admitted to the hospital; he suffered a heart attack at 5:00 pm the next day and lapsed into a coma, but unexpectedly woke the following day at 2:00 pm. After he was discharged from the hospital, Lewis returned to the Kilns, though he was too ill to return to work. As a result, he resigned from his post at Cambridge in August 1963.

Lewis's condition continued to decline, and he was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure in mid-November. He collapsed in his bedroom at 5:30 pm on 22 November, exactly one week before his 65th birthday, and died a few minutes later.[66] He is buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Headington, Oxford. His brother Warren died on 9 April 1973 and was buried in the same grave.[68]

Media coverage of Lewis's death was almost completely overshadowed by news of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, which occurred on the same day (approximately 55 minutes following Lewis's collapse), as did the death of English writer Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.[69] This coincidence was the inspiration for Peter Kreeft's book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley. Lewis is commemorated on 22 November in the church calendar of the Episcopal Church.[71]

Career

Scholar

Lewis began his academic career as an undergraduate student at Oxford University, where he won a triple first, the highest honours in three areas of study.[72] He was then elected a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he worked for nearly thirty years, from 1925 to 1954.[73] In 1954, he was awarded the newly founded chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, and was elected a fellow of Magdalene College.[73] Concerning his appointed academic field, he argued that there was no such thing as an English Renaissance.[74][75] Much of his scholarly work concentrated on the later Middle Ages, especially its use of allegory. His The Allegory of Love (1936) helped reinvigorate the serious study of late medieval narratives such as the Roman de la Rose.[76]

Lewis was commissioned to write the volume English Literature in the Sixteenth Century (Excluding Drama) for the Oxford History of English Literature.[74] His book "A Preface to Paradise Lost"[77] is still cited as a criticism of that work. His last academic work, The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1964), is a summary of the medieval world view, a reference to the "discarded image" of the cosmos.[78]

Lewis was a prolific writer, and his circle of literary friends became an informal discussion society known as the "Inklings", including J. R. R. Tolkien, Nevill Coghill, Lord David Cecil, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and his brother Warren Lewis. Glyer points to December 1929 as the Inklings' beginning date. Lewis's friendship with Coghill and Tolkien grew during their time as members of the Kolbítar, an Old Norse reading group that Tolkien founded and which ended around the time of the inception of the Inklings. At Oxford, he was the tutor of poet John Betjeman, critic Kenneth Tynan, mystic Bede Griffiths, novelist Roger Lancelyn Green and Sufi scholar Martin Lings, among many other undergraduates. Curiously, the religious and conservative Betjeman detested Lewis, whereas the anti-establishment Tynan retained a lifelong admiration for him.[page needed]

Magdalene College, Cambridge

Of Tolkien, Lewis writes in Surprised by Joy:

When I began teaching for the English Faculty, I made two other friends, both Christians (these queer people seemed now to pop up on every side) who were later to give me much help in getting over the last stile. They were HVV Dyson ... and JRR Tolkien. Friendship with the latter marked the breakdown of two old prejudices. At my first coming into the world I had been (implicitly) warned never to trust a Papist, and at my first coming into the English Faculty (explicitly) never to trust a philologist. Tolkien was both.

Novelist

In addition to his scholarly work, Lewis wrote several popular novels, including the science fiction Space Trilogy for adults and the Narnia fantasies for children. Most deal implicitly with Christian themes such as sin, humanity's fall from grace, and redemption.[83][84]

His first novel after becoming a Christian was The Pilgrim's Regress (1933), which depicted his experience with Christianity in the style of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. The book was poorly received by critics at the time,[19] although David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, one of Lewis's contemporaries at Oxford, gave him much-valued encouragement. Asked by Lloyd-Jones when he would write another book, Lewis replied, "When I understand the meaning of prayer."[page needed]

The Space Trilogy (also called the Cosmic Trilogy or Ransom Trilogy) dealt with what Lewis saw as the dehumanizing trends in contemporary science fiction. The first book, Out of the Silent Planet, was apparently written following a conversation with his friend J.R.R. Tolkien about these trends. Lewis agreed to write a "space travel" story and Tolkien a "time travel" one, but Tolkien never completed "The Lost Road", linking his Middle-earth to the modern world. Lewis's main character Elwin Ransom is based in part on Tolkien, a fact to which Tolkien alludes in his letters.[86]

