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 “real” 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

  • danimal says:

    In the Winter of 1973 while visiting the Campus Crusade for Christ "Solution Bowl" in Dallas, a friend mentioned that a complete set of TCON was for sale in the CCC book store. I had no idea who CSLewis was but the deal looked good and I bought a box set for $10. After reading the first chapter of LWW, I was hooked. As of date, I’ve read them at least 9 times. I now attend as often as I can the CSLewis Foundation Conference held in Austin Texas.

    When I first saw Willow by Ron Howard, I knew it would be only a matter of time before a live action of LWW will happen. Decades later now 3 are done!

  • Aaron Roadnight says:

    I was first introduced to Narnia through my dad who brought the narnia books home for me and read them to me. He read me the books including voices and making the books exciting. I think one of the biggest reasons for my loving narnia is because when i was ten years old my dad read me the books. I also love the movies!!!!!!!!!

  • Samuel says:

    My first introduction to LWW was the 1970’s movie, I loved it as a kid and would often reenact the story in play. I was aware that the book existed, also was curious about the other books, but didn’t realize they were a series and as I was not an avid reader, and my family weren’t readers, so It did not really occur to me to read them, a few year later I remember reading the magicians nephew, because well I was always fascinated by how things start, the invention, the discovery, and how things work, I absolutely loved it and started reading LWW afterward, but again I am not an avid reader I only got through half of that book for some strange reason… Jump forward to the 2005 movie, after seeing this I was determined to read it, so I bought an all-in-one edition and read it through, and I have since read it several times through. I think my favourite book in the series is PC, or maybe MN, or LWW, or HHB, or…

  • Year4 says:

    When i was 8, my teacher read the whole class LWW. I thought it was the best book ever and read all of them afterwards.

  • StarAsterisk says:

    When I was about 10 we got Magician’s Nephew on audio book from the library. We where all hooked we listened to all the books over and over again! It was wonderful hearing them for the first time, but now whenever I read them I notice something new and the get even better!

  • Thomas says:

    My wife was from Chicago. After we were married and living in St. Louis, we would travel to Chicago to visit her parents. The drive was rather flat and boring (not much else by corn fields),so in order to keep me awake and focused on the road she began reading the Chronicles of Narnia to me. I fell in love with the books and ever since have read them to my classes during the school year. I have now read the series 32 times, never tiring from reading them orally to my class.

  • Christine says:

    It was in 2009 and what the really cool thing is, I first read The Dawn Treader(I wanted to read it because I heard the third narnia movie was coming out and I wasn’t much of a fan.) On October 16th! I read DT in three days and read the rest of them in the order of Dw,SC,LB,LWW,PC,MN, and HBB. haha I know weird order. When I was reading LB for the first time I was like "Whos Diggory and Pollly….???" and when I read MN, of course, I got it. I was the first to read the books in my family, then I made my older sister. I have read the series…almost three times now. I read the books for my Lit. and I thought that was totally awesome and made homeschooling(Still am) then great. And when I was finished with them, I actually felt like I had lost a friend. Then, I received them for my birthday the same year:)

    • Christine says:

      And Actually, maybe a couple years before my story above, I tried to read Prince Caspian because that movie was coming out then. But I just couldn’t get into it and all. But then in 2009….

  • Phoebe says:

    My first experience with The Chronicles of Narnia was when I saw the first movie. The first time I saw it I thought yeah, this is a good movie but I wasn’t so astonished. But then the second time I saw it(about a year later) I was like OMG I LOVE THIS MOVIE!! And that was when I started to love The Chronicles of Narnia. And I remember that I was at the movies one day (also like a year later or smth) and I saw the poster of Prince Caspian and I realised that they are going to release another Narnia movie and I just couldn’t wait for it. I still love these storys and I’m sure I always will.

  • parableproductions says:

    I first heard of the books in 1981 when I was in college. In fact, that’s when I first heard of C.S. Lewis. I was taking a New Testament Survey class and we where supposed to write a term paper on any book that you could use as support or illustrations in a sermon – Lewis was one of the authors that the professor mentioned. So, I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and wrote my paper on it (by the way, I still remember that I got an A on that paper with some pretty awesome comments from my professor). I have never enjoyed a reading assignment for class more! I was definitely hooked! I borrowed the rest of the books and read them in the order they were first published (and I think the spiritual lessons that are in the books correlate with our spiritual walk in that order). I remember how excited I got reading The Last Battle – it gave me the feeling that I really had a little glimpse of Heaven. I’ve read the books many times – but about 3 years ago, I started reading them to my mom. She had Alzheimer’s and I was trying to find books that we could enjoy together. We went through all of the books and even at her worst, she laughed in the right spots and even made a few comments on some of the lessons. Mama passed away this past June and we finished reading the books again in March. She enjoyed them so much! So, now Narnia is even more dear to me than before because of the joy that it brought to my mom – and now she is experiencing "further up and further in" for herself.

