The Chronicles of Narnia – Books That Inspire


We read out loud at the breakfast table, my mother and I.  A chapter of the Bible, and a chapter of a classic.  One of the first classics I remember reading over Malto-Meal, was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as well as the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia series.

My mom did voices, and I imagined a world of make-believe, with dwarves and fauns, satyrs and minotaurs.  I could almost taste what I thought might be Turkish Delight.  (I tried it a few years ago, and I was completely incorrect in my imaginings.)  I fell in love with Aslan, and wished it were so easy to love Jesus.

Maybe that is what was most important about these books to me.  Aslan made Jesus more real to me.  Isn’t that ironic?  (don’t you think?)  A fantasy made Jesus more real to me.

“At all ages, if [fantasy and myth] is used well by the author and meets the right reader, it has the same power: to generalize while remaining concrete, to present in palpable form not concepts or even experiences but whole classes of experience, and to throw off irrelevancies. But at its best it can do more; it can give us experiences we have never had and thus, instead of ‘commenting on life,’ can add to it.”
C.S. Lewis

And now, the real question.  As for the controversy about the order in which the books should be read. What order did I read the books?  The order in which they were written, of course!

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19 thoughts on “The Chronicles of Narnia – Books That Inspire

  1. You are such a great woman of God. I thank you for the wonderful comment you left on my blog Radical RevLa. It meant so much to me at this time when I had to pick up yet another assignment from God. This one is working my last nerve and I really don’t have that one its borrowed from a friend at work…ha,ha,ha. I love these books and it wasn’t until I became a mom did I really understand the meanings and the reference to God. Keep doing what you are doing my prayer is that one day I will be able to blog and write full time. That I would be able to do my many ministries full time. And that I may continue to have virtual friends and sisters of Christ like you full time. Keep being the blessing that you are. Love you and praying for you and your family
    Smooches
    RevLa

  2. Do you know that I did not read all of these books until I was an adult? I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in the third grade and loved it, but had no idea it was a series. I guess my school library did not carry the other books. I also read through them again when my boys were younger with them. C.S. Lewis is an amazing scholar and writer. I could just gobble him up! Every word. Thank you for your sweet comment over at the Wellspring. I’m so glad God has led our paths to cross!

  3. I can not believe it, but I think I have never read the Chronicles of Narnia. I remember the title but as I read the reviews on amazon.com, I do not remember them….course, these days, that is not a sure sign. Interesting how you parallel them to Christian literature. If I am able to get a set, I will look at that.

    I read a fanatsey series when I was in my early 20’s about people who tamed dragons, played harps and had great adventures. There were women heroes as well. I thought it was by Ursela la Guin but can not remember the title of the series. Would you remember it, by chance. I remember that the person had to stay with the dragon egg and be the first person the dragon saw for it to bond with the person. They were great stories and I’d love to read them again.

    Hugs, pat

  4. So when my husband asked me last night if I was up for a movie, I answered “Sure.” He brought home Narnia because he knew I was in the mood for adventures of a different sort. Again, your posts speak to me.

      • hmmm…no room to reply below. I liked that Eustace changed into a dragon and then changed from so ill tempered to more pleasant (a believer). However it’s so unfortunate that he is left with the surname Scrubb…such an unpleasant legacy of a name…(but then Scrooge’s name never changed in literature)…I loved Cheepireep, that the mouse/rat stayed with the lion, and that everyone met with the lion (God). Great CS Lewis imagery.

      • Georgette:

        The book is even better…as usual. But I felt that they did an excellent job. In the books Aslan takes his claws and peels the dragon skin off of Eustace, but I suppose in a movie that would be rather frightening for children to see, not to mention difficult for parents to explain…But the spiritual significance to Aslan being the one to help Eustace destroy his “old man” is amazing…

  5. Love, love, love C.S. Lewis.
    I recently read what he wrote in “On Stories And Other Essays on Literature” about why he wrote children’s books.
    “I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which paralyzed much of my own religion since childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But suppose casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past the watchful dragons? I thought one could.”
    Glad I found your blog. And thanks for commenting on mine. I look forward to reading more from you.

    • I’m so glad we’ve found each other as well!! Listen to what Madeleine L’Engle said about writing children’s literature…
      “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
      — Madeleine L’Engle

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