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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia) Paperback – January 2, 2008
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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.
Pauline Baynes has produced hundreds of wonderful illustrations for the seven books in The Chronicles of Narnia. In 1968 she was awarded the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for her outstanding contribution to children's literature.
- ASIN : 0064404994
- Publisher : HarperCollins; 1st edition (January 2, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780064404990
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Lexile measure : 940L
- Grade level : 3 - 6
- Item Weight : 5 ounces
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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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!
By Practically Prime on January 31, 2017
By Babara V on May 11, 2018
This was still as enjoyable as when I read the book as a child some decades ago. and then, I read it again, a few times or more. The magic never goes when I return to Narnia and I will always encourage other kids to escape there, and to relish the magical use of words and phrases.
This book never gets old. It’s the first Narnia book that I encountered – and the first written then published, although chronologically the second.
I always felt that talking animals would be amazing and C. S Lewis makes them believable and unique characters. For me, the children were always of less interest than the creatures of Narnia – starting with Tumnus the Faun. Although in her defence, Lucy is always the most endearing child. Everyone has things that make them contrast with the others, creating a memorable cast including Aslan.
However, while giving human characteristics to a faun seems credible, it’s harder to accept animals described in similar terms. For Narnia, that works, but as an adult, I can sense it’s not being true to their real nature. But don’t let that spoil the weaving of the spell.
This is a classic fantasy for children, and disbelief is wonderfully suspended from the moment that Lucy Pevensie finds her way through the wardrobe and begins an enchanting adventure. In Narnia, we have a world where the unexpected is possible and magic is at the heart of the creation. For the older reader, this world poses a few questions. Perhaps that is why C.S Lewis felt compelled, after five books, to eventually write about the world’s origins in The Magician’s Nephew – my favourite Narnia book and chronologically Book 1.
Yes, there are aspects that are dated like attitudes to girls/women fighting, and there are the Christian undertones, but I can forget these as the whole creation transports me. There is clever use of language, of humorous phrases, of adjectives to evoke emotions – both in the dialogue, and in the descriptive passages that abound, bringing Narnia alive in the imagination.
“…And you are riding not on a road nor in a park nor even on the downs, but right across Narnia, in spring, down solemn avenues of beech and across sunny glades of oak, through wild orchards of snow-white cherry trees, past roaring waterfalls and mossy rocks and echoing caverns, up windy slopes alight with gorse bushes, and across the shoulders of heathery mountains and along giddy ridges and down, down, down again into wild valleys and out into acres of blue flowers.”
I’m sure that Pauline Baynes’ illustrations were in the first copy that I read, and they helped create the vibrant images in my head of Narnia, but the words on the page were what transported me there. The most abiding image seems to be that lamp post and whenever I see a real or replica Victorian one in real-life, I drift back to that fir-fringed clearing in Narnia.
Time to introduce my great grandkids to this spellbinding world and this can be another book to encourage their imagination.
Story – four stars
Setting/World-building – five stars
Authenticity – three stars
Characters – four stars
Structure – five stars
Readability – five stars
Editing – five stars
Despite being #2 in chronological order, 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' was the one that Lewis wrote first and IMHO the series 'flows' more imaginatively if read in this order: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 7.
A must-have for every library.
Top reviews from other countries
First published in 1950, this is one of the most classic portal fantasies ever written. Four children are sent from London to an old house in the country during the evacuations of World War II. Through a magic wardrobe, they enter the fantasy land of Narnia, which is a jumbled mixture of Greek mythology, Bible stories, and Arthurian romances, with a bit of Medieval Bestiaries thrown in and also a nod to George Macdonald. The White Witch has made herself Queen of Narnia, and put it under the spell of an ever-constant winter. With the arrival of the children and the lion Aslan, an old prophecy is met, spring comes to Narnia, and there is a major clash between the good and evil Narnians on who gets to dominate Narnia.
It is good writing to read aloud, and I can see why decades of schoolteachers have done so to their classes, including my own Year 3 teacher when I was a child. It's also a good silent read for children on the 8+years level. I had to explain the Adam and Eve story to my daughter, but otherwise the child doesn't need to already know the rich layers of references within it, which fed my own subsequent reading for years and years when I was a child - I wanted to know more about all the creatures C.S. Lewis had referred to! (Though I never did find out who the People of the Toadstools were.....)
Re-reading it again as an adult, what struck me was the influence of World War II. I have no idea how much C.S. Lewis followed the events of the war from his academic enclave, or how aware he was of the atrocities in Europe. But certain bits of the imagery - the wolf who was Chief of the Secret Police and visited victims in the night to trash their homes; the White Witch casually pointing her wand at a happy little family party at the side of the road and turning them to stone, in spite of Edmund's pleas - felt connected to it. And unlike the stone spells, deaths caused by gunfire can not be reversed.
My daughter hasn't got that far in her history lessons yet.
This novel is by far the most popular in The Narnia Series, and it’s easy to see why. Published in 1950, it offers complete escapism for the reader; Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are evacuated from London to avoid the Blitz and are sent to a big house in the countryside. This is one location in the novel and the other, of course, is the magical world of Narnia.
Much of this story is etched into my memory from reading the books and watching the films but I did find one discover a part of the story (don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler) I’ve never really paid attention to before. It’s a conversation between Peter, Lucy, and Professor Digory Kirke, which goes like this:
“But there was no time,” said Susan. “Lucy had had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place. She came running after us the very moment we were out of the room. It was less than a minute, and she pretended to be away for hours.”
“That is the very thing that makes her story so likely to be true,” said the Professor. “If there really is a door in this house that leads to some other world (and I should warn you that this is a very strange house, and even I know very little about it) – if, I say, she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time. On the other hand, I don’t think many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”
I loved this part because you have two children worried about their little sisters sanity, only for a well respected Professor (and adult) to basically say, “Why not? Keep your minds open to other possibilities.” A great lesson for anyone reading this novel!
The writing style is very simple and easy to read which is such a difficult thing to achieve. I also really liked the little drawings scattered throughout the book. Overall, a brilliant story by C.S Lewis, and one which I feel has more than enough depth for adults and children to enjoy.
Sadly, in this case, the adage "You can never go home again" more or less applies. Whatever magic Narnia held for me when I was younger, the actual writing and the age of the original work have not held up against time. The Christian allegory is not subtle. The children's behaviour is strangely starched and/or grown-up. The pace is so super-fast that some dramatic events are over so quickly you hardly get time to absorb them at all. I almost felt like if I blinked I would miss something, even in print.
The concept was charming enough and I may read the others if they come up cheap on Kindle in future, but I think I'm lacking enough nostalgia to be excited about continuing.