Anniversary of Saying Farewell to Narnia

Last Battle (double)Nearly sixty years ago today the final book in Narnia series was released in England. The Last Battle came out in the U.K. on March 19, 1956 to the great anticipation of many just ten months after learning about how Narnia started. Now with this book children and adults alike would learn of how it ended in a final battle. Not many are aware, however, that Lewis actually finished The Last Battle before completing (the now listed as the first book) The Magician’s Nephew. In fact according to a letter by Lewis himself written March 2, 1953 he had just finished writing the ending story to Narnia. Another couple of other little known facts about this book is that is the only in the series that it is not dedicated to anyone and that it won the Carnegie Medal in Literature (you can learn about other events in Lewis’s life at my site where I do a weekly series about what happened in his life over the years).

I recall when first reading this book about how the style was so much different to me…but not in any bad sense. While it is not the only story in the series that begins in Narnia it had a different tone to it; this was likely because of the undeniable fact that the beloved land was ending as stated by the opening line, “In the last days of Narnia…” The interaction between Shift and Puzzle had me almost saying out loud to Puzzle, “How can you let him twist everything to make it all about him!”

One of the many good quotes touches on a key theme found in the book.

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”

The depiction of Heaven given in The Last Battle is the most fully developed pictures of it found in any of Lewis’s writings.

The skeptical dwarves who refuse to be “taken in” (from chapter 13) has always stood out in my mind. That chapter ends with Aslan stating,

“They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.”

Let me know your favorite parts in The Last Battle with your comments below!

10 Responses to “Anniversary of Saying Farewell to Narnia”

  1. Mercy says:

    It’s an awesome book and always makes me cry, first from sadness and then from joy.

    I remember being so frustrated how everyone was believing the twisted truth. I remember wishing Aslan would return and why it was all going to end so sadly as they are forced into the stable.

    But Aslan had something so beautiful in mind for them — better than they could have imagined. I love how joyful and happy they are.

    One of the most vivid images to me was where all the beings in Narnia came before Aslan and looked into His face. Some flinched away and disappeared into his shadow; they rejected him. Others loved him and passed into His Country.

  2. It is still a joy that this book is filled with so much adventure and excitment just as much as the Holy Bible. You will be sorely missed. Thank you so much for the books and the movies. From our family to yours. ; )

  3. jacobede says:

    i love the whole book… I want to read it again Not sure will be alive when the film is ready. Hopefuly will do justice at least a little to the book. GOd bless

  4. Brock says:

    I love the book cover depicting the open stable door and falling stars. I remember that left a pleasant vivid impression in my mind. Nice to see it again.

  5. talking beast says:

    The moment when Aslan says to Tirian (I am quoting from memory but it’s something like) “well done last of the kings of Narnia who stood firm when all was dark”. Imagine how you’d feel.

  6. Roger says:

    I think that Emeth relaying his conversation with Aslan as some of the greatest and most profound words ever written. I have read that book many times and am still struck by that those paragraphs.

  7. kathy dwyer says:

    I wish they would make the rest of the movies!!! so I could add to the rest of my collection.

  8. Fireflower says:

    I have always loved the part when everyone is running in Aslan’s Country, but not getting tired. I especially like it when they run straight up a waterfall! (I am a runner, so… ;)). C. S. Lewis’ description of Aslan’s Country (aka, Heaven) is absolutely beautiful to me. I hope that someday, though it may not be soon, I will get to see all of LB portrayed on the big screen!

  9. The Doctor says:

    This isn’t the end of narnia, its just the beggining. For all the other books were just the title page of a greater story that is just beggining and every chapter is better than the last. :)

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