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Most Frequently Asked Questions

PostPosted: 17 Jan 2006, 12:29
by john
Here is where I will be adding excerpts from our most frequently asked questions on the Q&A forum. Please note that this doesn't replace the official Into the Wardrobe FAQ, but is merely a repository for a quick look-up of questions most often posted here.

This is a work in progress...

If you feel there is something I should put here, please send me a private message with the question and a succinct answer.

Why was C. S. Lewis known as Jack?

PostPosted: 17 Jan 2006, 12:33
by john
Why was C. S. Lewis known as Jack?

As a child, Lewis had a dog called Jacksie whom he really loved. When he was five years old, the poor dog got run down by one of the first cars in Ireland. He then said that from that point on he'll be known by the name of his dead dog (although he did not like his birth names either). Eventually, the name evolved from Jacksie to Jack, as he is known today. All his friends and teachers called him Jack, except for his one tutor.

(reference: The Bigsleep J, respected Wardrobian)

I'm looking for something in the Chronicles of Narnia...

PostPosted: 19 Feb 2006, 18:36
by john
I'm looking for something in the Chronicles of Narnia...

Forget your book? Need to search for something? has the answer (and it's free).

search the entire Chronicles of Narnia by keyword

The reading order of the Chronicles of Narnia

PostPosted: 19 Feb 2006, 18:37
by john
The reading order of the Chronicles of Narnia

Simply put, there is no correct order of reading the Chronicles of Narnia.

If you are reading them for the first time, there are two logical ways of numbering the Narnia books. When the American publisher Macmillan decided to put numbers on their editions they chose to use the order in which the books were originally published, i.e.:

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
2. Prince Caspian (1951)
3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
4. The Silver Chair (1953)
5. The Horse and His Boy (1954)
6. The Magicians Nephew (1955)
7. The Last Battle (1956)

When HarperCollins took over the publication of the books in America, they decided to keep numbering the books, but on the recommendation of Lewis' stepson, Douglas Gresham, they adopted the order that follows Narnian Chronology, i.e:

1. The Magicians Nephew
2. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
3. The Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian
5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair
7. The Last Battle

This is also the order followed by the current British editions, published by Fontana Lions.

In a letter written in 1957 to an American boy named Laurence, Lewis 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.

Turkish Delight

PostPosted: 19 Feb 2006, 18:41
by john
Turkish Delight

There are several Turkish Delight recipes available online (try at your own risk):

The Foody
The Recipe Source
Christmas Joy

Where did Lewis come up with the word "Narnia" ?

PostPosted: 19 Feb 2006, 18:42
by john
Where did Lewis come up with the word Narnia?

It is not known where Lewis got the name. Some people have suggested the town of Narni in Italy. However, according to Paul Ford's Companion to Narnia: "..There is no indication that [Lewis] was alluding to the ancient Umbrian city Nequinium, renamed Narnia (after the river Nar, a tributary of the Tiber) by the conquering Romans in 299 BC. Since Lewis's first successes at Oxford were in the classics and ancient history, it is quite possible that he came across at least seven references to Narnia in Latin literature.

"Four references are found in Livy's History (10:10, 27:9,27:50, and 29:15)... ... Tacitus's Annals (3:9).... Pliny the Elder's comment in Natural History about its unusual weather (it became drier in the rainy season).... Pliny the Younger's letter to his mother-in-law, in which he mentions the excellence of the accommodations of her villa at Narnia, especially its beautiful baths. Of all of these references, Lewis mentions only Pliny the Younger, in a letter to Arthur Greeves (They Stand Together, Macmillan, Collins, 1979, p. 171)."

Can somebody here help me get a part in one of the movies?

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2006, 07:45
by john
Can somebody here help me get a part in one of the Chronicles of Narnia movies?


Will somebody here do my homework for me?

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2006, 07:46
by john
Will somebody here do my homework for me?

No...but we will help steer you in the right direction if you're polite about it.

How can I contact C. S. Lewis?

PostPosted: 21 Feb 2006, 07:46
by john
How can I contact C. S. Lewis? can't. He died in 1963.

Who was Mrs. Moore?

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2006, 22:52
by john
Who was Mrs. Moore?

Janie King Moore was the mother of Paddy Moore, Lewis' closest comrade-in-arms during the First World War. Lewis reported that the two young men made a pledge that if either man didn't make it home, the survivor would take care of Lewis' father and Moore's mother. Paddy Moore died in the war, and Lewis fulfilled that pledge for years, contributing towards Mrs. Moore's finances when he was still a poor student and setting up a home with her and Moore's young sister Maureen when he obtained a teaching position and could afford one. When her declining health (years later) required professional care, he faithfully visited the nursing home until she died. Maureen later succeeded to a Scottish title and became Lady Dunbar of Hempriggs.

