Illustration for article titled Why C.S. Lewis Endures

C.S. Lewis told his attorney he needn't bother bequeathing his literary earnings in his will, because "After I've been dead five years, nobody will read anything I've written." Instead, he's become the "Elvis Presley of Christian publishing," says CNN.


According to CNN's Belief Blog, Lewis remains one of Christian publishing's top selling authors:

More than 40 years after his death, the former medieval literature professor has become the Elvis Presley of Christian publishing: His legacy is lucrative and still growing, scholars and book editors say.

The third film adaptation of Lewis' "Narnia" series, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," was released in theaters worldwide this month. HarperOne publishers also just released "The C.S. Lewis Bible," a book pairing 600 selections of Lewis' writings with matching scriptural passages.

Among other reasons, Lewis' sharp, clear writing style and his eagerness to relate his beliefs to ordinary people in a non-sectarian fashion are responsible for much of his popularity around the world. (The latest Narnia movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has done pretty badly in the U.S. but is a huge hit overseas, where it's made three times as much as its Stateside earnings.)

CNN talked to several of Lewis' biographers about his enduring appeal, but also to his stepson, Douglas Gresham, who recalls the author's insistence on replying to all his fan mail:

Jack was someone who believed that if someone would write him, then the least he could do was give a reply. Sometimes people would just show up at the door, and he would never turn them away.


You can just imagine Lewis starting a blog and tweeting if he was around today. Judging from the CNN article, that quality of approachability is a key factor in why so many people still respond to his writing.

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