A Grief Observed

Lewis, C. S. (Clives Staples)

Primary Category: Literature / Nonfiction

Genre: Journal

  • Date of entry: Feb-18-1997
  • Last revised: Aug-22-2006


When confirmed bachelor C. S. Lewis married Joy Davidman in 1956, it was at first a friendly marriage of convenience so that she and her sons could remain in England. By the time of her death from cancer three years later, their partnership had become one of passion, friendship and such deep love that Lewis was almost paralyzed by his loss.

In this undated journal, he documents with brief observations first the overwhelming sensations of his grief, then his rage and confusion at God. As time passes, he chronicles his return to religion and his acceptance of a new life, forever shaded by Davidman’s presence but still whole. The style and writing are beautiful but clear and accessible, and the honesty of his sentiments is clear whether or not readers have found themselves in similar situations.


C. S. Lewis, often best known for his series The Chronicles of Narnia and other science fiction, was an author known for "translating the concepts of Christianity into the language . . . of the everyday world." His publications included The Screwtape Letters, The Allegory of Love, and Mere Christianity.

A Grief Observed, released three years prior to Lewis’s own death in 1963, was first published under the pseudonym N. W. Clerk. This edition of the journal contains a long afterword by biographer Chad Walsh, who knew Lewis’s other writings and added the history of their relationship.


First published: 1961 (Faber & Faber, England) under the name N. W. Clerk. Also published by Seabury in 1963 under C. S. Lewis.



Place Published

New York



Page Count