    • Praying Pevensie says:

      How old are you? I thought everyone from Narnia web was teenagers!

      "Which I now am!!!)

      • parableproductions says:

        No, not everyone here is a teenager – if you read some of the other comments, I don’t even think I’m the oldest. But, I’m 49 and still love The Chronicles of Narnia even more than I did when I read them the first time I read them.

      • parableproductions says:

        gee, you’d think someone as old as I am could type better! I got interrupted – and well….

  • krazykat_randi says:

    I actually never read the books until I was 19 and married. I saw them at the book store as a boxed set, and decided to see what all the hype was about. Couldn’t put them down. Loved them. For many years, I read them every year. Now I read them every couple of years. Was so excited when the movies started coming out, and am sorry it will take so many years for the rest of the movies to get made. But it does give me something to look forward to. Hope narniaweb.com stays here, and keeps the emailing list for the newsletter so you can let us know when anything new comes out. It would be a shame for this forum to go away.

  • Ajman says:

    Years before the Lion the Witch and the wardrobe came out my sister was a huge fan of the book series. I wondered why she loved those books so much. (I saw the BBC series before or after I read some of the books I can’t remember) They were terrible movies but they gave me an idea of how awesome the world of narnia was. Anyway I read the first couple of books (in chronological order) before The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe came out, and really enjoyed them. A while later I read the rest of the series. I LOVED them. I read them over and over again countless times. And I have been following the movies on narniaweb since before the Prince Caspian movie came out. I have greatly enjoyed the movies (except for Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I did not like it half as much as the other two). The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was great as well as Prince Caspian. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader kind of sucked from an adaptation standpoint but it was still ok in my opinion.
    When I look back I can not think of any books more meaningful to me than The Chronicles of Narnia. They are the books that got me into reading. And I get more out of these books every time I read them. I have even started to read some of C.S. Lewis’s other books.
    I doubt any of them will ever see this but I would like to give shout outs to Glumpuddle, Princerilian, and aminotaursjourney. I have watched your videos on youtube and liked hearing your points of view.

  • Talhuman says:

    In 1959 I started school in the fourth grade at Sidwell Friends in Washington, DC. At that time the library at Sidwell was a Quonset hut. The librarian as I remember read to us from “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. Her reading was the beginning of my reading journey, for which I am forever grateful

  • Kari says:

    I read the Narnia series to my second grade son MANY years ago and as we finished each book I cried – he didn’t understand why. As he grew up he used them for school book reports and even gave them as gifts to friends children. I know the seeds of faith have been planted and now he is an independent young man. He is an exceptionally GOOD person that gives of himself sacrificially.

  • DigoryKirke says:

    i first heard of narnia when i was 7, through a phone call when my uncle’s ex-girlfriend invited me to watch the play called, the lion the witch and the wardrobe. i was curious and agreed. as i was watching it, i was touched and cried and became addicted to it. years later i heard that there will be a movie entitled The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I was thrilled to see it. and eversince then, i became the ultimate narnia master in muntinlupa city, metro manila, philippines. 🙂

  • Narnian Rose says:

    My dad read these books when he was younger. Then he read them to me multiple times when I was younger. I love these books and the christian messages behind them. I hope they figure out what to do soon. Happy birthday Narnia!

  • Aslan says:

    I don’t mind it’s the Narnia’s birthday… 🙁

  • Reepicheeps Archer says:

    Saw the play saw the movie saw pc and i was hooked from there! Still am!!:)

  • FrecklefaceJill says:

    Well, I read the Narnia series in first or second grade and have loved them ever since! I saw the LWW a week before I turned eight, I remember it well. 🙂

  • jill says:

    My aunt gave me the whole set for christmas. I was disappointed, can you imagine . Well i’m awfully glad she didn’t give me the usual Barbie.

    • Praying Pevensie says:

      My stupid uncle gave me one of those big Narnia books with PC on it. I first heard of Narnia though when the first movie came out, but didn’t see it uncle 2007. I wasn’t really a Narnia fan.

  • Narnia says:

    I’m sorry, but someone could explain what "LWW" means? I’m brazilian and cant recognizize all symbolls you are used to use…

    • Praying Pevensie says:

      Don’t worry about it Narnia. When I first came here, my whole outlook on Narnia changed! (For better and worse.) Anyway, ok. Here it goes…..

      LWW means Lion, Witch and Wardrobe,
      VDT means Voyage of the Dawn treader
      PC means Prince Caspain
      HHB means the Horse and his boy,
      LB means the Last battle,
      MN means Magician nephew,
      Let me know if you need anything else. = )
      When did you first hear of Narnia?

  • 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! 🙂 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! 🙂

  • 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. 🙂

    • 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. 🙂

      • 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. 😀