The charm of C.S. Lewis books bring back the memories of a certain White Witch, curious children and mysterious realms with animals who speak. Call him a lost soul if you will, but the fact remains that C.S. Lewis remains one of those authors whose works have shaped childhoods all over.
Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, on November 29, 1898. He grew up with a passion for literature. Beatrix Potter tales were among his favorites. Young Lewis loved writing and illustrating his own stories where animals were the principal characters. The loss of his mother at a young age affected him profoundly. Later he turned to atheism in his adolescence.
- More about C.S. Lewis
- Top 10 C. S. Lewis Books
- Final Words on C.S. Lewis Books
More about C.S. Lewis
The works of George McDonald profoundly inspired Lewis. Sudden inspiration and the influence of friends, such as J. R. R. Tolkien and G. K. Chesterton saw his return to Christianity at the age of 32.
Lewis’ faith became more profound over time. His writings and efforts had a significant impact on millions worldwide throughout WWII and the years after that. Lewis published some of his best works during that time. In his later years, C.S. Lewis found his true love in Joy Davidman, an American writer.
They married, but he lost his beloved wife to cancer four years later. She was just 45 at that time. Shadowlands, an award-winning film, chronicled their love story.
Top 10 C. S. Lewis Books
Lewis also penned several other works, including fiction and non-fiction, science fiction, and literary criticisms. All of them have become masterpieces in their respective areas. Thus, we bring to you the top 10 of C. S. Lewis’s significant works which every Lewis fan should check out.
The Allegory of Love
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which was C.S. Lewis’ most renowned novel, is often characterized as a Christian metaphor, despite his denial. Nonetheless, more than a decade before he released the first Narnia novel, Lewis had already established himself as a literary critic with this 1936 work.
He claims that medieval courtly love poetry revolutionized our understanding of passionate love more than the Renaissance.
The Magician’s Nephew
Despite being the sixth printed Narnia book in 1955, it was a precursor. It took place well before the happenings of the other books. Therefore, people refer to it as the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia chronologically. Lewis took the name Narnia from an old map that included Narni, a region of Italy.
A question from a friend concerning the lantern that sits in the center of Narnia, at the spot wherein Lucy encounters the faun Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch. The Wardrobe was one of Lewis’s ideas for writing a prequel. Aslan built Narnia 1,000 years before the occurrences of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, thanks to a lamp taken from the earthly universe.
This novel features a conception story, much akin to the one in the Old Testament. It narrates how Aslan generated the universe of Narnia 1,000 years before the events of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (London in the 1900, to be precise).
The Screwtape Letters
Screwtape, a demon, writes a sequence of messages to his nephew Wormwood in this 1942 book, a Christian apologetics work. First and foremost, the book is about temptations and the Christian’s duty to overcome them. It’s funny and sarcastic, and Lewis uses the epistolary style to highlight some intriguing theological issues. Editions to consider: C. Lewis Signature Classic: Screwtape Letters: Letters from a Senior to a Junior Devil (C. S. Lewis Signature Classic)
Out of the Silent Planet
The first is Lewis’s loose trio of science-fiction books, with a protagonist (a philologist) modeled after Lewis’s friend and fellow Inkling, J. R. R. Tolkien. Lewis’s first major work of fiction, a divine love inspired by David Lindsay’s (strange) 1920 book A Voyage to Arcturus, was printed in 1938. Despite its pace, it’s a unique original concept of British science fiction, which leaves a lot to be desired and isn’t precisely action-packed.
The Problem of Pain
This book was released two years before The Screwtape Letters in 1940. It examines another theological topic — in this instance, the dilemma of pain and suffering and why a benevolent God could permit it to exist – in a non-fiction work. Thus, this C.S. Lewis book isn’t at all what we expect of him as a children’s writer. Lewis the theologian takes precedence here and explores all the aspects of pain while focusing on one question.
The Discarded Image
The Discarded Image was Lewis’s last book, released posthumously in 1964 after his murder in November the preceding year. Memorably, he passed away on the same day as U.S. President Kennedy and author Aldous Huxley).
This C.S. Lewis book is an accessible and engaging exposition about the different philosophical and scientific belief systems that underlie medieval and Renaissance literature, peppered with Lewis’ passionate views on both eras’ writing.
The Silver Chair
Together with The Horse and His Boy, The Silver Chair may be the greatest overlooked of the Narnia Chronicles; however, it’s hard to understand why. It doesn’t include any of the leading Pevensie kids, concentrating on Eustace Scrubb (from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and his school friend Jill Pole instead.
They visit the realm of Narnia to avoid school bullying. This is one of C.S. Lewis’ finest Narnia books, thanks to an impressive cast of some of his best characters, like Puddleglum the Marsh-Wiggle and the wicked Lady of the Green Kirtle.
Prince Caspian is the second book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. It sees the four Pevensie children from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe revisiting Narnia to assist the eponymous king gain his throne.
There are a few lovely nods to incidents and things from the previous book, which took place 1,300 years ago in Narnian history. The book was made into a film in 2008 which also became the 10th highest grossing film worldwide that very year. Watch the trailer here!
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
This is the seven-part Chronicles of Narnia’s “sea tale,” in which a picture of a ship serves as the gateway to Narnia rather than a closet. The two youngest Pevensie children, Lucy and Edmund, are instantly transported to the knigdom of Narnia with their cousin, the disagreeable Eustace Clarence Scrubb.
It’s the third Narnia novel to be released and the fifth in the series’ intrinsic chronology. This book is among the most thrilling experiences in the whole hepatology.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- the C.S. Lewis Book which started it!
As previously stated, most people consider this 1950 novel, the first in the Chronicles of Narnia series, to be a metaphor for the New Testament narrative of Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection. Four siblings find a gateway at the back of a closet that goes across to the snow-laden land of Narnia.
The children discover Narnia while hiding at an eccentric professor’s home to avoid the air raids of WWII. The novel, which was released in 1950, was the first of Lewis’s fantasy series, for which he is famous. A film based on the same was released in 2005.
Final Words on C.S. Lewis Books
While many well-known authors believe that their names would live on in perpetuity, Lewis was certain that his works would be buried after five years upon his death. After the premature death of his mother, numerous setbacks in his academic career, and finally, the cancer-induced death of his spouse Joy after four years of marriage, he had learned to anticipate the worse. Lewis’ own death remained an obscure affair, since it coincided with the assassination of J.F. Kennedy, the U.S. President.
Even though many of his literary contemporaries and rivals have experienced a posthumous eclipse, Lewis’s Narnia stories, Christian apologetics, and heartfelt reflections on grief continue to touch new generations of readers even after 50 years of his death. We at Podium wish to offer a tribute to this tormented genius through this post.
Discover other curated lists on Podium to add to your TBR list- Top 9 Books by Children’s Darling Author Enid Blyton and Top 10 Children’s Books by Sudha Murty.