Researcher: Rachel Sahlman
Clive Staples Lewis was born November 29. 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. His father Albert James Lewis was a solicitor, and his mother Flora Augusta was the daughter of a clergyman. When Lewis was 4 years old, he began calling himself "Jacksie" and from then on, he was always called "Jack" or "Jacks" by his family. Lewis' only sibling was an older brother, Warren, who remained a close friend throughout his life.
Warren and Jack spent much of their time inventing stories and drawing illustrations. The children's nurse, Lizzie Endicott, nurtured this imagination by reading stories about leprechauns and ancient gods. Jack became fascinated by myth and legend, and in his childhood writings, he invented his own country called Animal-Land.
When Lewis was 7 years old, he moved with his family to a big, rambling house called Little Lea. Shortly after the move, Warren was sent to boarding school, which left Lewis with many hours alone. He had access to hundreds of his father's books, and he made his own study in the attic. Lewis read hundreds of stories, which included biographies, grown-up novels, and the adventures of Mark Twain. He began writing his own stories about Animal-Land called The King's Ring and The Geography of Animal-Land.
In 1908, Lewis' mother died of cancer and, shortly after, Lewis was sent to boarding school in England. He attended several schools but was unhappy in all of them. Lewis escaped by reading stories about dragons, magic, and enchanted castles. At last, Lewis was sent to a private tutor named W.T. Kirkpatrick to study for college. Jack lived and studied with Kirkpatrick for 2 years.
In 1917, Lewis began to study at University College in Oxford, but five months later, he went to France to fight in World War I. After being hit by shrapnel, Lewis returned to England. He returned to Oxford in 1919 and graduated with honors. In 1925, Lewis began to teach at Magdalen College in Oxford, where he remained until 1954. In 1954, be became a professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Magdalene College in Cambridge. Lewis married Joy Gresham Davidman in 1956. She died three years later of cancer.
Lewis was a prolific writer. He published novels, theological works, and literary criticism. His best-known work for children was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was finished in 1949, and it was published one year later. By then, he had written two more stories about Narnia. In all, he completed seven stories, which became The Chronicles of Narnia.Bibliographic Citation Format:
Author's last name, first name, middle initial. "Title of biography." SPECTRUM Home & School Magazine. [http://www.incwell.com/Spectrum.html] (date accessed). © K. B. Shaw