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"This is... a very important story because it shows how all the coming and goings between our own world and the land of Narnia first began."
C. S. Lewis[src]

The Magician's Nephew was the sixth book published in the The Chronicles of Narnia. It was originally published in 1955 by The Bodley Head, a publishing establishment in England. In more recent editions of The Chronicles of Narnia, the books have been re-ordered with The Magician's Nephew as the first book, because it comes first chronologically, and fans are divided as to which is the correct way to read the books.

Reading this as the first book will tell the reader first of the creation of Narnia by Aslan, it takes place in Narnian-year 0, but Earth year 1900. Reading this book in the original order published is generally considered more appropriate from a literary standpoint. For more on the reading order see the Chronicles page.



Chapter Listing[]

  1. The Wrong Door
  2. Digory and His Uncle
  3. The Wood Between the Worlds
  4. The Bell and the Hammer
  5. The Deplorable Word
  6. The Beginning of Uncle Andrew's Troubles
  7. What Happened at the Front Door
  8. The Fight at the Lamp-post
  9. The Founding of Narnia
  10. The First Joke and Other Matters
  11. Digory and His Uncle Are Both in Trouble
  12. Strawberry's Adventure
  13. An Unexpected Meeting
  14. The Planting of the Tree
  15. The End of this Story and the Beginning of All the Others

Plot Summary[]

The Adventure Begins[]

The Magician's Nephew begins with a brief summary of the time period during which the story occurs. A famous detective still lived at Baker Street and the schools were less pleasant than today's schools. During this time in London lived a young girl named Polly Plummer.

Polly lives in row housing. One day, while she is in her garden, a grubby faced young boy pokes his head over the wall from the garden next door. Since no children had ever been in that house before, Polly is curious. The boy had apparently been crying and rubbing his wet face with dirty hands, thus explaining his grubby appearance. Polly welcomes the boy with a hello and asks his name. The boy is Digory, a name which Polly makes fun of and begins to comment on his dirty face when she remembers her manners. The subtle hint at his appearance causes Digory to burst out at Polly, telling her that he was forced to leave the luxuries of living in the country to live in London which he calls "a beastly Hole." He tells Polly that his father is in India, his uncle is mad, and that his mother is sick. Polly is inclined by Digory's emotional outburst to comfort him.

Curiosity does get the better of her and she asks about Mr. Ketterley (Digory's uncle). Digory explains that he is very odd, talking of strange things, and even crying out in his secret room upstairs. Polly offers several explanations about what his case may be and thus began the friendship of Digory and Polly.

The key action begins when the two decide to explore the attic space in the row houses in which the two live. Polly had discovered that she could access the under-roof areas with a small effort and had created a secret "cave" for her amusement. Digory asks how far the tunnel went and Polly acknowledges that there are no barriers between the houses. Polly suggests that they try to get into the house beyond Digory's, a house which had been empty for some time. After some tedious mathematical calculations to determine just how far they would have to travel before they would get to the correct house, the two set out, each with a stump of candle. They count the predetermined number of rafters and come to what they thought must be the attic door to the house beyond Digory's. Digory pushes the door open to find that the house is not empty at all, rather there is a neatly furnished study of a sort. The two enter the room and blow out their candles.

The room is described as a sort of laboratory, filled with all kinds of scientific tools. The objects that most appeal to Polly are several green and yellow rings on a tray. There is a strange humming noise that fills the room. Digory suggests they leave since they have apparently entered someone's home. Polly asks about the rings but before Digory could insist upon leaving, the lanky, frightening form of Uncle Andrew rises from a chair. The children are speechless and become more alarmed when Uncle Andrew rushes across the room and bolts the door shut. The two children began backing toward the attic door through which they had come, but Uncle Andrew darts to that door, blocking their escape. The children are effectively trapped.

Uncle Andrew begins telling them of a great experiment he is performing. The children ask to leave because it is dinner time. Andrew refuses to let them leave but as the children further beg to leave, Andrew appears to change his mind. Before they leave, however, he offers Polly one of the yellow rings. Polly is delighted to know that she can have one of the rings she was so curious about. She approaches the tray, noting that the humming noise in the room grows louder as she gets nearer the rings. Just as Digory yells out to Polly not to touch the rings, she touches one of them and vanishes, leaving Digory and Andrew alone in the room.

