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Lucy Barfield: The Real Lucy of Narnia

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Lucy, Jill and Maureen

Postby Reep » 14 Apr 2007, 00:25

spareoom wrote:The real "Lucy Pevensie" is not Lucy Barfield.

Of course not. Lucy Barfield is the real girl FOR WHOM "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" was written, and FOR WHOM Lewis created ALL its characters. To ONE of these characters he even gave Lucy Barfield's baptismal name - and he may have created the book charecter of "Lucy Pevensie" FOR LUCY BARFIELD according to the character of some other girl, whether she was called Jill or June.

That is - if HE (Lewis) really found this necessary. Lucy Barfield herself may have been quite inspiring. Or he may have been moved and lead by a deep insight into her future potential [she almost seems to have become a saint]. But before considering all possible other sources of inspiration - what about his lifelong friend, almost his true sister, Maureen Moore? Whom Lewis met when he was eighteen and she was ten, and whose mother had almost adopted Jack and his brother as her sons? With whom he lived over twenty years?

Is it not interesting that Maureen and Lucy both later became music teachers?
Last edited by Reep on 03 Aug 2007, 00:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby carol » 14 Apr 2007, 05:44

Marureen was not a sister. She was a lot younger than Jack, and by the time he took on her family's care, he had been through the ageing process that was called the Great War. I don't honestly think she had anything to do with Lucy the character. Lewis may have treated her like a kid sister, since she was his deceased friend's kid sister. She has the distinction of being one of the few females he knew well.

I shudder to think of cantakerous, middle-aged Mrs Moore "adopting" two grown men who were taking care of her. One does not adopt university lecturers who are supporting you financially.
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Mrs Janie Moore

Postby Reep » 03 Aug 2007, 01:04

carol wrote:I shudder to think of cantakerous, middle-aged Mrs Moore "adopting" two grown men who were taking care of her. One does not adopt university lecturers who are supporting you financially.

When Jack Lewis met Mrs Janie Moore she was forty-five; when they began to share the same house Lewis was twenty and she forty-seven. He certainly then was not a university lecturer yet; both were (unknowingly) supported by Jack's father.

Lewis clearly was very happy in the house she made for him, writes Walter Hooper. Whatever Lewis's feelings for Mrs Moore were at the beginning, over time she became a mother to him and in most letters from about 1940 onwards he speaks of her as his 'Mother' (See: C.S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide, p. 714)
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Lucy Barfield in America

Postby Reep » 01 Dec 2007, 00:54

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In the fall of 1965 Lucy Barfield accompanied her father on his second stay in America. It was probably the happiest year of their lives. Owen Barfield truly enjoyed teaching at Brandeis University; Lucy had twelve piano students at a music school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When the school year was over they were joined by her mother Maud, and all three spent the three days of 14-16 June 1966 in Vancouver visiting father's friend professor Craig Miller at the University of British Columbia. Then they returned to England; to their home in Westfield near Dartford, Kent.

And then? I searched for Lucy very carefully in the latest 350-page-biography of Owen Barfield by Simon Blaxland-de Lange and this was almost all I could find. True, on the same page (309) he also mentions: "Her [Lucy's] debilitating illness of multiple sclerosis (she was hospitalized in 1968) was clearly a source of much sorrow to Barfield". But when discussing many details of Barfield's deeply intimate twenty-three-year-long orrespondence with Professor Thomas Kranidas of the State University of New York, all Blaxland says is only that "there are a number of references to his adopted daughter Lucy, beginning with her [second?] move to hospital in 1977 and her wedding in June 1978". Without giving even one single word anywhere of what Owen Barfield ever actually said about his daughter to Kranidas (142).

Only, almost by oversight, he quotes Owen from a letter of 19 April 1974 to Cecil Harwood: "Lucy much the same, mentally as conscious as ever, or more so, but it is terrible to see her unable, even with a stick, to walk more than a step or two without someone to support her. We are exploring the possibility of a small car or powered vehicle of some sort to enable her to get about a bit" (309). And in the 25 February 1981 letter to Josephine Spence Owen Barfield says: "I have had a great deal of happiness, especially in America. Lucy's disaster has been the one big sobering cloud" (296).

