C. S. LEWIS
C.S. Lewis was a British novelist, poet, academic, literary critic, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist. He held academic positions at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters (1942), . (1950-1956), and The Space Trilogy (1938-1945).
In 1930, C. S. Lewis and his brother Warnie Lewis moved into a house called The Kilns in the village of Risinghurst, Oxford. It was here that he wrote all of his Narnia books and other classics. The house itself was featured in the Narnia books. In 1956, he married American writer Joy Davidman. She died of cancer four years later at the age of 45. This period of his life is the subject of the film Shadowlands.
Lewis’s works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularised on stage, TV, radio, and cinema.
The following insights into his writing routine come from his autobiography: Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (1955).
“I settled into a routine which has ever since served in my mind as an archetype,
I would choose always to breakfast at exactly eight and to be at my desk by nine, there to read or write till one. If a cup of good tea or coffee could be brought me about eleven, so much the better.
A step or two out of doors for a pint of beer would not do quite so well; for a man does not want to drink alone and if you meet a friend in the taproom the break is likely to be extended beyond its ten minutes.
At one precisely lunch should be on the table; and by two at the latest I would be on the road. Not, except at rare intervals, with a friend. Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them. Our own noise blots out the sounds and silences of the outdoor world; and talking leads almost inevitably to smoking, and then farewell to nature as far as one of our senses is concerned. The only friend to walk with is one who so exactly shares your taste for each mood of the countryside that a glance, a halt, or at most a nudge, is enough to assure us that the pleasure is shared.
The return from the walk, and the arrival of tea, should be exactly coincident, and not later than a quarter past four. Tea should be taken in solitude, …for eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably. Of course not all books are suitable for mealtime reading. It would be a kind of blasphemy to read poetry at table. What one wants is a gossipy, formless book which can be opened anywhere…
At five a man should be at work again, and at it till seven. Then, at the evening meal and after, comes the time for talk, or, failing that, for lighter reading; and unless you are making a night of it with your cronies there is no reason why you should ever be in bed later than eleven.”