Friday, August 30, 2013

I love to revisit my favorite books. So every Saturday I'll discuss one. Today, it's a children's novel: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE from THE CHRONICLES OF NANIA

 We can escape our troubles for a little, or just bring joy into our lives while between the pages of a book. A great children's book can offer that and more.
If you haven't read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, you're never too old to begin!
The first book published (1950) of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. Apart from being a great tale, it's a story about faith, the possibility of the impossible, redemption and rebirth.
C. S. Lewis describes the writing of it in his essay It All Began with a Picture: 

The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: 'Let's try to make a story about it.'
Shortly before the start of World War II, many children were evacuated to the English countryside in anticipation of attacks on London and other major urban areas by Nazi Germany. As a result, on 2 September 1939, three school girls, Margaret, Mary and Katherine, came to live at The Kilns in Risinghurst, Lewis' home three miles east of Oxford city centre. Lewis later suggested that the experience gave him a new appreciation of children and in late September he began a children's story on an odd sheet of paper which has survived as part of another manuscript:
This book is about four children whose names were Ann, Martin, Rose and Peter. But it is most about Peter who was the youngest. They all had to go away from London suddenly because of Air Raids, and because Father, who was in the Army, had gone off to the War and Mother was doing some kind of war work. They were sent to stay with a kind of relation of Mother's who was a very old professor who lived all by himself in the country.
In It All Began With a Picture C. S. Lewis continues:
At first I had very little idea how the story would go. But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it. I think I had been having a good many dreams of lions about that time. Apart from that, I don't know where the Lion came from or why he came. But once he was there, he pulled the whole story together, and soon he pulled the six other Narnian stories in after him.

Resource: Wikipedia


Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I loved so many of C. S. Lewis's books. It's nice to read about his writing process. Imagine starting a book at 40 based on an image that came to you at 16. The story was probably doing a lot of "ripening" all those years.

Maggi Andersen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggi Andersen said...

It makes sense though, Elizabeth. The best ideas often come when you're young, but the expertise to write them well, comes with age and experience.