[Above: Maureen Moore, Jack Lewis, and Janie Moore at Cornwall beach, 1927. CSL / P-17. Used by permission of the Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL]
Adapted in part from the C. S. Lewis Foundation timeline at www.cslewis.org/resource/chronocsl/
— 1894 Florence “Flora” Hamilton and Albert Lewis marry.
— 1895 Warren “Warnie” Hamilton Lewis is born.
— 1898 Clive Staples “Jack” Lewis is born.
— 1905 The Lewises move to Little Lea, a house in Belfast, which Jack will remember fondly.
— 1908 Flora Lewis dies of cancer. Jack joins Warnie at Wynyard School.
— 1911–1913 Lewis goes to Malvern College prep school and then the college. He first rejects Christianity.
— 1914 Lewis first meets Arthur Greeves and W. T. Kirkpatrick.
— 1916 Lewis reads George MacDonald’s Phantastes.
— 1917 Lewis begins study at Oxford but then enlists in the British Army, where he meets Paddy Moore, as well as Paddy’s mother, Janie, and sister, Maureen.
— 1918 Lewis is injured in World War I and sent home to recuperate. Paddy Moore is killed in action.
— 1919 Lewis resumes his studies at Oxford, where he meets Owen Barfield. Lewis publishes his first book of poetry, Spirits in Bondage.
— 1921 Lewis moves in with the Moores.
— 1924 Lewis graduates from Oxford and tutors philosophy.
— 1925 Lewis becomes a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford.
— 1926 Lewis meets J. R. R. Tolkien at a faculty meeting.
— 1929 Lewis accepts the existence of God, influenced in part by Tolkien and another friend, Hugo Dyson. Albert Lewis dies.
— 1930 Janie Moore and the Lewis brothers buy The Kilns.
— 1931 Lewis accepts Jesus as Son of God
— 1932 Warnie Lewis retires from the army and moves into The Kilns.
— 1933 The Inklings begin meeting. Lewis publishes The Pilgrim’s Regress. Laurence Harwood is born, the son of Lewis’s friends Cecil and Daphne; Lewis will become his godfather.
— 1937 Tolkien publishes The Hobbit.
— 1938 Joy Davidman wins the Yale Younger Poets award. Lewis publishes Out of the Silent Planet. Sarah Neylan, daughter of former Lewis student Mary Neylan, is born; Lewis becomes her godfather.
— 1939 Charles Williams moves to Oxford and joins the Inklings. The Lewis brothers and the Moores welcome wartime evacuee children to The Kilns. Among the 11 girls they host will be June “Jill” Flewett (later Freud).
— 1941 The Guardian serializes The Screwtape Letters; Lewis begins broadcasts that become Mere Christianity.
— 1942 The first meeting of the Socratic Club convenes. Joy Davidman marries Bill Gresham. Dorothy L. Sayers first corresponds with Lewis. Excluded from the all-male Inklings, she will be active in the Socratic Club.
— 1943 Lewis publishes The Abolition of Man.
— 1945 Charles Williams dies suddenly.
— 1947 Lewis publishes Miracles.
— 1949 The Inklings cease meeting as a critique group, though they continue to gather at the Eagle and Child.
— 1950 Lewis publishes The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
— 1951 Janie King Moore dies.
— 1952 Lewis first meets Joy Davidman Gresham after corresponding with her (and, briefly, with Bill).
— 1953 Clyde Kilby meets Lewis.
— 1954 Lewis becomes chair of medieval and Renaissance literature at Magdalen College, Cambridge. Davidman and Gresham divorce. Davidman dedicates Smoke on the Mountain to Lewis. Tolkien publishes part of The Lord of the Rings. Lewis publishes The Horse and His Boy, dedicated to David and Douglas Gresham.
— 1955 Lewis publishes his “spiritual autobiography,” Surprised by Joy.
— 1956 Lewis marries Davidman in a civil ceremony to extend her visa. Eight months later, after her cancer diagnosis, they marry with the church’s rite. Davidman’s cancer goes into remission. Lewis publishes Till We Have Faces and the final Narnia book, The Last Battle.
— 1957 Sayers dies.
— 1958 Lewis and Davidman visit Ireland, staying with Greeves.
— 1960 Davidman’s cancer returns. She dies soon after she and Lewis visit Greece with Roger and June Green.
— 1961 Lewis publishes A Grief Observed.
— 1963 Walter Hooper meets Lewis. On November 22, Lewis dies.
— 1964 Hooper moves to England as a literary executor for Lewis’s estate.
— 1965 Clyde Kilby begins “The C. S. Lewis Collection” (later the Marion E. Wade Center) at Wheaton College.
— 1966 Arthur Greeves dies.
— 1973 Warnie Lewis and Tolkien die.
— 1997 Owen Barfield dies.
— 2017 Sarah Neylan Tisdall dies.
— 2020 Walter Hooper and Laurence Harwood die.
By the editors
[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #140 in 2021]
Friends and brothers
C. S. Lewis’s lifelong ally was his brother, W. H. LewisPaul E. Michelson
"One huge and complex episode"
Jack and Mrs. MooreDavid C. Downing
“Romantic and realistic”
The eventful life, marriage, and death of Joy Davidman LewisAbigail Santamaria
Songs, battle cries, and sonnets
Joy Davidman as an authorAbigail Santamaria
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