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Reepicheep775
(@reepicheep775)
NarniaWeb Junkie

This can be a thread for any new discoveries you make about the Narnia books, anything that Lewis included that was subtle enough to escape your notice at first. It can be references to other literature, links to Lewis's non-fiction, or anything you like.

My most recent discovery happened today when I was researching nursery rhymes for a book I am writing. One of the nursery rhymes I looked at was called "Goosey Goosey Gander":

Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady's chamber.

There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stairs.

If the highlighted part of that rhyme sounds familiar, it is because Lewis referenced it in Chapter 16 of the The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when Aslan is restoring the statues inside the Witch's house:

"Now for the inside of this house!" said Aslan. "Look alive, everyone. Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber! Leave no corner unsearched. You never know where some poor prisoner may be concealed."

Now I just wonder why Lewis made this reference. :-?

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Posted : September 30, 2017 9:12 am
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

*dusts off thread*

I was going to start a discussion on exactly this sort of thing and then I remembered this one existed. ;))

I read Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton recently, who was one of Lewis's greatest influences, and a couple passages in the essay "The Ethics of Elfland" stood out to me. (Of all the essays in this book, this one in particular is of especial interest to Narnian-minded people, I think.)

My first and last philosophy, that which I believe in with unbroken certainty, I learnt in the nursery. I generally learnt it from a nurse; that is, from the solemn and star-appointed priestess at once of democracy and tradition. The things I believed most then, the things I believe most now, are the things called fairy tales. They seem to me to be the entirely reasonable things. They are not fantasies: compared with them other things are fantastic. Compared with them religion and rationalism are both abnormal, though religion is abnormally right and rationalism abnormally wrong. Fairyland is nothing but the sunny country of common sense. It is not earth that judges heaven, but heaven that judges earth; so for me at least it was not earth that criticised elfland, but elfland that criticised the earth. I knew the magic beanstalk before I had tasted beans; I was sure of the Man in the Moon before I was certain of the moon. This was at one with all popular tradition. Modern minor poets are naturalists, and talk about the bush or the brook; but the singers of the old epics and fables were supernaturalists, and talked about the gods of brook and bush. That is what the moderns mean when they say that the ancients did not "appreciate Nature," because they said that Nature was divine. Old nurses do not tell children about the grass, but about the fairies that dance on the grass; and the old Greeks could not see the trees for the dryads.

Well, I left the fairy tales lying on the floor of the nursery, and I have not found any books so sensible since. I left the nurse guardian of tradition and democracy, and I have not found any modern type so sanely radical or so sanely conservative. But the matter for important comment was here, that when I first went out into the mental atmosphere of the modern world, I found that the modern world was positively opposed on two points to my nurse and to the nursery tales. It has taken me a long time to find out that the modern world is wrong and my nurse was right.

These passages really made me think of Caspian and his nurse in Prince Caspian, with her stories of old Narnia that turned out to be true! And the dull, modernist Miraz who wouldn't stand for her fairy tales and sent her away. I honestly would have a hard time believing that Lewis didn't have this essay in mind when he wrote Caspian's backstory.

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

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Posted : November 30, 2019 10:46 am
Cleander
(@the-mad-poet)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I was recently reading in the Old Testament Book of Job, and came across a verse wherein God asks if Job was present when He "laid the foundations of the earth,... when all the morning stars sang together." (Job 38: 6-7). I couldn't help but think that Lewis had this in mind when writing the Narnian creation scene in the Magician's Nephew.

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Posted : December 2, 2019 11:06 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

I noticed some possible foreshadowing in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe recently. When Mr. Tumnus is leading Lucy to his cave, she briefly thinks he's "going to walk straight into an unusually large rock" before she sees the door. Did she think for a moment this guy was trying to kill her (by smashing her face against a rock?) If so, that could foreshadow Tumnus's true intentions. I also noticed that there are "heavy darkish clouds" when the Pevensies start on their way to Tumnus's trashed house and when they follow the robin, who leads them to Mr. Beaver, the first character in the book to mention Aslan, the sun comes out and the snow grows "dazzlingly bright."