The second novel, Perelandra, depicts a new Garden of Eden on the planet Venus, a new Adam and Eve, and a new "serpent figure" to tempt Eve. The story can be seen as an account of what might have happened if the terrestrial Adam had defeated the serpent and avoided the Fall of Man, with Ransom intervening in the novel to "ransom" the new Adam and Eve from the deceptions of the enemy. The third novel, That Hideous Strength, develops the theme of nihilistic science threatening traditional human values, embodied in Arthurian legend.[citation needed]

Many ideas in the trilogy, particularly opposition to dehumanization as portrayed in the third book, are presented more formally in The Abolition of Man, based on a series of lectures by Lewis at Durham University in 1943. Lewis stayed in Durham, where he says he was overwhelmed by the magnificence of the cathedral. That Hideous Strength is in fact set in the environs of "Edgestow" university, a small English university like Durham, though Lewis disclaims any other resemblance between the two.[page needed]

Walter Hooper, Lewis's literary executor, discovered a fragment of another science-fiction novel apparently written by Lewis called The Dark Tower. Ransom appears in the story but it is not clear whether the book was intended as part of the same series of novels. The manuscript was eventually published in 1977, though Lewis scholar Kathryn Lindskoog doubts its authenticity.[88]

The Mountains of Mourneinspired Lewis to write The Chronicles of Narnia. About them, Lewis wrote "I have seen landscapes ... which, under a particular light, make me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge."[89]

The Chronicles of Narnia, considered a classic of children's literature, is a series of seven fantasy novels. Written between 1949 and 1954 and illustrated by Pauline Baynes, the series is Lewis's most popular work, having sold over 100 million copies in 41 languages (Kelly 2006) (Guthmann 2005). It has been adapted several times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage and cinema.[90]

The books contain Christian ideas intended to be easily accessible to young readers. In addition to Christian themes, Lewis also borrows characters from Greek and Roman mythology, as well as traditional British and Irish fairy tales.[91][92]

Other works

Lewis wrote several works on Heaven and Hell. One of these, The Great Divorce, is a short novella in which a few residents of Hell take a bus ride to Heaven, where they are met by people who dwell there. The proposition is that they can stay if they choose, in which case they can call the place where they had come from "Purgatory", instead of "Hell", but many find it not to their taste. The title is a reference to William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, a concept that Lewis found a "disastrous error". This work deliberately echoes two other more famous works with a similar theme: the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, and Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress.

Another short work, The Screwtape Letters, which he dedicated to J. R. R. Tolkien, consists of letters of advice from senior demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood on the best ways to tempt a particular human and secure his damnation.[93] Lewis's last novel was Till We Have Faces, which he thought of as his most mature and masterly work of fiction but which was never a popular success. It is a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche from the unusual perspective of Psyche's sister. It is deeply concerned with religious ideas, but the setting is entirely pagan, and the connections with specific Christian beliefs are left implicit.[94]

Before Lewis's conversion to Christianity, he published two books: Spirits in Bondage, a collection of poems, and Dymer, a single narrative poem. Both were published under the pen name Clive Hamilton. Other narrative poems have since been published posthumously, including Launcelot, The Nameless Isle, and The Queen of Drum.[95]

He also wrote The Four Loves, which rhetorically explains four categories of love: friendship, eros, affection, and charity.[96]

In 2009, a partial draft was discovered of Language and Human Nature, which Lewis had begun co-writing with J. R. R. Tolkien, but which was never completed.[97]

Christian apologist

Lewis is also regarded by many as one of the most influential Christian apologists of his time, in addition to his career as an English professor and an author of fiction. Mere Christianity was voted best book of the 20th century by Christianity Today in 2000.[98] He has been called "The Apostle to the Skeptics" due to his approach to religious belief as a sceptic, and his following conversion.[99]

Lewis was very interested in presenting an argument from reason against metaphysical naturalism and for the existence of God. Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, and Miracles were all concerned, to one degree or another, with refuting popular objections to Christianity, such as the question, "How could a good God allow pain to exist in the world?" He also became a popular lecturer and broadcaster, and some of his writing originated as scripts for radio talks or lectures (including much of Mere Christianity).[page needed]