This is ALL Simon Blaxland-de Lange wants to tell us about the almost forty years of Lucy's life (1966-2003). One truly wishes to know more. And myself - especially "about her wedding in June 1978". Who was, what kind of a person was Bevan Rake whom she married? Who was not only able to take Lucy out of the hospital but also to care for her until 1990, when he died.

When Joy and Jack Lewis in 1957 celebrated their wedding at the hospital, Joy was 42 and Jack 58 years old. Lucy was also 42 years old in June of 1978. And Bevan was 57!

"Shadowlands: Part Two"?


P.S. When Bevan Rake died Lucy had to return to the hospital. Never to leave it again until she died on 3 May 2003.
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Only Five Years

Postby Reep » 27 Apr 2008, 00:12

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Will many think of Lucy on 3rd May 2008? The day she died five years ago? Most certainly her brothers, Alexander and, especially, Jeffrey who kept reading to her "The Chronicles of Narnia" during her last seven years in the hospital. Walter Hooper who wrote so beautifully about her in her obituary. A Catholic priest who said he will be offering his mass for her that day.

Her Godfather remembered her in his last will on 2 November 1961. He certainly did not know then what would happen to him in two years and to Lucy another three years later. That he would die in 1963 and that Lucy, after spending a year as a piano teacher in Cambridge, Massachussetts, in 1966 would be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

But he believed that: "We shall live forever. There will come a time when every culture, every institution, every nation, the human race, all biological life is extinct and every one of us still alive... We shall live to remember the galaxies as an old tale."

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, p.172
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Re: Lucy Barfield: The Real Lucy of Narnia

Postby BarfieldLiteraryEstate » 17 Sep 2009, 16:51

Dear Reep,
I happened upon your topic purely by chance. Reading through the posts has been a strange and intriguing experience. I know my aunt Lucy would have been extremely touched and honoured by your interest in her.

If you are interested in the idea of Lucy as an inspirational figure, the Literary Estate is publishing a book by Owen Barfield called 'The Rose on the Ash-Heap' next month. It is a sort of fairy tale, and centres on a beautiful temple dancer called Lucy, the love for whom inspires a powerful young Sultan to abandon his throne and follow her across continents. Like many of Grandfather's stories, it's a grail quest - and about the redemptive powers of love and the imagination.

Please send me a private message with a postal address, and I would be delighted to send you a copy of this book. Otherwise, you could contact me through the Literary Estate website: http://www.owenbarfield.org/
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Dancer called Lucy

Postby Reep » 23 Sep 2009, 22:35

BarfieldLiteraryEstate wrote:I happened upon your topic purely by chance. Reading through the posts has been a strange and intriguing experience. I know my aunt Lucy would have been extremely touched and honoured by your interest in her.

I was touched and honored by your message myself. For me it was a miracle. Yes, occasionally I did dream about meeting someone from Lucy's family. But that you would notice and even try to contact me? No, I can't believe this could have happened just by a pure chance!

As you could see, I am very interested in Lucy Barfield as a real and as an inspirational figure. I truly believe her life and her experience already is, and could be even more, a source of constant encouragement and support for many - not only for the crippled or poor children, as I once wrote, but for everyone of us.

And I also believe in grail quest; in the redemptive power of love and imagination. I will cherish your gift and I will follow your beautiful dancer wherever she goes.
Last edited by Reep on 10 Mar 2010, 20:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lucy Barfield: The Real Lucy of Narnia

Postby stourhead » 24 Sep 2009, 22:10

I understood that Lucy Pevensie was created after Jill 'June' Flewett, later Lady Jill Freud, who was one of the evacuee children that stayed at the Kilns during World War II. In a 2005 interview in the Daily Telegraph, Lady Freud (who happens to be the wife of the late Clement Freud, grandson of Sigmund and brother to Lucien) said that Douglas Gresham had telephoned her and told her that she was Lucy. You can see the article by following this link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... -Lucy.html
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Re: The Real Lucy

Postby Reep » 27 Sep 2009, 00:20

stourhead wrote: I understood that Lucy Pevensie was created after Jill 'June' Flewett, later Lady Jill Freud... Lady Freud said that [in 2002] Douglas Gresham had telephoned her and told her that she was Lucy. Will the real Lucy please stand up.

