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C.S. Lewis – First Edition Books: Identification Guide

C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (1898 – 1963) was a British writer and lay theologian. He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain. Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends. They both served on the English faculty at Oxford University and were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the Inklings.

C.S. Lewis wrote more than 30 books which have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularised on stage, TV, radio, and cinema. His philosophical writings are widely cited by Christian apologists from many denominations.

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels for children and is considered a classic of children’s literature. Written between 1949 and 1954 and illustrated by Pauline Baynes, the series is Lewis’s most popular work, having sold over 100 million copies in 41 languages. It has been adapted several times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage and cinema.

In 1956, Lewis married American writer Joy Davidman; she died of cancer four years later at the age of 45. Lewis died on 22 November 1963 from kidney failure, one week before his 65th birthday. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis was honoured with a memorial in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

C.S. Lewis Books – First Edition identification points and criteria

Note: Only contain C.S. Lewis works published prior to 1977.

How to Identify First Edition books by C. S. Lewis Guide
YearTitlePublisherFirst Edition/Printing Identification Points
1977THE DARK TOWER AND OTHER STORIESLondon: Collins, 1977Boards. First published 1977 on © page.
1945THE GREAT DIVORCELondon; Geoffrey Bles: The Centenary Press, [1945]First Published November 1945 on © page.
1954THE HORSE AND HIS BOYLondon: Geoffrey Bles, [1954]Boards. First published 1954 on © page.
1956THE LAST BATTLE: A STORY FOR CHILDRENLondon: The Bodley Head, 1956First Published 1956 on © page.
1950THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBELondon: Geoffrey Bles, [1950]First published 1950 on © page.
1955THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEWLondon: The Bodley Head, 1955Boards. First Published 1955 on © page.
1966OF OTHER WORLDSLondon; Geoffrey Bles, [1966]Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Edited by Walter Hooper. Note: Includes three short stories and the draft of an unfinished novel.
1935OUT OF THE SILENT PLANETLondon: John Lane The Bodley Head, [1935]Two bindings, priority as listed:
  • (A) Brick red cloth, spine lettered in gold;
  • (B) Scarlet cloth, spine lettered in black.
First published in 1938 on © page.
1943PERELANDRALondon: John Lane The Bodley Head, [1943]First published 1943 on © page. Reissued as VOYAGE TO VENUS.
1933THE PILGRIM'S REGRESSLondon: J. M. Dent and Sons Ltd, [1933]First published 1933 on © page.
1951PRINCE CASPIAN: THE RETURN TO NARNIALondon: Geoffrey Bles, [1951]Boards. First published 1951 on page [196].
1942THE SCREWTAPE LETTERSLondon: Geoffrey Bles, [1942]First published 1942 on © page. ALSO: THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS AND SCREWTAPE PROPOSES A TOAST. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1961. Boards. This new edition 1961 on © page. Enlarged edition.
1953THE SILVER CHAIRLondon: Geoffrey Bles, [1953]Boards. First published 1953 on © page.
1945THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTHLondon: John Lane The Bodley Head, [1945]First published 1945 on © page. ALSO: London: Pan Books Ltd. [1955]. Wrappers. This edition, abridged by the author, published 1955 ... on © page. Pan 321. Abridged text; adds new author's "preface." The abridged text was reissued as THE TORTURED PLANET. Note: Price does not appear on the book.
1956TILL WE HAVE FACESLondon: Geoffrey Bles, 1956Boards. First published 1956 on © page.
1958THE TORTURED PLANETNew York: Avon Publications, Inc., [1958]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Avon T-211 (350). Reissue of THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH with text abridged by Lewis and a new preface.
1952THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADERLondon: Geoffrey Bles, [1952]Boards. First published 1952 on page [224]
1953VOYAGE TO VENUSLondon: Pan Books Ltd, [1953]Wrappers. This edition published 1953 ... on © page. Pan 253 (2'-). Reissue of PERELANDRA.

C.S. Lewis – First Printing Dust Jacket identification points

Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of C.S. Lewis’s works. Only include the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.


  • Wikipedia
  • L. W. Currey, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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