According to George Sayer, losing a 1948 debate with Elizabeth Anscombe, also a Christian, led Lewis to re-evaluate his role as an apologist, and his future works concentrated on devotional literature and children's books.[101] Anscombe had a completely different recollection of the debate's outcome and its emotional effect on Lewis.[101] Victor Reppert also disputes Sayer, listing some of Lewis's post-1948 apologetic publications, including the second and revised edition of his Miracles in 1960, in which Lewis addressed Anscombe's criticism.[102] Noteworthy too is Roger Teichman's suggestion in The Philosophy of Elizabeth Anscombe that the intellectual impact of Anscombe's paper on Lewis's philosophical self-confidence should not be over-rated: "... it seems unlikely that he felt as irretrievably crushed as some of his acquaintances have made out; the episode is probably an inflated legend, in the same category as the affair of Wittgenstein's Poker. Certainly, Anscombe herself believed that Lewis's argument, though flawed, was getting at something very important; she thought that this came out more in the improved version of it that Lewis presented in a subsequent edition of Miracles – though that version also had 'much to criticize in it'."[103]

Lewis wrote an autobiography titled Surprised by Joy, which places special emphasis on his own conversion.[9] He also wrote many essays and public speeches on Christian belief, many of which were collected in God in the Dock and The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses.[104][105]

His most famous works, the Chronicles of Narnia, contain many strong Christian messages and are often considered allegory. Lewis, an expert on the subject of allegory, maintained that the books were not allegory, and preferred to call the Christian aspects of them "suppositional". As Lewis wrote in a letter to a Mrs. Hook in December 1958:

If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair [a character in The Pilgrim's Progress] represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality, he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, 'What might Christ become like, if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?' This is not allegory at all.

"Trilemma"

Main article: Lewis's trilemma

In a much-cited passage from Mere Christianity, Lewis challenged the view that Jesus was a great moral teacher but not God. He argued that Jesus made several implicit claims to divinity, which would logically exclude that claim:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Although this argument is sometimes called "Lewis's trilemma", Lewis did not invent it but rather developed and popularised it. It has also been used by Christian apologist Josh McDowell in his book More Than a Carpenter.[108] It has been widely repeated in Christian apologetic literature, but largely ignored by professional theologians and biblical scholars.[109]

Lewis's Christian apologetics, and this argument in particular, have been criticized. Philosopher John Beversluis described Lewis's arguments as "textually careless and theologically unreliable",[110] and this particular argument as logically unsound and an example of a false dilemma.[111] Theologian John Hick argues that New Testament scholars do not now support the view that Jesus claimed to be God.[112] New Testament scholar N. T. Wright criticizes Lewis for failing to recognise the significance of Jesus' Jewish identity and setting – an oversight which "at best, drastically short-circuits the argument" and which lays Lewis open to criticism that his argument "doesn't work as history, and it backfires dangerously when historical critics question his reading of the gospels", although he believes this "doesn't undermine the eventual claim".[113]

Lewis used a similar argument in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, when the old Professor advises his young guests that their sister's claims of a magical world must logically be taken as either lies, madness, or truth.[102]

Universal morality

One of the main theses in Lewis's apologia is that there is a common morality known throughout humanity, which he calls "natural law". In the first five chapters of Mere Christianity, Lewis discusses the idea that people have a standard of behaviour to which they expect people to adhere. Lewis claims that people all over the earth know what this law is and when they break it. He goes on to claim that there must be someone or something behind such a universal set of principles.

These then are the two points that I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.

Lewis also portrays Universal Morality in his works of fiction. In The Chronicles of Narnia he describes Universal Morality as the "deep magic" which everyone knew.

In the second chapter of Mere Christianity, Lewis recognises that "many people find it difficult to understand what this Law of Human Nature ... is." And he responds first to the idea "that the Moral Law is simply our herd instinct" and second to the idea "that the Moral Law is simply a social convention". In responding to the second idea Lewis notes that people often complain that one set of moral ideas is better than another, but that this actually argues for there existing some "Real Morality" to which they are comparing other moralities. Finally, he notes that sometimes differences in moral codes are exaggerated by people who confuse differences in beliefs about morality with differences in beliefs about facts:

I have met people who exaggerate the differences, because they have not distinguished between differences of morality and differences of belief about facts. For example, one man said to me, "Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. Was that what you call the Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?" But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did – if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbours or drive them mad or bring bad weather, surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did. There is no difference of moral principle here: the difference is simply about matter of fact. It may be a great advance in knowledge not to believe in witches: there is no moral advance in not executing them when you do not think they are there. You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house.

