Tell Me More About… C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis was a famous writer born in Belfast in 1898. Lewis was educated in England, receiving a scholarship to Oxford University when he was 18. In 1917, he enlisted in the British Army and was called to action in World War I just one year later. Lewis was injured in battle and returned to England to recover from his wounds, he was discharged from the army in December 1918.

Lewis was a highly regarded academic, holding academic positions at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Having received 3 different first-class degrees at Oxford University, he went on to become a philosophy tutor at the prestigious university. In 1925, he was elected a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College, where he served for 29 years until he retired.

It was in the 1930’s that Lewis joined a literary discussion group with fellow Oxford students, including the like of J.R.R.Tolkein and Hugo Dyson. The purpose of the group was to hear and criticise members’ writings and Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings stories were famously first aired at one of these meetings. Many of the group were Christian or atheists and it was around this time that Lewis converted to Christianity, a theme that is prevalent throughout his novels.

In total, the author wrote more than 30 books across his career but possibly his most famous works are the Chronicles of Narnia books. His first book in the series, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe follows a group of children that enter a magical kingdom through an old wardrobe. The Chronicles of Narnia have sold over 100 million copies worldwide and have been made into a series of films. 

In 2008, The Times ranked Lewis eleventh in their list of the “50 Greatest Writers since 1945” and the legacy of this magical children’s book inspires and entertains children across the world to this day.

Here are a few of our favourite C.S. Lewis quotes, which one is your favourite? 

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 

“Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” 

“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” 

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” 

“You can make anything by writing.” 

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” 

Enid Blyton, author of the famous children’s story Famous Five was another celebrated author born just one year before C.S. Lewis. Find out more about her life and works in our Tell Me More About series


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