The 10 Books That Most Influenced C. S. Lewis

Below is C.S. Lewis’ answer to the question (posed to him in 1962 by The Christian Century): “What books did most to shape your vocational attitude and your philosophy of life?”

1. Phantastes, by George MacDonald

2. The Everlasting Man, by G.K. Chesterton

3. The Aeneid, by Virgil

4. The Temple, by George Herbert

5. The Prelude, by William Wordsworth

6. The Idea of the Holy, by Rudolf Otto

7. The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius

8. The Life of Samuel Johnson, by James Boswell

9. Descent Into Hell, by Charles Williams

10. Theism and Humanism, by Arthur James Balfour 

Top of this list, unsurprisingly, is George MacDonald’s Phantastes, which captivated Lewis as a teenage atheist, and which meant as much, if not more to him, by the end of his life. Our new edition of this fantasy masterpiece features clear print, a preface by MacDonald’s son Greville, and all thirty-three of the original illustrations by Arthur Hughes-who was to the author what Pauline Baynes was to Lewis himself.


[Cover photo credit: Aronsyne, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons; no changes made]

Jess Jack

In What Order Should I Read George MacDonald’s Books? (Part II: Fantasy &c.)

Books Mentioned in this Post

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