C.S. Lewis: A Rembrance and Also a Giveaway

This month sees the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis. He died on November 22, 1963. You may also remember it as the day on which U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Author Aldous Huxley also died that day.

I won’t go into great detail here on a biography of Lewis. It would take too much time and space! Let’s just say Jack (as he preferred to be known) has had an enormous impact in the 20th century and onward. Known for his scholarly works, his Christian literature, and also his Christian apologetic works, Lewis is still widely read today and very influential in those areas.

I’m sure there will be many commemorations and remembrances of Lewis this month. In fact, one of them is the placement of a memorial stone in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. Here at The Hogshead, we plan to commemorate Lewis this month with a few giveaways and several articles. The first giveaway will be a copy of Alister McGrath’s new biography of Lewis. I will offer the book to the winner as either a hardcover version, a Kindle version, a Nook version or a Sony Reader version. We’ll work those details out for whoever wins. πŸ™‚

To enter just leave a comment and tell us how you were first introduced to C.S. Lewis and his works. (Blogengamot members are sadly excluded from giveaway.) This giveaway will run through November 15th to give plenty of time for entries. On November 16th I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner from the eligible entries.

I’ll share my introduction to Lewis. It was in 5th grade, I believe. It’s been awhile ago. Back then we used to have story time where the teacher would read to us. One time she read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Well, that was it for me. I had to get all the other books in the series too. I don’t remember when exactly I moved into reading Lewis’ other works. I think I started to read some of his apologetic works when I returned to the church in college. In seminary I was introduced to some of his other literature likeΒ The Pilgrim’s Regress andΒ The Space Trilogy. Since then I won’t say I’ve read everything by Lewis, but I’ve read a fair swath of it.

Well, time for you to share now and get a chance at a great giveaway!

22 thoughts on “C.S. Lewis: A Rembrance and Also a Giveaway

  1. When I was about 9, one of my favorite books was “Flood Friday” by Lois Lenski. So when my family made its weekly trip to the library, I went to the card catalog to see what else she might have written. For those of you who have never used a card catalog, it was a large series of small file drawers, with cards for each book in the library — double/triple listed by author, title, and (for non-fiction) subject. Ideal for browsing.

    I pulled out the L – Li drawer and flipped back to find ‘Lenski.’ Fortunately, I flipped too far and hit ‘Lewis, Clive Staples’ and was immediately caught by the title on the card: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” A book with witches appealed to my love of fairy tales. I found the book on the shelves. Pauline Baynes’ illustrations were very nice. There was a map. It was a series.

    I checked it out.

    And that was the start of a beautiful friendship.

  2. I’m not quite sure how I was first introduced to C.S. Lewis, but I definitely started with the Chronicles of Narnia in elementary school. I didn’t read all of them (I boycotted The Horse and His Boy because one of my animal-crazy friends insisted that was the best of the lot), and I think I made a point of not reading them in order (yeah, a bit of a contrarian). But The Silver Chair, in particular, got stuck in my brain. Then some years later, in junior high school, I ran into The Great Divorce in a used bookshop. I’ve read a fair amount of his work since then — both fiction and non-fiction — and he’s had way more influence on my view of the world than any one person should have.

  3. I was staying at my best friend’s house when I was around 8 or so, and I happened to overhear his father reading aloud (to my friend’s younger sister) out of one of the books from the Chronicles of Narnia. I remember stopping in my tracks, completely spellbound. After that small sampling, I requested (and received!) the series for my next birthday. I have read them over and over again through the years, and recently (eeek! so exciting) began reading them to my OWN 6-year-old son. He loves them, of course πŸ™‚ As I got older, I began reading Lewis’ other works – all of which are brilliant, in my opinion. But the Chronicles will always, always hold a special place in my heart.

  4. i first encountered Lewis in college. since i fancied myself a near-future college professor at the time, i was drawn to his nearly flawless logic and apologetic writing. The chronicles got my attention, but the essays kept me looking deeper to present my faith to others. i’m still trying to understand til we have faces after 30 years…

  5. I first became interested in the science fiction trilogy by Lewis when I was in college (back in the “dark ages — that is, the 1950s) and then moved to the Narnia series. Thereafter I picked up just about every Lewis books published.

