This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for November 29, 2016: She Tells Her Child of the Assassination

Nov. 29, 2016: birthday: C.S. Lewis

Today is the birthday of British novelist, scholar, and poet C.S. Lewis (books by this author), best known for the Chronicles of Narnia series, seven volumes of stories about young children who find entry to another world through an old wardrobe. They meet a magisterial lion named Aslan who asks for their help in battling evil. Aslan says, “I never tell anyone any story except his own.”

Lewis was born Clive Staples Lewis in Belfast, Ireland (1898). His mother died when he was young and he spent much of his time at boarding school, where his headmaster wielded a cane and admonished students to “Think!” Lewis and his brother created a special world called “Boxen,” where animals talked and had exciting adventures. Lewis once said, “I am the product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles.”

Before becoming a scholar of classics at Oxford University, Lewis served as an infantryman in World War I. He was wounded in the back, he said, “oddly enough by a British shell.” He became lifelong friends with writer J.R.R. Tolkien, and they met weekly at Oxford for tea and literary discussion with other writers for 16 years. They called themselves “The Inklings.”