C.S. Lewis Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1898 - 1963 *** Full Name: Clive Staples Lewis*** Occupation: British Novelist, Poet, Academic, Literary Critic, Medievalist, Lay Theologian, Broadcaster, Lecturer and Christian Apologist *** Date of Birth: C.S. Lewis was born on November 29th 1898 *** Place of Birth: C.S. Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, United Kingdom *** Family background: His father was Albert James Lewis and his mother was Florence Augusta Hamilton. His father had originated from Wales and moved to Ireland. His father was a solicitor by profession and his mother was the daughter of an Anglican priest *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with an older brother, Warren Hamilton Lewis. An event that would significantly change his life was the death of his beloved dog when he was killed by a car. Jacksie had been the pets name and he announced he would answer to no other name. He would later accept being called Jack and it was a name that stuck for the rest of his life *** Education: C.S. Lewis was educated by private tutors and later attended Wynyard School in Watford, Herefordshire and then attended Campbell College near his home. He would attend Cherbourg House a preparatory school before be enrolled at Malvern College and finally he was awarded a scholarship to attend the University College in Oxford ***
C.S. Lewis Fact 1: C.S. Lewis was born on November 29th 1898 and during the 19th century period in history when many empires across the globe collapsed, the Spanish, first and second French, Holy Roman, Mughal and Chinese but the British and Russian Empires, the United States and German Empire where on the rise.
C.S. Lewis Fact 2: As a boy of ten years he suffered the loss of his mother to cancer.
C.S. Lewis Fact 3: He had only been enrolled at Oxford a short time when he was shipped off to France by the British Army to fight in the First World War.
C.S. Lewis Fact 4: Having abandoned his Christian faith as a child, proclaiming himself an atheist, this was compounded by his experience of war and the horror of what he had seen and experienced.
C.S. Lewis Fact 5: During his adolescent years when he no longer felt like a Christian instead he became interested in the occult and mythology. He also found a deep interested in the mythology of the Greeks and the Norsemen as well as that of the Irish.
C.S. Lewis Fact 6: Once he had been de-mobbed in 1918 he returned to Oxford to resume his studies and graduated with a First in Honour Moderations (Greek and Latin Literature) in 1920. The following year he attained a First in Greats (Philosophy and Ancient History) and the year after that a First in English.
C.S. Lewis Fact 7: By 1924 he had become a philosophy tutor at University College and in 1925 would be elected a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College where served until 1954 a total of twenty nine years.
C.S. Lewis Fact 8: While serving his country he made friends with Edward Courtnay Francis “Paddy” Moore and two made a pact, that if either died, the other would look after both families. Lewis kept his promise when Paddy was killed in action.
C.S. Lewis Fact 9: Having already been introduced to Paddy's mother prior to his death, he adopted Mrs Moore almost as his own mother and a strong bond was built between them such that he even called her Mother.
C.S. Lewis Fact 10: Although he had lost his faith in his adolescence he would regain his Christian faith in 1931 when he became a member of the Church of England.
C.S. Lewis Fact 11: When the second World War broke out he attempted to re-enlist but was rejected. So instead he took in evacuated children from London and other major cities.
C.S. Lewis Fact 12: In 1951 he was named on George VI list of honours as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) but he declined accepting the award as he wanted no association to be made with any issues of a political nature.
C.S. Lewis Fact 13: He met Joy Davidman Gresham in 1952 and they began corresponding. She was an American writer with an abusive husband. She moved to England with her two sons and the pair became firm friends sharing opinions, views and humor.
C.S. Lewis Fact 14: In order for Joy to be able to continue residing in the England Lewis agreed to a civil marriage with her and they married in April of 1956. However their relationship did not stay platonic, especially after Joy was diagnosed with bone cancer.
C.S. Lewis Fact 15: They had their marriage ceremony conducted again, this time by a friend, Reverend Peter Bide conducting the service. Fortunately Joy’s cancer went into remission and the couple had several happy years together before she died in 1960.
C.S. Lewis Fact 16: During 1954 he had been offered the position of Chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance at Magdalene College which he accepted and remained until he retired.C.S. Lewis Fact 18: However, by July 15th he was admitted to hospital and the following evening had a heart attack and lapsed into a coma. At 2.00pm the following day he awoke and when he was discharged he returned to his home, the Kilns although he did not return to work.
C.S. Lewis Fact 17: By June of 1961 he began to suffer with inflammation of his kidneys which would turn to blood poisoning. However, he was able to return to work in April of 1962 as his health had improved and by 1963 he had seemed completely himself.
C.S. Lewis Fact 19: As his health did not improve he resigned his position at Cambridge.
C.S. Lewis Fact 20: Clive Staples Lewis collapsed and died on November 22nd 1963 of renal failure in his home aged sixty four years. His body laid to rest in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, Headington, Oxford
Influence and Legacy of C.S. Lewis: His most famous works include, The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, The Allegory of Love, The Screwtape Letters, The Space Trilogy, Till We Have Faces and Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. His books in the series of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle have become iconic children’s books and enjoyed the world over.
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