I understand that Lucy Pevensie was created for Lucy Barfield, later Lady Lucy Rake. Her godfather C.S. Lewis, in May of 1949, had sent her a prepublication copy of The Lion. the Witch and the Wardtrobe with a letter in which he said that he wrote this book for her. That it took him a very long time, since he began it when she was still a little girl. But that his love for her will continue even when he will be very very old.

Lucy Barfield understood him immediately and believed she was "The Real Lucy" all her life long. So believed, it seems, everyone else. As Walter Hooper says, her father never even wondered whether Lucy Pevensie was named after Lucy Barfied - "the opening words of the Dedication are a sufficiently appropriate answer". And her brother Jeffrey, to whom C.S. Lewis dedicated The Voyage of the Dawn Threader said: I have had great pleasure out of it. But my sister would feel it even more because she is the Lucy in the story".

Jill Flewett began to think "she was Lucy" 53 years later, only after Douglas Gresham told her so in 2002. It certainly would be very interesting to know on what he based such opinion.
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The Real Lucy of the Dawn Treader

Postby Reep » 21 Oct 2009, 00:12

I wrote: Her brother Jeffrey (Geoffrey Barfield), to whom C.S. Lewis dedicated "The Voyage of the Dawn Threader" said: "I have had great pleasure out of it. But my sister would feel it even more because she is the Lucy in the story".

Did Jeffrey Barfield really say this? Where did I find this quotation? It is from an article about Lucy by Nicholas Roe, Head of the School of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. You may see most of his article - The Lion, the Witch and the real Lucy - in the post of 2006 September 19th: viewtopic.php?p=123706#p123706 . If anyone would be interested I would be happy to send the complete text.

Here is my complete bibliography of the more important articles about Lucy Barfield which some of you helped me to find. I believe there are others - and I would truly appreciate your continued assistance.

1. Walter Hooper, C.S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide. 1996, pp.758-760. See the post of 2006 June 14th - viewtopic.php?p=95716#95716 . Quotations from a letter which Walter Hooper received from Lucy's father Owen Barfield.

2. Nicholas Roe, The Lion, the Witch and the real Lucy. The Times (UK), 11 January 1999: 4-5. As above: viewtopic.php?p=123706#p123706 .

3. Walter Hooper, Lucy Barfield (1935-2003). In SEVEN: An Anglo-American Literary Review, Volume 20, 2003, p.5. An Obituary. See the post "Lewis's letter to Lucy of May 1949" on 2007 March 8th: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5583&start=15#p147918

4. Paul F. Ford, Companion to Narnia: Dedications. Fifth Edition, 2005, pp 160-61. The post of carol of 2006 June 4th: viewtopic.php?p=93874#p93874

5. Simon Blaxland de Lange, Owen Barfield: Romanticism come of age - A Biography. 2006, pp. 69, 142, 309, 337. The post "Lucy Barfield in America" of 2007 December 1st: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5583&start=30#p169599

2009 November 2nd is Lucy Barfield's Birthday.
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Seven Years

Postby Reep » 29 Apr 2010, 16:12

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The first and the last day of Lucy Barfield's life keeps returning again every year. Next Monday, 2010 May 3rd, it will be already seven years since she died. We are reminded again how little we know about her, keep wondering again who she really was. And what her Goodfather, Jack or C.S. Lewis, really knew and thought about her.

A question comes back again to my mind which I already tried to answer to myself many times. Would there be, would we still have The Chronicles of Narnia had there been no Lucy Barfield? Her Goodfather is saying to her: "I wrote this story for you". Could he also have written it for someone else? Could he have said this, may be in some other words, to anybody else?

Never was I able to come to a satisfactory and final conclusion. So this year I decided just simply to try to ask others. What do you think? And why?
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No Response

Postby Reep » 14 Sep 2010, 13:55

There was no response, no answer, not even a single word. Even though since April this question was viewed almost 1500 (1487) times. Why? Apparently - the answer was too simple and too self-evident. And no one wanted to waste the time.

