Excerpt from A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis

To honor the 50th anniversary of the death C. S. Lewis, following is an excerpt from the first chapter of A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis by Devin Brown.


At around four in the afternoon, on November 22, 1963, Warren Hamilton Lewis carried tea to the small downstairs bedroom of his home in the quiet English suburbs. He was glad to see that his younger brother, who had been in poor health for several months, was resting comfortably, though very drowsy. Major Lewis—Major because he had served in the British Armed Forces in both World War I and World War II, but known to everyone as simply Warnie—was sixty-eight. His brother was a week short of turning sixty-five.

The few words they exchanged were to be their last.

At five thirty, Warnie heard a sound and rushed in to find his brother lying unconscious at the foot of his bed. A few minutes later, Clive Staples Lewis—or Jack, as he was known to his friends and family—ceased breathing.

Today—fifty years after his quiet death in the brothers’ modest house just outside of Oxford—the man who many have called the most influential Christian writer of our times continues to live on in the books he left behind, continues to challenge and inspire. And the story of C. S. Lewis’s life—his journey from cynical atheism to joyous Christianity, his remarkable friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien, the legendary meetings with the writing group known as the Inklings, and his experience of deep love and deep heartbreak late in life—is as fascinating and as moving as any of the stories he wrote.


©2013 by Devin Brown. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.