May 2000 Film Music CD Reviews Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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C.S. LEWIS The Complete Chronicles of Narnia (with illustrations, hand coloured by the artist, Pauline Baynes and an Introduction by Brian Sibley)  Comprising:- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of "The Dawn Treader", The Silver Chair, The Last Battle And the book that started all the Narnia adventures -The Magician's Nephew
  Harper Collins - Hardback 8½" X 11¼", 522 pages. ISBN 0-00-185713-4 £29:99

Being a child of the 1940s, I missed the Narnia phenomenon. The first book, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was published in 1950. It was subsequently filmed as a cartoon and then BBC TV produced all the books (except The Magician's Nephew and The LastBattle as I recall) as a saga through the late 1980s. It was these splendid dramatisations (please, BBC retransmit them!) that persuaded to me to read the books when I was in my fifties. (They are just as rewarding for grown-ups, who can appreciate their mysticism and subtleties.).

When I saw this splendid compilation, I snapped it up as a birthday present for a young relation of mine and I will confess that before I handed it over, I enjoyed reacquainting myself with these delightful stories. C.S. Lewis's warmth and understanding of human strengths and frailties fill these pages; his fertile imagination, his exciting adventures and colourful characters appeal to the child in us all. It would be interesting to know though, what the super-sophisticates, who are the children of today think of them. I cannot believe that they will not fall in love with them as their parents and grandparents did.

The charming original illustrations, now hand painted by the artist, Pauline Baines are included and commingled with the text. Brian Sibley offers some interesting insights on the influences that guided Lewis's inspiration in writing the stories and he explains how

The Magician's Nephew came to be written to explain how Aslan founded Narnia.

A footnote: readers may recall the film Shadowlands (with an affecting score by George Fenton) in which Anthony Hopkins played C.S. Lewis. It is the story about him entering a marriage of convenience to an American lady (touchingly played by Debra Winger), whom he grows to love, only to learn she has terminal cancer.

A wonderful present for any child but be warned buy it well in advance of the day because you will be captivated yourself.


Ian Lace



Ian Lace

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