Today, on the 50th anniversary of his death, C.S. Lewis will be honored with a memorial stone in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey. (I believe it’s still possible to donate to this cause if you wish to help with this.) Michael Ward, author of Planet Narnia, said of this event:
To be memorialized in Poets’ Corner means you’ve received national recognition for your contribution to the arts. Westminster Abbey has been at the heart of religious and civic life in England for over a thousand years and is known as “the coronation church”. William the Conqueror was crowned there on Christmas Day 1066. Our present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was crowned there in 1953. So, for C.S. Lewis to be memorialized in the Abbey is an indication of the respect in which he is held and an acknowledgement of his enduring place in the world of English letters.
It’s rare that I hear an apologist tell the story of how he or she became a Christian and that story doesn’t include reading Mere Christianity. That’s exactly how my story began, as well. Lewis’s impact on this world from just this one book is immeasurable. And he wrote many more.
Chances are, you’ve already read Lewis’s more popular works: Mere Christianity, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, and The Abolition of Man, so I wanted to recommend three more of his books that you may not have even heard of.
- Perelandra: This is the second book in Lewis’s Space Trilogy. If you read all three of these books, you’ll get much of Lewis’s philosophy, along with his warnings about the dangerous trajectory of our culture, in the form of a novel (which turned out to be quite prophetic). But you can also read this one book on it’s own. It’s the story of the devil’s attempt to bring about the fall of the first inhabitants of a planet, and Lewis’s skill in capturing the essence of evil in one of the characters continues to astound me. (I also suspect this book influenced the last season of Lost, but that’s a story for another time.)
- Till We Have Faces: This is a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. What can I say about this book that would do it justice? Lewis knew how to write novels. This one is about selfish love, suffering, and the transforming love of God.
- The Pilgrim’s Regress: Lewis tells the story of a man’s spiritual journey through the world’s philosophies to Christianity in the allegorical style of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. He does this brilliantly, as always.
Thank you, Mr. Lewis.