Event Title

Plenary: "Bookish Clever People": Exploring the Family Influences of C.S. Lewis

Presenter Information

Crystal Hurd

Location

Euler 109

Start Date

31-5-2018 4:15 PM

Description

Brilliance rarely occurs in a vacuum, and C. S. Lewis was no exception. By investigating Lewis’s family roots buried deep in Welsh and Irish culture, we find that C. S. Lewis was the product of “long corridors” and “endless books,” but also of generations of spiritual thinkers. Albert and Flora passed along certain traits which would later flourish into literary habits: a strong affection for words, an unwavering insistence on overstuffed bookshelves, a missing thumb joint which prevented young Jack from physical exertion, a firm demand for logic and reason mingled with a deep desire to chase Joy. Albert and Flora worked cooperatively to provide their sons with the best schooling possible on a restrictive budget, but it is worth noting that the early education C. S. Lewis received at home—with his father’s literary discussions, his nurse’s stories, his mother’s linguistic instruction, and his preparation as co-author of Boxen with brother Warren—encouraged him to become one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable writers and thinkers. Along with Lewis’s parents, his grandparents were also considerably accomplished. Indeed, the Lewis/Hamilton family tree is ripe with individuals boasting of character, wit, intellect, and compassion. All of these factors are important aspects of Lewis’s spiritual and literary development, tracing a long journey of inspiration and enlightenment from boyhood.

Event Type

Keynote

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May 31st, 4:15 PM

Plenary: "Bookish Clever People": Exploring the Family Influences of C.S. Lewis

Euler 109

Brilliance rarely occurs in a vacuum, and C. S. Lewis was no exception. By investigating Lewis’s family roots buried deep in Welsh and Irish culture, we find that C. S. Lewis was the product of “long corridors” and “endless books,” but also of generations of spiritual thinkers. Albert and Flora passed along certain traits which would later flourish into literary habits: a strong affection for words, an unwavering insistence on overstuffed bookshelves, a missing thumb joint which prevented young Jack from physical exertion, a firm demand for logic and reason mingled with a deep desire to chase Joy. Albert and Flora worked cooperatively to provide their sons with the best schooling possible on a restrictive budget, but it is worth noting that the early education C. S. Lewis received at home—with his father’s literary discussions, his nurse’s stories, his mother’s linguistic instruction, and his preparation as co-author of Boxen with brother Warren—encouraged him to become one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable writers and thinkers. Along with Lewis’s parents, his grandparents were also considerably accomplished. Indeed, the Lewis/Hamilton family tree is ripe with individuals boasting of character, wit, intellect, and compassion. All of these factors are important aspects of Lewis’s spiritual and literary development, tracing a long journey of inspiration and enlightenment from boyhood.