It also occurred to me that Caspian (in Prince Caspian) and Shasta use the term "kid" for child, which feels a lot more modern than I'd expect from Narnian characters. I guess that's because C.S. Lewis wanted young readers to relate to them more than, say, to Tirian or the older Caspian in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen

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Posted : April 5, 2020 1:08 pm
Cleander
(@the-mad-poet)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Great points, Col Klink! I need to keep an eye open next time I read them...
My brother just told me about the story of The Mountain King, an old Germanic legend about a king kidnapping a young girl and bringing her to his underground kingdom to be his wife. He also put a spell on her that would make her forget God... and the world above.
Sound familiar, anyone? ;)

PM me to join the Search for the Seven Swords!
Co-founder of the newly restored Edmund Club! Find it on the Talk About Narnia Forum!

signature by aileth

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Posted : April 6, 2020 8:45 am
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Junkie

My most recent discovery happened today when I was researching nursery rhymes for a book I am writing. One of the nursery rhymes I looked at was called "Goosey Goosey Gander":

Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady's chamber.

There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stairs.

If the highlighted part of that rhyme sounds familiar, it is because Lewis referenced it in Chapter 16 of the The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when Aslan is restoring the statues inside the Witch's house:

"Now for the inside of this house!" said Aslan. "Look alive, everyone. Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber! Leave no corner unsearched. You never know where some poor prisoner may be concealed."

Now I just wonder why Lewis made this reference. :-?

Coming to this one a bit late, but I hope Reepicheep775 will still read it!

I was familiar with that nursery rhyme when I first read LWW with Mum (when I was 5) — I know it was in at least one of our books of nursery rhymes when I was little, as I can still picture the illustration that went with it (a sinister-looking goose at the top of a staircase with an old man in his pyjamas lying at the bottom). I don't remember my reaction to it when Aslan unexpectedly quoted it, but I definitely would have recognised where it came from.

I've since read in a commentary — Devin Brown's Inside Narnia — that the rhyme originally referred to the Puritan dictator Oliver Cromwell's soldiers who marched out ("goose-stepping") to look for Catholic priests, who were persecuted by law and would hide away in "priest-holes" built into grand houses, especially behind the bedroom ("my lady's chamber"). A Catholic priest — one who "wouldn't say his prayers" in English using the Book of Common Prayer — could be imprisoned and tortured if caught, hence "threw him down the stairs." Brown concludes "We have no indication that Lewis knew the background behind the origins of the verse. In fact, we must assume that he did not, because if he had known its origins, he likely would not have chosen to include the lines in TLWW." (Inside Narnia, p. 229)

However, I'm aware it's a good idea to take purported nursery rhyme origins and meanings, especially sinister ones, with a grain of salt (like "Ring a Ring o' Roses" supposedly being about the plague... it's not). And as it turns out, going by Wikipedia, the earliest known forms of the rhyme do NOT have any references to the old man who wouldn't say his prayers. The earliest known versions also date from the late 1700s, over 100 years after Cromwell, so I suspect the whole idea that it's about persecution of Catholic priests is a furphy. 8-| (That's Aussie English for an untrue rumour.)

That's all off topic as to WHY Lewis might have quoted the rhyme, anyway. Devin Brown also points out that, like Father Christmas in an earlier chapter, this is a surprising inclusion of something from our world that "may briefly break the spell for some readers, as its use may seem out of place in Narnia." It does always seem a bit odd to me, although as I said, I don't remember how (or if) I reacted to it as a child.

My own thoughts about it are that Lewis, in this first Narnia book he wrote, was perhaps still finding his voice (so to speak) as a writer of books for children and trying to take a friendly, jolly, avuncular sort of tone — that's certainly how he comes across in a lot of his little interjections and asides as narrator, more so in LWW than he tends to in the later books in the series. I'm guessing he felt that as Aslan is ordering the newly freed creatures to search the whole of the Witch's house for other statues, "Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber!" would fit with where they are and have a jokey ring to it, as young children would recognise the phrase and find it whimsical that Aslan is using it to refer to searching even in the Witch's bedroom while she's out.

Ultimately I think it does fall flat, and I assume it's a bit baffling for those in countries where the original rhyme isn't known, but it must have felt right to Lewis at the time when he wrote it (and unlike a few other things, he didn't decide to revise it for American readers), so there it is. He doesn't quote earthly nursery rhymes in any of the later books, so perhaps he decided afterwards that it did sound a bit silly and he was better off not doing that again. That's what I make of it, anyway.

