About Clive Staples Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis was born (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most thought-provoking and influential Christian writer of the modern era. Author of the bestselling "The Chronicles of Narnia" and The Screwtape Letters.
An Irish-born British novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien---both authors were leading figures in the English faculty at Oxford University and in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings".
Media coverage of C.S. Lewi's's death was almost completely overshadowed by news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which occurred on the same day, as did the death of Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.
This coincidence was the inspiration for Peter Kreeft's book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley (Kreeft 1982).
In Lewis's later life, he corresponded with and later met Joy Davidman Gresham, an American writer of Jewish background and also a convert from atheism to Christianity. She was separated from her alcoholic and abusive husband, the novelist William L. Gresham, and came to England with her two sons, David and Douglas.
Lewis at first regarded her as an agreeable intellectual companion and personal friend, and it was at least overtly on this level that he agreed to enter into a civil marriage contract with her so that she could continue to live in the UK.
Lewis's brother Warnie wrote: "For Jack the attraction was at first undoubtedly intellectual. Joy was the only woman whom he had met... who had a brain which matched his own in suppleness, in width of interest, and in analytical grasp, and above all in humour and a sense of fun" (Haven 2006).
However, after complaining of a painful hip, she was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, and the relationship developed to the point that they sought a Christian marriage. Since she was divorced, this was not straightforward in the Church of England at the time, but a friend, the Rev. Peter Bide, performed the ceremony at her hospital bed in March 1957.
Gresham's cancer soon went into a brief remission, and the couple lived as a family (together with Warren Lewis) until her eventual relapse and death in 1960. The year she died, the couple took a brief holiday in Greece and the Aegean in 1960.
Lewis continued to raise Gresham's two sons after her death. While Douglas Gresham is, like Lewis and his mother, a Christian, David Gresham turned to the faith into which his mother had been born and became Orthodox Jewish in his beliefs.
Ancestry of CS Lewis
- Clive Staples Lewis
- Albert James Lewis born 1863
- Richard Lewis married Martha Gee of Liverpool
- Joseph Lewis born 1803 married Jane Lewis daughter of Richard Lewis of Flintshire Wales and his wife Jane Ellis
- George IV King of England and his mistress Mrs Mary Lewis (nee Goldsmith/Goldsmid)
Note: Some researchers had Rosaline West married to her father-in-law William (b.1830) instead of to his son William born in 1848.
Also some have confused William (b.1848)'s maternal grandfather Ebenezer Lewis b.1800 with a different Ebenezer who was b.1814. William b.1848 was reared by his grandparents Ebenezer and Mary Lewis.
Lewis families of Flintshire Wales.
- Clive Staples Lewis and his brother Warren are the children of Albert James Lewis who was born in Cork Ireland in 1863.
- Albert James Lewis was the son of Richard Lewis who was born about 1832 (possibly in Birmingham, Norley Cheshire or Flintshire Wales).
- Richard Lewis at the age of 19 went to Cork Ireland with his wife Martha Gee of Liverpool in 1853. He was a boiler maker.
- William Lewis, his older brother, was also a boiler maker who married Martha Lewis (daughter of Ebenezer Lewis and Mary Williams).
- William Lewis, William and Martha's son, (b.1848 Hawarden Flintshire) was also a boiler maker and he married Rosaline West of Norley Cheshire the daughter of Simeon Levi West and Mary Ann Payne (believed to be the granddaughter of George IV and Maria Fitzherbert).
- John Lewis and Joseph Lewis, Richard's brothers, were also boiler makers who went with Richard to Ireland.
- Samuel Lewis, another brother, (b.1837 Birmingham) was a Jewish financier.
- Jane Lewis, their mother, was the daughter of Richard Lewis of Flintshire Wales.
- Joseph Lewis, their father, (born 1803) was an illegitimate son of George IV by his Jewish mistress Mrs Mary Lewis (nee Goldsmith).
- Richard Lewis of Flintshire Wales was born in Norley Cheshire about 1775. Richard moved to Wales where he married a local girl called Jane Ellis who was of crypto -Jewish background.
- William Lewis, Richard's brother, married the former mistress of George IV in Brighton.
- Joseph Lewis was brother to Samuel Lewis (b.1801), James Graham Lewis (b.1804), George Coleman Hamilton Lewis (b.1806 Portsmouth) and Mary Ann Lewis (b.1809).
Joseph Lewis, a son of George IV, went as a boy to live with his step-uncle Richard Lewis in Caergwrle Flintshire and later he married his step-cousin Jane Lewis (they were no blood relative).
Joseph was a crypto- Jew attending the Anglican Church for social reasons who later became a Methodist minister.
13. Samuel Lewis, Joseph's older brother, was trained by his step -father as a maltster in Brighton at the Black Lion Brewery and later went to live with his step-father's sister Mrs Mary Woodhouse (nee Lewis) at Norley Hall in Cheshire. He later became the owner of the Tiger Head Inn in Norley and a local farmer and land owner. Family tradition states that he was known as the Squire of Norley.
14. James Lewis and George Lewis, Joseph's brothers, went to live with their Jewish step-uncle Edward Henry Lewis and his wife Sarah Raphael (daughter of Nathaniel Raphael and Shinah Jane Levy) in London where they studied Law and became Jewish lawyers.
15. Edward Henry Lewis, their step-uncle had three children
- .Charles Lewis (who married Sophia Levy),
- Louis Lewis of Jamaica, and
- Catherine Lewis who converted to Catholicism on her marriage to George Drew Keogh.
Due to their step uncle and aunt rearing the two boys as their own sons the relationships in the family have confused some researchers.
- Videos and DVD's
- C.S Lewis's surviving BBC radio
- The Magic Never Ends.
- Q&A with Max McLean and Douglas Gresham, son of C.S. Lewis