Happy Birthday Narnia!

Posted October 16, 2011 10:53 am by Glumpuddle

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis was first published on October 16, 1950… Exactly sixty-one years ago today!


To mark the occasion, we are inviting NarniaWebbers to share their first experience with Narnia. When did you discover it? What were your first impressions? How did you become such a big fan? Post your story in the comments section below. Also, check out this brief history of Narnia:

Here are some stories from the staff to start us off:

Tirian:

When I was about four years old I remember seeing “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” sitting on a table in our house. It was the old cover from the 70’s and it really captured my imagination. I really, really wanted to read the story but my parents said I was too young. I think they finally gave in when I was five. Growing up, LWW was one of the first β€œreal” books that I read (well they read it to me) and I just loved it! It really set the stage for my love of literature and Narnia at a very early age.

Starkat:

I have been reading “The Chronicles of Narnia” long enough that I don’t really remember when I got started reading them. I do remember checking out hardback copies from the library when I was pre-teenager. I used to watch the BBC Narnia films with a boy I used to babysit. I also got them from the library originally, but their copies were where I discovered that there was actually a sea serpent scene. As for the radio dramas, I started listening to those as they were released. I also remember going to see a stage version of “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” done with just a handful of props and a handful of people. When the book covers started changing, I had begun to buy my own set of Narnia books so I scrambled to buy a full set. I now have a set of pre-1994 covers in addition to a newer set. Narnia was a part of my childhood and I expect it to be a part of my life for years to come.

DiGoRyKiRkE:

I was introduced to Narnia at age 8. I was in 3rd grade at a Christian school, and our teacher had put LWW on the reading list. She’d read us one chapter per day (to give us a break). I remember feeling as if the story had brought me to life.

I was bullied a lot in school, and so my Mom pulled me out and homeschooled me. I suppose I’d forgotten about that children’s story from so long ago, but one day, while in a Christian bookstore (around age 12 or so), I found the Narnia section. I hadn’t known that there were more books in the series, so I saved up my allowance for weeks so that I could buy a set, and what a change has been made in my life ever since.

Those books were there for me at a time when few other things were. I don’t think people realize just how much they lean on dreams, until they’re forced to wake up and see the harsh truth that life is a cruel place. Narnia was my dream for many many years. It got me through some hard times, put a smile on my face, and brought me to a place like NarniaWeb, which I truly couldn’t imagine living without.

MountainFireflower:

My first ever introduction was through the Focus on the Family radio theater version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I was around 5 or 6, and I remember being read to as well as listening to the radio theater with my dad in the evenings. It was so special to me.

When I got older, I wondered what had happened after the adventures in LWW. At the end of the book, it had said there were more adventures, right? I wasn’t aware that there were more books, so I decided to write my own. I guess you could call them fan fiction. Thankfully, shortly after that, I discovered my dad’s old set of the Chronicles in our basement. And the rest, as they say, is history.

I love how the Chronicles, even though they are children’s books, are really still so relevant. They’ve been such a lovely part of my life, and as weird as it sounds, I’m thankful for Narnia and the way it’s impacted me.

glumPuddle:

My grandfather taught a college course on CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and Charles Williams, so I always saw Narnia books lying around when I went to his house. I vaguely remember watching bits of the BBC versions and having some of the books read to me when I was little. So, for a long time, Narnia was a blurry but mostly pleasant childhood memory.

One night in early 2001, I had a cold and was unable to sleep. So I got up, walked into the living room, and sat down. There, lying on the end table, was a box set of The Chronicles of Narnia (thankfully, they were in publication order). I casually picked up the first book, “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” meaning only to look at the cover to fight boredom, and maybe skim the first page… Before I knew it, hours had gone by and I was still reading. I read the series twice that year. “Wow,” I thought,”These aren’t warm fuzzy kids books after all. They’re actually really good. They’re actually compelling.”

The books bring back the magic and sense of possibility of storytime, and I love Lewis’ ability to take deep concepts and express them very simply. Every time I go back and re-read the series, I see it from a different perspective. I do not think I became a huge fan of the books because they are great reads; I became a fan because they are amazing re-reads… and re-re-reads… and re-re-re-reads…

Only the beginning of the adventures of Narnia!

What’s your story? Post it below!

15 Comments For This Story

  • Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    Ironically, my mom tried to read LWW out loud to me when I was young, but we never got past the second chapter. I decided to see the movie with my church years later (they gave me a bunch of free posters afterwards). I bought the book set and I started to read MN, but I wasn’t able to finish it before I saw LWW (and I remember the exact date and time).
    During the movie when Aslan dies, I was confused since I had already read the backs of the other books, so I knew that Aslan was in the other books. It all became clear after the resurrection. I absolutely fell in love with the movie and eventually the books as well.
    I can honestly say that I was never the same since then.