The exact nature of Lewis's relationship with Mrs. Moore is not certain: many readers have surmised that it is connected with the 'enormous emotional episode' that Lewis refers to in 'Surprised by Joy' but says that he is not at liberty to write about. Walter Hooper writes that 'The combination of motive, means and opportunity invites, though it does not demand, the conclusion that Janie King Moore and C.S. Lewis were lovers.'

Mrs. Moore is sometimes represented as the villain in the story of C.S. Lewis. Owen Barfield says people have turned her into 'a sort of baleful stepmother.' Warren Lewis described her relationship with his brother as a 'strange, self- imposed slavery'. On the other hand, George Sayer writes:

'Some of those who have written about C.S. Lewis regard his living with Mrs. Moore as odd, even sinister. This was not the view of those of us who visited his home in the thirties. Like his other pupils, I thought it completely normal that a woman, probably a widow, would make a home for a young bachelor. We had no difficult accepting her, even when we came to realise that she was not his mother.'

Who is Walter Hooper?

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2006, 22:53
by john
Who is Walter Hooper?

Walter Hooper is a sort of literary manager to C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. He met Jack briefly in 1963, and has since dedicated his life to bringing Jack's works before the public. He is originally American but has lived in England for many years.

Did C.S. Lewis lose his faith after the death of his wife?

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2006, 22:54
by john
Did C.S. Lewis lose his faith after the death of his wife?

Some people got this idea from the movie 'Shadowlands', but it is not true, as Lewis's autobiographical book 'A Grief Observed' makes plain. He did go through a period of questioning God's goodness, but this seems to have lasted for only a few hours. ('A Grief Observed' contains a few pages in which Lewis speculates that God might be wicked, followed by the line 'I wrote that last night. It was a yell rather than a thought.') One of Lewis's best Christian books - 'Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer' - was written in the last years of his life, after Joy had died.

What biographies have been written about C.S. Lewis?

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2006, 22:57
by john
What biographies have been written about C.S. Lewis?

There are many, some better than others, including:

Douglas Gresham, Lenten Lands, My Childhood With C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman.
A personal account by Lewis's stepson.

William Griffin, CS Lewis - The Authentic Voice
A nice lively read with a lot of quotes from letters, diaries, books, joined up in a fairly dramatised style

Walter Hooper & Roger Lancelyn Green, CS Lewis: A Biography
An 'official' version by two friends of Lewis.

Walter Hooper, C.S Lewis: A Companion & Guide
Includes a biography, detailed bibliography, overviews of all Lewis's writings, and guides to the people, places and things associated with his life. Almost certainly the definitive Lewis reference book.

W.H. Lewis, Memoir of C.S. Lewis
This extended essay, by Lewis's brother, can be found in the Letters of C.S. Lewis. Walter Hooper described this memoir as 'the best thing ever written about C.S. Lewis.'

George Sayer, Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times
Part memoir and part biography by a friend and pupil of Lewis. Douglas Gresham, Lewis' stepson, recommends this as the very best biography available.

Brian Sibley, Shadowlands
A short biography of Lewis and Joy Davidman, concentrating on the last years. Note this is not to be confused with the novelisation of the screenplay of the movie version of 'Shadowlands' which is a every bit as bad as you would expect.

A.N. Wilson, C.S. Lewis: A Biography
A well-written, interesting, but highly contentious version.

What C.S. Lewis related sites are open to the public?

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2006, 22:59
by john
What C.S. Lewis related sites are open to the public?

In the United Kingdom:

Magdalen College, Oxford is often open to public visits in the vacations.

Holy Trinity Churchyard Headington Quarry, Oxford (the site of Jack's grave) is open.

The Kilns, Lewis's home for many years, is currently under restoration and may eventually be opened to the public.

The Eagle and Child (the Bird and Baby) where many of the Inklings meetings were held is open during normal pub opening hours.

In the United States:

Wheaton College in the far western suburbs of Chicago, houses an extensive collection relating not only to C.S. Lewis, but also to G.K. Chesterton and Dorothy Sayers. Among its treasures is the original Wardrobe that C.S. Lewis supposedly had in mind when he wrote the Narnia books.

Differences in the British and Americans Narnia books

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2006, 23:07
by john
Is it true that there are differences in the British and American editions of the Narnia books?


Some very minor changes were made to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for their American publication. For example, the name of the witch's agent is changed from 'Maugrim' to 'Fenris Ulf' and Peter's title from 'Sir Peter Wolfs-Bane' to 'Sir Peter Fenris-Bane.' In the English edition, Aslan says that the Emperor's magic is written 'in letters as deep as a spear is long on the fire-stones of the Secret Hill'. In the American he says 'in letters as deep as a spear is long on the trunk of the world ash-tree.'