The fiftieth anniversary of the death of C.S Lewis, the late novelist and Magdalen mediaevalist, has been commemorated with a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey.
C.S Lewis is most famous for writing the Chronicles of Narnia, which has sold over a million copies worldwide, and has been adapted for movie screening and theatre performances.
Although not principally known for his poetry, the memorial stone was placed in Poets’ Corner, with a line from one of his theological lectures inscribed on the surface: “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen. Not only because I can see it but because by it I can see everything else.”
A service commemorating the writer was presided over by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. The prayer at the service was read by Reverend Adrian Dorrian, who is the current rector of St Marks’ Church, Dundela in Belfast, where C.S Lewis’ grandfather was the first rector.
Douglas Gresham, the son of Lewis’ wife, also spoke at the service.
Additionally, a concert, performed by the Choir of St Michael at the North Gate, was held last Friday in Exeter College chapel to commemorate the deaths of the author, J.F. Kennedy and Aldous Huxley, all of which were in 1963.
Ella Bucknall, a second year English Literature student at Merton, attended the concert, commenting that: “Lewis’ study of medieval literature, The Discarded Image, has been invaluable to me in my academic work.”
She added: “The sense of audience participation at the concert seemed in keeping with the deeply accessible spirit of his work. C.S. Lewis is truly one of the foremost minds to have ever competed in academic circles”
Clive Staples Lewis (called Jack by friends and family) was born in 1898 and died on the 22nd of November 1963.
A conference talking about the impact of C.S Lewis’ life and work has been held in his hometown of Belfast. This was accompanied by a festival, also in his memory, at the town abbey.