London: Geoffrey Bles, The Bodley Head, 1950 - 1956. First editions. A complete set of first printings, uniformly bound in full burgandy morocco with raised bands, gilt top edges, decorative spine stamping and marbled end papers. Internally the books are Near Fine. The odd spot of foxing or finger-smudge, discrete owner's name on half-title of book four, a small tear on the half-title of book seven repaired with tape. Generally a very pleasing set.
C.S. Lewis' landmark fantasy series, one of the great works of children literature. The Chronicles of Narnia has sold over 100 million copies in nearly 50 languages, and has had a significant influence on many other noted fantasy authors including: Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman and J. K. Rowling. “I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry is told he has to hurl himself at a barrier in King's Cross Station — it dissolves and he's on platform Nine and Three-Quarters, and there's the train for Hogwarts.”
Although Lewis drew upon many sources for the series, including his own personal experiences as a child and his work sheltering children during the Blitz, as well as Greek, Roman, Celtic and Christian mythology, the inspiration for the first novel had been an image he’d carried in his head since his adolescence: "The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: 'Let's try to make a story about it.'” (Item #1792)