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The Chronicles of Narnia
Narnia books.jpg
First-edition covers, in order of publication.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Horse and His Boy
The Magician's Nephew
The Last Battle
Author Clive Staples Lewis
Language English
Genre Fantasy
Children's literature
Publisher HarperTrophy
Published 1950–1956
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels for children written by C. S. Lewis. It is considered a classic of children's literature and is the author's best-known work, having sold over 120 million copies in 41 languages. Written by Lewis between 1949 and 1954 and illustrated by Pauline Baynes, The Chronicles of Narnia have been adapted several times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage, and cinema. In addition to numerous traditional Christian themes, the series borrows characters and ideas from Greek and Roman mythology, as well as from traditional British and Irish fairy tales.

The Chronicles of Narnia present the adventures of children who play central roles in the unfolding history of the fictional realm of Narnia, a place where animals talk, magic is common, and good battles evil. Each of the books (with the exception of The Horse and His Boy) features as its protagonists children from our world who are magically transported to Narnia, where they are called upon to help the Lion Aslan save Narnia.

Contents

The seven books

The Chronicles of Narnia have been in continuous publication since 1954 and have sold over 100 million copies in 41 languages.[1][2] Lewis was awarded the 1956 Carnegie Medal for The Last Battle, the final book in the Narnia series. The books were written by Lewis between 1949 and 1954 but were written in neither the order they were originally published nor in the chronological order in which they are currently presented.[3] The original illustrator was Pauline Baynes and her pen and ink drawings are still used in publication today. The seven books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia are presented here in the order in which they were originally published (see reading order below). Completion dates for the novels are English (Northern Hemisphere) seasons.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949[3] and published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Professor Digory Kirke's house that leads to the magical land of Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan, a talking lion, save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who has reigned over the kingdom of Narnia for a century of perpetual winter.

Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951)

Completed in the autumn of 1949 and published in 1951, Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia tells the story of the Pevensie children's second trip to Narnia. They are drawn back by the power of Susan's horn, blown by Prince Caspian to summon help in his hour of need. Caspian has fled into the woods to escape his uncle, Miraz, who had usurped the throne. The children set out once again to save Narnia; and aided by other Narnians, and ultimately by Aslan, they return the throne to Caspian, the rightful ruler.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

Completed in the winter of 1950 and published in 1952, The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’ returns Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their priggish cousin, Eustace Scrubb, to Narnia. Once there, they join Caspian's voyage to find the seven lords who were banished when Miraz took over the throne. This perilous journey brings them face to face with many wonders and dangers as they sail toward Aslan's country at the end of the world.

The Silver Chair (1953)

Completed in the spring of 1951 and published in 1953, The Silver Chair is the first Narnia book without the Pevensie children. Instead, Aslan calls Eustace back to Narnia together with his classmate Jill Pole. There they are given four signs to find Prince Rilian, Caspian's son, who had disappeared ten years earlier. Eustace and Jill, with the help of Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle, face great danger before finding Rilian, held prisoner in an enchantment by a Green Witch.

The Horse and His Boy (1954)

Completed in the spring of 1950 and published in 1954, The Horse and His Boy takes place during the reign of the Pevensies in Narnia, an era which begins and ends in the last chapter of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The story is about Bree, a talking horse, and a young boy named Shasta, both of whom have been held in bondage in Calormen. By chance, they meet each other and plan their return to Narnia and freedom. They arrive in Archenland in time to warn the king of an impending invasion from Calormen.

The Magician's Nephew (1955)

Completed in the winter of 1954 and published in 1955, the prequel The Magician's Nephew brings the reader back to the very beginning of Narnia where we learn how Aslan created the world and how evil first entered it. Digory Kirke and his friend Polly Plummer stumble into different worlds by experimenting with magic rings made by Digory's uncle, encounter Jadis (The White Witch) in the dying world of Charn, and witness the creation of Narnia. Many long-standing questions about Narnia are answered in the adventure that follows.

The Last Battle (1956)

Completed in the spring of 1953 and published in 1956, The Last Battle chronicles the end of the world of Narnia. Jill and Eustace return to save Narnia from Shift, an ape, who tricks Puzzle, a donkey, into impersonating the lion Aslan, precipitating a showdown between the Calormenes and King Tirian.

Reading order

Fans of the series often have strong opinions over the order in which the books should be read. Under dispute is the placement of two volumes, The Magician's Nephew and The Horse and His Boy, both of which take place significantly earlier than they were written, and which also fall somewhat outside the main story arc connecting the others. The "reading order" of the other five books is not disputed.

Publication order Chronological order Written order Final Completion order[3]
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe The Magician's Nephew The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Prince Caspian Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader The Horse and His Boy The Voyage of the Dawn Treader The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair Prince Caspian The Horse and His Boy The Horse and His Boy
The Horse and His Boy The Voyage of the Dawn Treader The Silver Chair The Silver Chair
The Magician's Nephew The Silver Chair The Magician's Nephew The Last Battle
The Last Battle The Last Battle The Last Battle The Magician's Nephew

The books were not numbered when originally published. The first American publisher, Macmillan, numbered the books in the original publication order. When Harper Collins took over the series in 1994, the books were renumbered using the internal chronological order, as suggested by Lewis's stepson, Douglas Gresham. To make the case for his suggested order, Gresham quoted Lewis' 1957 reply to a letter from an American fan who was having an argument with his mother about the order:

I think I agree with your [chronological] order for reading the books more than with your mother's. The series was not planned beforehand as she thinks. When I wrote The Lion I did not know I was going to write any more. Then I wrote P. Caspian as a sequel and still didn't think there would be any more, and when I had done The Voyage I felt quite sure it would be the last, but I found I was wrong. So perhaps it does not matter very much in which order anyone read them. I’m not even sure that all the others were written in the same order in which they were published.[4]

In the Harper Collins adult editions of the books (2005), the publisher uses this letter to assert Lewis's preference for the numbering they adopted by including this notice on the copyright page:

Although The Magician's Nephew was written several years after C. S. Lewis first began The Chronicles of Narnia, he wanted it to be read as the first book in the series. Harper Collins is happy to present these books in the order which Professor Lewis preferred.

However most scholars disagree with Harper Collins' decision and find the chronological order to be the least faithful to Lewis's intentions[3]. Scholars and readers who appreciate the original order believe that Lewis was simply being gracious to his youthful correspondent and that he could have changed the books' order in his lifetime had he so desired.[5] They maintain that much of the magic of Narnia comes from the way the world is gradually presented in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. They believe that the mysterious wardrobe, as a narrative device, is a much better introduction to Narnia than The Magician's Nephew — where the word "Narnia" appears in the first paragraph as something already familiar to the reader. Moreover, they say, it is clear from the texts themselves that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was intended to be read first. When Aslan is first mentioned in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, for example, the narrator says that "None of the children knew who Aslan was, any more than you do" — which is nonsensical if one has already read The Magician's Nephew.[6] Other similar textual examples are also cited.[7]

Doris Meyer, author of C.S.Lewis in Context and Bareface: A guide to C.S.Lewis points out that rearranging the stories chronologically "lessens the impact of the individual stories" and "obscures the literary structures as a whole".[3] Peter Schakel devotes an entire chapter to this topic in his book Imagination and the Arts in C.S.Lewis: Journeying to Narnia and Other Worlds, and in Reading with the Heart: The Way into Narnia he writes:

The only reason to read The Magician's Nephew first [...] is for the chronological order of events, and that, as every story teller knows, is quite unimportant as a reason. Often the early events in a sequence have a greater impact or effect as a flashback, told after later events which provide background and establish perspective. So it is [ ...] with the Chronicles. The artistry, the archetypes, and the pattern of Christian thought all make it preferable to read the books in the order of their publication.[6]

Christian parallels

Specific Christian parallels may be found in the entries for individual books and characters.

C.S. Lewis was an adult convert to Christianity and had previously authored some works on Christian apologetics and fiction with Christian themes. However, he did not originally intend to incorporate Christian theological concepts into his Narnia stories. As he wrote in Of Other Worlds:

Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument, then collected information about child psychology and decided what age group I’d write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out 'allegories' to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I couldn’t write in that way. It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn't anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord.

Lewis, an expert on the subject of allegory[8] and the author of The Allegory of Love, maintained that the books were not allegory, and preferred to call the Christian aspects of them "suppositional". This indicates Lewis' view of Narnia as a fictional parallel universe. As Lewis wrote in a letter to a Mrs Hook in December 1958:

If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair [a character in The Pilgrim's Progress] represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality, however, he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, 'What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?' This is not allegory at all.[9]

Although Lewis did not consider them allegorical, and did not set out to incorporate Christian themes in Wardrobe, he was not hesitant to point them out after the fact. In one of his last letters, written in March 1961, Lewis writes:

Since Narnia is a world of Talking Beasts, I thought He [Christ] would become a Talking Beast there, as He became a man here. I pictured Him becoming a lion there because (a) the lion is supposed to be the king of beasts; (b) Christ is called "The Lion of Judah" in the Bible; (c) I'd been having strange dreams about lions when I began writing the work. The whole series works out like this.
The Magician's Nephew tells the Creation and how evil entered Narnia.
The Lion etc the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
Prince Caspian restoration of the true religion after corruption.
The Horse and His Boy the calling and conversion of a heathen.
The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader" the spiritual life (especially in Reepicheep).
The Silver Chair the continuing war with the powers of darkness
The Last Battle the coming of the Antichrist (the Ape). the end of the world and the Last Judgement.[3]

With the release of the 2005 Disney film there was renewed interest in the Christian parallels found in the books. Some find them distasteful, while noting that they are easy to miss if you are not familiar with Christianity.[10] Alan Jacobs, author of The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis, implies that through these Christian aspects, Lewis becomes "a pawn in America's culture wars".[11] Some Christians see the Chronicles as excellent tools for Christian evangelism.[12] The subject of Christianity in the novels has become the focal point of many books. (See Further Reading below.)

