The Magician’s Nephew

The Magician's Nephew
Author: C.S. Lewis
Publication Date: 1955
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
Dedication: To The Kilmer Family

Summary: Narnia … where Talking Beasts walk … where a witch awaits … where a new world is about to be born.

On a daring quest to save a beloved life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the Great Lion Aslan’s song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will become known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible …

From HarperCollins: (Spoiler Alert! Skip if you haven’t read it)

Digory and Polly discover a secret passage that links their houses, and are tricked into vanishing out of this world and into the World of Charn, where they wake up the evil Queen Jadis. There, they witness the creation of the Land of Narnia, as it is sung into being by the Great Lion, Aslan.

Narnia already existed through The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, because C. S. Lewis actually wrote that book first. What he had to do in The Magician’s Nephew was to explain the story behind the story and to fill in some of the gaps. Why was there a lamp-post in Narnia? Where did the White Witch come from? And why were there Talking Animals like Mr. and Mrs. Beaver? And, most important of all, how did the comings and goings between our world and the land of Narnia first begin?

Many years ago, two children called Polly Plummer and Digory Kirke become friends because they happen to be living next door to each other in London. Digory is staying with his uncle and aunt because his father is working in India and his mother is very ill. Unfortunately for Digory, his uncle is both evil and weak. He is also a magician …

… the very first thing uncle Andrew did was to walk across to the door of the room, shut it and turn the key in the lock. Then he turned round, fixed the children with his bright eyes, and smiled, showing all his teeth. “I am delighted to see you,” he said. “two children are just what I wanted…”

Terrifyingly, Uncle Andrew wants to experiment with magic but he hasn’t the courage to try it on himself. The children are tricked into taking part and even though they are much braver and more sensible than he is, they are quite unprepared for what happens next.

The story leads the reader into the Wood between the Worlds.

The trees grew close together and were so leafy that Digory could get no glimpse of the sky. All the light was green light that came through the leaves; but there must have been a very strong sun overhead, for this green daylight was bright and warm. It was the quietest wood you could imagine and you could almost feel the trees growing.

This is the gateway to many different kinds of worlds, from the desolate Charn where Queen Jadis once ruled through fear and cruelty, to a world not yet created. It is here that Digory and Polly meet Aslan for the first time and Aslan begins the wonderful song of creation which brings about the dawn of the first day in Narnia.

If you read on you will discover how Queen Jadis (who later becomes the White Witch) escapes from Charn; how the very first King and Queen of Narnia are chosen; and how Digory is almost tempted by Jadis to steal the Apple of Life. The book also tells how a very famous wardrobe came to be made and why, many years later, four other children could slip through the “chinks and chasms” between our world and the land of Narnia!

Related Music

Characters of The Magician’s Nephew

Chapters

  1. The Wrong Door
  2. Digory and his Uncle
  3. The Wood Between Worlds
  4. The Bell and the Hammer
  5. The Deplorable Word
  6. The Beginning of Uncle Andrew’s Troubles
  7. What Happened at the Front Door
  8. The Fight at the Lamp Post
  9. The Founding of Narnia
  10. The First Joke and Other Matters
  11. Digory and his Uncle are Both in Trouble
  12. Strawberry’s Adventure
  13. An Unexpected Meeting
  14. The Planting of the Tree
  15. The End of This Story and the Beginning of All Others