Thursday, May 26, 2005


In 1957 an American boy wrote C. S. Lewis to ask about the best order for reading The Chronicles of Narnia. The boy's mother believed the books should be read in order of their publication, beginning with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. But the boy thought it would be better to read them in order of Narnian history, beginning with the creation of the enchanted world in The Magician's Nephew.

C. S. Lewis wrote back to the boy, saying, "I think I agree with your order for reading the books more than with your mother's," and soon afterward the publishers began to number them in this way. But Lewis, who had written bits and pieces of the books at different times, also noted that the order probably didn't much matter: "I'm not even sure that all the [books] were written in the same order in which they were published." has published the Narnian Timeline according to C.S. Lewis. I don't recall for sure, but I believe my decision was to read them in the original order. But I vacillate back and forth and by the time summer arrives, I'll end up flipping a coin I suppose.

Original Order
1950 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

1951 Prince Caspian
1952 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
1953 The Silver Chair
1954 The Horse and His Boy
1955 The Magician's Nephew
1956 The Last Battle

The current numbering on the books:
1. The Magician's Nephew
2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
3. The Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian
5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair
7. The Last Battle


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