Saturday, August 23, 2008

Flora Lewis: 1862-1908

On this day in 1908, 9-year-old C.S. Lewis lost his mother, Flora, to cancer, contributing to his transition to atheism. She was 46. Florence Augusta Hamilton Lewis, known as Flora, earned degrees in mathematics and logic.

The day Flora died - August 23, 1908 - also happened to be the birthday of Lewis's father, Albert. That same year, Albert's father and brother also passed away. A bad year for Albert, to say the least, he ended up sending C.S. Lewis and his brother, Warren, to boarding school not long after Flora's death.

"With my mother's death," wrote C.S. Lewis later in life, "all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared from my life."

Albert and Flora make brief appearances in my book Conversations with C.S. Lewis in a chapter set at Lewis's childhood home in Ireland.

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