Startled at the sight of a friend vanishing, Digory lets out a scream, which is quickly muffled by Andrew. Sufficiently calmed, Digory is forced to listen to the tale of how the rings came to be. As it turns out, Andrew acquired a substance from his godmother. After going through great lengths to learn of its origin, Andrew decided that the substance must be Atlantean, originating in another world. It was a dust that was longing to return to its own world. He began to perform experiments with the substance and eventually fashioned the rings which could draw one out of our world and into the world where the substance originated. His first attempts at sending guinea pigs out of this world were unsuccessful, but persistence paid off and he was able to send a guinea into that other world. However, since a guinea pig cannot know how to return and cannot tell what he has seen, the experiment was not a total success. That is why he sent Polly into that other world. Since she had no way of returning, Digory would have to go after her carrying a green homeward ring. Digory chastises Uncle Andrew for being such a cruel magician, but then decides he must help his friend. He puts two green rings into his pocket and picks up his yellow ring. There was nothing else he could have done.

Uncle Andrew and the study vanished and Digory could feel himself rushing through empty space. He felt as though he was under water, an idea which frightened him. He felt himself rushing upward just before he emerged from a small pool. He rose to his feet and looked around, noticing that there were trees everywhere and other small pools, similar to the one he had just come out of. The place had a doping effect on Digory. He did not want to think of Uncle Andrew, Polly or anything else. He spots a young girl, lying near a tree, apparently halfway between sleeping and waking. She comments that she had seen him before. He asks how long she had been there and she responded that she had always been there. Digory states that he, too, had always been there, but Polly had seen him emerge from the pool. The two vaguely remember crawling about the rafters in a house and about people with dirty faces, but it is only when they spot the guinea pig with a yellow ring tied to it that they remember Uncle Andrew.

After a short time the two decide to try going home. They approach the pool from which they had earlier emerged and jump in. Besides the subsequent splash, nothing happens and the two scramble ashore. Digory remembers that he must put on a green ring before returning. He gives Polly her green and slips on his own. Just as they are getting ready to jump, Digory realizes that there could be other worlds in the other pools all over the forest. Polly does not understand, so Digory explains the concept of the In-between place, just like their secret cave in the roof of their home in London. It is not actually part of the house but a means by which they can get to any house. The wood is dubbed by Polly The Wood between the Worlds.

Digory sets off to try a different pool but Polly suggests they make sure the outward journey is successful before they do. They agree to go back but before they are fully in England, they would switch rings and return to the Wood. They jump into the pool and as they begin to materialize in Uncle Andrew's study, they change rings and return to the Wood. Digory is anxious to try a different world and sets off but is wisely stopped by Polly who points out that they should mark the home pool so they will not be lost later. This they do. After some confusion about which ring to use (green is always used to leave the Wood), the two leap into a nearby pool and descend into the unknown.

They arrive in the new world and first notice the strange reddish light about them. Polly gives a shudder of fear. The children are in a courtyard surrounded by very high walls, columns and archways. Nothing seems to be living. Polly, still unnerved, wants to go home but when Digory mentions that she should not be afraid to explore, she changes her mind. She is not afraid, saying she will go where he goes. To ease her mind, Digory suggests they remove their yellow rings and put them in the opposite pocket from their greens. If they found themselves in danger they could just slip their hands into their pockets and be off. They set off exploring, awed by the sheer size of the building they are in. They eventually end up in a hall filled with wax-like statues of people. The figures are royally adorned and their countenances change as the children walk further past them. The first faces are kind and gentle, but the latter ones are cruel and evil. The final figure was the fiercest of all, beautiful but cruel.

Digory suggests they examine a small pillar in the center of the room. On the pillar is a small golden bell and a hammer with which you strike the bell. Writing on the pillar suggests that if you strike the bell there could be danger, but if you do not strike the bell you would go mad wondering what would have happened. Digory wants to strike the bell, but Polly does not. An argument ensues and just as Polly is reaching for her yellow ring, Digory grabs her hand and with his other hand, strikes the bell. The sound resonates through the hall, growing in volume until it is nearly unbearable. Parts of the ceiling collapse around them until the sound finally ceases.

The two think that the event is over when they hear a sound from the end of the room. The last figure, the fiercely beautiful one, rises from her chair and comes to the children, asking how she has been awakened. Digory takes responsibility for her waking. The woman states that Digory is not of royal blood and asks how he came to the palace. Polly answers that they came by magic. Ignoring Polly, the queen again asks Digory if it is true. He responds affirmatively and the woman grabs him suddenly by the chin and studies him for several minutes before surmising that he is not a magician but rather traveled on another person's magic. Digory tells her that it was Uncle Andrew's doing.

The palace continues crumbling around them and the great lady takes the children out of the palace. To get out, the woman utters a spell which vaporizes the door and they exit onto a terrace of sorts where they could look out over the countryside. Everything as far as they could see was as silent and dead as a city could be. A great red sun, a dying sun, was low on the horizon, thus explaining the reddish glow inside. The woman proceeds to tell the story of Charn and the battle which destroyed it. The woman is Jadis, the last Queen of Charn. Her sister refused to release the throne and the battle ensued. When the last of her soldiers fell in battle, Jadis stood on the very terrace where the children now stood. As her sister came up the steps, Jadis uttered the Deplorable Word and all life, except her own, was blotted out forever. Digory asks why the sun is so red. As he finds out, it is because the sun is older and dying. Since the sun in our own world is smaller and yellower, it is younger. This interests Jadis and she insists upon being taken to England at once. The children, unsure of how to proceed, try to talk the queen out of going. Jadis offers a tale as to Digory's association with royalty and how Andrew must be the ruler of our world. Polly tells her that the suggestion is rubbish and the queen, insulted, grabs Polly by the hair. In doing so, she releases her hold on Polly's hand (which is why neither she nor Digory could reach their rings). Once her hand is free, Polly yells to Digory to touch his ring and the world vanished from around them and they found themselves again in the Wood.

Because the queen had been holding onto Polly's hair, she too was transported from Charn into the Wood proving that one did not need to wear a ring in order to be transported. He or she simply needed to be touching someone who had a ring. When the queen arrives in the Wood, her strength dissipates and she becomes helplessly weak. They force her to release Polly and they head for the home pool. The witch cries out in a weak voice, begging the children not to leave her. Digory hesitates, feeling somewhat sorry for the witch. At Polly's urging, he leaps into the home pool. As he jumps, however, he feels the pinch of a finger and thumb on his ear. As they draw closer to home, the grip tightens.

When they arrive in Andrew's study, the old magician is in awe of what the children have brought with them. The witch had grabbed Digory by the ear and was thus transported with him. She has regained her strength and draws herself up to her full height, that of a giantess, and quickly assessed her situation. Uncle Andrew nervously cracks his knuckles and licks his lips and bows repeatedly in order to quell the frightened sensation he feels. The queen demands to know who the magician is who brought her to this world. Andrew eventually confesses that he is responsible. The witch violently grabs him by the hair and stares into his eyes. After a few moments she releases him, sending him sprawling across the room. She has determined that he is a minor magician, not of royal lineage, and that his form of magic was destroyed in Charn long ago. She orders Andrew to procure transportation so she may set about the conquest of the world, warning him to do nothing treacherous or else. Andrew leaves sullenly.

Left alone with the witch, the children fear for their safety, but the witch barely notices that they are present. She taps her foot impatiently, then leaves the room in search of Andrew. The children breathe again at last, relieved that they are safe for now. Polly begins to leave and tells Digory that she will not return until he has apologized for his behavior in Charn. Digory apologizes and convinces Polly to return later to help get Jadis out of England for the sake of not scaring his sick mother to death.

Meanwhile, Andrew has dashed to his room and is dressing himself in his finest clothes, sipping brandy as he goes, ever convincing himself that the witch would fall in love with him. He adorns himself in his best coat, vest, and top hat and leaves the room. He sends the maid out to get a hansom cab before stopping to ask Letitia (Digory's Aunt) for some money so he can entertain his distinguished guest. Letty, who is mending a mattress, refuses to let him have anything, seeing how she pays for all of his brandy and cigars. As Andrew begins to negotiate, the witch storms into the room, demanding to know how long she is to wait for her ride. Andrew's vanity melts in the presence of the witch and he becomes the same sniveling worm he had always been. Letty, disapproving of the witch's bare arms and general appearance, demands that she leave at once or the police would be called. The witch utters a spell to destroy Aunt Letty but finds that her power does not have any affect in this world. She instead grabs Letty by the neck and legs and throws her across the room before following Andrew to the hansom cab which has just arrived.

Digory is aghast that the witch is loose in London but must turn his attention to Aunt Letty who, thankfully, fell on the mattress after the witch's treatment of her. She asks the maid to call the police to report a lunatic on the loose. After Letty has been seen to, Digory begins to consider how to get the witch out of London. He seats himself at the front window to wait for her to return. While waiting, he overhears a neighbor who has brought some grapes to Digory's sick mother. Letty mentions that only the land of youth would revive her, but the grapes would be a great start. This gets Digory thinking that there could perhaps be a land of youth that he could access through the Wood. He is about to touch the yellow ring when the witch arrives, riding the hansom cab like a surfboard.

