Title: C. S. Lewis: Creator of Narnia
Author: Sam Wellman
Series: Heroes of the Faith
Major Themes: C. S. Lewis, Narnia, World War I, England
Synopsis: C. S. Lewis, the author of the famous Narnia books, had a tumultuous life.
Biographies are tricky to write in an engaging manner. Unlike novels, if you write a biography you have to stick to the facts, rounding them out in an interesting way yet remaining true to what is recorded. Sam Wellman, in several of the Heroes of the Faith books I have read recently, has done a superb job of taking the facts about real people and creating a fascinating story. Unfortunately, C. S. Lewis: Creator of Narnia was a bit harder to get through. It was much more interesting than some biographies I’ve read, but not as well-done as, say, his book about Corrie ten Boom.
As a young boy, Clive Staples Lewis hated his name and demanded to be called Jack. He and his brother Warnie lived in Ireland. After their mother died when Jack was only 9, both boys were sent to school in England. Jack was fascinated with what he called “Northernness”, a cold, spacious northern other world. While at boarding school, he moved away from the Christian beliefs he had grown up with and became an atheist. All through his time fighting in the trenches and recovering from a wound in World War I, he clung to his atheistic beliefs. After the war, as Jack studied English literature in more and more depth and continued the writing he had always done, he found himself continually in the company of Christians. He, however, still clung to atheism and investigated the occult—until a friend who had been dabbling in the occult died a horrible death. Jack became more and more miserable until one day, as he was riding a bus in 1929, he suddenly became a Theist, believing that, after all, there was a God. Two years later, he came to a belief in Christ and was a different man.
I had never read a book about C. S. Lewis before and found it quite interesting to see what brought him to the point of writing the Narnia series, which he apparently intended for an allegory about Jesus. I’m still not sure what I think about him but I found this book quite worthwhile.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults