Of Mice & Marshwiggles – Forty Days in Narnia – Prelude
About these words:
Over the next few days I hope to post a series of reflections about the Chronicles of Narnia
They were written in 2011 as a Lent Course for daily reading so please be alert that some of the words are set in the context of that year. However the words may be more useful to read at any time of any year.
I would hope that these daily reflections would be able to read by themselves and no one would need to feel that they have to be intimately acquainted with every corner of Narnia to benefit from them.
For that reason what follows is a short synopsis of each of the Narnia Chronicles to help everyone find their place in each of the stories since extracts from several of them are used over the next forty posts.
Each day there will be one or two extracts from the Chronicles, a reflection, a prayer and a suggestion for action. Some of the extracts will be longer than others, some will be brief and poignant but I hope all of them will be helpful
The Chronicles of Narnia – A Short Synopsis
The Magician’s Nephew (1955). The prequel of the Chronicles The Magician’s Nephew brings the reader to the beginning of Narnia where we learn how Aslan created the world and how evil first entered it. Digory Kirke and his friend Polly Plummer stumble into different worlds by experimenting with magic rings made by Digory’s uncle, encounter Jadis (The White Witch) in the dying world of Charn, and witness the creation of Narnia. Many long-standing questions about Narnia are answered in the adventure that follows.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Professor Digory Kirke‘s house that leads to the magical land of Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan, a talking lion, save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who has reigned over the kingdom of Narnia for a century of perpetual winter. The children become kings and queens of this new-found land and establish the Golden Age of Narnia, leaving a legacy to be rediscovered in later books.
The Horse and His Boy (1954) takes place during the reign of the Pevensies in Narnia, an era which begins and ends in the last chapter of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The story is about Bree, a talking horse, and a young boy named Shasta, both of whom have been held in bondage in Calormen. By chance, they meet each other and plan their return to Narnia and freedom. Along the way they meet Aravis, who is a Tarkheena – a Calormene Princess – and her talking horse Hwin who are also escaping to Narnia.
Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951) tells the story of the Pevensie children’s second trip to Narnia. They are drawn back by the power of Susan’s horn, blown by Prince Caspian to summon help in his hour of need. Narnia as they knew it is no more. Their castle is in ruins and all the dryads have retreated so far within themselves that only Aslan’s magic can wake them. Caspian has fled into the woods to escape his uncle, Miraz, who had usurped the throne. The children set out once again to save Narnia.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952) returns Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, along with their priggish cousin, Eustace Scrubb, to Narnia. Once there, they join Caspian’s voyage on the ship Dawn Treader to find the seven lords who were banished when Miraz took over the throne. This perilous journey brings them face to face with many wonders and dangers as they sail toward Aslan’s country at the end of the world.
The Silver Chair (1953) is the first Narnia book without the Pevensie children. Instead, Aslan calls Eustace back to Narnia together with his classmate Jill Pole. There they are given four signs to aid in the search for Prince Rilian, Caspian’s son, who disappeared after setting out ten years earlier to avenge his mother’s death. Eustace and Jill, with the help of Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle, face danger and betrayal before finding Rilian.
The Last Battle (1956) chronicles the end of the world of Narnia. Jill and Eustace return to save Narnia from Shift, an ape, who tricks Puzzle, a donkey, into impersonating the lion Aslan, precipitating a showdown between the Calormenes who worship the demon Tash and King Tirian.
Source: Wikipedia – March 2011