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Helen Joy Davidman Lewis
Birth: Apr. 18, 1915
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: Jul. 13, 1960
Oxfordshire, England

Poet, Author, wife of author C. S. Lewis. Born Helen Joy Davidman in New York City, the daughter of immigrant Jewish parents who valued education. An outspoken feminist who embraced Communism, she published her first book of poems, "Letters from a Comrade" in 1938, for which she was awarded the Yale Young Poets Award. Her first novel "Anya" was published in 1940, while she was working at MGM studios as a screenwriter. Her second novel, "Weeping Bay", was published in 1950. She married William Gresham in 1942, and had two sons. During her troubled marriage she began reading the work of author C.S. Lewis, which prompted her conversion to Christianity. She divorced her husband and settled in England with her sons in 1954. There she began a close friendship with Lewis that grew into something much more. The two were secretly married in a civil ceremony in 1956, but they maintained seperate homes. Soon the rumor mills were working overtime about Lewis' daily visits to Joy's home. Lewis made plans to move her into his home, "The Kilns". When Joy was diagnosed with cancer later that year, Lewis announced to the public that they were married, and made plans for a religious ceremony. They were married again while Joy was in the hospital on March 21, 1957. Joy went into remission and her health improved enough for her and Lewis to have four happy years together, travelling and enjoying life at The Kilns. Joy died in considerable pain at the age of 45, and was cremated as per her request. Her ashes were spread over the crematorium's rose garden. C. S. Lewis wrote "A Grief Observed" in response to her death, and published it under a pseudonym. Her memorial epitaph was written by her husband:
"Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day." (bio by: Kristen Conrad) 
Family links: 
  C.S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)*
*Calculated relationship
Oxford Crematorium
City of Oxford
Oxfordshire, England
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Kristen Conrad
Record added: Oct 24, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 8026820
Helen Joy <i>Davidman</i> Lewis
Added by: Anonymous
Helen Joy <i>Davidman</i> Lewis
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Helen Joy <i>Davidman</i> Lewis
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