• Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis See large image

    Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis (Paperback) By (author) Michael Ward

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    DescriptionFor over half a century, scholars have laboured to show that C. S. Lewis's famed but apparently disorganised Chronicles of Narnia have an underlying symbolic coherence, pointing to such possible unifying themes as the seven sacraments, the seven deadly sins, and the seven books of Spenser's Faerie Queene. None of these explanations has won general acceptance and the structure of Narnia's symbolism has remained a mystery. Michael Ward has finally solved the enigma. In Planet Narnia he demonstrates that medieval cosmology, a subject which fascinated Lewis throughout his life, provides the imaginative key to the seven novels. Drawing on the whole range of Lewis's writings (including previously unpublished drafts of the Chronicles), Ward reveals how the Narnia stories were designed to express the characteristics of the seven medieval planets - - Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn - - planets which Lewis described as "spiritual symbols of permanent value" and "especially worthwhile in our own generation". Using these seven symbols, Lewis secretly constructed the Chronicles so that in each book the plot-line, the ornamental details, and, most important, the portrayal of the Christ-figure of Aslan, all serve to communicate the governing planetary personality. The cosmological theme of each Chronicle is what Lewis called 'the kappa element in romance', the atmospheric essence of a story, everywhere present but nowhere explicit. The reader inhabits this atmosphere and thus imaginatively gains connaitre knowledge of the spiritual character which the tale was created to embody. Planet Narnia is a ground-breaking study that will provoke a major revaluation not only of the Chronicles, but of Lewis's whole literary and theological outlook. Ward uncovers a much subtler writer and thinker than has previously been recognized, whose central interests were hiddenness, immanence, and knowledge by acquaintance.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Planet Narnia

    Planet Narnia
    The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Michael Ward
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 384
    Width: 154 mm
    Height: 232 mm
    Thickness: 26 mm
    Weight: 567 g
    ISBN 13: 9780199738700
    ISBN 10: 019973870X

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T3.7
    BIC subject category V2: DSK
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC language qualifier (language as subject) V2: 2AB
    DC22: 823.912
    BIC E4L: LIT
    BIC subject category V2: DSBH
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET030
    Ingram Theme: CULT/BRITIS
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: TP028
    Ingram Theme: RELI/CHRIST
    B&T General Subject: 690
    BIC subject category V2: DSY
    LC classification: BV
    Ingram Subject Code: LC
    BISAC V2.8: LIT004120
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25740
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: REL013000, LIT004260
    Abridged Dewey: 242
    BISAC V2.8: LIT009000
    BIC subject category V2: 2AB
    Thema V1.0: QRM, AB, DSY, DSK, DSBH
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    27 May 2010
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Michael Ward is a priest of the Church of England and Chaplain of St Peter's College, Oxford
    Review quote
    Wards thesis is taut and compelling, and requires intelligent engagement: this isnt a book to dabble in while half-listening to the cricket. But it is the best book Ive read since well, since at least this one. Daniel Hannan, The Telegrapg.co.uk If Ward is wrong, his is the most beautiful mistake in modern literary criticism. But I don't think he is wrong. Daniel Hannan, The Telegraph.co.uk The whole book is so engagingly written, and so illuminating about medieval symbolism in general. Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian