A Reader's Guide to Caspian: A Journey into C. S. Lewis's Narnia, By Leland Ryken and Marjorie Lamp Mead

A Reader's Guide to Caspian

A Journey into C. S. Lewis's Narnia

by Leland Ryken and Marjorie Lamp Mead

A Reader's Guide to Caspian
  • Length: 172 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: February 29, 2008
  • Item Code: 3499
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3499-0

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Back into Narnia

"Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, and it has been told in another book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe how they had a remarkable adventure." So begins C. S. Lewis's Prince Caspian and the children's second remarkable escapade into Narnia--a Narnia known but unknown, looking much different than it did in their first adventure.

C. S. Lewis scholar Marjorie Lamp Mead and literary specialist Leland Ryken work their own magic to take you deep into Narnia once again, providing a guided tour of Prince Caspian that highlights characters, setting and framework, with rich background details to enhance your reading of the story. The authors also shed light on Lewis's imagination and literary forms, and include a brief biography of Lewis himself. Added questions for discussion and reflection make this the perfect companion to Prince Caspian for book discussion groups.

Following the pattern set in their Reader's Guide Through the Wardrobe, Mead and Ryken help you, like the Pevensie children, enter Narnia again in a new way and find it to be an even more surprising place than you ever imagined.

"Like its predecessor, A Reader's Guide Through the Wardrobe, A Reader's Guide to Caspian . . . help[s] the reader to interpret their experience through an explanation of the literary art of the author, at the same time expanding and enhancing the reader's understanding through thoughtful commentary and reflection. In other words, Mead and Ryken have succeeded in getting themselves out of the way of the reader's encounter with the story while helping to broaden and deepen their own experience of reading the text."

Christopher W. Mitchell, director, Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College

"This book isn't necessary to the enjoyment of Prince Caspian, but it is necessary if you want to get to the rock-bottom truths of that story. It throws more light on Prince Caspian than anything I've ever read."

Walter Hooper, author of C. S. Lewis: A Companion Guide

"A Reader's Guide to Caspian is the best kind of literary companion, and one which Lewis himself would approve, always keeping readers focused on the primary narrative. It is perfect for a reader's group or college classroom study of Narnia, providing insight and inspiration on every page."

Bruce L. Edwards, general editor of C. S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy

"Many books have been written about the writings of C. S. Lewis. This is one that would please Professor Lewis. Mead and Ryken are superb tour guides through Prince Caspian. Long live A Reader's Guide to Caspian."

Lyle W. Dorsett, author of Seeking the Secret Place: The Spiritual Formation of C. S. Lewis

A very professional job of writing a study guide for Prince Caspian. A knowledgeable and pleasant guide.

Joe Christopher, Mythprint, March 2008

A Reader's Guide to Caspian is meant to give vocabulary to that intangible delight we feel while reading Lewis's fantasy. The "journey" Mead and Ryken have prepared is a literary one. Delving into literary forms and devices such as allegory and "resuce motif," they tastefully reveal the method behind the story's magic.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff website, April 2008



Part 1: A Guided Tour of Prince Caspian
1. The Island: How Lewis Decided to Begin His Story
2. The Ancient Treasure: A Discovery Story
3. The Dwarf: Plot, Setting and Character as a Narrative Harmony
4. The Dwarf Tells of Prince Caspian: The Narrative Device of Flashback
5. Caspian?s Adventure in the Mountains: Escape and Rescue
6. The People That Lived in Hiding: Travelogue
7. Old Narnia in Danger: Preparation for Battle
8. How They Left the Island: Preparation for Mission
9. What Lucy Saw: Another Perilous Journey
10. The Return of the Lion: A Fairy Story and More
11. The Lion Roars: Epiphany
12. Sorcery and Sudden Vengeance: Evil Council Convened
13. The High King in Command: Challenge to Single Combat
14. How All Were Very Busy: Conquest Story
15. Aslan Makes a Door in the Air: Denouement

Part 2: Caspian Backgrounds
16. Are the Narnian Stories Allegorical?
17. The Christian Vision of Prince Caspian
18. Contemporary Reviews of Prince Caspian
19. The Critics Comment on Prince Caspian
20. A Brief Biography of C. S. Lewis

Appendix A: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Movie
Appendix B: Using this Guide with Reading Groups
Appendix C: Using this Guide with Home School Students
Appendix D: Pauline Baynes?s Illustrations of Prince Caspian

Recommended Reading List
Acknowledgments and Permissions


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Leland Ryken

Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) is Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of more than one hundred published articles and essays, and he has written, edited, or contributed to more than twenty-five books. His books include The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation (Crossway), The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing (Shaw), Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (InterVarsity Press), The Discerning Reader: Christian Perspectives on Literature and Theory (Baker), and A Complete Literary Guide to the Bible (Zondervan).

Marjorie Lamp Mead

Marjorie Lamp Mead (M.A., Wheaton College) has been associate director of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, since 1977. She is editor (with Clyde S. Kilby) of Brothers and Friends: The Diaries of Major Warren Hamilton Lewis and (with Lyle W. Dorsett) of C. S. Lewis: Letters to Children. She has also written many articles and contributed numerous chapters to books--primarily on topics related to C. S. Lewis and Dorothy L. Sayers. She is managing editor of Seven: An Anglo-American Literary Review.