Milton, Spenser and The Chronicles of Narnia: Literary Sources for the C.S. Lewis Novels

Front Cover
McFarland, Nov 21, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 196 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
In 1950, Clive Staples Lewis published the first in a series of children's stories that became The Chronicles of Narnia. The now vastly popular Chronicles are a widely known testament to the religious and moral principles that Lewis embraced in his later life. What many readers and viewers do not know about the Chronicles is that a close reading of the seven-book series reveals the strikingly effective influences of literary sources as diverse as George MacDonald's fantastic fiction and the courtly love poetry of the High Middle Ages. Arguably the two most influential sources for the series are Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen and John Milton's Paradise Lost. Lewis was so personally intrigued by these two particular pieces of literature that he became renowned for his scholarly studies of both Milton and Spenser. This book examines the important ways in which Lewis so clearly echoes The Faerie Queen and Paradise Lost, and how the elements of each work together to convey similar meanings. Most specifically, the chapters focus on the telling interweavings that can be seen in the depiction of evil, female characters, fantastic and symbolic landscapes and settings, and the spiritual concepts so personally important to C.S. Lewis.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Depiction of Evil Women of Power and Malice
The Depiction of Evil Men Mortals Monsters and Misled Protagonists
Girls Whose Heads Have Something Inside Them The Characterization of Women
An Inside Bigger Than Its Outside Setting and Geography
Knowing Him Better There Spirituality and Belief
Chapter Notes

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 13 - But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.

About the author (2014)

Elizabeth Baird Hardy is an English instructor at Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, where she was chosen as the 2006 outstanding faculty member. She lives in western North Carolina.

Bibliographic information