Contributions to Education: C. S. Lewis

Born in Belfast on 29th November 1898, author and lay theologian Clive Staples Lewis is most known for his legendary works of fiction; The Screwtape Letters, The Chronical of Narnian and The Space Trilogy.

Before his breakthrough as an author, Lewis attended the University of Oxford. Soon after he started at Oxford, Lewis joined the Officers Training Corps. Following training, he was commissioned into the Third Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry of the British Army. After the outbreak of the First World War, Lewis served as a Second Lieutenant and fought on the front line in the Somme Valley, France. Lewis suffered from trench warfare and in April 1918 he was wounded and witnessed the killing of his two colleagues. Lewis suffered with depression and was demobilised in December 2018, where he returned to university to continue his studies. He graduated with a First in Greek and Latin Literature in 1920, a First in Philosophy and Ancient History in 1922 and a First in English in 1923. From 1924, he worked as a Philosophy tutor at University College until he was elected a Fellow Tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College where he worked until 1954. Following his work at the University of Oxford, Lewis was elected the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, where he worked until his retirement in 1963.

During the 1940s Lewis began writing the Chronicles of Narnia, a children’s fantasy series. Shortly before World War Two children were evacuated to his house just outside of Oxford. The three girls who lived with him; Margaret, Mary and Katherine gave Lewis a new appreciation of children and inspired him to write the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first of seven books in the series which was published in 1950. The Chronicles of Narnia series sold over 100 million copies worldwide in 47 languages and have even been adapted into films and series. Many schools include the series, especially the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe into their English and/or Drama curriculums. The books can be used for a range of in-school activities including; speaking and listening, creative writing and enacting for the school play. The extraordinary collection of books is a wonderful way to spark creativity and set imaginations free.

Lewis wrote over 30 books during his lifetime and is recognised as one of the world’s most influential authors, his truly unique imagination and writing style continues to inspire children and adults alike.

Did you read the Chronicles of Narnia when you were younger?

The EduStaff Team


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