Lewis also had fairly progressive views on the topic of "animal morality", in particular the suffering of animals, as is evidenced by several of his essays: most notably, On Vivisection[118] and "On the Pains of Animals".[119][120]

Legacy

Ross Wilson's statue of Professor Kirke (Digory) in front of the wardrobe from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobein East Belfast

Lewis continues to attract a wide readership. In 2008, The Times ranked him eleventh on their list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945".[121] Readers of his fiction are often unaware of what Lewis considered the Christian themes of his works. His Christian apologetics are read and quoted by members of many Christian denominations. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis joined some of Britain's greatest writers recognised at Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.[123] The dedication service, at noon on 22 November 2013, included a reading from The Last Battle by Douglas Gresham, younger stepson of Lewis. Flowers were laid by Walter Hooper, trustee and literary advisor to the Lewis Estate. An address was delivered by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.[124][page needed] The floor stone inscription is a quotation from an address by Lewis:

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.[124]

Lewis has been the subject of several biographies, a few of which were written by close friends, such as Roger Lancelyn Green and George Sayer.[125][126] In 1985, the screenplay Shadowlands by William Nicholson dramatized Lewis's life and relationship with Joy Davidman Gresham.[127] It was aired on British television starring Joss Ackland and Claire Bloom.[citation needed] This was also staged as a theatre play starring Nigel Hawthorne in 1989[128] and made into the 1993 feature film Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.[citation needed]

A mural depicting Lewis and characters from the Narnia series, Convention Court, Ballymacarrett Road, East Belfast

Many books have been inspired by Lewis, including A Severe Mercy by his correspondent and friend Sheldon Vanauken. The Chronicles of Narnia has been particularly influential. Modern children's literature has been more or less influenced by Lewis's series, such as Daniel Handler's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter.(Hilliard 2005) Pullman is an atheist and is known to be sharply critical of C. S. Lewis's work,[129] accusing Lewis of featuring religious propaganda, misogyny, racism, and emotional sadism in his books. However, he has also modestly praised The Chronicles of Narnia for being a "more serious" work of literature in comparison with Tolkien's "trivial" The Lord of the Rings.[131] Authors of adult fantasy literature such as Tim Powers have also testified to being influenced by Lewis's work.

In A Sword Between the Sexes? C. S. Lewis and the Gender Debates, Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen finds in Lewis's work "a hierarchical and essentialist view of class and gender" corresponding to an upbringing during the Edwardian era.[133]

Most of Lewis's posthumous work has been edited by his literary executor Walter Hooper. Kathryn Lindskoog, an independent Lewis scholar, argued that Hooper's scholarship is not reliable and that he has made false statements and attributed forged works to Lewis. C. S. Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham denies the forgery claims, saying, "The whole controversy thing was engineered for very personal reasons ... Her fanciful theories have been pretty thoroughly discredited."

A bronze statue of Lewis's character Digory from The Magician's Nephew stands in Belfast's Holywood Arches in front of the Holywood Road Library.

Several C. S. Lewis Societies exist around the world, including one which was founded in Oxford in 1982. The C.S. Lewis Society at the University of Oxford meets at Pusey House during term time to discuss papers on the life and works of Lewis and the other Inklings, and generally appreciate all things Lewisian.[137]

Live-action film adaptations have been made of three of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005), Prince Caspian (2008) and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010).

Lewis is featured as a main character in The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series by James A. Owen.[138] He is one of two characters in Mark St. Germain's 2009 play Freud's Last Session, which imagines a meeting between Lewis, aged 40, and Sigmund Freud, aged 83, at Freud's house in Hampstead, London, in 1939, as the Second World War is about to break out.[139]

The CS Lewis Nature Reserve, on ground owned by Lewis, lies behind his house, The Kilns. There is public access.

