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Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (19) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 29 November 1898Belfast, Ireland [now Northern Ireland, UK]
Date of Death 22 November 1963Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK  (uremia caused by kidney failure)
Birth NameClive Staples Lewis
Nickname Jack
Height 5' 10¾" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

C.S. Lewis was born in 1898 and brought up in a very strict, religious household. While he was quite young, his mother died of cancer but the "stiff upper lip" in favour at the time meant he wasn't allowed to grieve. He became an Oxford don and led a sheltered life. He seriously questioned his religious beliefs and finally left the church. The death of his mother is reflected in "The Magician's Nephew". When an American fan Joy Gresham, came to visit him, they found they enjoyed each others company and she stayed. She was dying of cancer and he was afraid to express his emotions until she convinced him that it was OK to "allow" himself to love her even though it would shortly lead to heartbreak when she died. This was a great writer who dared to examine his emotions and beliefs and record them for the rest of us. Most famous for his childrens book (The Narnian Chronicles) he also wrote a very interesting Science Fiction Trilogy and some of the most intriguing Christian literature. He finally resolved his crisis of faith after tearing apart and fully examining the Christian (and other) religion and re-embraced Christianity.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Spouse (1)

Gresham, Joy (21 March 1957 - 1960) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (19)

The play of "Shadowlands", also by William Nicholson ran in London, starring Nigel Hawthorne and Jane Lapotaire.
Member of the Oxford literary circle the 'Inklings' along with writers J.R.R. Tolkien, Jeremy Dyson, Charles Williams, Messrs Coghill, and Owen Barfield.
As a child he never liked his birth names, Clive Staples. When his dog Jacksie got run down, he announced that he would always be known by the name of his dead dog. It developed from "Jacksie" to "Jack" over the years. Many of his fans refer to him as "Jack Lewis.".
Died on 22 November 1963, the same day as writer Aldous Huxley and President John F. Kennedy, as result of various illnesses.
Sci-fi master Arthur C. Clarke regards Lewis' two books "Out of the Silent Planet" and "Perelandra" as "two of the very few works of space fiction that can be classed as literature."
His speech patterns, and some aspects of his personalities, were the basis for the character of Treebeard in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
As with what happened to J.K. Rowling with her Harry Potter series, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", the first book of C.S. Lewis's seven-book series "The Chronicles of Narnia", suffered an alteration made by American publishers. The book features a wolf named Maugrim, whose name was changed to Fenris Ulf in the American publication. The sixth book of the series is entitled "The Magician's Nephew" and tells how the Land of Narnia was created and discovered by Professor Digory Kirke when he was a boy.
His life and work seem to have attracted the attention of both of the actors who have played Hannibal Lecter. Lewis was played by Anthony Hopkins in Shadowlands (1993), and his character Aslan was to be voiced by Brian Cox in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) before the filmmakers changed their minds and replaced Cox with Liam Neeson.
He based Ransom, the main character in two of the works in his Perlandra trilogy, after his friend J.R.R. Tolkien.
Fought for the British in World War I.
Is portrayed by Joss Ackland in Shadowlands (1985) and Anthony Hopkins in Shadowlands (1993).
When he married Joy Gresham, she had already been married to and divorced from her first husband, Bill Gresham. Lewis adopted the Greshams' two sons, David and Douglas, and made them the heirs to his estate, including the royalties to the Narnia books.
For many years, the Narnia books were read in the same order in which they were written and published: 1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) 2. Prince Caspian (1951) 3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952) 4. The Silver Chair (1953) 5. The Horse and His Boy (1954) 6. The Magician's Nephew (1955) 7. The Last Battle (1956)

In recent years, the books' publishers have reordered them so that the stories take place in a more chronological order: 1. The Magician's Nephew 2. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe 3. The Horse and His Boy 4. Prince Caspian 5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 6. The Silver Chair 7. The Last Battle

The "correct" order in which one should read The Chronicals of Narnia is a subject of fierce debate, with both orders having their defenders and attackers.
C.S. Lewis wrote 'The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe' for his Goddaughter, Lucy.
He allegedly declined British knighthood for his services to literature.
In the Narnia Chronicles, Lewis often uses relevant words from foreign languages to name important characters. For instance, "aslan" is the Turkish word for "lion," and the French word "jadis" means "of old" (in his first Narnia book, "The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe"). Lewis says that the White Witch, whose name is later revealed to be Jadis, uses the "Old Magic," but Aslan's magic is even older.
The head of his boarding school was a cruel tyrant who was later committed to an insane asylum. As a result, bad teachers and poor schools are frequently mentioned in his books.
He was home-schooled until the age of ten. His mother taught him French and Latin and his governess taught him all other subjects.
A close personal friend of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Personal Quotes (9)

All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.
[Written on his wife's tombstone] Here the whole world (stars, water, air, And field, and forest, as they were Reflected in a single mind) Like cast off clothes was left behind In ashes yet with hope that she, Re-born from holy poverty, In Lenten lands, hereafter may Resume them on her Easter Day.
In arguing against Him, you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all.
Christ died for men precisely because they were not worth it; to make them worth it
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 a man who says he is a poached egg - or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. - from Mere Christianity
Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument, then collected information about child psychology and decided what age group I'd write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out 'allegories' to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I couldn't write in that way. It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn't anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord.
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.
I'm more Welsh than anything, and for more than anything else in my ancestry I'm grateful that on my father's side I'm descended from a practical Welsh farmer. To that link with the soil I owe whatever measure of physical energy and stability I have. Without it I should have turned into a hopeless neurotic.
Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

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