When he was four, Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis wanted a new name. He didn’t like “Clive.” And, since his dog (Jacksie) had been run over (by one of the first cars in Ireland), why not appropriate that name? Lewis announced he would thereafter be known by the name of his dead dog.
The surprise wasn't that a young child wanted a new name. The surprise was his parents agreed. It was just the start of an independent-thinking life.
While readers (hundreds of millions in forty-one languages) know him as C. S. Lewis, his friends never did. Soon, “Jacksie” was shortened to “Jacks” and, ultimately, to “Jack.” It was Jack Lewis, friend of J.R.R. Tolkien, who created the characters and the imaginary world depicted in The Chronicles of Narnia.
During World War II, the BBC asked Lewis to record a radio series intended to bolster the spirits of Britain’s war-torn population. Those commentaries became so popular that Lewis’ voice was one of the most-recognized in the country. Today, however, it is rarely heard since most of the tapes have been lost.
Who was C.S. Lewis? How did his mother’s death, when he was only nine, impact his life? Where did he live, study and work? Who were his friends? How did the evacuation of London’s school children, during World War II, impact him? Is Lewis the real professor in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?
In this story behind The Chronicles of Narnia, meet its author, C.S. Lewis. Take a virtual trip to “Little Lea” (his childhood home in Belfast) and to “The Kilns” (his adult home in Oxford). See the landscapes of County Down, the inspirational backdrop to his Narnia stories.
Meet some of Lewis’ friends (“The Inklings”) and virtually visit the Oxford places (such as the Trout Inn and the Eagle and Child pub) where they discussed their work. And ... discover why Lewis’ death (on November 22, 1963) took second place to a larger-breaking story.
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