C.S. Lewis was born Clive Staples Lewis in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on November 29th, 1898. His mother died of cancer when he was ten and he and his brother were sent off to Wynyard School in England. Lewis sought refuge in composing stories and excelling in scholastics. After extensive literary and philosophical studies, he won a scholarship to University College, Oxford in 1916. His studies were interrupted by serving in the British Army during WWI.
Dymer, a book length narrative poem, was his first published book in 1926. Lewis became a Christian in September of 1931 and went on to become the most important Christian writer of the 20th century. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the first of the seven Chronicles of Narnia, was published in 1950. The Last Battle, the last in the series and published in 1956, received the Carnegie Medal.
Lewis was a member of The Inklings writing group, whose members included J.R.R. Tolkien, a close friend, and G.K. Chesterton. They influenced his writing, as writers’ groups do, and challenged him to stretch his writing boundaries.
In addition to many scholarly books, Lewis wrote The Space Trilogy, consisting of Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength, books which arose from a conversation he and Tolkien continued about the trend to dehumanize science fiction, bringing it closer to pure science.
Lewis has been described as having three different vocations—the distinguished Oxford literary scholar and critic, the highly acclaimed author of science fiction and children’s literature, and the popular writer and broadcaster of Christian apologetics. He died in 1963 while chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Magdalene College, Cambridge.