Rev. Abraham Tucker pointed out that "While there are in the Narnia tales many clear parallels with Biblical events, they are far from precise, one-on-one parallels. (...) Aslan sacrifices himself in order to redeem Edmund, the Traitor, who is completley reformed and forgiven. That is as if the New Testament were to tell us that Jesus Christ redeemed Judas Iscariot and that Judas later became one of the Apostles. (...) There had been times in Christian history when Lewis might have been branded a heretic for far smaller creative innovations in theology."[13]

Influences on Narnia

Lewis's life

Lewis's early life has echoes within the Chronicles of Narnia. Born in Belfast, Ireland in 1898, Lewis moved with his family to a large house on the edge of the city when he was seven. The house contained long hallways and empty rooms, and Lewis and his brother invented make-believe worlds while exploring their home - this influenced Lucy's discovery of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. [14]. Like Caspian and Rilian, Lewis lost his mother at an early age. Lewis also spent much of his youth in English boarding schools similar to those attended by the Pevensie children as well as Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole. During World War II, many children were evacuated from London because of air raids. During this time, some of these children, including one named Lucy, stayed with Lewis at his home in Oxford, just as the Pevensies stayed with the professor.[15]

Inklings

Lewis was the chief member of the Inklings, an informal literary discussion group in Oxford which at various times included the writers J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Lewis's brother W. H. Lewis, and Roger Lancelyn Green. Readings and discussions of the members' unfinished works were one of the main activities of the group when they met, usually on Thursday evenings, in C. S. Lewis's college rooms at Magdalen College. Some of the Narnia stories are thought to have been read to the Inklings for their appreciation and comment.

Influences from mythology and cosmology

The fauna of the series borrows from both Greek mythology and Germanic mythology. For example, centaurs originated in Greek myth, and dwarfs have origins in Germanic myth. Drew Trotter, president of the Center for Christian Study, noted that the producers of the film version of The Chronicles of Narnia felt that the books closely follow the archetypal pattern of the monomyth as detailed in Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces.[16]

Lewis had also read widely in medieval Celtic literature, an influence reflected throughout the books, most strongly in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The entire book imitates one of the immrama (pronounced IM-rah-vuh), "Voyages," a type of traditional medieval Irish tale in which the protagonists sail to a series of remarkable islands. Medieval Ireland also had a tradition of High Kings ruling over lesser kings and queens or princes, as in Narnia. Lewis' term "Cair," as in Cair Paravel, also mirrors the Welsh "Caer, "fortress" (appearing as Car- in the English versions of place names such as Cardiff (Welsh Caerdydd)). Reepicheep's small boat, the coracle, is also the traditional boat of the Celtic countries.

Some of the elements of the books are more generally medieval, such as the shape of the one-footed monopods or Dufflepuds in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which reflects a type of people medieval sources claimed lived somewhere in the wondrous East.

In 2008 Michael Ward published Planet Narnia[17], which proposed that each of the seven books related to one of the seven moving heavenly bodies or "planets" known in the Middle Ages, according to the Ptolemaic or Geocentric model of cosmology. Each of these heavenly bodies was believed in the Middle Ages to have certain attributes, and these attributes were deliberately (but secretly) used by Lewis to furnish elements of the stories of each book. "In The Lion [the Pevensie children] become monarchs under sovereign Jove; in The Dawn Treader they drink light under searching Sol; in Prince Caspian they harden under strong Mars; in The Silver Chair they learn obedience under subordinate Luna; in The Horse and His Boy they come to love poetry under eloquent Mercury; in The Magician's Nephew they gain life-giving fruit under fertile Venus; and in The Last Battle they suffer and die under chilling Saturn."[18] Lewis was known to have an interest in the literary symbolism of medieval and Renaissance astrology which is reflected far more overtly in other works of his such as his study of the Elizabethan world-view The Discarded Image, his early poetry, and more overt references to it in his science-fiction trilogy. Other Narnia scholars find Ward's assertion that Lewis intended the Chronicles as an embodiment of medieval astrology implausible[3].

Name

The origin of the name Narnia is uncertain. According to Paul Ford's Companion to Narnia, there is no indication that Lewis was alluding to the ancient Italian Umbrian city Nequinium, which the conquering Romans renamed Narnia in 299 BC after the River Nar. However, since Lewis studied classics at Oxford, it is possible that he came across at least some of the seven or so references to Narnia in Latin literature.[3] There is also the possibility (but no solid evidence) that Lewis, who studied medieval and Renaissance literature, was aware of a reference to Lucia von Narnia ("Lucy of Narnia") in a 1501 German text, Wunderliche Geschichten von geistlichen Weybbildern ("Wondrous stories of monastic women") by Ercole d'Este.[19] There is no evidence of a link with Tolkien's Elvish (Sindarin) word narn, meaning a lay or poetic narrative, as in his posthumously published Narn i Chîn Húrin, though Lewis may have read or heard parts of this at meetings of the Inklings.

Narnia's influence on others

Influence on authors

A more recent British series of novels, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, has been seen as a response to the Narnian books. The series by Pullman, a self-described atheist, wholly rejects the spiritual themes that permeate the Narnian series, but treats many of the same issues and introduces some similar character types (including talking animals).[20][21][22][23] Both His Dark Materials and the first published Narnia book open with a young girl hiding in a wardrobe.

Fantasy author Neil Gaiman wrote the 2004 short story The Problem of Susan,[24] in which an elderly woman, Professor Hastings, is depicted dealing with the grief and trauma of her entire family dying in a train crash. The woman's last name is not revealed, but she mentions her brother "Ed", and it is strongly implied that this is Susan Pevensie as an elderly woman. In the story Gaiman presents, in fictional form, a critique of Lewis' treatment of Susan. The Problem of Susan is written for an adult audience and deals with sexuality and violence.[25] Gaiman's young-adult horror novella Coraline has also been compared to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. (Both books involve young girls traveling to magical worlds through doors in their new houses and having to fight evil with the help of talking animals.) Additionally, Gaiman's Sandman graphic novel series features a Narnia-like "dream island" in its story arc entitled A Game of You.

In Katherine Paterson's book Bridge to Terabithia, one of the main characters, Leslie, tells the other main character, Jesse, of her love of C. S. Lewis' books, and mentions Narnia. Some people have accused Paterson of plagiarism, claiming that her book has taken the name of a Narnian island named "Terebinthia"; but Paterson has said that the reference was not deliberate.[26]

Science-fiction author Greg Egan's short story Oracle depicts a parallel universe with an author nicknamed "Jack" who has written novels about the fictional Kingdom of Nesica, and whose wife is dying of cancer. The story uses several Narnian allegories to explore issues of religion and faith versus science and knowledge.[27]

Influence on popular culture

As one would expect with any popular, long-lived work, references to The Chronicles of Narnia are relatively common in pop culture. References to the lion Aslan, travelling via wardrobe, and direct references to The Chronicles of Narnia occur in books, television, songs, games, and graphic novels.

Musical references to Narnia include Phish's song Prince Caspian from the album Billy Breathes.

The graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (vol. 2, num. 1) makes multiple references to many famous works of fantasy literature including a text fragment referring to the apple tree from The Magician's Nephew. The next comic in the series mentions the possibility of making a wardrobe from the apple tree.

Popular television shows which refer to Narnia include multiple appearances of Aslan in South Park; in "Family Guy", Mr.Tumnus makes an appearance; and a character in Lost is named Charlotte Staples Lewis.

A computer game with an oblique reference to Narnia is Simon the Sorcerer which contains a scene in which the main character finds a stone table and calls it "perfect for troll meals and shaved lions".

Criticism

Gender stereotyping

C. S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia have received various criticisms over the years, much of it by fellow authors. Most of the allegations of sexism center around the description of Susan Pevensie in The Last Battle where Lewis characterizes Susan as being "no longer a friend of Narnia" and interested "in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations".

