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C. S. Lewis Works Essay

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C. S. Lewis was a celebrated academic in the field of medieval literature, first at Oxford University, then at Cambridge, where he held the first chair in medieval and Renaissance literature. He also was a noted convert to Christianity who in the 1940’s established himself as a popular Christian apologist with a series of wartime radio talks, later collected under the title Mere Christianity (1952). Between 1938 and 1945 he wrote a trilogy of science-fiction books (the Space Trilogy, consisting of Out of the Silent Planet, 1938; Perelandra, 1943; and That Hideous Strength: A Modern Fairy Tale for Grownups, 1945) with underlying Christian themes. He was still unmarried in the early 1950’s, living with his brother and an elderly widow and her daughter.

It is perhaps surprising, then, that Lewis is best known by those other than academics as a children’s writer. The seven novels in his fantasy series the Chronicles of Narnia have remained consistent best sellers ever since their publication, and have inspired several film and television series. Although children evacuated from London did stay at his house in Oxford during World War II, the main inspiration for the stories came from memories of his own childhood reading, as recounted in his autobiography, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (1955), as well as by certain recurring images he had had, some for many years. Lewis had once bemoaned to his colleague J. R. R. Tolkien (a fellow Christian academic at Oxford and later author of the Lord of the Rings series) the lack of stories he had enjoyed as a boy. Such books included the animal stories of Beatrix Potter and the children’s stories of E. Nesbit. The only solution, they felt, was to write such stories themselves.
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...g transformed by an encounter with Aslan in the former. Eustace and Jill Pole are unhappy students at a boarding school, and in The Silver Chair they have to rescue a lost prince. The Horse and His Boy has no time travel at all, being set during the Pevensie reign within the neighboring countries of Calormen and Archenland. This chronicle is again about a lost prince rightfully restored. Prince Caspian and The Last Battle involve miraculous interventions when the rightful young ruler is usurped and Narnia seems lost. In the latter, Narnia is indeed ended, as Aslan intervenes to roll up the Narnian universe, then takes those who acknowledge him into a heavenly Narnia, which joins a new earth. In fact, all the human entrants to Narnia, apart from Susan Pevensie, enter this new Narnia/earth, because on earth they have all simultaneously been killed in a train wreck.




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