C. S. Lewis was a British scholar and author best known for his beloved children's series The Chronicles of Narnia, including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, considered the most popular children's book of the twentieth century. He was also an articulate theologian who wrote the celebrated apologetic work Mere Christianity based on a series of BBC radio talks given during World War II, as well as the popular satire The Screwtape Letters. As a tutor at Oxford University and later as Chair of Medieval Studies at Magdalene College, Cambridge, he published various works of literary criticism that remain standard reading today.
Lewis's lectures and writings touched the lives of millions during World War II and the decades that followed. One of those people was the American poet Joy Gresham, whom Lewis eventually married late in life. Their love story is chronicled in the 1993 motion picture Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. Lewis's friends and colleagues in the university setting of Oxford included J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, who finished that epic work largely due to Lewis's affirmation of its worthiness.