Feast of the Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian and the Virgin Martyr Justina
Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis by Michael Ward
THOUGH CRITICS have tried to link the Chronicles to the seven virtues, the seven sacraments, the seven deadly sins, and even the seven books of Spencer’s Faerie Queene, none have publicly considered that Lewis might have built the Narniad upon what John Donne called “the Heptarchy, the seven kingdoms of the seven planets.” This concept from medieval cosmology, with its rich and innately religious symbolism, fascinated and nourished Lewis. It was, in his words, a universe “tingling with anthropomorphic life, dancing, ceremonial, a festival, not a machine.” Anglican priest and Lewis aficionado Michael Ward believes he stumbled upon this imaginative framework and sets out to elucidate how these seven stories, “authored by an unlikely novice and possessing little apparent coherence in design, should have become some of the best-selling and most influential fables in the world.” His careful scholarship, copious notes, and articulate prose turn what might have been bland criticism into a fascinating reevaluation of Lewis’ whole literary and theological outlook.
348 pp. paper $19.95
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