The Magician’s Nephew

“infobox Book “
name The Magician’s Nephew
image caption 2005 HarperCollins Edition
author C.S. Lewis
country England
language English language
genre(s) Young adult, fantasy
publisher HarperCollins
release date 1955
media type Paperback
pages 221

Narnia is one of many magical worlds. C.S. Lewis wrote this story of the genesis of Narnia in his sixth work on Narnia. In this story, which takes place in the late nineteenth century in London, two children, Polly and Digory, are sent out of this world by Digory’s evil Uncle Andrew.

Digory is in London because his mother is dying. Uncle Andrew is an arrogant visionary who believes that the rules of morality do not apply to him. He has made two types of rings from magic dust, one he thinks will send the children to another world and one will bring them back from that world. He tricks Polly into touching the yellow ring whereupon she vanishes; then he tells Digory about the green rings which he believes will bring them back and shames Digory into going to rescue Polly.

Polly and Digory soon find out that Uncle Andrew is wrong about the rings. The yellow rings send them into a wood between the worlds where there are many small ponds of water. Each pond leads to a different world when one wears the green rings. Digory and Polly decide to explore one of the other worlds.

The world they land in is an old world called Charn. There they find no living creature until they inadvertently wake up Jadis, who had been the evil Queen of Charn. It was she who had spoken the word of magic that killed every living thing on her world. Now she was anxious to find new worlds to conquer so she forces Digory and Polly to take her back to their world.

There Jadis causes an increasing amount of turmoil, until Polly and Digory manage to take her, Uncle Andrew, a hansom cab driver, Frank; and his horse, Strawberry, all with them to the wood between the world. Then as they try to escape Jadis, they jump into the wrong pond and end up in a world of darkness.

Soon they here singing, which the children and the Cabby think is the most beautiful music they have ever heard. It is Aslan calling Narnia into being. Aslan creates the sky and the sea, the stars and the moon, the plants and the trees, and the animals, birds and fish. The ground is so new and growing that when Jadis throws and iron bar she had broken from a lampost in our world, it grows into a lampost.

It is this lampost that the children find in the first Narnia story. Aslan then comes to the humans. Jadis runs away. Uncle Andrew faints; but the children and Frank the Cabby are enchanted. Aslan makes Frank the first King of Narnia and brings his wife from our world to Narnia. He makes Strawberry a flying, talking horse and changes his name from Strawberry to Fledge.

Then to protect the new world from the evil Jadis, Aslan sends Digory on a quest to get a special apple from a certain tree. Digory gets the apple and after he picks it he sees that Jadis has already eaten one. She tempts him to eat the apple, saying it will give eternal life. Digory resists the temptation and brings the apple to Aslan who plants it saying that since the witch has eaten the apple, she now will loath them. He then gives Digory an apple to take to his mother which will make her well.

After the children return to our world and give Digory’s mother the apple, they plant the seeds along with the rest of Uncle Andrew’s rings and magic dust in the yard. The apple grows into a tree which is later cut down and made into a wardrobe which Digory, who becomes Professor Kirke, brings to his house in the country.

Thus the genesis of all of the Narnia stories is told and connected.

As always it is easy to see the biblical allegory of the story in the creation of Narnia and in the story of the apple from the Tree of Life. Lewis wrote this story as the sixth in the series (although in modern collections it is often the first) to tell of Narnia’s creation before he tells of its destruction in his seventh and last Narnia tale, The Last Battle.

External Links

Magicians Nephew, The
Magicians Nephew, The
Magicians Nephew, The