The Complete Works of C. S. Lewis
The list below supplies, in chronological order, all of C. S. Lewis’s books.
The reason for composing it is that many Lewis fans want to read “everything he wrote” but may have a hard time actually finding everything he wrote. There are lots of unpublished or hard-to-find essays, letters, and introductions. This list is only about full books. Making this list has helped me find some hidden gems in the Lewisian corpus. Hence I present it for you.
Explanation and more information on how it’s organized is below (scroll to the bottom).
|#||Year||Book||Category (and Genre)||Notes|
|1||1919||Spirits in Bondage: a Cycle of Lyrics||Essays, Poetry, Letters||First published book. Poetry. Published under pseudonym Clive Hamilton.|
|2||1933||Pilgrim’s Regress||Fiction (Fantasy)||First book as a Christian. Third book (after Spirits in Bondage and Dymer)|
|3||1936||The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition||Scholarly (Literature)||First scholarly book.|
|4||1938||Out of the Silent Planet||Fiction (Science Fiction)||Cosmic trilogy 1 - A philologist is abducted by proud Western intellectuals who are bent on colonizing Mars.|
|5||1939||The Personal Heresy||Essay collection||Three essays by Lewis and Tillyard about poetry and whether it is about the person or the object|
|6||1939||Rehabilitation and Other Essays||Essay collection||Two essays not included in Essay Collection|
|7||1940||Problem of Pain||Popular (Non-Fiction)||An apologetic examination of the problem of evil, suffering, and death.|
|8||1942||Screwtape Letters||Fiction (Epistolary Novel)||Epistolary novel on non-fictional themes|
|9||1942||A Preface to Paradise Lost||Scholarly (Literature)||A study of Milton’s great epic, its style, and its Christian orthodoxy.|
|10||1943||Perelandra||Fiction (Science Fiction)||Cosmic trilogy 2 - Ransom visits Venus to prevent that planet’s own fall into sin.|
|11||1943||Abolition of Man||Non-Fiction (Philosophy)||A philosophical case for objective value, with reference to education and science.|
|12||1944||16th Century English Literature Excluding Drama||Scholarly (Literature)||Oxford History of English Literature. A critical study of 16th century English literature, poetry, and novels. This book got him the post at Cambridge. It was renamed “Poetry and Prose in the Sixteenth Century”.|
|13||1945||That Hideous Strength||Fiction (Science Fiction)||Cosmic triology 3, Ransom and his team fight the N.I.C.E. in a supernatural, apocalyptic war. The title refers to a Shelly poem about the Tower of Babel.|
|14||1945||Great Divorce||Fiction (Novel)||A dream visitation to the afterlife and examination of the problem of evil and predestination & free will. The title responds to William Blake’s “Marriage of Heaven and Hell”.|
|15||1948||Arthurian Torso||Scholarly (Criticism)||A critical study of Charles Williams’ poetry in Taliesson Through Logres and Region of the Summer Stars.|
|16||1952||Mere Christianity||Non-Fiction (Theology)||Four radio broadcast talks on fundamentals of Christian theology and ethics. Originally titled “Broadcast Talks.”|
|17||1947||Miracles||Non-Fiction (Philosophy)||A philosophical case that miracles are possible, fitting, and indeed real.|
|18||1950||Narnia - Lion, Witch, Wardrobe||Fiction (Young Adult Novel)||Narnia 3rd in series, written 1st|
|19||1951||Narnia - Prince Caspian||Fiction (Young Adult Novel)||Narnia 4th in series, written 2nd|
|20||1952||Narnia - Voyage of Dawn Treader||Fiction (Young Adult Novel)||Narnia 5th in series, written 3rd|
|21||1953||Narnia - Silver Chair||Fiction (Young Adult Novel)||Narnia 6th in series, written 4th|
|22||1954||Narnia - Horse and His Boy||Fiction (Young Adult Novel)||Narnia 2nd in series, written 5th|
|23||1955||Narnia - Magician’s Nephew||Fiction (Young Adult Novel)||Narnia 1st in series, written 6th|
|24||1956||Narnia - Last Battle||Fiction (Young Adult Novel)||Narnia 7th in series, written 7th|
|25||1955||Surprised by Joy - The Shape of my Early Life||Non-Fiction (autobiography)||An autobiographical reflection on Lewis’ boyhood, young adulthood, and conversion to Christianity, with particular attention to the books and imaginative devices that awoke “sehnsucht”, “joy”. For Lewis, “joy” is a painful, unsatisfied longing that is more desirable than any satisfaction. This book was written before he had fallen in love with or married Joy Davidman in 1956.|
|26||1956||Till We Have Faces||Fiction (Novel)||A historical novel retelling a classic myth of Aphrodite and Cupid. The title is pulled from one of the lines in a chapter at toward the end of the book, where the main character asks, “How can we meet god face to face till we have faces?”|
|27||1958||Reflections on the Psalms||Non-Fiction (Theology/Bible)||A laymen’s exploration of difficult passages and problems in the most beloved book of the Bible.|