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : April 6, 2020 11:05 am
Wanderer Between Worlds
(@wanderer)
NarniaWeb Nut

The story of the mountain king reminds me of the Greek myth about Hades and Persephone, Cleander.

Interesting points, Courtenay! I did not know all of that background to the verse. I didn't notice the verse being out of place as a child, but as I was recently re-reading LWW, it did stick out to me. Maybe Aslan picked it up in one of the "other countries" he had to attend to. I had always thought that the "Ring a Ring o' Roses" rhyme was a reference to the black plague. Thank you for the information.

On another note, I was noticed that in LWW Lucy gives a handkerchief to Mr. Tumnus and then receives it back when the beavers show it to her (I could be getting this detail wrong). She then gives a handkerchief to Rumblebuffin. Could this be the same handkerchief? I thought it would be an interesting detail to play "connect the dots" with. ;)

"I am,” said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

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Posted : April 15, 2020 7:31 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

I've wondered recently whether Lewis meant this line towards the end of The Silver Chair as foreshadowing.

(Rilian) ruled Narnia well and the land was happy in his days, though Puddleglum (whose foot was as good as new in three weeks) often pointed out that bright mornings brought on wet afternoons and that you couldn't expect good times to last.

In The Last Battle, a lot of bad things do happen in Narnia after Rilian's time. However, C.S. Lewis probably didn't intend this as foreshadowing since he also implies at the end of the book that Narnia still exists and that the reader might conceivably go there. Apparently, he hadn't planned out the story of The Last Battle yet. Still, it fits so well I can't help but wonder.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen

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Posted : April 15, 2020 10:02 am
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Hi Col Klink,

That's an interesting thought! It could be taken as foreshadowing, I agree — or it could also be taken as Puddleglum being Puddleglum, with exactly the same attitude he's had throughout the book! :p Also, we find out in The Last Battle that Rilian has been "dead over two hundred years" at the time of that story, so although there certainly are catastrophic events in that book, they're coming a very long time after Puddleglum's era. So perhaps Lewis wasn't meaning to allude to them there, but there's no way of knowing for sure, really.

I do find it interesting that at the end of The Silver Chair Lewis says directly to his audience: "If ever you have the luck to go to Narnia yourself..." In fact, looking through the last chapter just now, I've found he also implies that Jill and Eustace are still alive in our world at the time he's writing — when they have an uncomfortable ride on the two Centaurs, we're told "But however sore and jolted the two humans were, they would now give anything to have that journey over again..." If he'd said "afterwards" or "later", that would mean that statement could refer to any time period, but saying "now" suggests strongly that they are still around to be feeling that way!

Similarly, a couple of times in Dawn Treader Lewis heavily implies that Lucy too is still alive as he's writing this book and that he's even "interviewed" her to get the story — see the part in the last chapter where he quotes himself asking Lucy, and her reply to him, about the "musical sound" on the breeze from Aslan's country! Also at the end of The Horse and His Boy, Lewis makes the wry comment about looking up Rabadash "in a good History of Calormen (try the local library)". That too seems to imply that he's thinking of Narnia and the surrounding countries as still existing — in their mortal "Shadowlands" form, that is — and potentially accessible from our world even as he's writing about them.

So from all this, I get the impression that it wasn't until Lewis wrote the last two books — The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle (I gather he worked on them simultaneously) — that he made a clear decision to end the series with Narnia being destroyed. However, I can think of another passage in The Silver Chair that sounds like a foreshadowing of the final book, as Eustace and Jill see Caspian resurrected on the Mountain of Aslan:

A great hope rose in the children's hearts. But Aslan shook his shaggy head. "No, my dears," he said. "When you meet me here again, you will have come to stay. But not now. You must go back to your own world for a while."

In The Last Battle, of course, they DO meet Aslan again in his own country, this time to stay forever. But given all those other hints that Lewis didn't yet have that ultimate ending in mind when he wrote The Silver Chair or the earlier books, maybe he simply meant (at least at the time he wrote those lines) that one day they'll die and go to heaven, without necessarily implying that it'll be any time soon or that this will be featured in a future book.

