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

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    DescriptionOver the years, scholars have labored to show that C. S. Lewis's famed 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 nature of Narnia's symbolism has remained a puzzle. Michael Ward has finally solved the mystery. In Planet Narnia, he argues convincingly 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 Drawing on the whole range of Lewis's writings (including previously unpublished drafts of the Chronicles), Ward shows that the Narnia stories were designed to express the characteristics of the seven medieval planets - the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter 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 the story-line in each book, countless points of ornamental detail, and, most important, the portrayal of the Christ-figure of Aslan, all serve to communicate the governing planetary personality. For instance, in The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader," the sun is the prevailing planetary spirit: magical water turns things to gold, the solar metal; Aslan is seen flying in a sunbeam; and the sun's rising place is actually identified as the destination of the plot: "the very eastern end of the world." Planet Narnia is a ground-breaking study that will provoke a major reassessment not only of the Chronicles, but of Lewis's whole literary and theological outlook, revealing him to be a much subtler writer and thinker than has previously been recognized.

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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: Hardback
    Number of pages: 384
    Width: 164 mm
    Height: 240 mm
    Thickness: 31 mm
    Weight: 708 g
    ISBN 13: 9780195313871
    ISBN 10: 0195313879

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T3.7
    B&T Book Type: NF
    DC22: 823.912
    BIC E4L: LIT
    BIC subject category V2: DSBH, FQ
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: TP028
    Ingram Spring Arbor Market: Y
    Ingram Theme: RELI/CHRIST
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15440
    B&T General Subject: 690
    BIC subject category V2: DSY
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 04
    Ingram Subject Code: LC
    DC22: 823/.912
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T Merchandise Category: POD
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 35
    BISAC V2.8: REL013000
    LC subject heading: ,
    LC classification: PR6023.E926 Z945 2008
    LC subject heading:
    Thema V1.0: DSY, FN, DSBH
    Illustrations note
    8 black-and-white halftones, 15 line illustrations
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    03 March 2008
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Michael Ward is Chaplain of Peterhouse, the oldest of the colleges that constitute the University of Cambridge. A leading authority on C.S.Lewis, he lived and worked for three years in "The Kilns"-which was once Lewis's Oxford home. He is co-editing the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis
    Review quote
    ...remarkable thesis... Tom Wright, Times Literary Supplement Michael Ward has written a book whose 'donegality' is the medieval scholarship, the poetic craftsmanship, the philosophical acumen and the imaginative genius of the self-conciously Jovial Lewis himself. Tom Wright, Times Literary Supplement 'Planet Narnia' is a valuable and excellently argued contribution to our understanding and enjoyment of the Nariad. Revelatory book. Peter Costello, The Irish Catholic Brilliant study. Murrough O'Brian, Independent On Sunday.