C.S. Lewis: Stories of Religious Importance and Narnia Extravaganza
Every author's works are normally motivated by personal experiences. For C.S. Lewis, his most popular works often involved aspects of Heaven and Hell, as he struggled to find his place religiously in the world. Although his stories are very old, in 2008 - he was still ranked 11th on the list of greatest British writers. This is quite an accomplishment!
C.S. Lewis was born in Ireland in 1898. He grew up under wealthy influence in a plantation style house that had an overgrown garden with dozens of narrow passageways that he explored with his brother. His life was generally happy and fulfilled. When his mother died, however, he was sent off to boarding school for several years. He returned to Ireland for a short time and then was shipped to England to study. This is where his love of books, stories, and writing was developed. His studies landed him placement in Oxford University. He learned several languages and was introduced to mythology - which shows up often in his literary works. After some time, C.S. Lewis enlisted in the military and would not return to Oxford until the end of the war in 1918.
C.S. Lewis graduated with the highest of honors and became a professor at Oxford University where he was employed for almost 30 years. It was during this time that he wrote and published his astounding works. His first was the Pilgrims Regress in 1933. This book drew from his own personal experiences about religion and Christianity in particular. His first children's book was The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe which also drew from religious undertones and his interest in mythological creatures. This was first published in 1950. Before he released the book, many of his colleagues cautioned him, feeling that the mix of magic and fantasy would undermine his respectability. The truth was this story catapulted him instantly into an elite class of authors. Shortly after, he wrote, released, and published 6 more books in the Narnia series.
The Narnia books are by far C.S. Lewis's most infamous works. His ideas for the stories, characters, and setting were created from his own childhood memories and wartime experiences. In fact, the escape through a closet idea came to him as soldiers were looking for a new and better way out of a war zone to avoid their own deaths. He also wanted to dive into the lessons of Christianity that he learned late in life. Aslan, the lion was modeled after Jesus Christ in the bible. The appeal of these stories has quickly become universal worldwide.
After resigning as a teacher, C.S. Lewis did continue to write - however, his works were less known and not geared for children. Soon after, he cared for his wife who was dying of cancer. When she died in 1960, C.S. Lewis himself became sick. Interestingly, C.S. Lewis died of natural causes on November 22, 1963 - the same day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.