It would be fascinating to know just how the whole narrative of the Chronicles developed in Lewis's imagination over the several years that he was writing the books — when it was that particular ideas and inspirations came to him, and indeed whether he was originally thinking of ending the series differently — but I don't think he ever said or wrote much about that, unfortunately. Fun to wonder about, though!

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : April 15, 2020 11:53 am
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

It's true that the line reflects Puddleglum's personality. But some of Puddleglum's gloomy predictions in The Silver Chair turn out to be right. So it might be fitting if his last line did too. Though of course, at the end of The Last Battle we hear about good times which never end so he was a little bit wrong in any case.

For better or worse-for who knows what may unfold from a chrysalis?-hope was left behind.
-The God Beneath the Sea by Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen

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Posted : April 15, 2020 3:27 pm
Varnafinde
(@varna)
Princess of the Noldor and Royal Overseer of the Talk About Narnia forum Moderator

I'm guessing he felt that as Aslan is ordering the newly freed creatures to search the whole of the Witch's house for other statues, "Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber!" would fit with where they are and have a jokey ring to it, as young children would recognise the phrase and find it whimsical that Aslan is using it to refer to searching even in the Witch's bedroom while she's out.

Ultimately I think it does fall flat, and I assume it's a bit baffling for those in countries where the original rhyme isn't known, but it must have felt right to Lewis at the time when he wrote it (and unlike a few other things, he didn't decide to revise it for American readers), so there it is.

To me it sounded like a quotation even though I didn't know what he was quoting. The tone of it wasn't anything Aslan himself would use. Whether it was a common saying or not, I didn't know, and I didn't know about the nursery rhyme at the time.

It could be taken as foreshadowing, I agree — or it could also be taken as Puddleglum being Puddleglum, with exactly the same attitude he's had throughout the book!

I'm sure it's just Puddleglum being Puddleglum. He makes it as a general observation, not something to be more relevant in the future than it is already.

[...] wrote the last two books — The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle (I gather he worked on them simultaneously)

He started working on MN quite early in the process of the series, but stopped it after getting stuck, in the text that is now known as the Lefay fragment.

He started again later, and included Digory and Polly meeting a farmer in Charn, but wasn't quite sure about that version either. A friend of his, Roger Lancelyn Green, advised him to drop that farmer, he didn't fit in - so Lewis wrote a new version, which is the LB that we know (with a London cabby driver instead). He told Green that Green had saved the book by getting rid of those parts that weren't good enough.

LB had been finished and sent to the publishers before MN was finished, with the info that this was meant to be the last book in the series, and there would be another book before it.

It would be fascinating to know just how the whole narrative of the Chronicles developed in Lewis's imagination over the several years that he was writing the books — when it was that particular ideas and inspirations came to him, and indeed whether he was originally thinking of ending the series differently — but I don't think he ever said or wrote much about that, unfortunately. Fun to wonder about, though!

All I know about that development, I know from the biography written by Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper ( https://www.amazon.com/Biography-Lewis-Roger-Lancelyn-Green/dp/0006246834 ).

Green was probably the second person to be shown the manuscript (not necessarily even complete) of LWW. He was the one who encouraged Lewis to go on with it after Tolkien had tried to discourage him. (Green didn't like the inclusion of Father Christmas, but he says in the biography that he dislikes him less every time he reads the book.)

Lewis used Green as an informal consultant on all the other chronicles, and Green records some of the process in the biography. You get in what order Lewis started and finished his work, and some details about his contact with the illustrator, Pauline Baynes, and his publishers - but not much about "when it was that particular ideas and inspirations came to him".

The farmer in Charn is only mentioned in the biography. I've never heard of any fragment of that text. But the oldest idea we know about, was a picture of a faun in a winter wood - Lewis says somewhere (probably in the article "It all began with a picture") that this picture came into his mind when he was about 17.

On another note, I was noticed that in LWW Lucy gives a handkerchief to Mr. Tumnus and then receives it back when the beavers show it to her (I could be getting this detail wrong). She then gives a handkerchief to Rumblebuffin. Could this be the same handkerchief? I thought it would be an interesting detail to play "connect the dots" with. ;)

She gave it to Tumnus on her first visit to Narnia. When all four went in together, it's likely that she then had a new one in her pocket. So when she got the first one back from the beavers (I guess they give it to her, not just show it to her), she would have two, and it could be one or the other that was given to Rumblebuffin.


