Beloved by children and adults worldwide, the writings of C. S. Lewis have a broad and enduring appeal. Although he is best known for the iconic Chronicles of Narnia series, C. S. Lewis was actually a man of many literary parts. Already well-known as a scholar in the 1930's, he became a famous broadcaster during World War Two and wrote in many genres, including satire (The Screwtape Letters), science fiction (Perelandra), a novel (Till We Have Faces), and many other books on Christian belief, such as Mere Christianity and Miracles. His few sermons remain touchstones of their type. In addition to these, Lewis wrote hundreds of poems and articles on social and cultural issues, many books and articles in his field of literary criticism and history, and thousands of letters.
At Oxford University he became a charismatic lecturer and conversationalist. Taken together, his writings have engaged and influenced, often very deeply, millions of readers. Now Lewis societies, television documentaries, movies, radio plays, and theatrical treatments of his work and life have become common, and he is frequently quoted by journalists, critics, and public thinkers.
This Very Short Introduction delves into the vast corpus of C. S. Lewis's work, discussing its core themes and lasting appeal. As James Como shows, C. S. Lewis's life is just as interesting as his work. A complex man, he came to his knowledge, beliefs, and wisdom only after much tortuous soul-searching and many painful events. Moving chronologically through Lewis's life, Como provides throughout a picture of the whole man, his work, and his enduring legacy.
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About the Author
James Como holds a Ph.D. in Language, Literature, and Rhetoric from Columbia University and is now Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and Public Communication at York College (CUNY). A founding member of the New York C. S. Lewis Society (1969), Dr. Como's books include Branches to Heaven: The Geniuses of C. S. Lewis, a study of Lewis as a rhetorician, and Remembering C. S. Lewis. These, along with his many articles on Lewis in journals including The Wilson Quarterly and The New Criterion, and on-air commentary for five biographical documentaries, have established Dr. Como as one of the most highly-regarded Lewis scholars in the world.
Table of Contents
1. Lewis along the way
3. Lewis ascendant
5. Darkness and light
6. A new day
7. End game
8. The weight of glory
A readers' list of C. S. Lewis's works by type
Books of particular importance to C. S. Lewis
A selected secondary bibliography