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When did they change the order of the Narnia books?

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When did they change the order of the Narnia books?

Old 03-26-04, 08:47 PM
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When did they change the order of the Narnia books?

When I was a kid, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was the introduction to Narnia, and The Magician's Nephew was a flashback.

Reading The Magian's Nephew first doesn't work as well. I actually put a lot of thought into that when I was a kid. Going into the wardrobe is a great beginning to a story. Putting the explanation ahead of the thrill kind of deadens it.

It's a little like playing The Godfather parts I and II in chronological order.
Old 03-26-04, 09:39 PM
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They did it some time in the last 10-15 years. I agree with you; it's stupid to put them in chronological order. Fortunately, they're working on a big budget version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, not The Magician's Nephew.
Old 03-27-04, 04:45 AM
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http://cslewis.drzeus.net/faq.html

When Harper Collins took over the publication of the books in America, they decided to keep numbering the books, but on the recommendation of Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham, they adopted the order that follows Narnian Chronology.... This is also the order followed by the current British editions, published by Fontana Lions.
Maybe I'm being unfair but it seems to me that Douglas Gresham is what we would term "a bit of a smart-arse".
Old 03-27-04, 04:54 AM
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http://www.bookpage.com/9903bp/douglas_gresham.html

The issue of reading order has been debated for decades, as the chronology of Narnia is inconsistent with the order in which the books were written. Gresham had actually posed this question to Lewis himself. "He personally preferred that they be read in the order in which he designed them . . . not necessarily the order in which he wrote them or published them. Which is why, as a consultant, I suggested that they number the books in the order in which Jack wanted them read, Narnian chronology. That has created an enormous furor, lots of arguments and discussions . . . which I think is utterly pathetic," he laughs.
....carefully avoiding explaining what exactly is meant by "the order in which he designed them" and trampling over his step-father's work.
Old 03-27-04, 05:02 AM
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http://members.lycos.co.uk/Jonathan_Gregory76/faq.htm

As far as it can be ascertained here is the order in which C.S.Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
The Lefay Fragment (abandoned attempt at The Magicians Nephew)
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Horse and His Boy
The Silver Chair
The Magicians Nephew (Draft 1)
The Last Battle
The Magicians Nephew (Draft 2)
For more information on the development of the Chronicles below is a chronology charting when C.S.Lewis wrote each book:






DATEEVENT
Summer 1948C.S.Lewis begins writing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
10 March 1949C.S.Lewis read Roger Lancelyn Green the first two chapters of The Lion
14 June 1949Lewis reads the first two chapters of The Lefay Fragment to Green
Dec 1949Green reads the completed manuscript of Prince Caspian
Feb 1950 Green reads the completed manuscript of The Voyage of the 'Dawn Treader'
22 June 1950 The Inklings given proofs of the Lion
26 July 1950Green reads the completed manuscript of The Horse and His Boy
13 Nov 1950Lewis completes the first few chapters of The Silver Chair
March 1951Roger Lancelyn Green reads the completed version of The Silver Chair
May-June 1951At least half of The Magicians Nephew completed
Oct-Nov 1951 Three-quarters of The Magicians Nephew completed
Feb 1953Green reads the first half of The Last Battle
11 March 1953C.S.Lewis wrote to his publisher Geoffrey Bles to say 'You will hear with mixed feelings that I have just finished the seventh and really the last of the Narnian stories.'
Feb 1954Green reads the revised version of The Magicians Nephew
Old 03-27-04, 11:40 AM
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I personally like to read them in chronological order.
Old 03-27-04, 03:59 PM
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The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe is always first for me - maybe just because I READ it first, but maybe that's how Lewis felt as well, writing them.
Old 03-28-04, 06:00 PM
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Wow, i didnt even realize that they went back and renumbered the books. Personally, i like the original order, but in the end i don't think its a big deal. Kind of reminds me of the order to watch Star Wars in
Old 03-30-04, 10:47 AM
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i don't remember the books too well, but doesn't the lion, witch wardrobe introduce us to the "narnia world" ... the other ones would just throw you into that world without any introduction
Old 03-30-04, 03:46 PM
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i don't remember the books too well, but doesn't the lion, witch wardrobe introduce us to the "narnia world" ... the other ones would just throw you into that world without any introduction
No the Magician's Nephew is a similar story of humans entering a parallel world (it was actually pre-Narnia)

I don't know who renumbered it, but its a tragedy. Lion should be first.
Old 03-30-04, 08:08 PM
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I see that almost everyone's reasons for reading them in chrnological order deal with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I have yet to come across any reasons for reading the others out of order with the exception of "that is the way Lewis intended". I am very familar with Lesis' "popular" philosophy and want to read these, but I am leaning toward starting with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and then proceedging in chronological order after that.

Anyone have an opinion on this? Thanks.
Old 03-31-04, 07:30 PM
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I haven't read them in a while, but you're right, my major concern is with the placement of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I think that one should definitely be read first. Even if C.S. Lewis thinks they should be read in chronological order, that one was clearly written first. There are some parts in later books which are sort of "reveals" when reading them in the original order, but they lose their significance otherwise.
Old 04-26-04, 12:33 PM
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How on earth can you make them truly chronological without ripping pages out of 'Horse and his Boy' and inserting them before the ending of 'Lion Witch and Wardrobe' since these books overlap?

Last edited by Save Ferris; 04-26-04 at 12:37 PM.
Old 04-27-04, 09:46 AM
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I read the pages in chronological order.

Like I said, I put a lot of thought into it when I was a kid.
Old 04-29-04, 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by GoVegan
There are some parts in later books which are sort of "reveals" when reading them in the original order, but they lose their significance otherwise.
Exactly. TLTWATW should be read first. This order gives the reader the opportunity to make the connections themselves rather than having everything spelled out.
Old 01-22-06, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Verbal Gorilla
I see that almost everyone's reasons for reading them in chrnological order deal with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I have yet to come across any reasons for reading the others out of order with the exception of "that is the way Lewis intended". I am very familar with Lesis' "popular" philosophy and want to read these, but I am leaning toward starting with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and then proceedging in chronological order after that.

Anyone have an opinion on this? Thanks.
Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but it seems more relevant now, with the movie bringing more attention to the books.

I would agree with this. It's apparent that CS Lewis had always intended TLTWATW to be first. His first image of Narnia was the fawn and the lamp post, and I believe he always intended that to be the introduction to Narnia for new readers as well. However, I also believe that he had all the intention of following that book with Magician's Nephew, as it is apparent he had been working on that after the first book. So perhaps the proper order should be:
* 1.1 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
* 1.2 The Magician's Nephew
* 1.3 Prince Caspian
* 1.4 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
* 1.5 The Silver Chair
* 1.6 The Horse and His Boy
* 1.7 The Last Battle

It seems to be up to interpretation as to what he intended the original construct of the stories to be, but seeing as he started working on Magician's Nephew following Wardrobe, I think it would be logical to follow the first story with the prequel then go back into Narnia with the kids in Caspian and go from there.

Just an opinion, of course.

I doubt any publisher would ever adopt that order. If the books get reordered again, it will be back to the original order, should the order of the movies make that more popular again.
Old 01-22-06, 11:01 PM
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The stepson re-ordered the books, but I think he did so having read TLWATW first. So he wasn't 'spoiled'

Obviously I think it is a bad decision.

Lion/Witch/Wardrobe is obviously THEMATICALLY first.

Whether Magician's Nephew is second or sixth is debatable, but having Magician's Nephew before Wardrobe is just wrong.

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