Title: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia (Part-I)
Author: C. S. Lewis
File Size: Single PDF File (309 KB)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis, published by Geoffrey Bles in 1950. It is the first published and best known of seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia (1950–1956). Among all the author’s books it is also the most widely held in libraries. Although it was written as well as published first in the series, it is volume two in recent editions, which are sequenced by the stories’ chronology (the first being The Magician’s Nephew). Like the others, it was illustrated by Pauline Baynes, and her work has been retained in many later editions.
Most of the novel is set in Narnia, a land of talking animals and mythical creatures that one White Witch has ruled for 100 years of deep winter. In the frame story, four English children are relocated to a large, old country house following a wartime evacuation. The youngest visits Narnia three times via the magic of a wardrobe in a spare room. All four children are together on her third visit, which verifies her fantastic claims and comprises the subsequent 12 of 17 chapters except for a brief conclusion. In Narnia, the siblings seem fit to fulfill an old prophecy and so are soon adventuring both to save Narnia and their lives. Lewis wrote the book for, and dedicated it to, his goddaughter Lucy Barfield. She was the daughter of Owen Barfield, Lewis’s friend, teacher, adviser, and trustee.
In 1940, four siblings – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, whose surname we will learn in a later book is Pevensie – are among many children evacuated from London during World War II to escape the Blitz. They are sent to the countryside to live with an old professor, later to be named Digory Kirke. Exploring the professor’s house, Lucy finds a wardrobe which doubles as a magic portal to a forest in a land called Narnia. At a lamppost oddly located in the forest, she meets Tumnus, a faun, who invites her to tea in his home. There the faun confesses that he invited her not out of hospitality, but with the intention of betraying her to the White Witch. The witch has ruled Narnia for years, using magic to keep it frozen in a perpetual winter. She has ordered all Narnians to turn in any humans (“Sons of Adam” or “Daughters of Eve”) they come across. But now that he has come to know and like a human, Tumnus repents his original intention and escorts Lucy back to the lamppost.
During a game of hide-and-seek on some days later, Lucy again passes into Narnia. This time her brother Edmund chances to follow her. He meets Jadis, who calls herself Queen of Narnia. When she learns that he is human and has two sisters and a brother, she places an enchantment on him. She urges him to bring his siblings to her castle, promising in return to make him her heir. When Lucy and Edmund return together through the wardrobe, Edmund realizes that the queen he met and the witch Lucy describes are one and the same. He denies to the others that he has been in Narnia at all. Peter and Susan are puzzled by Lucy’s insistence, and consult the Professor, who surprises them by taking Lucy’s side in the debate of Narnia’s existence.