(avi artwork by Henning Janssen)

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Posted : April 20, 2020 12:17 pm
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

Transferring posts from Forum 2.0:

Glenwit » Jun 02, 2020 11:54 am

I discovered the actual implications of Eustace's limerick in the beginning of VDT for the first time not too long ago.

"People who go on about Narnia
Become gradually balmier and balmier"

"Balmy" is apparently an Americanization of "Barmy" - which is an old British adjective meaning 'mentally unstable' or 'insane'.

Essentially what he's saying is that "People who go on about Narnia become less in touch with their mental faculties every day".

It may not rhyme but it's still quite the burn.

Wunderkind_Lucy » Jun 04, 2020 3:52 pm

Varnafinde wrote:

Courtenay wrote: I'm guessing he felt that as Aslan is ordering the newly freed creatures to search the whole of the Witch's house for other statues, "Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber!" would fit with where they are and have a jokey ring to it, as young children would recognise the phrase and find it whimsical that Aslan is using it to refer to searching even in the Witch's bedroom while she's out.

Ultimately I think it does fall flat, and I assume it's a bit baffling for those in countries where the original rhyme isn't known, but it must have felt right to Lewis at the time when he wrote it (and unlike a few other things, he didn't decide to revise it for American readers), so there it is.

To me it sounded like a quotation even though I didn't know what he was quoting. The tone of it wasn't anything Aslan himself would use. Whether it was a common saying or not, I didn't know, and I didn't know about the nursery rhyme at the time.

Although I'm American, I am familiar with the rhyme, having read many nursery rhymes as a child. It's interesting to see how different readers perceive literary references.

As for me, I always have to laugh to myself when I am able to understand literary references. ;))

Glenwit wrote: I discovered the actual implications of Eustace's limerick in the beginning of VDT for the first time not too long ago.

"People who go on about Narnia
Become gradually balmier and balmier"

"Balmy" is apparently an Americanization of "Barmy" - which is an old British adjective meaning 'mentally unstable' or 'insane'.

Essentially what he's saying is that "People who go on about Narnia become less in touch with their mental faculties every day".

It may not rhyme but it's still quite the burn.

That's really interesting, Glenwit. I knew the limerick meant something like that but was unaware of the etymology of "balmy."

~Wunder

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

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Posted : June 5, 2020 2:41 pm
Reepicheep775
(@reepicheep775)
NarniaWeb Junkie

Posted by:@Courtney

I've since read in a commentary — Devin Brown's [i]Inside Narnia[/i] — that the rhyme originally referred to the Puritan dictator Oliver Cromwell's soldiers who marched out ("goose-stepping") to look for Catholic priests, who were persecuted by law and would hide away in "priest-holes" built into grand houses, especially behind the bedroom ("my lady's chamber"). A Catholic priest — one who "wouldn't say his prayers" in English using the Book of Common Prayer — could be imprisoned and tortured if caught, hence "threw him down the stairs." Brown concludes "We have no indication that Lewis knew the background behind the origins of the verse. In fact, we must assume that he did not, because if he had known its origins, he likely would not have chosen to include the lines in TLWW." ([i]Inside Narnia[/i], p. 229)

However, I'm aware it's a good idea to take purported nursery rhyme origins and meanings, especially sinister ones, with a grain of salt (like "Ring a Ring o' Roses" supposedly being about the plague... it's not). And as it turns out, going by [url= https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goosey_Goosey_Gander]Wikipedia[/url], the earliest known forms of the rhyme do NOT have any references to the old man who wouldn't say his prayers. The earliest known versions also date from the late 1700s, over 100 years after Cromwell, so I suspect the whole idea that it's about persecution of Catholic priests is a furphy. 8-| (That's Aussie English for an untrue rumour.)

