Lewis, C. S.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Lewis, C. S.

C. S. Lewis: (Clive Staples Lewis), 1898–1963, English author, b. Belfast, Ireland. A fellow and tutor of English at Magdalen College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1954, C. S. Lewis was noted equally for his literary scholarship and for his intellectual and witty expositions of Christian tenets. Among his most important works are The Allegory of Love (1936), an analysis of the literary evolution of romantic love during the Middle Ages; The Screwtape Letters (1942, rev. ed. 1961), an ironic treatment of the theme of salvation; and a history of English Literature in the Sixteenth Century (1954). He is also the author of Out of the Silent Planet (1938) and That Hideous Strength (1945), outer-planetary fantasies with deep Catholic and moral overtones; the "Chronicles of Narnia," a series of allegorical fantasies set in the mythical kingdom of Narnia, including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) and The Silver Chair (1953); many works of literary criticism, including Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (1966); and the autobiographical Surprised by Joy (1954). From 1954 until his death he was professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge.

See his Selected Literary Essays (1970) and Narrative Poems (1970), both ed. by W. Hooper; his letters, ed. by his brother W. H. Lewis (1966, repr. 1975); biographies by C. S. Kilby and D. Gilbert (1973), and R. L. Green and W. Hooper (1974); studies by P. G. Schakel, ed. (1977), W. Griffin (1986), C. N. Manlove (1987), L. W. Dorsett (1988), and G. B. Sayer (1988); R. MacSwain and M. Ward, ed., The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis (2010).

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