Both ardent C.S. Lewis fans and newcomers to the Narnia movie series are excited about the second installment, “Prince Caspian,” hitting theatres in May 2008. The first movie, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” grossed over $740 million worldwide, and Devin Brown, nationally recognized expert on C.S. Lewis and author of Inside Narnia, one of the most popular books about Lewis’ Chronicles, offers a sneak peak into the newest story in the series with Inside Prince Caspian.
Brown’s literary approach and references to the “very best” of other Lewis scholars provide a unique background to both the original Narnia books and the coming movie release. Brown discusses literature that influenced Lewis, including works by Shakespeare and Tolkien, as well as correlations between the story and his life.
Already at work on the next volume in the series, Brown is spending the time to cover each of the seven Chronicles of Narnia with an entire book, rather than just a single chapter – as is typically the case in other books about the Chronicles.
Brown’s book by book approach to the series also provides some of the most detailed insights available. In Inside Prince Caspian, Brown takes the original book chapter by chapter, providing commentary and unfolding Lewis’s intentions throughout the story, with corresponding chapter names and numbers. Each chapter ends with discussion questions which can be used by reading groups, as topics for papers, or for further reflection. A bibliography is provided at the end.
Inside Prince Caspian comes out in advance of the second film adaptation by Walden Media and Disney. As the film generates renewed interest in Narnia, Inside Prince Caspian will be useful for groups and individuals who want to learn more about Lewis’s original work.
Brown notes, “Most of the material in both my Narnia books comes out of the college class I teach on Lewis. My students deserve credit for raising many of the issues I have written about. Their questions and genuine interest helped inspire me to write my first book on Narnia. Its success reminded me of the special place that the Chronicles hold in many people’s lives.
Inside Narnia, currently in its sixth printing, was “highly recommended” by Library Journal and was praised as “well-written and readable” by BookPage. Inside Prince Caspian continues in the same clearly written and easy-to-understand style.
Keep an eye out for an interview with Devin Brown, coming up next.