Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis

Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis

by Michael Ward

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195313871
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 01/15/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 847,258
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Michael Ward, Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford.

Table of Contents


Chapter One - Silence Chapter Two - The Planets Chapter Three - Jupiter Chapter Four - Mars Chapter Five - Sol Chapter Six - Luna Chapter Seven - Mercury Chapter Eight - Venus Chapter Nine - Saturn Chapter Ten - Primum Mobile Chapter Eleven - The Music of the Spheres Chapter Twelve - Coda

List of Abbreviations Notes Bibliography General Index Biblical Index

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Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
remikit on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I recommend this book to lovers of Narnia and English Majors. He puts together a well thought out analysis of CS Lewis use of Medieval cosmology in the Narnian Chronicles and also discusses how it plays out in the Sci Trilogy - Perelandria through That Hideous Strength.
MyopicBookworm on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Rarely has a book of literary criticism so gripped me. I found it fascinating and wished it had been longer.Ward's thesis seems at first sight to be far-fetched: linking the seven books of the Narnia Chronicles to the seven "planets" of medieval cosmology (Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Saturn). Yet he argues cogently not only for the validity of this schema, but also for the reasons why Lewis chose it, why he concealed it, and why no one has previously discovered it. The key comparisons for the analysis of planetary images in Narnia are Lewis's poetry, particularly the alliterative poem "The Planets", and the Cosmic Trilogy, especially That Hideous Strength, and Ward sheds useful light on the planetary imagery in these other works. But the discussion ranges far and wide among Lewis's writings, from Miracles to Studies in Words, the Oxford History of English Literature, and The Discarded Image, expounding Lewis's view of symbol and allegory, and showing how each of the seven books presents the spiritual character of the planet with which it is associated. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is permeated by images of joviality and the return of the rule of Jove, dispeller of winter; Prince Caspian is thoroughly martial; The Voyage of the 'Dawn Treader' solar; while the deceptive influence of the moon pervades The Silver Chair. The mercurial qualities of quicksilver and of language (Viritrilbia in the Cosmic Trilogy) underlie The Horse and His Boy, the fertility of Venus is found in The Magician's Nephew, and the maleficence of Saturn is exemplified, and overcome, in The Last Battle. The astrological scheme does not detract from the books' Christological intent, for in each case, the Christ-figure Aslan is presented in the corresponding planetary aspect.Ward argues that Lewis would inevitably have concealed such a schema, both for literary-philosophical reasons (true Enjoyment is hindered by looking at rather than through the object of contemplation) and because of his own secretive tendencies; and that scholars less deeply familiar than Lewis with medieval imagery, or reluctant to engage seriously with astrology, have almost universally overlooked it. He also debunks the claim that Lewis retreated from apologetic into children's fiction after his debating defeat by the philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe, presenting the stories as outworkings in a different medium of Lewis's theological beliefs.The author's Lewisian wit -- for example, in coining the term "donegality" for the peculiar spiritual atmosphere of each book -- is occasionally irritating, but overall the book is well-argued and well-written, and the author's deep knowledge of Lewis's thought is constantly apparent. It is hard to see how anyone can now write a literary or theological study of Narnia without taking Ward's ideas very seriously indeed. MB 22-i-2009, rev. 2-ii-2009
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If a 6 grader can tell you that then you really are an idiot. I think he overthought Narnia. Its an AWESOME series and Lewis based it off the Bible for his goddaughter Lucy. The writer of this book is acomplete idiot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
heard Dr. Ward speak back in the summer of 2006, and I was instantly both a fan and a skeptic. His theory about the reason for seven Chronicles of Narnia is fascinating, beautiful, and¿so I thought¿implausible. But since Dr. Ward was a very compelling speaker and he¿s coming to speak at the school where I teach (see his tour schedule at planetnarnia), I bought the book and am in chapter four at the moment. Wow! I¿m more a fan than ever, and barely a skeptic. I¿ve come to the conclusion 'like Jim Como' that if Dr. Ward is wrong, it doesn¿t even matter, because his reading is completely lovely, plausible, useful, scholarly, thorough, and everything else a critic¿s reading can be. But it¿s more, too. It seems that he is inside of C. S. Lewis¿s head, thinking CSL¿s thoughts after him 'if that¿s not sacrilegious!', quoting from all CSL¿s works as glibly and facilely as if he wrote them 'or more CSL was notoriously forgetful of his own writings, though of nobody else¿s', tying together disparate elements with ease and grace. His memory is prodigious, his scholarship impeccible, his writing clear and organized, his case lively and delightful. If Narnia needed any boost in popularity or any raising in the academic mind, here it is!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U totally dont understand. I dare u to read the book of mormon, then narnia am then tell m i u still think the same.