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, has said:

There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She's become irreligious basically because she found sex, I have a big problem with that.[28]

Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy and so fierce a critic of Lewis' work as to be dubbed "the anti-Lewis",[20][21][22][23] calls the Narnia stories "monumentally disparaging of women",[29] interpreting the Susan passages this way:

Susan, like Cinderella, is undergoing a transition from one phase of her life to another. Lewis didn't approve of that. He didn't like women in general, or sexuality at all, at least at the stage in his life when he wrote the Narnia books. He was frightened and appalled at the notion of wanting to grow up.[30]

Among others, fan-magazine editor Andrew Rilstone opposes this view, arguing that the "lipsticks, nylons and invitations" quote is taken out of context. They maintain that in The Last Battle, Susan is excluded from Narnia explicitly because she no longer believes in it. At the end of The Last Battle Susan is still alive; her ultimate fate is not specified in the series. Moreover, Susan's adulthood and sexual maturity are portrayed in a positive light in The Horse and His Boy, and therefore are argued to be unlikely reasons for her exclusion from Narnia.

Additionally, Lewis supporters cite the positive roles of women in the series, including Jill Pole in The Silver Chair, Aravis Tarkheena in The Horse and His Boy, Polly Plummer in The Magician's Nephew, and particularly Lucy Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Jacobs asserts that Lucy is the most admirable of the human characters, and that, in general, the girls come off better than the boys through the stories.[11][31][32] Karin Fry, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, notes, in her contribution to The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy, that "the most sympathetic female characters in the Chronicles are consistently the ones who question the traditional roles of women and prove their worth to Aslan through actively engaging in the adventures just like the boys."[33] Fry goes on to say, however,

The characters have positive and negative things to say about both male and female characters, suggesting an equality between sexes. However, the problem is that many of the positive qualities of the female characters seem to be those by which they can rise above their femininity ... The superficial nature of stereotypical female interests is condemned.[33]

Race

In addition to sexism, Pullman also accused the Narnia series of fostering racism,[29][34] alleging that for Lewis:

Death is better than life; boys are better than girls; light-coloured people are better than dark-coloured people; and so on. There is no shortage of such nauseating drivel in Narnia, if you can face it.[30]

About alleged racism in The Horse and His Boy specifically, newspaper editor Kyrie O'Connor writes:

It's just too dreadful. While the book's storytelling virtues are enormous, you don't have to be a bluestocking of political correctness to find some of this fantasy anti-Arab, or anti-Eastern, or anti-Ottoman. With all its stereotypes, mostly played for belly laughs, there are moments you'd like to stuff this story back into its closet.[35]

The racism critique is based on a negative representation of other races, particularly the Calormenes. Novelist Philip Hensher and other critics regard the portrayal of Calormene culture as an attack on Islam.[36] Although the portrait of the Calormenes is coloured by European perceptions of Ottoman culture, the Calormene religion as portrayed by Lewis is polytheistic and bears little resemblance to Islam. Moreover, several Calormenes, notably Aravis in The Horse and his Boy and Emmeth, the young Calormene soldier in The Last Battle, are portrayed favourably as brave and noble individuals.

Paganism

Lewis has also received criticism from some Christians and Christian organizations who feel that The Chronicles of Narnia promotes "soft-sell paganism and occultism", because of the recurring pagan themes and the supposedly heretical depictions of Christ as an anthropomorphic lion. The Greek god Dionysus and the Maenads are depicted in a positive light (with the caveat that meeting them without Aslan around would not be safe), although they are generally considered distinctly pagan motifs. Even an animistic "River god" is portrayed in a positive light.[37][38] According to Josh Hurst of Christianity Today, "not only was Lewis hesitant to call his books Christian allegory, but the stories borrow just as much from pagan mythology as they do the Bible".[39]

Lewis himself believed that pagan mythology could act as a preparation for Christianity, both in history and in the imaginative life of an individual, and even suggested that modern man was in such a lamentable state that perhaps it was necessary "first to make people good pagans, and after that to make them Christians".[40] He also argued that imaginative enjoyment of (as opposed to belief in) classical mythology has been a feature of Christian culture through much of its history, and that European literature has always had three themes: the natural, the supernatural believed to be true (practiced religion), and the supernatural believed to be imaginary (mythology). Colin Duriez, author of three books on Lewis, suggests that Lewis believed that to reach a post-Christian culture one needed to employ pre-Christian ideas.[41] Lewis disliked modernism which he regarded as mechanized and sterile and cut off from natural ties to the world. By comparison, he had hardly any reservations about pre-Christian pagan culture. He disdained the non-religious agnostic character of modernity, but not the polytheistic character of pagan religion.[42] [43]

Reception: influence of religious viewpoints

The initial critical reception was generally positive, and the series quickly became popular with children.[44] In the time since then, it has become clear that reaction to the stories, both positive and negative, cuts across religious viewpoints. Although some saw in the books potential proselytising material, others insisted that non-believing audiences could enjoy the books on their own merits.[45]

The Narnia books have a large Christian following, and are widely used to promote Christian ideas. Narnia 'tie-in' material is marketed directly to Christian, even to Sunday school, audiences.[46] As noted above, however, a number of Christians have criticized the series for including pagan imagery, or even for misrepresenting the Christian story.[47] Christian authors who have criticised the books include fantasy author J.K. Rowling on ethical grounds (See Criticism) and Literary critic John Goldthwaite in The Natural History of Make-Believe for elitism and snobbery in the books.

J. R. R. Tolkien was a close friend of Lewis, a fellow author and was instrumental in Lewis's own conversion to Christianity.[48] As members of the Inklings literary group the two often read and critiqued drafts of their work. Nonetheless, Tolkien was not enthusiastic about the Narnia stories, in part due to the eclectic elements of the mythology and their haphazard incorporation, in part because he disapproved of stories involving travel between real and imaginary worlds.[49] Though a Christian himself, Tolkien felt that fantasy should incorporate Christian values without resorting to the obvious allegory Lewis employed.[50]

Reaction from non-Christians has been mixed as well. Phillip Pullman's objections to the Narnia series stem largely from his anti-religious views. On the other hand, the books have appeared in neo-pagan reading lists[51] (by the Wiccan author Starhawk,[52] among others). Positive reviews of the books by authors who share few of Lewis's religious views can be found in Revisiting Narnia, edited by Shanna Caughey.

The producers of the 2005 film hoped to tap into the large religious audience revealed by the success of Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ, and at the same time hoped to produce an adventure film that would appeal to secular audiences; but they (and the reviewers as well) worried about aspects of the story that could variously alienate both groups.[53]

Two full-length books examining Narnia from a non-religious point of view take diametrically opposite views of its literary merits. David Holbrook has written many psychoanalytic treatments of famous novelists, including Dickens, Lawrence, Lewis Carroll, and Ian Fleming. His 1991 book The Skeleton in the Wardrobe treats Narnia psychoanalytically, speculating that Lewis never recovered from the death of his mother and was frightened of adult female sexuality. He characterises the books as Lewis's failed attempt to work out many of his inner conflicts. Holbrook does give higher praise to The Magician's Nephew and Till We Have Faces (Lewis's reworking of the myth of Cupid and Psyche), as reflecting greater personal and moral maturity. Holbrook also plainly states his non-belief in Christianity.

In contrast to Holbrook, Laura Miller's The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Guide to Narnia (2008) finds in the Narnia books a deep spiritual and moral meaning from a non-religious perspective. Blending autobiography and literary criticism, Miller (a co-founder of Salon.com) discusses how she resisted her Catholic upbringing as a child; she loved the Narnia books but felt betrayed when she discovered their Christian subtext. As an adult she found deep delight in the books, and decided that these works transcend their Christian elements. Ironically, a section in His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, one of Narnia's severest critics, about how children get grace from innocence but adults from experience, had a profound influence on Miller's later appreciation of the Narnia books.[54]

The Narnian universe

Most of The Chronicles of Narnia take place in Lewis' constructed world of Narnia. The Narnian world itself is posited as one world in a multiverse of countless worlds including our own. Passage between these worlds is possible, though rare, and may be accomplished in various fashions. Narnia itself is described as populated by a wide variety of creatures, most of whom would be recognizable to those familiar with European mythologies and British fairy tales.

Inhabitants

See also: Narnia creatures and Narnian characters

Lewis largely populates his stories with two distinct classes of inhabitants: people originating from the reader's own world and creatures created by the character Aslan and the descendants of these creatures. This is typical of works that involve parallel universes. The majority of characters from the reader's world serve as the protagonists of the various books, although some are only mentioned in passing. Those inhabitants that Lewis creates through the character Aslan are viewed, either positively or negatively, as diverse. Lewis does not limit himself to a single source; instead he borrows from many sources and adds a few more of his own to the mix.

Geography

See also: Narnian places

The Chronicles of Narnia describes the world in which Narnia exists as one major landmass faced by "the Great Eastern Ocean". This ocean contains the islands explored in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. On the main landmass Lewis places the countries of Narnia, Archenland, Calormen, and Telmar, as well as a variety of other areas that are not described as countries. Lewis also provides glimpses of more fantastic locations that exist in and around the main world of Narnia, including an edge and an underworld.

