NARNIA NEWS & EXTRAS
Clive Staples Lewis, known as Jack to his friends, is born in Belfast, Ireland.
When C. S. Lewis was nine, his mother died tragically of cancer. This painful chapter in his life was echoed in The Magician's Nephew, in which Digory's mother is gravely ill.
C. S. Lewis is sent to England for private tutoring by W. T. Kirkpatrick. Lewis flourished under Professor Kirkpatrick's instruction and was later accepted to Oxford University. Lewis honored his tutor by naming character after him in The Chronicles of Narnia: Professor Kirke.
C. S. Lewis begins a position as a tutor and lecturer in the English department at Oxford University, a position he would keep for the next 30 years. During his time at Oxford, Lewis formed a club with a group of friends who shared an interest in writing. The club, who called themselves the Inklings, included Lewis, his brother, Warren "Warnie" Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, and J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
C. S. Lewis first reads one of his favorite books, the Place of the Lion by Charles Williams. Lewis would, of course, go on to write about a lion of own, the Great Lion Aslan. Lewis later recalled "I don't know where the Lion came from or why He came. But once he was there He pulled the whole story together, and soon he pulled the six other Narnian stories in after Him."
C. S. Lewis begins writing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but Lewis began piecing together the story long before that. The tales of ancient myths his Irish nurse told him always fascinated him; and when he was sixteen, a picture of a faun carrying parcels and an umbrella in snowy woods popped into his head. Years later, during World War II, four children stayed with Lewis at his country house and stirred his imagination again. Not long afterward, he began writing the story that would become The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
C. S. Lewis resumes writing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and renames the children in the story. The children readers know as Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy were originally called Ann, Martin, Rose, and Peter.
Roger Lancelyn Green was the first to hear passages from what would become The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He later said of the experience: "As [Lewis] read, there crept over me a feeling of awe and excitement: not only that it was better than most children's books which were appearing at the timeâ€”but the conviction that I was listening to the first reading of a classic."
C. S. Lewis begins writing The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Lewis once told his friend Roger Lancelyn Green that the island where nightmares come true was based on his own lifelong battle with nightmares.
C. S. Lewis completes The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. "When I had done The Voyage," Lewis later recalled, "I felt quite sure it would be the last. But I found I was wrong."
C.S Lewis begins writing The Silver Chair.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is first published with illustrations by Pauline Baynes, a young artist who perfectly captured, the pictures that Jack Lewis had seen in his head. Baynes created nearly 350 pen-and-ink illustrations for the series.
C. S. Lewis begins writing The Horse and His Boy and completes it the same year. Lewis loved horses and once told his goddaughter "I'd sooner have a nice thickset, steady-going cob that knew me & that I knew how to ride than all the cars and private planes in the world."
C. S. Lewis begins writing The Magician's Nephew. While it was the last book in the series to be completed, The Magician's Nephew tells the story of Narnia's very beginning when it is sung into existence by the Great Lion, Alsan.
C. S. Lewis completes The Silver Chair.
C. S. Lewis begins writing The Last Battle.
C. S. Lewis completes The Last Battle. He told his publisher, "You will hear with mixed feelings that I have just finished the seventh and really the last of the Narnian stories."
C. S. Lewis completes The Magician's Nephew.
The battle between good and evil is eternal and, as C. S. Lewis wrote in 1954, the Witch has the same timeless quality. "[S]he isâ€¦the same Archetype we find in so many fairy tales. No good asking where any individual author got that. We are born knowing the Witch, aren't we?"
C. S. Lewis marries Joy Gresham, an American woman with two young sons. In his book Lenten Lands, Lewis's stepson, Douglas Gresham, recalls being a bit disappointed when he first met C. S. Lewis. "Here was a man who was on speaking terms with King Peter, with the Great Lion, Aslan himself. Here was the man who had been to Narnia: surely he should at least wear silver chain mail and be girt with a jewel-encrusted sword-belt."
The Last Battle is awarded the Carnegie Medalâ€”England's highest honor for children's literature. When illustrator Pauline Baynes wrote to congratulate him, C. S. Lewis replied, "Is it not rather 'our' Medal?"
A young reader named Laurence suggested to C. S. Lewis that The Chronicles of Narnia should be read chronologically according to Narnian time rather than in the order of their publication. Lewis agreed and his preferred reading order for the series became:
The Magician's Nephew
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Horse and His Boy,
Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle
The first made-for-television Narnia production airs in England, a black-and-white adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
An animated adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe debuts on British television.
The BBC airs a live-action adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The BBC airs a live-action production that combines the stories of Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
The BBC airs a live-action adaptation of The Silver Chair.
HarperCollins releases paperback editions of The Chronicles of Narnia in the United States 1994 with new cover art from two-time Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon.
HarperCollins releases hardcover editions of The Chronicles of Narnia in the United States with new jacket art from two-time Caldecott Medalist Chris Van Allsburg.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of C. S. Lewis' birth, HarperCollins releases The Complete Chronicles of Narnia in the United States with newly colored illustrations by Pauline Baynes, the original illustrator.
The Royal Mail, Britain's postal service, issues a twenty-six-pence stamp featuring Lucy, Mr. Tumnus, and Aslan.
HarperCollins releases The Chronicles of Narnia in the United States with new jacket art from Cliff Nielsen.
HarperCollins releases adult editions of The Chronicles of Narnia in the United States with new jacket art from Cliff Nielsen and no interior illustrations.
Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media produce The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for theatrical release. C. S. Lewis's stepson, Douglas Gresham, coproduces the film.
HarperCollins releases The Chronicles of Narnia in the United States with new jacket art from three-time Caldecott Medal winner David Wiesner.
Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media produce The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian for theatrical release. C.S. Lewis's stepson, Douglas Gresham, coproduces the film, which goes on to gross over $400 million worldwide.
Fox 2000 Pictures and Walden Media produce The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for theatrical release. C. S. Lewis's stepson, Douglas Gresham, coproduces the film.