Bibliography

Main article: C. S. Lewis bibliography

See also

Notes

  1. ^Bennett, Jack Arthur Walter; Plaskitt, Emma Lisa (2008) [2004]. "Lewis, Clive Staples (1898–1963)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34512. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^"The Life of C.S. Lewis Timeline". C.S. Lewis Foundation. Archived from the original on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  3. ^"A personalised tour of the church and rectory that inspired CS Lewis and Aslan the Lion". Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  4. ^Howat, Irene (2006). Ten Boys Who Used Their Talents. Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications Ltd. p. 22. ISBN .
  5. ^Smith, Sandy (18 February 2016). "Surprised by Belfast: Significant Sites in the Land and Life of C.S. Lewis, Part 1, Little Lea". C.S. Lewis Institute. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  6. ^ abcLewis, C.S. (1955). Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. New York City: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. pp. 128–186. ISBN .
  7. ^Bloom, Harold (2006). C. S. Lewis. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. p. 196. ISBN .
  8. ^"About C.S. Lewis". CSLewis.com. Archived from the original on 6 April 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  9. ^Martindale, Wayne (2005). Beyond the Shadowlands: C. S. Lewis on Heaven and Hell. Crossway. p. 52. ISBN .
  10. ^Yeats's appeal wasn't exclusively Irish; he was also a major "magical opponent" of famed English occultist Aleister Crowley, as noted extensively throughout Lawrence Sutin's Do what thou wilt: a life of Aleister Crowley. New York: MacMillan (St. Martins). cf. pp. 56–78.
  11. ^King, Francis (1978). The Magical World of Aleister Crowley. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. ISBN .
  12. ^ abPeters, Thomas C. (1997). Simply C. S. Lewis: A Beginner's Guide to the Life and Works of C. S. Lewis. Crossway Books. p. 70. ISBN .
  13. ^Paul Stevens, review of "Reforming Empire: Protestant Colonialism and Conscience in British Literature" by Christopher Hodgkins, Modern Philology, Vol. 103, Issue 1 (August 2005), pp. 137–38, citing Humphrey Carpenter, The Inklings (London: Allen & Unwin, 1978), pp. 50–52, 206–207.
  14. ^ abcLewis, C. S. (1955). Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. Orlando, FL: Harvest Books. pp. 186–88. ISBN .
  15. ^ abSayer, George (1994). Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis (2nd ed.). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books. pp. 122–130. ISBN .
  16. ^ abArnott, Anne (1975). The Secret Country of C. S. Lewis. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. ISBN .
  17. ^Bruce L. Edwards (2007). C.S. Lewis: An examined life. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 134–135. ISBN . Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  18. ^Conn, Marie (2008). C.S. Lewis and Human Suffering: Light Among the Shadows. Mahwah, NJ: HiddenSpring. p. 21. ISBN .
  19. ^Bruce L. Edwards (2007). C.S. Lewis: An examined life. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 150–151, 197–199. ISBN . Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  20. ^Sayer, George (1997). Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis. London: Hodder & Stoughton. p. 154. ISBN .
  21. ^"C.S. Lewis and Mrs. Janie Moore, by James O'Fee". impalapublications.com. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  22. ^Zaleski, Philip and Carol (2015). The Fellowship. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. p. 79. ISBN .
  23. ^The Critic, Volume 32, Thomas More Association, 1973. Original from the University of Michigan.
  24. ^Bingham, Derick (2004). C. S. Lewis: The Story Teller. Trailblazers. Christian Focus Publications. pp. 102-104. ISBN .
  25. ^ abBingham, Derick (2004). C. S. Lewis: The Story Teller. Trailblazers. CF4Kids. p. 105. ISBN .
  26. ^Bingham, Derick (2004). C. S. Lewis: The Story Teller. pp. 109-111. ISBN .
  27. ^Bingham, Derick (2004). C. S. Lewis: The Story Teller. p. 111. ISBN .
  28. ^"Mr. Anthony at Oxford", New Republic, 110 (24 April 1944): 579.
  29. ^Bingham, Derick (2004). C. S. Lewis: The Story Teller. p. 112. ISBN .
  30. ^Bingham, Derick (2004). C. S. Lewis: The Story Teller. p. 114. ISBN .
  31. ^"CS Lewis: 50 years after his death a new scholarship will honour his literary career". University of Cambridge. 8 November 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  32. ^"Chronology of the Life of C.S. Lewis". Archived from the original on 6 February 2012.
  33. ^Lewis, C. S. (1994). W. H. Lewis; Walter Hooper (eds.). Letters of C. S. Lewis. New York: Mariner Books. p. 528. ISBN . Archived from the original on 14 March 2021. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  34. ^Person Jr., James E (16 August 2009). "BOOKS: 'Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman'". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  35. ^Hooper, Walter (23 June 1998). C. S. Lewis: A Complete Guide to His Life and Works. p. 79. ISBN . Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  36. ^"No. 42". St Giles', Oxford. 7 December 2011. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  37. ^Schultz and West (eds), The C. S. Lewis Reader's Encyclopedia (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1988), p. 249.
