Learning to Breathe Narnian Air
In 1956, after completing the last book in The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis wrote a short article in the New York Times Book Review explaining how a childless professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature came to write fairy tales.
Dismissing the idea that he had some master plan to “say something about Christianity to children” which led him to choose the fairy tale genre, researched the reading habits of children, selected some Christian doctrines, and then wrote allegories, Lewis writes,
Everything began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn’t anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord. It was part of the bubbling (taken from On Stories And Other Essays on Literature).
However, after settling on the fairy tale genre, he began to realize that these stories might have a…