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Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: A Celebration of the First Edition (Chronicles of Narnia) Hardcover – October 27, 2009
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From the Back Cover
In 1950, C. S. Lewis introduced the world of Narnia and its unforgettable King, Aslan.
About the Author
Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and have been transformed into three major motion pictures.
Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales más importantes del siglo veinte y podría decirse que fue el escritor cristiano más influyente de su tiempo. Fue profesor particular de literatura inglesa y miembro de la junta de gobierno en la Universidad Oxford hasta 1954, cuando fue nombrado profesor de literatura medieval y renacentista en la Universidad Cambridge, cargo que desempeñó hasta que se jubiló. Sus contribuciones a la crítica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantástica y teología popular le trajeron fama y aclamación a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribió más de treinta libros, lo cual le permitió alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aún atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada año. Sus más distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las Crónicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.
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Published in 1950, this was the then first book of the Narnia series. A prequel was published later. I read other books in the Narnia series, but this was always my favorite. People will tell you that this is a story about Christianity, a retelling of stories from the Bible, or an allegory. As a child I thought this was a wonderful fairy tale. As an adult, I was able to see the moral or Christian parallels but I chose to ignore them and read this as a fairy tale.
Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy live in London but they are sent to the countryside during WWII to escape the blitz. They are housed with an elderly and wise professor and his strict and intimidating housekeeper in an old mansion. While playing hide and seek on a rainy day, Lucy hides in wardrobe. Behind the fur coats is the land of Narnia. Narnia is ruled by the White Witch and she has made the land "always winter but never Christmas." Narnia is divided into good animals and bad animals who serve the Witch. Lucy is helped by a "good" faun, who protects her from the Witch. The presence of a human in Narnia is threatening to the Witch and all the animals have been told to alert her immediately. Lucy safely returns home and her siblings do not believe her story. Edmund and Lucy then find Narnia together but he meets the White Witch and is put under her spell. On returning home, he lies to the two older siblings and claims Narnia does not exist. Eventually, all four siblings end up in Narnia, though with Edmund sneaking off to see the Witch. With the help of Mr. & Mrs. Beaver, Peter, Susan, and Lucy go to meet Aslan the Lion and together they battle to save Narnia. Each child is given a special task and a magical tool. Aslan makes huge sacrifices to save Edmund. The good and bad animals of the forest do battle and being a fairy tale, there is a happy ending.
This book really sparked my imagination when I was a child. I just love the idea of a secret wardrobe that leads to another world. I still do! The book is dedicated to Mr. Lewis' goddaughter Lucy. It reads as if your kindly godfather was telling you a wonderful story. I love the little asides by the narrator. As a child, I did not realize that the story took place during WWII or that many children were removed from London for their safety. Otherwise, the story is as I remembered and I believe the illustrations are the same. This is a classic for a reason. If you missed it in childhood, read it yourself or share it with a special young person. It was lovely to visit Narnia again!
I really loved the way that the author wrote as if telling a tale. It gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling to read the book, and I wanted to keep reading as it held my attention very well. The characters were lots of fun, and each had a vivid personality that really gave me a great mental image of them. I liked Mr. and Mrs. Beaver the best. They were hilarious!
I really disliked the ending of the book. I can not say much about it without giving spoilers (though i am probably the only one who had not read the book yet, hah!), so I will simply say that it just did not make any logical sense to me. I wish that the final event had been told in a different manner, because it just left me feeling confused.
Overall, this was a great book that people of most ages would probably enjoy. I really liked it a lot, and am now curious what the other books will tell stories about.