The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to
the British neo-Romantic tradition,
from 1880 to the present day.
While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of
publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions
remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden
tradition to light.
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WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?
Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration
from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.
Characteristic themes in their work include a
mystical approach to the British landscape...
ENTRY: Lewis, C.S.
Clive Staples Lewis (b. 29 November 1898 – d. 22 November 1963),
commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis, was an Anglo-Irish fantasy writer, best known for
the Narnia series of novels.
Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to Albert James Lewis, a solicitor,
and Flora Lewis. Lewis was initially schooled by occasional private tutors before
being sent to the Wynyard School in Watford, Hertfordshire, then to the
prep-school Cherbourg House at Malvern, Worcestershire, then to Malvern College.
As a teenager, he was wonderstruck by Richard Wagner and the songs and legends of the North.
They intensified a longing he had within him, a deep desire he would later call "joy".
He also grew to love nature — the beautiful scenes in nature reminded him of the stories
of ancient Norse mythology and Irish mythology and literature.
In 1916 Lewis won a scholarship to University College, Oxford during the First World War.
He enlisted in the British Army in 1917. He was commissioned as an officer in the third
Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Discharged in December 1918, and returned to his
studies. He received a First in Honour Moderations (Greek and Latin Literature) in 1920,
a First in Greats (Philosophy and Ancient History) in 1922, and a First in English in 1923.
He later developed a particular fondness for the early work of W.B. Yeats,
in part because of Yeats’s use of Ireland’s Celtic heritage in poetry.
In a letter to a friend Lewis wrote, "I have here discovered an author exactly after my
own heart, whom I am sure you would delight in, W. B. Yeats. He writes plays and
poems of rare spirit and beauty about our old Irish mythology."
Lewis taught as a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, for nearly thirty years, from 1925 to 1954,
and later was the first Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University
of Cambridge and a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
Lewis was a prolific writer and a member of the literary discussion society
The Inklings with his friends J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield.
At Oxford he was the tutor of, among other undergraduates, poet John Betjeman.
The Chronicles of Narnia are a series of seven fantasy novels for children that are by far
the most popular of Lewis's works. The books have many Christian themes and describe
the adventures of a group of children who visit a magical land called Narnia.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was the first published and the most
popular book of the series, has been adapted for both stage and screen.
Published between 1950 and 1956, the Chronicles of Narnia borrow from
Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology as well as from traditional English and Irish
fairy tales. Lewis reportedly based his depiction of Narnia on the geography
and scenery of the Mourne Mountains and "that part of Rostrevor which overlooks
Carlingford Lough", both in Lewis' native Northern Ireland. Lewis cited
George MacDonald's fairy tales as an influence in writing the series.
Lewis died in 1963, and was buried in the churchyard of Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry, Oxford.