  6. I didn’t read Lewis until my formative about-to-enter-college years. My classmates in other reading classes in grades 4-6 read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but my class did not, for whatever reason. So my first read of his was The Screwtape Letters (if my memory serves me, and I think I got there via an interest in Christian apologetics but from a mythical standpoint). Then I moved on to Narnia, and haven’t looked back. This was during my “age of discovery” related to Christian fiction, Story, and Faerie, in which i read Lewis, Tolkien, and L’Engle in quick succession (both their fiction as well as their literary essays). Such good memories of that time in my life πŸ™‚

  7. The first C.S. Lewis work I read was “The Screwtape Letters.” I was in college and home for a summer. My dad had a 1950s book-club edition on his shelf and I borrowed it to read. Scared the beejeezus out of me, as a semi-lapsed Catholic, and made me think. A lot.
    Now in middle-age, I have read the Narnia works aloud to my children, read all of Lewis’ fiction, his apologetics, and many of his critical essays. Have to say I saved the best for last. Just encountered “Till We Have Faces” about 18 months ago, and it is perhaps the best thing C.S. Lewis ever wrote (quite possibly due to the influence of Joy Davidson).

  8. When I was about 8 years old, I found an odd book in the library, and as sometimes happens, I got through a few pages and put it down. Some years later, I still had this image stuck in my head: a boy and a girl in an odd, peaceful forest, and there were magic rings…
    Against the odds, I came across it again at 13, though at that point the other books I was reading kept me distracted (mostly Asterix and Calvin & Hobbes, with a side of LOTR – still not sure how I made that leap!). Finally at 15, with the image still haunting me, I had to read The Magician’s Nephew, and quickly made my way through the rest. Since then I have enjoyed every work of his that I have read, especially Till We Have Faces, which I also read about 18 months ago, through Mythgard Institute. I have read extremely few books as provocative as that – I immediately reread it and continue to recommend it to anyone I can!

  9. When I was– maybe 6 or 7?– I saw an animated adaptation of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” An embarrassingly tacky production by any standard, but apparently it had enough of the magic to inspire me to read the book. After that I devoured the entire Narnia series over and over (and eventually the much better BBC adaptations) to the point where I could quote entire passages from memory. Then round about age 13 or 14, I discovered that he had actually written more books, starting with Screwtape. Since then, I think I’ve read nearly everything by him multiple times, including many of the scholarly books, although I’ll admit to getting bogged down in the middle of Dymer (he was young and hadn’t found his voice yet). I’m not much for picking favorites, but I’m pretty sure he qualifies as my “favorite writer” more or less by default.

  10. I was very young (can’t remember how young, maybe first or second grade or so). My family was visiting my aunt who lived in Williamsburg, Virginia, and she didn’t have enough couches for all of us to sleep on, so I slept on the ground next to her bookshelf. She must not have liked them much because they were on the very bottom shelf right next to my head, but I found myself staring at an old boxset of the Chonicles of Narnia. At some point in the visit I must have started reading them, because that’s one of the few things I remember about that trip. Since then they were some of my favorite books as a child, and even still today Lewis is one of my top three favorite authors.

  11. Hey, great comments everyone! Enjoyed hearing about your introductions to Lewis. Hopefully many more will comment.

    I still plan on having the drawing on Saturday the 16th but it might be late in the day as I will be on a bit of vacation until Saturday evening. Thanks!

  12. I was given the boxed set of Chronicles of Narnia one Christmas by my grandparents. There is nothing more magical than reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe than with snow on the ground and grey, grey skies. You can easy imagine you are there in Narnia!

    1. Kris – forgive me; this feels clunky but it is the only way I could figure out how to contact you about your request at my gallery. Please feel free to use my artwork for the blog; acknowledgement and a link back to my elfwood or deviant art pages will be quite sufficient.

      Dawn Davidson

  13. My trajectory is similar to Donna‘s. I came to Lewis via Screwtape at about 20 years old. I was introduced to Narnia in my mid-20’s, and other fantasy literature–Tolkein, Lloyd Alexander, L’Engle. I read, but didn’t enjoy so much, Lewis’ Planet trilogy and other his other fiction; perhaps I was too young to appreciate it.

    My favorite Narnia books were Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair.

    I don’t enjoy fantasy as much as I did when younger,; I’ve always been more a SF fan. But I have a soft spot for Narnia (and Prydain), and still have my boxed Narnia set–the paper was of good quality and is still on very good condition.

  14. I was seven, and my family was moving across the country, and someone–presumably either my grandma, or my uncle, or my parents–got me the Narnia books to read in the car. Narnia was my primary entertainment from Tampa all the way to Missoula. πŸ™‚

    It’s a kick reading everybody else’s experiences!

  15. Sorry, all. After getting back from vacation yesterday I completely forgot to do anything with the drawing. I will rectify that later on this afternoon. Thanks for all the comments & good luck to all those in the drawing.

  16. And the random number generator says Michael Lucero is the winner!! Congrats, Michael. I’ll send you an email to work out details of in which form you want the Lewis biography.

    Thanks to everyone for participating. Remember there’s at least one more giveaway to come, so keep checking back.

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