Although he regarded Ulster as his homeland, Clive Staples Lewis denied being Irish. "I'm more Welsh than anything," he once said to me, "and for more than anything else in my ancestry I'm grateful that on my father's side I'm descended from a practical Welsh farmer. To that link with the soil I owe whatever measure of physical energy and stability I have. Without it I should have turned into a hopeless neurotic." During the disappointments and emotional difficulties of his twenties, this link with the land gave him self-confidence. It was a quality he badly needed, for it was his conviction that , as he wrote to his friend Arthur Greeves, "we hold our mental health by a thread."
-George Sayer, Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis