Clive Staples Lewis was born on November 29, 1898. From a young age, he immersed himself in Greek and Irish mythology. He loved animal stories and even wrote a few of his own. He loved nature, songs, and legends of the literature of the Scandinavian cultures. As a teenager, he wrote epic poems and operas. In 1916, he received a scholarship at University College, Oxford. He held English literature positions here and at Cambridge University. We will uncover the most fascinating story he was involved in — his life. Join us and celebrate his birthday here!
C.S. Lewis was born on November 29, 1898, in Belfast, Ireland. He was born to his father, Albert James Lewis, and his mother, Florence Augusta Lewis, the daughter of a priest. His older brother was Warren Hamilton Lewis. Lewis was baptized by his grandfather a year later. As a boy, he loved animal stories so much that he wrote his own. He was schooled privately up to age nine. He later went to England to a preparatory school, where he lost his faith and became an Atheist. Lewis joined university in 1917 and later joined the officers training corps on his way into the army.
Lewis joined Oxford as an undergraduate and shortly won honors in three areas of study. He was elected to various positions in both Oxford and Cambridge. Most of his work focused on the later Middle Ages. He was a great writer, and his informal circle became known as “The Inklings.” In addition to his scholarly work, he doubled as a novelist, writing fictional works for adults and children such as “Trilogy” and the “Narnia Fantasy.” In 1933, he wrote “The Pilgrim’s Regress” after reverting to Christianity. Lewis wrote “Pelerandra,” his second novel about a new garden of Eden with a new Adam and Eve, but on the planet Venus. His most popular work, “The Chronicles of Narnia,” has sold over 100 million copies in over 41 languages across the world. Lewis wrote other works like “Heaven and Hell,” “The Great Divorce,” and “The Screwtape Letters.” He wrote “Four Lovers,” which describes the four stages of love. “Till We Have Mature Faces” was his last novel which he described as his most mature work.
To this day, his work attracts new readers. In 2008, the “Times” ranked him 11th among their most influential British writers since 1945. His Christian writings and apologetics are used by many Christian denominations today. Several biographies have been written about him, some by his close friends. His works have been aired on television, made into films, and played in theaters. In 2021, a drama on the life and conversion of Lewis was released. The public has access to the C.S Lewis Nature Reserve which lies behind his house.
Lewis receives a scholarship to the University of Oxford and joins in the summer.
Following a long conversation on a night walk, he converts back to Christianity after becoming an atheist in 1929.
He releases his first novel, describing his conversion and experience with the religion after converting back to Christianity.
He speaks on religious programs to encourage people when London is undergoing air raids broadcasted by the B.B.C.
“The Times” rank Lewis 11th on their top 50 most influential writers after 1945.
Why We Love C.S. Lewis
He declined an honor award
In 1951, he was named commander of the order of the British Empire on the last page of George VI. He declined this honor, however, because he did not wish to be associated with politics.
He served his nation
When the second world war began, he offered to re-enter military service to command cadets. His offer was declined, but he was willing to serve his nation in any capacity.
He loved philanthropy
He created a trust to donate royalties from his books. His work lives on to this day, with films being released on his work and life.
5 Surprising Facts
He was a published poet
Lewis loved poetry and even married a poet; he wrote several works that were later published.
He was a philanthropist
He set up a trust which gave away the money he received as royalties from his publications.
Did not expect money from his publications
He thought his books would go out of print before his death, but this did not happen as his works are still influential.
Lewis could not type
It is uncertain if he chose not to, but he is said to have preferred writing over typing.
Died the same day as J.F.K.
He died on November 22, 1963, the same day as J.F.K., due to kidney failure.
C.S. Lewis FAQs
Why is he called Jack?
When his dog was killed by a car, he adopted the dog’s name, Jack.
Did Lewis believe in Purgatory?
Although he was not a Roman Catholic, he believed in the existence of Purgatory.
What is the meaning of Narnia?
Narnia was an imaginary land full of strange people and talking animals.
C.S. Lewis’s birthday dates