There are several maps of the Narnian universe available, including what many consider the "official" one, a full-colour version published in 1972 by the books' illustrator, Pauline Baynes. This is currently out of print, although smaller copies can be found in the most recent HarperCollins 2006 hardcover edition of The Chronicles of Narnia. Two other maps have recently been produced following the popularity of the 2005 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. One, called the "Rose Map of Narnia", is based loosely on Baynes' map and has Narnian trivia printed on the reverse. The other, made in a monochromatic, archaic style reminiscent of maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth, is available in print and in an interactive version on the movie DVD. The latter map depicts only the country Narnia and not the rest of Lewis' world.

Cosmology

A recurring plot device in The Chronicles is the interaction between the various worlds that make up the Narnian multiverse. A variety of devices are used to initiate these cross-overs which generally serve to introduce characters to the land of Narnia. The Cosmology of Narnia is not as internally consistent as that of Lewis' contemporary Tolkien's Middle-earth, but suffices given the more fairy tale atmosphere of the work. During the course of the series we learn, generally in passing, that the world of Narnia is flat, geocentric, has stars with a different makeup than our own, and that the passage of time does not correspond directly to the passage of time in our world.

History

See also: Narnian timeline

Lewis takes us through the entire life of the world of Narnia, showing us the process by which it was created, snapshots of life in Narnia as the history of the world unfolds, and how Narnia is ultimately destroyed. Not surprisingly in a children's series, children, usually from our world, play a prominent role in all of these events. The history of Narnia is generally broken up into the following periods: creation and the period shortly afterwards, the rule of the White Witch, the Golden Age, the invasion and rule of the Telmarines, their subsequent defeat by Caspian X, the rule of King Caspian and his descendants, and the destruction of Narnia. Like many stories, the narrative is not necessarily always presented in chronological order.

Narnia in other media

Television

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was first adapted for television in 1967. The ten episodes, each thirty minutes long, were directed by Helen Standage. The screenplay was written by Trevor Preston and unlike subsequent adaptations, it is currently unavailable to purchase for home viewing.

In 1979 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was again adapted for television, this time as an animated special co-produced by Bill Meléndez (known for A Charlie Brown Christmas and other Peanuts specials) and the Children's Television Workshop (known for programs such as Sesame Street and The Electric Company). The screenplay was by David D. Connell. It won the Emmy award for Outstanding Animated Program that year. It was the first feature-length animated film ever made for television. For its release on British television, many of the characters' voices were re-recorded by British actors and actresses (including Leo McKern, Arthur Lowe and Sheila Hancock), but Stephen Thorne was the voice of "Aslan" in both the U.S. and British versions, and the voices of Peter Pevensie, Susan Pevensie, and Lucy Pevensie also remain the same.

From 1988–1990, parts of The Chronicles of Narnia were turned into four successful BBC television serials, The Chronicles of Narnia. They were nominated for a total of 14 awards, including an Emmy in the category of "Outstanding Children's Program". Only The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair were filmed. The four serials were later edited into three feature-length films (combining Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and released on VHS and DVD.

Radio

The critically acclaimed BBC Radio 4 dramatisation was produced in the 1980s. Collectively titled Tales of Narnia it covers the entire series and is approximately 15 hours long. The series was released in Great Britain on both audio cassette and CD by BBC Audiobooks.

In 1981, Sir Michael Hordern read abridged versions of the classic tales set to music from Marisa Robles, playing the harp, and Christopher Hyde-Smith, playing the flute. These were re-released in 1997 from Collins Audio. They have also been re-released in 2005 (ISBN 978-0-00-721153-1). http://www.harpercollinschildrensbooks.co.uk/books/default.aspx?id=33175

Between 1999 and 2002 Focus on the Family produced radio dramatisations of all 7 books through its Radio Theatre program. The production included a cast of over a hundred actors (including Paul Scofield as "The Storyteller" and David Suchet as "Aslan"), an original orchestral score and cinema-quality digital sound design. The total running time is slightly over 22 hours. Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C. S. Lewis, hosts the series. From the Focus on the Family website:

Between the lamp post and Cair Paravel on the Western Sea lies Narnia, a mystical land where animals hold the power of speech ... woodland fauns conspire with men ... dark forces, bent on conquest, gather at the world's rim to wage war against the realm's rightful king ... and the Great Lion Aslan is the only hope. Into this enchanted world comes a group of unlikely travellers. These ordinary boys and girls, when faced with peril, learn extraordinary lessons in courage, self-sacrifice, friendship and honour.[55]

Stage

In 1984, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was presented at London's Westminster Theatre, produced by Vanessa Ford Productions. The play, adapted by Glyn Robbins, was directed by Richard Williams and designed by Marty Flood; and was revived at Westminster and The Royalty Theatre and on tour until 1997. Productions of other Narnian tales were also presented, including The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1986), The Magician's Nephew (1988) and The Horse and His Boy (1990). Robbins's adaptations of the Narnian chronicles are available for production in the UK through Samuel French London.

In 1998 the Royal Shakespeare Company premiered The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The novel was adapted for the stage by Adrian Mitchell, with music by Shaun Davey. The musical was originally directed by Adrian Noble and designed by Anthony Ward, with the revival directed by Lucy Pitman-Wallace. The production was well received and ran during the holiday season from 1998 to 2002, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. The production also subsequently transferred to play limited engagements in London at the Barbican Theatre, and at Sadler's Wells. The London Evening Standard wrote:

...Lucy Pitman-Wallace's beautiful recreation of Adrian Noble's production evokes all the awe and mystery of this mythically complex tale, while never being too snooty to stoop to bracingly comic touches like outrageously camp reindeer or a beaver with a housework addiction... In our science and technology-dominated age, faith is increasingly insignificant — yet in this otherwise gloriously resonant production, it is possible to understand its allure.

Adrian Mitchell's adaptation later premiered in the US with the Tony award-winning Minneapolis Children's Theatre Company in 2000, and had its west-coast premiere with Seattle Children's Theatre playing the Christmas slot in its 2002–3 season (and was revived for the 2003–4 season). This adaptation is licensed for performance in the UK by Samuel French.

Other notable stage productions of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have included commercial productions by Malcolm C. Cooke Productions in Australia (directed by Nadia Tass, and described by Douglas Gresham as the best production of the novel he had seen - starring Amanda Muggleton, Dennis Olsen, Meaghan Davies and Yolande Brown) and by Trumpets Theatre, one of the largest commercial theatres in the Philippines.

A streamlined version of the full-scale musical Narnia (adapted by Jules Tasca, with music by Thomas Tierney and lyrics by Ted Drachman) is currently touring the US with TheatreworksUSA. The full-scale and touring versions of the musical are licensed through Dramatic Publishing; which has also licensed adaptations of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by Joseph Robinette and The Magician's Nephew by Aurand Harris.

A licensed musical stage adaptation of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader made its world premiere in 1983 by Northwestern College (Minnesota) at the Totino Fine Arts Center. Script adaptation by Wayne Olson, with original music score by Kevin Norberg.

Theatrical productions of "The Chronicles of Narnia" have become popular with professional, community and youth theatres in recent years. A musical version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe written specifically for performance by youth is available through Josef Weinberger.[4]

Film

Although Lewis did not want his books to be turned into films, it has been done four times, three of them for television (See Television). BBC made films for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair. A film version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, entitled The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, produced by Walden Media and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures was released in December 2005. Permission for films to be made was given by C. S. Lewis's son. It was directed by Andrew Adamson. The screenplay was written by Ann Peacock. Principal photography for the film took place in Poland, the Czech Republic and New Zealand. Major Visual Effects Studios like Rhythm and Hues Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and many more worked on the VFX for the movie. The movie achieved critical and box-office success, reaching the Top 25 of all films released to that time (by revenue). Disney produced a sequel, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, released May 16, 2008. At the time of Caspian's release, Disney was already in pre-production on the next chapter, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As of December 2008, Disney has announced it will not co-finance the third movie due to budgetary constraints although it appears that 20th Century Fox will continue the series.[56] Ernie Malik, unit publicist, confirmed that filming for this film started in Australia on July 15, 2009.[57]

Music

Themes or references to The Chronicles of Narnia have appeared in music. For example, American Christian rock band Relient K and British hard-rock band Ten have recorded songs called "In like a Lion (Always Winter)" and "The Chronicles" respectively, both of which are based upon The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Narnia, a Swedish Christian power metal band whose songs are mainly about the Chronicles of Narnia or the Bible, features Aslan in all of their covers. The band Phish have a song called "Prince Caspian" on their 1996 album Billy Breathes.

A musical retelling of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe entitled The Roar of Love was released in 1980 by the contemporary Christian music group 2nd Chapter of Acts.

Audio books

The Chronicles of Narnia are all available on audiobook, read by Andrew Sachs. These were published by Chivers Children's' Audio Books.

In 1979, Caedmon Records released abridged versions of all seven books on records and cassettes, read by Ian Richardson (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Silver Chair), Claire Bloom (Prince Caspian and The Magician's Nephew), Anthony Quayle (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Horse and his Boy) and Michael York (The Last Battle).

HarperAudio published the series on audiobook, read by British and Irish actors Michael York (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), Lynn Redgrave (Prince Caspian), Derek Jacobi (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), Jeremy Northam (The Silver Chair), Alex Jennings (The Horse and his Boy), Kenneth Branagh (The Magician's Nephew) and Patrick Stewart {The Last Battle}.