    • Praying Pevensie says:

      Yeah, I never heard of Narnia until the movie, but watched it in 2008. However, I read the books in 2009-No, 2008-I think. Anyway, once we read MN I could hardly put the book down. However, when we started, I was sick, and I had a radio show that I ended up doing that day anyway, so I did finish the first chapter and we went on into 23456789-I don’t know, I think there are only….8, but no time for math.

  • Alan Smith says:

    I was probably about ten years old when my sister read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" to me. I was so happy to find even more books about Narnia at the library. I read them all and have been a big fan ever since. Later in life I read them to my children. Now I collect different versions of the books. I also love the recent movies, even though the last two didn’t follow the books so much. I would love to see the rest made, but it’s probably not going to happen.

  • Sarah Cranford says:

    My dad read LWW out loud to me when I was 8 years old. He then read the other 6 to me in their publication order (PC, VDT, SC, HHB, MN, LB). A few years later, I read them by myself in the chronological order, which I preferred. When the first movie came out I was very excited. I went to see it with my parents on opening day. As the other movies came out I fell in love with them all just as I did the books (although, the books are still the best, I think). I also saw the other 2 on opening day with my parents. I have always been a huge Narnia fan, but it was through the movies that I really began to express it. I have just about every sort of Narnia anything you could think of, and all my friends know me as the Narnia Freak! lol! πŸ™‚ I hope they make all the books into movies, but at the rate they’re going, I’ll be out of college by the time they finish!! (I’m a freshman in college now.) I do wish the ones they made (especially PC & VDT) were a bit closer to the books. Oh well, at least we’ll always have the books and our imaginations! πŸ™‚

  • Narnian Princess says:

    The first time I discovered Narnia was when I was in 5th grade. I saw this big tarpaulin which said "Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; coming soon on theaters nationwide" in a mall in our place. At once, it caught my eye and as a Christmas treat, I watched it with my family. The movie touched my heart for sure, but that was all. I left Narnia for a while. Three years later, in 8th grade, a friend of mine acquainted me with our school library, and that was when I discovered that Narnia is actually a book series. I started reading every book starting from MN to LB. I fell in love with Narnia since then…
    I’m already 16 and I’ve read books by Twain, Dickens, Haddix, and by all the other authors but Lewis’s Narnia still remains as my personal favorite. πŸ™‚

    • Dylan says:

      Ouch, Dickens is hard, but thats what I like about Narnia the most, how simple it is!

      • Just Queen, not High Queen says:

        Yeah, I read Oliver Twist several years ago and I had to read Sparknotes after every chapter.

      • Dylan says:

        Hmmm… ever tried A Tale of Two Cities? I read like 20 chapters and after that I had enough. But, as hard as he is to read, he was and still is one of the most highly regarded and greatest writer of all time. The only one of his books thats easy is Christmas Carol, which is really good too.

      • Narnian Princess says:

        I haven’t read A Tale of Two Cities (yet). I’ve read Great Expectations by Dickens and, yes, it was hardcore reading! The story was great but I had to get a head massage after every chapter…XD
        I like Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol as well. I generally like Dickens’ books , although they give me quite a headache.
        But still, I find Narnia’s simplicity charming. πŸ™‚

      • Dylan says:

        I agree. Lord of the Rings is similar to Dickens’ work in the fact that its a harder read and uses older vocabulary, but Narnia wins for me as my favorite out of all of them.

  • Tom-Daniel says:

    I’ve loved Narnia ever since I was a child. I enjoyed the BBC series during Christmas, even though I didn’t understand it all. (Born and bread in Norway, but now live in the UK). The stories meant so much to me, symbolising much in my life. That is why my first tattoo was big drawing of Aslan on my lower leg.

  • Marta says:

    Hi my name is Marta and i really think that Silver chair should be the next movie because at the end of dawn treader Eustace’s mom say that Jill Pole is here to see him

  • Richard says:

    I first read LWW at school c1967. I collected all the books, and then used them to teach my cousin to read (her parents were Royal Engineers and my parents were guardians).
    I’m now reading them to my kids. They are eternal stories.

  • Richard says:

    Oh – mine the 1959 Puffin book/series!

  • Marianne says:

    My discovery of Narnia did not start from the books. I saw Narnia- Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Then I soon after found out there was a next movie, Narnia- Prince Caspian. I fell in love with the first movie, but I love the Prince Caspian more. It’s my favorite of all movies out so far. I love them all but that one just tops it for me. After watching Narnia- Prince Caspian, I heard after that they they were based on a book written by famous C.S Lewis. Then did I start to read… FELL IN LOVE WITH IT ALL! Read all the books and have been a fan ever since. πŸ˜€