Why C.S. Lewis Dedicated “Prince Caspian” to Mary Clare Havard

Look for “Did you know” articles on Narniaweb on the first of every month.

Mary Clare Havard was one of five children. Her father was Dr. Robert Emlyn “Humphrey” Havard, who was one of the Inklings. Dr. Havard was Lewis’ family physician and the only member of the Inklings who was not a literary writer. Dr. Havard was also one of the witnesses of Lewis’ civil marriage to Joy Davidman. The character Humphrey in Perelandra is named after one of Dr. Havard’s many nicknames.

According to Inside Prince Caspian: A Guide to Exploring the Return to Narnia by Devin Brown, Mary Clare Havard had read and liked a typescript of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. And in Walter Hooper’s C.S. Lewis: A Companion and Guide, an included letter indicates that Mary Clare Havard “brought up” her own children on Narnia.

4 Responses

  1. johobbit says:

    From what I recall in my readings, another nickname for Dr. Havard by both Lewis and Tolkien was “The Useless Quack”, ha. Affectionately, of course.

  2. Courtenay says:

    Ha ha — a very British way of showing affection, that is!

  3. Courtenay says:

    Thanks for the “Did you know?”, Dot! It’s the 70th anniversary of the publication of Prince Caspian this year, of course (and the rest of the series in succession up until 2026 for The Last Battle), so it’s good to learn a bit more about how each book came to be.
    Lovely to know that Mary Clare brought up her own children on Narnia — it must have been a thrill to have one of those books dedicated to her! I’d love to see articles about the dedications of all the other Chronicles too as we get to their anniversaries… hint, hint? :o)

  4. Dot says:

    No promises, but featuring each of the dedications even if they don’t line up with the anniversaries might be on the list. 😉