Collins Audio also released the series on audiobook read by Sir Michael Hordern with original music composed and performed by Marisa Robles, as well as releasing a version read by the actor Tom Baker.

From 1998-2003 Focus on the Family Radio Theatre recorded all seven Chronicles of Narnia on CD. Each book had three CDs apart from The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which both had two CDs. They were released in association with The C.S. Lewis Company, with an introduction by Douglas Gresham. They used a cast of over one hundred actors, an original orchestral score, and digital sound design. The stars of the cast were Paul Scofield as the storyteller, David Suchet as Aslan, Elizabeth Counsell as the White Witch and Richard Suchet as Caspian X.

Games

In 1984, Word Publishing released Adventures in Narnia a game developed by Lifeware. The game was intended to encourage positive values like self control and sacrifice. It incorporated physical elements such as cards and dice into the gameplay and was available on the Commodore 64.[58]


In November 2005, Buena Vista Games, a publishing label of Disney released videogame adaptations of the Walden Media/Walt Disney Pictures film. Versions were developed for most videogame platforms available at the time including Windows PC, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation 2 (developed by the UK-based developer Traveller's Tales). A handheld version of the game was also developed by Griptonite Games for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance.

Notes

  1. ^ Kelly, Clint (2006). "Dear Mr. Lewis". Respone 29 (1). http://www.spu.edu/depts/uc/response/winter2k6/features/lewis.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-22. "The seven books of Narnia have sold more than 100 million copies in 30 languages, nearly 20 million in the last 10 years alone.". 
  2. ^ Edward, Guthmann (2005-12-11). "'Narnia' tries to cash in on dual audience". www.sfgate.com (San Francisco Chronicle). http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/12/11/NARNIA.TMP. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Ford, Paul (2005). Companion to Narnia: Revised Edition. San Francisco: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-079127-6. 
  4. ^ Dorsett, Lyle; Marjorie Lamp Mead (ed.) (1995). C. S. Lewis: Letters to Children. Touchstone. ISBN 0684823721. 
  5. ^ Brady, Erik (2005-12-01). "A closer look at the world of Narnia". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2005-12-01-narnia-side_x.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  6. ^ a b Schakel, Peter (1979). Reading with the Heart: The Way into Narnia. Grand Rapids: Erdmans. ISBN 0-8028-1814-5. 
  7. ^ Rilstone, Andrew. "What Order Should I Read the Narnia Books in (And Does It Matter?)". The Life and Opinions of Andrew Rilstone, Gentleman. http://web.archive.org/web/20051130010333/http://www.aslan.demon.co.uk/narnia.htm. 
  8. ^ Collins, Marjorie (1980). Academic American Encyclopedia. Aretê Pub. Co.. pp. 305. ISBN 0933880006. 
  9. ^ Martindale, Wayne; Root, Jerry. The Quotable Lewis.
  10. ^ Toynbee, Polly (2005-12-05). "Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2005/dec/05/cslewis.booksforchildrenandteenagers. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  11. ^ a b Jacobs, Alan (2005-12-04). "The professor, the Christian, and the storyteller". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2005/12/04/the_professor_the_christian_and_the_storyteller/. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  12. ^ Kent, Keri Wyatt (November 2005). "Talking Narnia to Your Neighbors". Today's Christian Woman 27 (6): 42. http://www.christianitytoday.com/tcw/2005/novdec/11.42.html. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  13. ^ Abraham Tucker, "Religion and Literature, Religion in Literature", New York, 1979 (Preface)
  14. ^ Lewis, C.S. (1990). Surprised by Joy. Fount Paperbacks. pp. 14. ISBN 0006238157. 
  15. ^ Wilson, Tracy V. (2005-12-07). "How Narnia Works". HowStuffWorks. http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/narnia.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  16. ^ Trotter, Drew (2005-11-11). "What Did C. S. Lewis Mean, and Does It Matter?". Leadership U. http://www.leaderu.com/popculture/meaningandlewis-lwwpreview.html. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  17. ^ Michael Ward, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  18. ^ Quoted in a review in The Independent [1]
  19. ^ *Green. "The recycled image".
  20. ^ a b Miller, "Far From Narnia.
  21. ^ a b Cathy Young, "A Secular Fantasy - The flawed but fascinating fiction of Philip Pullman", Reason Magazine (March 2008).
  22. ^ a b Peter Hitchens, "This is the most dangerous author in Britain", The Mail on Sunday (27 January 2002), p. 63.
  23. ^ a b Chattaway, Peter T. "Chronicles of Atheism, Christianity Today.
  24. ^ The story can be found in Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy Volume II (edited by Al Sarrantonio) and in the Gaiman collection Fragile Things.
  25. ^ Gaiman. "The Problem of Susan", p. 151ff.
  26. ^ Paterson, Katherine Paterson: On Her Own Words, p. 1.
  27. ^ Egan, Oracle.
  28. ^ *Grossman. J.K. Rowling Hogwarts And All.
  29. ^ a b Ezard. "Narnia books attacked as racist and sexist".
  30. ^ a b Pullman. "The Darkside of Narnia".
  31. ^ Anderson. "The Problem of Susan".
  32. ^ Rilstone, "Lipstick on My Scholar".
  33. ^ a b Chapter 13: No Longer a Friend of Narnia: Gender in Narnia. The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy: The Lion, the Witch and the Worldview. Edited by Gregory Bassham and Jerry L. Walls. Open Court. Chicago and La Salle, Illinois. 2005.
  34. ^ "Pullman attacks Narnia film plans", BBC News 16 (2005).
  35. ^ O'Connor, "5th Narnia book may not see big screen".
  36. ^ Hensher, "Don't let your children go to Narnia: C. S. Lewis's books are racist and misogynist".
  37. ^ Chattaway, Peter T. "Narnia 'baptizes' — and defends — pagan mythology".
  38. ^ Kjos. Narnia: Blending Truth and Myth.
  39. ^ Hurst, "Nine Minutes of Narnia".
  40. ^ Moynihan (ed.). The Latin Letters of C. S. Lewis: C. S. Lewis and Don Giovanni Calabria.
  41. ^ ChristianityToday.com
  42. ^ "The paganism of Narnia". http://www.canadianchristianity.com/cgi-bin/na.cgi?nationalupdates/051124narnia. 
  43. ^ See essay "Is Theism Important?" in God in the Dock by C.S.Lewis edited by Walter Hooper
  44. ^ Into the Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles p. 160 by David C. Downing
  45. ^ The hope among Christian readers that Narnia could be conversion tool is mentioned in "Revisiting Narnia: Fantasy, Myth and Religion in C. S. Lewis' Chronicles" by Shanna Caughey on p. 54. However, on p. 56 of "Encyclopedia of Allegorical Literature" by David Adams Leeming and Kathleen Morgan Drowne, it is argued that "They are by no means suitable only for Christian readers." A prominent Narnia online game site requests that Christians visiting the site not try to convert non-believers during game-chat. See http://enter-narnia.com/tos.php. The dispute over the relative prominence of the Christian fan-base is reflected in a cartoon at Filibustercartoons.com
  46. ^ A Sunday school book entitled "A Christian Teacher’s Guide to Narnia" is offered for sale at "Christian Teachers guide to Narnia". http://www.tttools.com/A-Christian-Teachers-Guide-to-The-Chronicles-of-Narnia-2-5-Book_p_132-4590.html.  The United Methodist Church has published its own Narnia curriculum as noted at "United Methodists find spiritual riches, tools, in 'Narnia'". faithstreams.com. http://www.faithstreams.com/ME2/Sites/dirmod.asp?sid=5F4E345683D8492B9B56CBC49802F459&nm=Get+the+News&type=news&mod=News&mid=9A02E3B96F2A415ABC72CB5F516B4C10&SiteID=8E4FC92787CF4E8992A0D69DEFBEA620&tier=3&nid=16D0FB87115143F290CE976C98A0740F.  Although Walden Media's Study Guides were not overtly Christian, they were marketed to Sunday schools by Movie Marketing.
  47. ^ Crossroad, see also the Sayers biography, p. 419.
  48. ^ Carpenter, The Inklings, p.42-45. See also Lewis' own autobiography Surprised by Joy
  49. ^ See Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis by George Sayer, Lyle W. Dorsett p. 312-313
  50. ^ On eclecticism, see Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship by Colin Duriez, p. 131; also The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter, p. 224. On allegory, see Diana Glyer, The Company They Keep, p. 84, and Harold Bloom's edited anthology The Chronicles of Narnia, p. 140. Tolkien expresses his disapproval for stories involving travel between our world and fairy-tale worlds in his essay On Fairy-Stories.
  51. ^ See [2] and [3]
  52. ^ "How Narnia Made me a Witch". www.beliefnet.net. http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Movies/The-Chronicles-Of-Narnia-Prince-Caspian/How-Narnia-Made-Me-A-Witch.aspx&page=2&id=118. 
  53. ^ On the dual concerns of the film makers, see See Edward, Guthmann (2005-12-11). "'Narnia' tries to appeal to the religious and secular". www.sfgate.com (San Francisco Chronicle). http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/12/11/MNG0FG6AND1.DTL. Retrieved 2008-09-22.  On talk of Christian appeal see "'Prince Caspian' walks tightrope for Christian fans". www.usatoday.com (USA Today). http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-05-16-narnia-christian-caspian_N.htm.  and http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/2001-07-18-narnia.htm. The 'secular' appeal of the films is discussed in the San Francisco Chronicle's review Edward, Guthmann (2005-12-11). "Children open a door and step into an enchanted world of good and evil — the name of the place is 'Narnia'". www.sfgate.com (San Francisco Chronicle). http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/12/09/DDG9QG4FJS1.DTL. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  54. ^ see Miller, p. 172
  55. ^ Enter Narnia, Focus on the Family Radio Theatre, 2005.
  56. ^ "Disney No Longer Under Spell of Narnia". December 2008. http://blog.mlive.com/james_sanford/2008/12/disney_is_no_longer_under_the.html. 
  57. ^ "The Mysterious Filming Date... Confirmed.". Aslan's Country. July 27, 2009. http://www.aslanscountry.com/index.php/2009/07/27/the-mysterious-filming-date-confirmed/. 
  58. ^ Weiss, Bret. "Adventures in Narnia (synopsis)". All Game. http://www.allgame.com/game.php?id=27618. 