The answer is clearly: NO! "Without Lucy Barfield there would had been no Chronicles of Narnia"! As there would had not been without C.S. Lewis himself. These two names will remain forever locked; and not just on the first page of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. But also locked in an eternal, never dying Love. I wrote this story for you. When I began it... you were only four... But I did not forget you. And I will never forget you untill I die!... A very humble, a little bashful declaration not of fictional but of real love. which deeply touched hundreds of the first young readers and gave this book its meaning: I am loved, too! Until The First Chronicle stopped being The First.

Not many know now anymore that the first entrance into Narnia was not meant to be from a dirty, dusty attick in a crowded suburb but from a huge beautiful mansion far in the country; surrounded by well-kept gardens, trees and fields. And also that before entering, at the Wardrobe door, they were all supposed to meet Lucy Barfield, already expecting and waiting for them to be their guide. Who had already entered it before them and had been already exploring this mysterious realm for sixteen months - having been the first to receive this book by the end of May 1949.

For us and all others the door solemnly and officially opened on Monday, 16 October 1950. A New World opened, a new country was born into the consciousness of our Old World. NARNIA! A word nobody had never known before - suddenly exploded in London on that day and began to spread. And still continues to spread now, precisely sixty years having passed - in over 200 million copies and 47 languages.

Let's celebrate! Yes, this our little thread or topic - Lucy Barfield: the Real Lucy of Narnia - which began to exist on 27 May 2006 and reached 13481 views - on the first day of October 2010 will be no more. Let us take a brief look at Lucy Barfield at Wikipedia which is really just a brief look back here. On 2 November 2010 she would had been Seventy Five. And let us all thank one another. Cheerfully, with bread and wine!

As a friend of Prince Caspian once said. "My Jesus is Jesus turning water into wine. This is what he wants us to be. THE NEW WINE!"
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Re: No Response

Postby john » 14 Sep 2010, 14:45

Reep wrote:Lucy Barfield: the Real Lucy of Narnia - which began to exist on 27 May 2006 and reached 13481 views - on the first day of October 2010 will be no more.


Just a point of clarification -- nothing on the forums related to C. S. Lewis "will be no more" when the forums are closed. As I said in the announcement, they will be changed to a read-only mode that allows people to read them, but not post.
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Re: Lucy Barfield: The Real Lucy of Narnia

Postby carol » 15 Sep 2010, 09:52

Reep, I can see that for you Lucy Barfield is a crucial person for the creation and ongoing popularity of Narnia.

While I do not share your views, and believe you have overstated the case, I am content to let you enjoy this view.
I wrote this story for you. When I began it... you were only four... But I did not forget you. And I will never forget you untill I die!...
This is NOT what Lewis wrote in the dedication.

I would warn others however not to see young Miss Barfield as some sort of Patron Saint of the Chronicles. She was Lewis' god-daughter, and had almost nothing to do with the origin or writing of the stories - she was four when he began the first story (at the start of the war) which did not include a child with her name.
It was nine years later, after he had survived the war including a number of lively evacuees (notably the young lady on whom Lucy P's character is based) that he wrote the story as we know it. His god-daughter was in her early teens and clearly no longer interested in children's tales (although he hoped she would enjoy it in a few years). The tales, the origins of the events and so on do not have parallels with her life.

She certainly seems to have been a special lady to know, and I do not wish to be disrespectful to her. But I feel concern over the slight blending of identity of the three Lucys that seems to be suggested by some people.
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Re: Lucy Barfield: The Real Lucy of Narnia

Postby paminala » 15 Sep 2010, 16:39

In the interest of accuracy, here is the dedication from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
MY DEAR LUCY,


I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be
your affectionate Godfather,
C.S. LEWIS


Also, there was some earlier discussion of photographs of Lucy Barfield. I found several listed as being in the Special Collections Dept. of the library at Oxford, part of the Catalogue of papers of (Arthur) Owen Barfield. They don't seem to be available online however. http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/modern/barfield/barfield.html#barfield.E
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