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About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis, moralist and novelist, was born in 1898 in Belfast and educated at Malvern and University College, Oxford. He was appointed Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge in 1954. `Jack' Lewis is best known for his literary criticism, religious and ethical works, science fiction, and most notably for his Narnia chronicles for children. He died in 1963.

Reviews

Gr 7 Up-The man who created "The Chronicles of Narnia" started practicing his craft at the age of eight by writing plays and stories set in another imaginary kingdom, Boxen. Lewis's juvenile writings, which probably ceased after he turned 13, were first published by Harcourt in 1985. This hardback volume is a repackaging of the older title with a few new additions. It retains "The History of Boxen" by Walter Hooper, once an assistant to Lewis, relegating it to the end of the volume. Douglas Gresham's brief, avuncular introduction, aimed at children, describes the circumstances under which Lewis-then called Jack-and his brother Warnie created the Boxen stories out of imaginary play with their toys. Two new pieces have been added, along with a larger selection of the boys' black-and-white drawings and maps. The glossy paper allows for a loving reproduction of watercolor paintings illustrating scenes from the Boxen manuscripts. Lewis's juvenilia, with its large cast of well-developed characters, reveals an early ability to develop plot and shift scenes for maximum drama, as well as an astute understanding of politics and human complexities. One character "carries an atmosphere of impudence and unpaid bills." Libraries may want to purchase this volume where interest in Lewis is high, but, however beautifully presented, Lewis's childhood writings have limited appeal outside the passionate circle of Narnia's fandom.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

`These works share with the Narnian stories a remarkable scale of invention, brilliant storytelling and characterisation.' The Times

`Allows free admission into an elaborate invented world ... A shrewd, witty and lively read.' British Book News

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