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CS Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis, known as Jack to his friends, was born in 1898. Lewis and his good friend J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of the Lord of the Rings, were part of the Inklings, an informal writers' club that met at a local pub to discuss story ideas. Lewis's fascination with fairy tales, myths, and ancient legends, coupled with inspiration drawn from his childhood, led him to write The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the best-loved books of all times. Six further books followed to become the immensely popular Chronicles of Narnia. The final title in the series, The Last Battle, won the Carnegie Medal, one of the highest marks of excellence in children's literature.

About The Chronicles of Narnia
Each book stands alone as a work of genius, but together they tell the entire history if a fantastic world that becomes as real as your own. A world of a magic and adventure—a place in which children's imaginations know no bounds.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was first published in 1950, but C. S. Lewis began piecing together the story long before that. The tales of ancient myths his Irish nurse told him always fascinated him; and when he was sixteen, a picture of a faun carrying parcels and an umbrella in snowy woods popped into his head. Years later, during World War II, four children stayed with Lewis at his country house and stirred his imagination again. Not long afterward, he began writing the story that would become The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

While writing, Lewis incorporated creatures from myths along with his own memories—such as that of the old wardrobe from his childhood. As the children found their way into Narnia, he was still unsure of what his story would be about. Then the image of Aslan came to him. Lewis once said, "I don't know where the Lion came from or why he came. But once he was there, he pulled the whole story together."

After being illustrated by Pauline Baynes, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was published to great success. With so many stories to tell about Narnia and its unforgettable characters, Lewis wrote six more books. Published in 1956, The Last Battle was awarded the Carnegie Medal—England's highest honor for children's literature.

During the Second World War, when children from London were being evacuated to the country, four youngsters were billeted at Jack's home, the Kilns. Surprised to find how few imaginative stories his young guests seemed to know, he decided to write one for them and scribbled down the opening sentences of a story about four children—then named Ann, Martin, Rose and Peter—who were sent away from London because of the air raids, and went to stay with a very old professor who lived by himself in the country.

That's all he wrote at the time, but, several years later, he returned to the story. The children (now named Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) found their way into another world—a land he would eventually call Narnia.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was published in 1950 with illustrations by Pauline Baynes, a young artist who perfectly captured, in line, the pictures that Jack Lewis had seen in his head.
Jack experimented with the differences in time between our world and Narnia—a device that meant that there was always something unusual and unexpected about each new story.
"When I had done The Voyage," Jack later recalled, "I felt quite sure it would be the last. But I found I was wrong."
In 1953, he wrote The Silver Chair, and the following year, The Horse and His Boy, which was set during the time period of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Each book introduced memorable new Narnian characters—such as Reepicheep the Mouse, Trumpkin the Dwarf and Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle—and, from this world, the plucky Jill Pole and the unpleasant Eustace Scrubb, who gets turned into a dragon.
As for the "magnificent lion," he plays an important role in every story: in The Magician's Nephew, he gives life to Narnia; in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he defeats the evil of the White Witch; and in the final volume of what is now known as "The Chronicles of Narnia" (The Last Battle) Aslan concludes the story of Narnia and leads its faithful friends to a new world.
The Chronicles of Narnia®, Narnia® and all book titles, characters and locales original
to The Chronicles of Narnia are trademarks of C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Use without permission is strictly prohibited.


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