That's all off topic as to WHY Lewis might have quoted the rhyme, anyway. Devin Brown also points out that, like Father Christmas in an earlier chapter, this is a surprising inclusion of something from our world that "may briefly break the spell for some readers, as its use may seem out of place in Narnia." It [i]does[/i] always seem a bit odd to me, although as I said, I don't remember how (or if) I reacted to it as a child.
Interesting. It would be an odd choice for Lewis to use that rhyme if he knew of its supposed origins - especially because, if anything, the White Witch seems more of a Puritan than Aslan. Both Jadis and Cromwell banned Christmas celebrations and decried gluttony, waste, and self-indulgence. 😛

But, you're probably right about being skeptical about theories of nursery rhyme origins. I don't know when scholars started being interested in them, but they must have existed for a long time before then, being told and re-told and possibly changing over time, without much concern over scholarly details.

Posted by: @col klink

I've wondered recently whether Lewis meant this line towards the end of The Silver Chair as foreshadowing.

(Rilian) ruled Narnia well and the land was happy in his days, though Puddleglum (whose foot was as good as new in three weeks) often pointed out that bright mornings brought on wet afternoons and that you couldn't expect good times to last.

In The Last Battle, a lot of bad things do happen in Narnia after Rilian's time. However, C.S. Lewis probably didn't intend this as foreshadowing since he also implies at the end of the book that Narnia still exists and that the reader might conceivably go there. Apparently, he hadn't planned out the story of The Last Battle yet. Still, it fits so well I can't help but wonder.

I've wondered that for years! I think it's likely a coincidence for the reasons [b]Courtney[/b] suggested. Narnia nerd that I am, I've never actually looked too closely into the timeline of Lewis's Narnia writing e.g. how long did it take him to finish each book, what books were finished when.

Even if it is just a "happy" accident, it's actually one of the perks of reading the series in chronological order (heresy, I know!). And it's not even just those last few lines. The overall gloomy atmosphere of SC, as if there are storm clouds on the horizon, leads in well to LB, even if the end of Narnia is still a couple hundred years away.

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Posted : June 9, 2020 2:48 pm
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

I believe I've posted about this elsewhere, but the term "Shadowlands" that appears in The Last Battle is very, very likely drawn to have been inspired by passages from George MacDonald's The Golden Key. I just ran across this quote on Google written by a seventeen-year old Lewis to his friend Arthur Greaves:

And talking of books I am surprised you don't say more of 'Golden Key': to me it was absolute heaven from the moment when Tangle ran into the wood to the glorious end in those mysterious caves. What a lovely idea: ‘The country from which the shadows fall’!

I read The Golden Key about once a year, and it's rather funny when you find yourself nodding in sympathetic agreement to something written by a teenager in 1916... sort of like a time traveler's book club. Tongue If I am ever so fortunate to meet Lewis in Aslan's Country, we are definitely going to be talking about MacDonald. Giggle

I've also listened to both Pints with Jack and The Lamp-post Listener talk about the Dufflepuds and the Magician in the past month or so, so they've both been on my mind lately, and it occurred to me today: the whole thing reminds me a lot of the Old Man of the Sea in The Golden Key. The Old Man presides over these fishes that are sent away to become more wonderful kind of creature, when they are finally ready:

... Tangle heard a strange noise, unlike anything she had ever heard before. She soon found that it was the fishes talking. She tried to understand what they said; but their speech was so old-fashioned, and rude, and undefined, that she could not make much of it.

"I will go and see about those fishes for my daughter," said the Old Man of the Sea.

The Old Man looked through the whole flock carefully for some minutes, and then turning to Tangle, said,

"I am sorry I have not got one ready yet. I want more time than she does. But I will send some as soon as I can."

He then shut the slide.

Presently a great noise arose in the sea. The old man opened the slide again, and tapped on the glass, whereupon the fishes were all as still as sleep.

"They were only talking about you," he said. "And they do speak such nonsense!"

But she could not help thinking how very sad it was for a poor old man to live there all alone, and have to take care of a whole seaful of stupid and riotous fishes.

I do like the Dufflepuds (despite some podcasters' feelings Giggle ), but this reminds me so much of their nonsense and Coriakin tasked with taking care of them all alone, and the conversation with Aslan where the Lion says that many stars will grow old before the Dufflepuds are ready to see him.

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

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Posted : June 28, 2020 11:00 pm
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