Monday, October 16, 2000

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe published 50 years ago today

First posted 6/11/2020; updated 7/6/2020.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis

First Publication: October 16, 1950

Category: fantasy children’s novel

Sales: 85 million

Accolades (click on badges to see full lists):

About the Book:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first in a series of seven children’s fantasy novels known as The Chronicles of Narnia. WK C.S. Lewis “wrote the book for, and dedicated it to, his goddaughter Lucy Barfield. She was the daughter of Owen Barfield, Lewis’ friend, teacher, adviser, and trustee.” WK

“Shortly before the Second World War many children were evacuated from London to the English countryside to escape bomber attacks on London by Nazi Germany.” WK In 1939, three girls came to live at Lewis’ home. He gained a new appreciation for children and he started a story about four siblings who had to leave London because of the air raids and live with a relative of their mother.” WK

“The novel uses Christian iconography in Aslan's dramatic sacrifice and resurrection. Edmund's transition from self-interested schoolboy to heroic young man is also resonantly spiritual.” TG

Most of the story “is set in Narnia, a land of talking animals and mythical creatures that one White Witch has ruled for 100 years of deep winter.” WK After the youngest of the four children visits Narnia “via the magic of a wardrobe in a spare room” WK she is accompanied by her siblings on “her third visit, which verifies her fantastic claims.” WK “The siblings seem fit to fulfill an old prophecy” WK and “when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change…and a great sacrifice.” AZ

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