References

Further reading

  • Bruner, Kurt & Ware, Jim. Finding God in the Land of Narnia. Tyndale House Publishers, 2005.
  • Bustard, Ned. The Chronicles of Narnia Comprehension Guide. Veritas Press, 2004.
  • Duriez, Colin. A Field Guide to Narnia. InterVarsity Press, 2004.
  • Downing, David. Into the Wardrobe: C. S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles. Jossey-Bass, 2005.
  • Hein, Rolland. Christian Mythmakers: C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, J. R. R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, & Others Second Edition. Cornerstone Press Chicago, 2002. ISBN 094089548X
  • Jacobs, Alan. The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis. HarperSanFrancisco, 2005.
  • McIntosh, Kenneth. Following Aslan: A Book of Devotions for Children. Anamchara Books, 2006.
  • Wagner, Richard. C. S. Lewis & Narnia For Dummies. For Dummies, 2005.
  • Ward, Michael. Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis. Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • A Guide for Using The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the Classroom. Teacher Created Resources, 2000.
  • The Lion, Witch & Wardrobe Study Guide. Progeny Press, 1993.
  • The Magician's Nephew Study Guide. Progeny Press, 1997.
  • Prince Caspian Study Guide. Progeny Press, 2003.

External links

Related information


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven children's books written by C.S. Lewis.

Contents

The Chronicles

About

Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? ... An obligation to feel can freeze feelings...
  • Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument, then collected information about child psychology and decided what age group I'd write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out 'allegories' to embody them. This is all pure moonshine. I couldn't write in that way. It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn't anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord.
    • Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (1966)
  • I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralysed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.
    • Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (1966)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)

For the 2005 movie, see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know...
  • Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids.
    • Opening lines
  • Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
    At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
    When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
    And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.
    • Ch. 8 : What Happened after Dinner
  • "Is he—quite safe?"
    [...]
    "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver [...] "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
    • Ch. 8 : What Happened after Dinner
  • Rise up, Sir Peter Wolf's-Bane. And, whatever happens, never forget to wipe your sword.
    • Aslan, after knighting Peter, in Ch. 12 : Peter's First Battle
"By the Lion's Mane, a strange device," said King Peter, "to set a lantern here where the trees cluster so thick about it and so high above it that if it were lit it should give light to no man!
  • "But what does it all mean?" asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.
    "It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time.
    But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."
    • Ch. 15 : Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time
  • How Aslan provided food for them all I don't know; but somehow or other they found themselves all sitting down on the grass to a fine high tea at about eight o'clock.
    • Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • "By the Lion's Mane, a strange device," said King Peter, "to set a lantern here where the trees cluster so thick about it and so high above it that if it were lit it should give light to no man!"
    • Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • But always what we have taken in hand, the same we have achieved.
    • King Peter, in Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • Once a King or Queen in Narnia, always a King or Queen in Narnia.
    • Aslan, in Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • “He’ll be coming and going” [...] “One day you'll see him and another you won't. He doesn't like being tied down — and of course he has other countries to attend to. It's quite all right. He'll often drop in. Only you mustn't press him. He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
    • Mr. Beaver, in Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag
  • What do they teach them at these schools?
    • The Professor, in Ch. 17 : The Hunting of the White Stag

Prince Caspian (1951)

For the 2008 movie, see The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • Who believes in Aslan nowadays?
    • Trumpkin to Caspian, in Ch. 5. : Caspian's Adventure In The Mountains
  • "If your Majesty is ever to use the Horn," said Trufflehunter, "I think the time has now come." Caspian had of course told them of his treasure several days ago.
    "We are certainly in great need," answered Caspian. "But it is hard to be sure we are at our greatest. Supposing there came an even worse need and we had already used it?"
    "By that argument," said Nikabrik, "your Majesty will never use it until it is too late."
    "I agree with that," said Doctor Cornelius.
    "And what do you think, Trumpkin?" asked Caspian.
    "Oh, as for me," said the Red Dwarf, who had been listening with complete indifference, "your Majesty knows I think the Horn—and that bit of broken stone over there and your great King Peter—and your Lion Aslan—are all eggs in moonshine. It's all one to me when your Majesty blows the Horn. All I insist on is that the army is told nothing about it. There's no good raising hopes of magical help which (as I think) are sure to be disappointed."
    • Ch. 7 : Old Narnia In Danger
  • But I thought you didn't believe in the Horn, Trumpkin, said Caspian.
    No more I do, your Majesty. But what does that got to do with it? I might as well die on a wild goose chase as die here. You are my King. "I know the difference between giving advice and giving orders. You have my advice and now it's the time for orders"
    • Ch. 7 : Old Narnia In Danger
  • "Yes," said Peter, "I suppose what makes it feel so queer is that in the stories it's always someone in our world who does the calling. One doesn't really think about where the Jinn's coming from."
    "And now we know what it feels like for the Jinn," said Edmund with a chuckle. "Golly! It's a bit uncomfortable to know that we can be whistled for like that. It's worse than what Father says about living at the mercy of the telephone."
    • Ch. 8 : How They Left The Island
  • "You have listened to fears, Child," said Aslan. "Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?"
    • Aslan to Susan, in Ch. 11 : The Lion Roars
  • "Sire," said Reepicheep [the chief mouse]. "My life is ever at your command, but my honour is my own. Sire, I have among my people the only trumpeter in your Majesty's army. I had thought, perhaps, we might have been sent with the challenge [to single combat between the High King Peter and King Miraz]. Sire, my people are grieved. Perhaps if it were your pleasure that I should be a marshal of the lists, it would content them."
    [...]
    "I am afraid it would not do," said Peter very gravely. "Some humans are afraid of mice—"
    "I have observed it, Sire," said Reepicheep.
    "And it would not be quite fair to Miraz," Peter continued, "to have in sight anything that might abate the edge of his courage."
    "Your Majesty is the mirror of honour," said the Mouse with one of his admirable bows.
    • Ch. 13 : The High King In Command
  • "Have you pen and ink, Master Doctor?"
    "A scholar is never without them, your Majesty," answered Doctor Cornelius.
    • Peter and Cornelius, in Ch. 13 : The High King In Command
  • "Welcome, Prince," said Aslan. "Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?"
    "I — I don't think I do, Sir," said Caspian. "I'm only a kid."
    "Good," said Aslan. "If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof that you were not."
    • Ch. 15 : Aslan Makes A Door In The Air
  • "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; Be content."
    • Aslan to Caspian, in Ch. 15 : Aslan Makes A Door In The Air

