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The series continues

June 22, 2006

With the girls napping, I just finished _The Magician’s Nephew_ by C.S. Lewis, book 6 in the Chronicles of Narnia. Whew! What a book, what an ending, setting up connections for the rest of the series. I got chills when I read about the tree that provided the wood for the Professor’s wardrobe (and who the Professor is!).

Ah, C.S. Lewis, God did indeed bless you.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2006 8:11 pm

    So what do you think about the order of the books? CSL wanted readers to read the books in chronological order with Magician’s Nephew being first. I think The Magician’s Nephew is a better read AFTER you already love Narnia and Aslan. It seems more magical to make those connections…how about you?

  2. June 23, 2006 8:38 am

    I’m thinking Magician’s Nephew needs to be 6. How do you know that Lewis wanted that one first? I always thought Magician’s Nephew should be 6th, cause it was published in that order. I thought it was intentional. It makes the series more dynamic that way. It’s a better way to tell the story. As seen with the series Lost, flashback and filling in the back story after the fact is a fantastic, and more captivating, means of storytelling. I’ve thought about this a lot actually, so I’m really surprised to hear that Lewis wanted #6 to be #1

  3. June 23, 2006 10:05 am

    Yeah, I was surprised to hear it, too. I learned about it in Dr. Friesen’s C.S. Lewis class. Lewis didn’t plan out the series at all. In a letter written in 1957 to an American boy named Laurence, he wrote the following:

    “I think I agree with your order {i.e. chronological} for reading the books more than with your mother’s. The series was not planned beforehand as she thinks. When I wrote The Lion I did not know I was going to write any more. Then I wrote P. Caspian as a sequel and still didn’t think there would be any more, and when I had done The Voyage I felt quite sure it would be the last. But I found as I was wrong. So perhaps it does not matter very much in which order anyone read them. I’m not even sure that all the others were written in the same order in which they were published.”

    Quoted in “Letters to Children”

    I guess, if CSL really wanted to have the order changed in his lifetime, he could have—maybe he was just being polite to Laurence. His stepson, Douglas Gresham, who is now in charge of Lewis’ estate had the order changed to chronological because of the that letter. Go look at Narnia books at Powells sometime—older versions are in publishing order, newer version are in chronological order. However, Douglas did choose to start the movies with LWW so maybe he secretly feels the stories should be experienced in publishing order.

    Wikipedia has a little more info on the order debate

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