Clive Staples Lewis commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland. He is known for both his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy and his nonfiction, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles and The Problem of Pain.
Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. Both authors served on the English faculty at Oxford University, and both were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings". According to his memoir Surprised by Joy, Lewis had been baptised in the Church of Ireland (part of the Anglican Communion) at birth, but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at the age of 32 Lewis returned to the Anglican Communion, becoming "a very ordinary layman of the Church of England". His faith had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.
In 1956 he married the American writer Joy Davidman, 17 years his junior, who died four years later of cancer at the age of 45. Lewis died three years after his wife, as the result of renal failure. His death came one week before his 65th birthday. Media coverage of his death was minimal; he died on 22 November 1963—the same day that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the same day another famous author, Aldous Huxley, died.
Lewis's works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularised on stage, TV, radio and cinema.