Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S lewis



2009, first published 1951

Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Susan are evacuated during World War II and have to stay with a strange professor and his dour housekeeper Mrs Macready.  Lucy hides in the wardrobe one day when they are playing hide and seek and stumbles into Narnia. No one believes her - and even Edmund, who follow her there on the second visit, denies Narnia’s existence.  Mrs Macready takes visitors on tours of the house and the children have to keep out of tier way. They all hide in the wardrobe and end up in Narnia, where it is always winter but never Christmas.  However, once thy have been there a short while, the snow and ice begin to melt and Father Christmas arrives.

Edmund becomes involved with the witch who resembles Hans Christian Andresen’s snow queen. On his first visit he has eaten Turkish delight and is addicted.   The other three have to get him free from the witch’s power.

There is some Christian symbolism that is uncomfortable for some readers:  the lion Aslan gives his life that Edmund might be saved. He rises from the dead.

Also, much seems predetermined.  A prophecy says that Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve will rule Narnia. Have the four come to Narnia merely to fulfil that prophecy?  Clearly this is why the witch wants to be rid of them all.  She wishes to rule over Narnia.

This is the first book that C S Lewis wrote in the series though chronologically it is the second story. The language is somewhat fresher in this novel than in the others and though there is still an omniscient author he is slightly less intrusive than in subsequent texts.

The book is 208 pages long, in blocked text with an adult but slightly larger than normal font. It is accompanied by line drawings.    

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