  38. ^"At home in Narnia". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. 3 December 2005. p. 2. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  39. ^"At home in Narnia". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. 3 December 2005. p. 4. Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  40. ^"C.S. Lewis and His Stepsons". First Things. 3 September 2020.
  41. ^McGrath, Alister (2013). C. S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. p. 358.
  42. ^"Picture Album". Into the Wardrobe. Dr Zeus. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  43. ^Ruddick, Nicholas (1993). Ultimate Island: On the Nature of British Science Fiction. Greenwood Press. p. 28. ISBN .
  44. ^"Parish to push sainthood for Thurgood Marshall". USA Today. 27 January 2006. Archived from the original on 31 August 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  45. ^Nicholi, Armand (2003). The Question of God: C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life. Free Press. p. 4. ISBN .
  46. ^ ab"Lewis, Clive Staples, (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English, Cambridge, 1954–66 (resigned October); also Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge (Hon. Fell., October 1963)". Lewis, Clive Staples. Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U48011. ISBN . Archived from the original on 9 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  47. ^ abLewis, C. S. (1954). English Literature in the Sixteenth Century: excluding drama. London: Oxford University Press.
  48. ^Lewis, C. S. (1969) [1955]. "De Descriptione Temporum". In Hooper, Walter (ed.). Selected Literary Essays. p. 2.
  49. ^Lewis, C. S. (1977) [1936]. The Allegory of Love. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  50. ^Lewis, C. S. (1961) [1942]. A Preface to "Paradise Lost": Being the Ballard Matthews Lectures, Delivered at University College, North Wales, 1941. London: Oxford University Press.
  51. ^Lewis, C. S. (1994) [1964]. The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
  52. ^Shumaker, Wayne (1955). "The Cosmic Trilogy of C. S. Lewis". The Hudson Review. 8 (2): 240–254. doi:10.2307/3847687. ISSN 0018-702X. JSTOR 3847687.
  53. ^Yuasa, Kyoko (25 May 2017). C.S. Lewis and Christian Postmodernism: Word, Image, and Beyond. Lutterworth Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 29 May 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  54. ^Tolkien, J. R. R. (21 February 2014). The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 45. ISBN . Archived from the original on 29 May 2021. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  55. ^Washburn, Jim (1 September 1993). "Literary Sleuth : Scholar Kathryn Lindskoog of Orange, author of 'Fakes, Frauds and Other Malarkey,' opened a can of worms by claiming a C.S. Lewis hoax". Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  56. ^Knight, Jane (12 September 2009). "The great British weekend The Mourne Mountains". The Times. London. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  57. ^"Other Narnia Adaptations". NarniaWeb | Netflix's Narnia Movies. 26 May 2018. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  58. ^Colbert, David (2005). The Magical Worlds of Narnia: The Symbols, Myths, and Fascinating Facts Behind The Chronicles. Penguin. ISBN . Archived from the original on 29 May 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  59. ^Costello, Alicia D. 2009. Examining Mythology in 'The Chronicles of Narnia' by C.S. Lewis. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse 1 (11), http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=69
  60. ^"The Screwtape Letters | novel by Lewis". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 2 September 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  61. ^"Till We Have Faces | novel by Lewis". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 2 September 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  62. ^Lewis, C. S. (1969). Narrative Poems (Walter Hooper ed.). London: Fount Paperbacks.
  63. ^Lewis, C. S. (1960). The Four Loves. New York: Harcourt. ISBN .
  64. ^"Beebe discovers unpublished C.S. Lewis manuscript : University News Service : Texas State University". Texas State University. 8 July 2009. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  65. ^"Books of the Century". Vol. 44 no. 5. 24 April 2000. p. 92. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.(subscription required)
  66. ^Walsh, Chad (1949). C. S. Lewis: Apostle to the Skeptics. ISBN . Archived from the original on 29 May 2021. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  67. ^ abRilstone, Andrew. "Were Lewis's proofs of the existence of God from 'Miracles' refuted by Elizabeth Anscombe?". Frequently Asked Questions. Alt.books.cs-lewis. Archived from the original on 2 December 2002.
  68. ^ abReppert, Victor (2005). "The Green Witch and the Great Debate: Freeing Narnia from the Spell of the Lewis-Anscombe Legend". In Gregory Bassham and Jerry L. Walls (ed.). The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy: The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company. p. 266 [1]. ISBN . OCLC 60557454.
  69. ^
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._S._Lewis

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