Tuesday, 13 December 2011

C S Lewis - 8

The central table in the reading room depicts a map of Narnia.

A total of eleven named humans from Earth have entered Narnia, four boys, two men, four girls, and a woman.

The four Pevensie children are the best known: Peter Pevensie (High King Peter the Magnificent), Susan Pevensie (Queen Susan the Gentle), Edmund Pevensie (King Edmund the Just), and Lucy Pevensie (Queen Lucy the Valiant). All of them appear in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and in Prince Caspian. Edmund and Lucy appear in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and all of them appear (but Peter, who is out fighting giants on the northern frontier) as adults in The Horse and his Boy.

Others from our world include King Frank (who had been a cabman in London) and his wife Queen Helen, who were the first King and Queen of Narnia and whose descendants lived in Narnia for many generations. They, together with Uncle Andrew Ketterley, Digory Kirke, and Polly Plummer appear in The Magician's Nephew. Eustace Scrubb, a cousin of the Pevensies, appears in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair, and Jill Pole, a schoolmate of Scrubb's, also appears in The Silver Chair. All of these except for Susan Pevensie and Uncle Andrew appear in The Last Battle.

There were also about a dozen unnamed humans from our world (six pirates and their women) who repopulated the unpeopled land of Telmar and founded the race of the Telmarines. As Aslan says in Prince Caspian, they accidentally found in a cave "one of the chinks or chasms between that world and this" (i.e. between our world and Narnia), and he adds, "There were many chinks or chasms between worlds in old times, but they have grown rarer. This was one of the last: I do not say the last." So quite possibly others came to Narnia from our world as well, but Lewis did not record their histories for us.

Humans from Earth are sometimes referred to as Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve by Narnians, a reference to C. S. Lewis' Christian worldview.

Although he is not a human, Strawberry, the cabman's horse, also entered Narnia from our world and there was chosen to be a talking beast and transformed into the winged horse Fledge.

During this Advent Season, we are preparing for Christ to enter our world.

When came in flesh the incarnate Word,
the heedless world slept on,
and only simple shepherds heard
that God had sent his Son.

When comes the Saviour at the last,
from east to west shall shine
the awful pomp, and earth aghast
shall tremble at the sign.

Then shall the pure of heart be blest;
as mild he comes to them,
as when upon the virgin's breast
he lay at Bethlehem.

As mild to meek eyed love and faith,
only more strong to save;
strengthened by having bowed to death,
by having burst the grave.

Lord, who could dare see thee descend
in state, unless he knew
thou art the sorrowing sinner's Friend,
the gracious and the true?

Dwell in our hearts, O Saviour blest;
so shall thine advent's dawn
'twixt us and thee, our bosom-guest,
be but the veil withdrawn.

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