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

Do you hear what I say? This is where dreams — dreams, do you understand — come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams.
  • There was once a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. He didn't call his Father and Mother "Father" and "Mother", but Harold and Alberta. They [his family] were very up-to-date and advanced people. They were vegetarians, non-smokers and tee-totallers, and wore a special kind of underclothes. In their house there was very little furniture and very few clothes on beds and the windows were always open.
    • Opening lines
  • He liked books if they were books of information and had pictures of grain elevators or of fat foreign children doing exercises in model schools.
    • About Eustace, Ch. 1 : The Picture in the Bedroom
  • "But who is Aslan? Do you know him?"
    "Well — he knows me," said Edmund.
    • Eustace and Edmund, in Ch. 7 : How the Adventure Ended
  • The Lord Octesian's arm-ring had a curious fate. Eustace did not want it and offered it to Caspian, and Caspian offered it to Lucy. She did not care about having it. "Very well, then, catch as catch can," said Caspian and flung it up in the air. [...] Up went the ring, flashing in the sunlight, and caught, and hung, as neatly as a well-thrown quoit, on a little projection on the rock. No one could climb up to get it from below and no one could climb down to get it from above. And there, for all I know, it is hanging still and may hang till the world ends.
    • Ch. 7 : How the Adventure Ended
  • In describing the scene Lucy said afterwards, "He was the size of an elephant," though at another time she only said, "The size of a cart-horse." But it was not the size that mattered. Nobody dared to ask what it was. They knew it was Aslan.
    • Ch. 8 : Two Narrow Escapes
  • (I don't know what the Bearded Glass was for because I am not a magician.)
    • Narrator, in Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • She [Lucy] tried to open it but couldn't at first; this, however, was only because it was fastened by two leaden clasps, and when she had undone these it opened easily enough. And what a book it was!
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • They were cures for warts (by washing your hands in moonlight in a silver basin) and toothache and cramp, and a spell for taking a swarm of bees. The picture of the man with toothache was so lifelike that it would have set your own teeth aching if you looked at it too long, and the golden bees which were dotted all round the fourth spell looked for a moment as if they were really flying. ... And the longer she read the more wonderful and more real the pictures became.
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • "I will say the spell," said Lucy. "I don't care. I will." She said I don't care because she had a strong feeling that she mustn't.
    But when she looked back at the opening words of the spell, there in the middle of the writing, where she felt quite sure there had been no picture before, she found the great face of a lion, of The Lion, Aslan himself, staring into hers. It was painted such a bright gold that it seemed to be coming towards her out of the page; and indeed she never was quite sure afterwards that it hadn't really moved a little. At any rate, she knew the expression on his face quite well. He was growling and you could see most of his teeth. She became horribly afraid and turned over the page at once.
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • And all in a hurry, for fear her mind would change, she said the words [for a different spell] (nothing will induce me to tell you what they were). Then she waited for something to happen.
    As nothing happened she began looking at the pictures. And all at once she saw the very last thing she expected — a picture of a third-class carriage in a train, with two schoolgirls sitting in it. ... Only now it was much more than a picture. It was alive. She could see the telegraph posts flicking past outside the window.
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • When she had got to the third page [of another story] and come to the end, she said, "That is the loveliest story I've ever read or ever shall read in my whole life. Oh, I wish I could have gone on reading it for ten years. At least I'll read it over again."
    But here part of the magic of the Book came into play. You couldn't turn back. The right-hand pages, the ones ahead, could be turned; the left-hand pages could not.
    ... "It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill, I know that much. But I can't remember, and what shall I do?"
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • "Aslan!" said Lucy almost a little reproachfully. "Don't make fun of me. As if anything I could do would make you visible!"
    "It did," said Aslan. "Do you think I wouldn't obey my own rules?"
    • Ch. 10 : The Magician's Book
  • "Do you grow weary, Coriakin, of ruling such foolish subjects as I have given you here?" [Aslan asked.]
    "No," said the Magician, "they are very stupid but there is no real harm in them. I begin to grow rather fond of the creatures. Sometimes, perhaps, I am a little impatient, waiting for the day when they can be governed by wisdom instead of this rough magic."
    "All in good time, Coriakin," said Aslan.
    "Yes, all in very good time, Sir," was the answer.
    • Ch. 11 : The Dufflepuds Made Happy
I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder.
  • "Please, Aslan," said Lucy, "what do you call soon?"
    "I call all times soon," said Aslan.
    [...]
    "Come," said the Magician. "All times may be soon to Aslan, but in my home all hungry times are one o'clock."
    • Ch. 11 : The Dufflepuds Made Happy
  • "Of course I could turn him [the Chief Duffer] into something else, or even put a spell on him which would make them not believe a word he said. But I don't like to do that. It's better for them to admire him than to admire nobody."
    • Ch. 11 : The Dufflepuds Made Happy
  • "A few months ago they [the Duffers] were all for washing up the plates and knives before dinner: they said it saved time afterwards. I've caught them planting boiled potatoes to save cooking them when they were dug up. One day the cat got into the dairy and twenty of them were at work moving all the milk out; no one thought of moving the cat."
    • Ch. 11 : The Dufflepuds Made Happy
  • "Fools!" said the man, stamping his foot with rage. "That is the sort of talk that brought me here, and I'd better have been drowned or never born. Do you hear what I say? This is where dreams — dreams, do you understand — come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams."
    • Ch. 12 : The Dark Island
  • "You can say what you like, Reepicheep. There are some things no man can face."
    "It is, then, my good fortune not to be a man," replied Reepicheep with a very stiff bow.
    • Caspian and Reepicheep, in Ch. 12 : The Dark Island
  • "Courage, dear heart"
    • Whispered to Lucy by Aslan on the Dark Island, in Ch. 12 : The Dark Island
  • "My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan's country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek shall be head of the talking mice in Narnia"
    • Reepicheep, in Ch. 14 : The Beginning of the End of the World
  • "Oh, Aslan," said Lucy. "Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?"
    "I shall be telling you all the time," said Aslan. "But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder."
    • Ch. 16 : The Very End of the World
  • "Please Aslan, before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do, make it soon."
    "Dearest," said Aslan very gently, "you and your brother will never come back to Narnia."
    "Oh, Aslan!!" said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.
    "You are too old, children," said Aslan, "and you must begin to come close to your own world now."
    "It isn't Narnia, you know," sobbed Lucy. "It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?"
    "But you shall meet me, dear one," said Aslan.
    "Are — are you there too, Sir?" said Edmund.
    "I am," said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there."
    • Ch. 16 : The Very End of the World
I make no promise.

The Silver Chair (1953)

  • "Are you not thirsty?" said the Lion.
    "I am dying of thirst," said Jill.
    "Then drink," said the Lion.
    "May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill.
    The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
    The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
    "Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill.
    "I make no promise," said the Lion.
    Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
    "Do you eat girls?" she said.
    "I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

    "I daren't come and drink," said Jill.
    "Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.
    "Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then."
    "There is no other stream," said the Lion.
    • Ch. 2 : Jill Is Given a Task
  • "You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you," said the Lion.
    • Ch. 2 : Jill Is Given a Task
  • "Puddleglum's my name. But it doesn't matter if you forget it. I can always tell you again."
    • Ch. 5 : Puddleglum
  • I hope you won't lose all interest in Jill for the rest of the book if I tell you that at this moment she began to cry.
    • Ch. 8 : The House of Harfang
  • "One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a playworld which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."
    • Puddleglum, in Ch. 12 : The Queen of Underland
  • It is the stupidest children who are the most childish and the stupidest grown-ups who are the most grown-up.
    • Ch. 16 : The Healing of Harms

The Horse and His Boy (1954)

I tell no one any story but his own.
  • "It's a lion, I know it's a lion," thought Shasta. "I'm done. I wonder, will it hurt much? I wish it was over. I wonder, does anything happen to people after they're dead? O-o-oh! Here it comes! ... Why, it's not nearly as big as I thought! It's only half the size. No, it isn't even quarter the size. I do declare it's only the cat!! I must have dreamed all that about its being as big as a horse."
    • Ch. 6 : Shasta Among the Tombs
  • "My good Horse," said the Hermit ... "My good Horse, you've lost nothing but your self-conceit. No, no, cousin. Don't put back your ears and shake your mane at me. If you are really so humbled as you sounded a minute ago, you must learn to listen to sense. You're not quite the great Horse you had come to think, from living among poor dumb horses. Of course you were braver and cleverer than them. You could hardly help being that. It doesn't follow that you'll be anyone very special in Narnia. But as long as you know you're nobody special, you'll be a very decent sort of Horse, on the whole, and taking one thing with another."
    • Ch. 10 : The Hermit of the Southern March
  • "I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you."
    "Then it was you who wounded Aravis?"
    "It was I."
    "But what for?"
    "Child," said the Voice, "I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own."
    • Aslan and Shasta, in Ch. 11 : The Unwelcome Fellow Traveller
  • And of course he knew none of the true stories about Aslan, the great Lion, the son of the Emperor-beyond-the-Sea, the King above all High Kings in Narnia. But after one glance at the Lion's face he slipped out of the saddle and fell at its feet. He couldn't say anything but then he didn't want to say anything, and he knew he needn't say anything.
    • Ch. 11 : The Unwelcome Fellow Traveller
  • "But of course that was the same boat that Aslan (he seems to be at the back of all the stories) pushed ashore at the right place for Asheesh to pick me up. I wish I knew that knight's name, fore he must have kept me alive and starved himself to do it"
    "I suppose Aslan would say that was part of someone else's story," said Aravis.
    "I was forgetting that," said Cor.
    • Shasta and Aravis, in Ch. 14 : How Bree Became a Wiser Horse
  • Then Hwin, though shaking all over, gave a strange little neigh, and trotted across to the Lion.
    "Please," she said, "you're so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I'd sooner be eaten by you then fed by anyone else."
    "Dearest daughter," said Aslan, planting a lion's kiss on her twitching, velvet nose, "I knew you would not be long in coming to me. Joy shall be yours."
    • Ch. 14 : How Bree Became a Wiser Horse
  • "But that's just the point," groaned Bree. "Do Talking Horses roll? Supposing they don't? I can't bear to give it up. What do you think, Hwin?"
    "I'm going to roll anyway," said Hwin. "I don't suppose any of them will care two lumps of sugar whether you roll or not."
    • Ch. 15 : Rabadash the Ridiculous
  • Aravis also had many quarrels (and, I'm afraid, even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again: so that years later, when they were grown up, they were so used to quarrelling and making it up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently.
    • Ch. 15 : Rabadash the Ridiculous

