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(Lewis would assert that his Narnia stories weren’t a direct allegory to the real world.)
Though the book received some negative reviews, general readers took to the story in a big way. The series has retained its international popularity over the decades.
In 1954, Lewis joined the faculty of Cambridge University as a literature professor, and in 1956 he married an American English teacher, Joy Gresham, with whom he had been in correspondence. Lewis was full of joy during the years of their marriage, though Gresham died of cancer in 1960. Lewis grieved deeply for his wife and shared his thoughts in the book A Grief Observed, using a pen name.
In 1963, Lewis resigned from his Cambridge position after experiencing heart trouble. He died on November 22, 1963, in Headington, Oxford.
Lewis was a prolific author of fiction and nonfiction who wrote dozens of books over the course of his career. His faith-based arguments as seen in texts like The Great Divorce (1946) and Miracles (1947) are held in high regard by many theologians, scholars and general readers. Lewis also continued his love affair with classic mythology and narratives during his later years: His book Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold (1956) featured the story of Psyche and Cupid. He also penned an autobiography, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (1955).
Lewis's landmark series, The Chronicles of Narnia, has seen a number of on-screen iterations, including a cartoon version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe that was released in 1979 and a 1989 BBC film series. Additionally, in 2005, FOX released a big-screen adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, starring Tilda Swinton as the witch Jadis and Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan. Two more Narnia films have been brought to theaters as well: Prince Caspian (2008) and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). Lewis's relationship with his wife Joy has also been depicted in Shadowlands, presented as a play and two films; one of the film versions was directed by Richard Attenborough and starred Anthony Hopkins as Lewis.
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