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Double Narnia Anniversary! (PC and LWW)

October 12, 2012

Just over sixty years ago this month (10/15/51 and 10/16/50) the first two books about Narnia were published. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  in 1950 and Prince Caspian  in 1951.

When C.S. Lewis began writing (after a few brief previous attempts) the first published book in The Chronicles of Narnia, he was also starting to put down his thoughts for the autobiography Surprised By Joy. As has been noted by other authors, the story of spring (or life) returning to Narnia after a very long winter has parallels with Lewis’s experience. His faith was frozen after the death of his mother when he was young, but became a lively faith after Christ came into his life as an adult. If you are not familiar with the beginnings of the writing of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (LWW), you can read about it in my previous Minute post, How Narnia Started.

Even though many people read the prequel to LWW when being introduced to Narnia these days, prior to 1994 this was a rare experience. Finding out about Aslan for the first time via the initially published story is truly a treat. Remember the exchange between Lucy and Mr. Beaver?

‘Then he isn’t safe?’ said Lucy.
‘Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver. ‘Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.’

Despite these words Peter is willing to go beyond his fear and announces “I’m longing to see him.” Of course, all the Pevensie have quite an adventure with Aslan that is beyond anything they could ever image. But thanks to the imagination of Lewis we know what happens to them.

The story doesn’t stop with LWW, all four return for more excitement in Prince Caspian (PC). Ironically the children don’t recognize the magical land at first when they return. Before long they met Caspian who, we later learn is the tenth to bear the name. Another new character (and favorite of many) is Reepicheep. As noted last month in Happy 60th Anniversary to Dawn Treader, he first showed how much courage he had in PC and goes on to more exciting times in the follow-up story.

As in the first story, there are many great scenes in PC.  One of the interesting exchanges shows how Lewis was able to write on more than one level.

‘Welcome, child,’ he said.
‘Asian,’ said Lucy, ‘you’re bigger.’
‘That is because you are older, little one,’ answered he.
‘Not because you are?’
‘I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.’

Believers can’t help but see how this relates to their own experience of Christ becoming bigger in their life as they grow.

Do you have a favor quote, scene, or part from LWW or PC? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

– – – – – –

Related C.S. Lewis Minutes:

#2: Many Ways to Read Narnia:
How many orders can you read The Chronicles of Narnia in? Let me count the ways!
Text | Audio

#7: Narnia Radio Drama:
If you think seeing The Chronicles of Narnia come to life on the big screen is exciting wait until you HEAR this!
Text | Audio

#18: Which Caspian?:
Even if you are a serious fan of the Narnia stories you might still have trouble figuring out which Caspian is which!
Text | Audio

#40: Mouse of Courage:
If you voted on the most courageous in Narnia, this character would be the big cheese!
Text | Audio

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