The Magician's Nephew (1955)

  • In those days Mr Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road.
    • Ch. 1 : The Wrong Door
  • Digory was quite speechless, for Uncle Andrew looked a thousand times more alarming than he had ever looked before. Polly was not so frightened yet; but she soon was. For the very first thing Uncle Andrew did was to walk across to the door of the room, shut it, and turn the key in the lock. Then he turned round, fixed the children with his bright eyes, and smiled, showing all his teeth.
    "There!" he said. "Now my fool of a sister can't get at you!"
    It was dreadfully unlike anything a grown-up would be expected to do.
    • Ch. 1 : The Wrong Door
  • "Rotten?" said Uncle Andrew with a puzzled look. "Oh, I see. You mean that little boys ought to keep their promises. Very true: most right and proper, I'm sure, and I'm very glad you have been taught to do it. But of course you must understand that rules of that sort, however excellent they may be for little boys -- and servants -- and women -- and even people in general, can't possibly be expected to apply to profound students and great thinkers and sages. No, Digory. Men like me, who possess hidden wisdom, are freed from common rules just as we are cut off from common pleasures. Ours, my boy, is a high and lonely destiny."
    As he said this he sighed and looked so grave and noble and mysterious that for a second Digory really thought he was saying something rather fine. But then he remembered the ugly look he had seen on his Uncle's face the moment before Polly had vanished: and all at once he saw through Uncle Andrew's grand words. "All it means," he thought to himself, "is that he thinks he can do anything he likes to get anything he wants."
    • Ch. 2 : Digory and His Uncle
Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.
  • Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
    Strike the bell and bide the danger,
    Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
    What would have followed if you had.
    • Poem on the bell in the great hall, Ch. 4 : The Bell and the Hammer
  • Aunt Letty was a very tough old lady: aunts often were in those days.
    • Ch. 7 : What Happened at the Front Door
  • In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.
    • Ch. 8 : The Fight at the Lamp-post
I give to you for ever this land of Narnia. I give you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself.
  • "Creatures, I give you yourselves," said the strong, happy voice of Aslan. "I give to you forever this land of Narnia. I give you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself. The Dumb Beasts whom I have not chosen are yours also. Treat them gently and cherish them but do not go back to their ways lest you cease to be Talking Beasts. For out of them you were taken and into them you can return. Do not so."
    • Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • Laugh and fear not, creatures. Now that you are no longer dumb and witless, you need not always be grave. For jokes as well as justice come in with speech.
    • Aslan, in Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • What did he say had entered the world? — A Neevil — What's a Neevil? — No, he didn't say a Neevil, he said a weevil — Well, what's that?
    • The talking animals, in Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • "No, we're not lettuce, honestly we're not," said Polly hastily. "We're not at all nice to eat."
    "There!" said the Mole. "They can talk. Who ever heard of a talking lettuce?"
    • Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
    • Ch. 10 : The First Joke and Other Matters
  • "No thanks," said Digory, "I don't know that I care much about living on and on after everyone I know is dead. I'd rather live an ordinary time and die and go to Heaven."
    • Ch. 13 : An Unexpected Meeting
  • He [Digory] was very sad and he wasn't even sure all the time that he had done the right thing; but whenever he remembered the shining tears in Aslan's eyes he became sure.
    • Ch. 13 : An Unexpected Meeting
  • "But I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him either; he has made himself unable to hear my voice. [...] But I will give him the only gift he is able to receive. [...] Sleep and be separated for some few hours from all the torments you have devised for yourself."
    • Aslan, in Ch. 14 : The Planting of the Tree
  • All get what they want; they do not always like it.
    • Aslan, in Ch. 14 : The Planting of the Tree
  • When things go wrong, you'll find they usually go on getting worse for some time; but when things once start to go right they often go on getting better and better.
    • Ch. 15 : The End of This Story and the Beginning of All Others
Nothing now remains for us seven but to go back to Stable Hill, proclaim the truth, and take the adventure that Aslan sends us

The Last Battle (1956)

  • Nothing now remains for us seven but to go back to Stable Hill, proclaim the truth, and take the adventure that Aslan sends us.
    • Jewel the Unicorn, upon hearing of the taking of Cair Paravel by the Calormenes, in Ch. 9 : The Great Meeting on Stable Hill
  • He [Aslan] went to the door and they all followed him. He raised his head and roared, "Now it is time!" then louder, "Time!"; then so loud that is could have shaken the stars, "TIME." The Door flew open.
    • Ch. 13 : How the Dwarfs Refused to Be Taken In
  • "Sir," said Emeth, "I do not know whether you are my friend or my foe, but I should count it to my honour to have you for either. Has not one of the poets said that a noble friend is the best gift and a noble enemy the next best?"
    • Ch. 14 : Night Falls on Narnia
  • [Emeth said,] "And this is the marvel of marvels, that he [Aslan] called me Beloved, me who am but as a dog — "
    "Eh? What's that?" said one of the Dogs.
    [...]
    "He doesn't mean any harm," said an older Dog. "After all, we call our puppies Boys when they don't behave properly."
    "So we do," said the first Dog. "Or girls."
    "S-s-sh!" said the Old Dog. "That's not a nice word to use. Remember where you are."
    • Ch. 15 : Further Up and Further In
Every rock and flower and blade of grass looked like it meant more.
  • Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among the mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the glass there may have been a looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different — deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked like it meant more. I can't describe it any better than that: if you ever get there you will know what I mean.
    It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:
    "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here.
    This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia so much is because it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!"
    • Ch. 15 : Further Up and Further In
  • "The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning." And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all stories, and we can most truly say they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
    • Closing lines, in Ch. 16 : Farewell to Shadowlands

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Simple English

The Chronicles of Narnia  
Author C.S. Lewis
Language English
Genre(s) Fantasy
Publisher HarperTrophy
Make date 1950–1956
Media type Print
(Hardback & Paperback)
This article contains information about the series of books written by C.S. Lewis. For information about the film series, see The Chronicles of Narnia movie series.

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy books, written by British author C. S. Lewis. They have been published since 1954 and have sold over 100 million copies in 41 languages. The books were written by Lewis between 1949 and 1954, they were also illustrated by Pauline Baynes. In 2005 the first of the books was made into a movie.

Contents

The seven books

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, completed in the spring of 1949 and published in 1950, tells the story of four children: Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe which leads to the magical land of Narnia. But at this time, Narnia is under the spell of a witch. The children then fulfill an old prophecy as they help Aslan (a lion) save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who had ruled over the kingdom for a hundred years.

Prince Caspian

This book is set 1300 years after The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Narnia is ruled by the Telmarines, a very mean people. The Pevensie children are called to Narnia by Susan's horn, which is blown by Prince Caspian. There is a big war between the Telmarines and Narnians. At the end of the book, Peter and Susan are told that they will not be able to come back to Narnia. The book was published in 1951.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

In the third book, Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia with their cousin, Eustace. They travel on a ship with Caspian, now King of Narnia. They are looking for seven lords who were sent away from Narnia by Caspian's uncle, Miraz. This book was published in 1952.

The Silver Chair

Eustace returns to Narnia with Jill, a friend from school. He finds Caspian very old. Aslan tells Jill to find Rillian, Caspian's son, who has been missing for many years. A Marsh-Wiggle named Puddleglum travels with them. This book was published in 1953.

The Horse and His Boy

This book is set during the rule of the Pevensies. Shasta, is a young boy living in the country of Calormen. He decides to run away when he finds out he is not the son of Arsheesh. He heads north to Narnia with a talking horse, Bree, a Calormene noblewoman, Aravis, and her talking horse, Hwin. It was published in 1954.

The Magician’s Nephew

This book is set before any of the others. It tells about a boy, Digory, and his friend, Polly. They travel to Narnia through the experiments of Digory's uncle, Andrew. It describes the creation (beginning) of Narnia and the first King and Queen. It also shows the beginning of Jadis, who is called the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The book was published in 1954.

The Last Battle

Completed in the spring of 1953 and published in 1956, The Last Battle tells about the end of the world of Narnia. Jill and Eustace return to save Narnia from Shift, an ape, who tricks Puzzle, a donkey, into pretending to be the lion, Aslan. The Pevensie children (without Susan, who has decided that Narnia was just part of a game they played as children), along with their parents and friends, die in a train crash and lived in Narnia forever with Aslan.

Adaptions

[[File:|thumb|right|200px|This train was used in the Narnia movie.]] The Chronicles of Narnia have been made into several movies, TV films and stage plays.

The Chronicles of Narnia movie series

Released May 16 2008[1], Prince Caspian is the second of seven movies to be released by Disney Pictures. The first was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which made a world-wide total of $744,783,957 [2]. Disney also has plans to create the third book in the series: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Set to release in 2010[3].

References

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