|28||1960||Studies in Words||Scholarly (Philology)||A study of the words and concepts from medieval literature that moderns are most liable to misunderstand.|
|29||1960||The Four Loves||Non-Fiction (Philosophy)||On the four Greek words for love: affection (storge), romantic love (eros), friendship (phileo), and charity (agape), plus an initial discussion of sub-human loves.|
|30||1960||The World’s Last Night||Essay collection||Seven essays by Lewis on second coming, prayer, Screwtape, science fiction|
|31||1961||An Experiment in Criticism||Scholarly (Criticism)||Essays on how to read books and judge them. The title refers to the “experiment” of judging a book by how it is read, rather than judging a reader by what books he likes.|
|32||1961||A Grief Observed||Non-Fiction (Memoir)||Journals and reflections the death of his wife, Joy.|
|33||1963||Letters to Malcom, Chiefly on Prayer||Fiction (Epistolary Novel)||An epistolary novel on themes such as prayer, liturgy, church, translations, corporate life, intercession to the saints, and more.|
|34||1964||Discarded Image||Scholarly (History)||A study of the medieval picture of the cosmos, man, god, animals, and longaevi.|
|35||1966||Of Other Worlds||Essay collection||Essays on Sci Fi / Fantasy, one essay not included in Essay collection|
|36||1967||Letters to an American Lady||Letters|
|37||1967||Spenser’s Images of Life||Scholarly (Literature)|
|38||1969||Narrative Poems||Poetry||Ed. Walter Hooper Includes Dymer, Launcelot, Nameless Isle, Queen of Drum|
|39||1970||Weight of Glory||Essay collection||Essays on theology and ethics. The eponymous “Weight of Glory” essay was a sermon Lewis delivered.|
|40||1970||God in the Dock||Essay collection||Essays on theology and ethics|
|41||1971||Undeceptions||Essay collection||One essay not included in Essay Collection|
|42||1977||Dark Tower||An unfinished novel probably by Lewis, possibly an early draft of a Space Triology|
|43||1980||Selected Literary Essays||Essay collection|
|44||1991||All my Road Before Me: Diaries||Diary|
|45||1994||Collected Poems||Poetry||Ed. Walter Hooper|
|46||1996||Compelling Reason: Essays on Ethics and Theology||Essay collection|
|47||1998||Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature||Scholarly (Literature)||Book reviews, lectures, articles to show the twentieth century reader how to read and how to understand old books and manuscripts.|
|48||2003||From Narnia to Space Odyssey: War b/w Arthur C. Clarke||Essay collection||Only 17 pages of letters between Lewis and Arthur C. Clarke|
|49||2000||Collected Letters Vol. I||Letters|
|50||2004||Collected Letters Vol. II||Letters|
|51||2007||Collected Letters Vol. III||Letters|
|52||2009||The Latin Letters of Lewis||Essay collection||Correspondence between Lewis and St. Giovanni Calabria|
As far as I can discover, this type of exhaustive list doesn’t exist on cslewis.com, Wikipedia, Goodreads, Amazon, or anywhere else. Amazon and such places lean heavily on the books that made him most popular: Narnia, Mere Christianity and Screwtape Letters. A narrower set of books are known and read by die-hard fans – Great Divorce or An Experiment in Criticism. But some books even raving Lewis fans may not have heard: the theologically exploratory Reflections on the Psalms or the literary criticism of the poetry of Charles Williams (Arthurian Torso).
A few words about the information. There is a column for the year of composition, the title of the book. These are self-explanatory.
There is a “category” column for sorting (fiction, scholarly books, popular non-fiction books, and essays) and a catch all “notes” column. One could easily break things down into more subcategories, such as fiction for children (Narnia) and fiction for adults (The Cosmic Trilogy), but I opted for simplicity over a high resolution. I did put the Genre of the book in parentheses.
Finally, there is a “Notes” column where I put a sentence or two of relevant information about the book, such as the origin of the title, or the theme of the book.
Regarding essay collections: there are quite a few redundant essay collections out there. I include them all, and try to clarify in the “Notes” whether there are actually any essays in the collection you couldn’t read elsewhere. The problem of so many redundant essay collections is due to various publishers retaining the rights to various essays and collections. No one publisher or individual has yet hazarded the creation of a complete and non-repetitive collection of “The Complete Essays of C.S. Lewis”. And one is likely to do so for a few decades until the Lewis copyright runs out in the U.S.
Personally, I have not read everything on the list – the scholarly books are slow going, and the letters and many essays are hard to come by. But this list has helped me find some hidden gems in the Lewisian corpus. Hence I present it for you.