The horse pulling the cab is mad with terror. It barely misses a lamppost but, because of the horse's near miss, the hansom crashes into the post and is smashed to bits. As the hansom crashes to a stop, the witch casually leaps from its roof and lands astride the horse, urging it into a more violent frenzy. Onlookers arrive and goad the witch on. The hansom's owner arrives and attempts to calm the horse. As the police attempt to stop the witch, she reaches up and snaps a crossbar from the lamppost and brandishes it as a club, dropping policemen like sacks of wheat by bashing them in the skull. Andrew has since crawled out of the destroyed hansom and is attempting to calm the situation. Digory has come forth to try to touch the witch and get ahold of her heel so he can touch his yellow ring. Polly arrives, after a brief punishment for being gone for so long before, and helps Digory. Finally, Digory grabs the witch and yells to Polly, who is touching him, to put on her yellow ring. The world vanishes away and the entire assortment of players arrive in the wood. Digory, Polly, Andrew, the cabby, his horse, and the witch, all stare in wonder at the green wood around them.

The horse, Strawberry, calms at once. The witch slumps over the horse's neck in a near faint, and Andrew believes he is suffering from delirium. Contented, the horse begins strolling toward the nearest pool. Just as he dips to drinks, Digory calls out for Polly to switch to her green ring. The entire group disappears into the pool, descending into a landed on a solid emptiness. No light appears; Digory is confused as to why they have not arrived in the new world. He believes that they must be in Charn at midnight, but the witch refutes his idea, claiming that they were surrounded by Nothing. She declares that her doom has come. The cabby suggests that they have all just fallen into a new tunnel for the subway and that they would all be rescued soon enough. He strikes up a hymn. For the sake of comfort, Polly and Digory join in. As they sing, Andrew sidles up to Digory and tells him to put on the ring so they can be off. Digory backs away from him with Polly in tow and declares that he would never be so horrible as to leave Polly or the Cabby.

Their aloneness is broken by the sound of a singing Voice, a lovely Voice that brought fear and wonder to the hearts of the strangers. Wether it was coming from all around them at once, or only from beneath them, they were unable to tell. Suddenly stars appear overhead and thousands of voices join with the first Voice. They sing with it for a time before fading away, but the first Voice continues to grow in strength. As the sound grows, the horizon begins to become lighter and as the music reaches its climax, the sun rises for the first time. The witch appears to understand the music, Andrew is horrified, and the others listen in warm contentment.

In the light of the sun, the strangers could see the landscape, barren and devoid of life. Most important, they could all see the singer - a Lion. The witch demands that the magic be prepared so they can take flight. Andrew mentions that he wishes he were younger and had a gun. Andrew commands the children to put on their yellow rings. The children declare that if anyone comes near them, they will disappear. The cabby commands them all to be quiet and listen, for the Lion's song had changed.

As the Lion sings, various plants begin to grow, starting first with grass, then trees. As Digory watches, Andrew again sneaks up to him to attempt to get at his ring. The witch demands that no one go within ten paces of the children or she would knock his brains out with the bar from the lamppost which she had carried from London. She admonishes Andrew for trying to leave her, and he rises in defense of himself until the cabby tells him to shut up.

The Lion's song continues to produce more plants, flowers and the sort. It was Polly who first notices that the song and the life growing around her are interconnected. The Lion continues to approach the strangers. When he is just a few yards away, the witch steps out and throws her iron bar at him. The bar strikes the Lion fair between the eyes, but the Lion appears to be unaffected by the blow. He continues pacing on past the children and cabby. The witch cries out in fear and dashes into the forest nearby. Andrew tries to flee as well but trips over a root and lands in a small stream, soaking himself to the bone. When he manages to pick himself up, he commands that Digory put on his ring and take him home at once. Digory refuses, wanting to stay and see what happens. Andrew is a mess and wants to leave immediately, but Digory will not leave. As they have this discussion, Digory notices a strange object growing nearby. It is a lamppost, sprung into being from the bar which Jadis had thrown at the Lion. Andrew is aglow with greedy anticipation. He imagines that he could bring pieces of ships and trains and they would grow into full grown objects which he could sell and make millions. Then he felt that he could open a health resort in the new world since he feels so much better there. Digory was excited about this last idea, not for himself, but for his ailing mother. Since Andrew does not seem to care about Digory's suggestion, Digory decides that he will ask the Lion if there is something He could do to rescue his mother.

As Digory approaches the still singing Lion, more life is sprouting about him. Mounds began to grow in the ground and from them sprang numerous different animals. As the animals begin to gather around the Lion, the cab horse trots past Digory and joins the other beasts. From each species of animal, the Lion chooses two who remain with him as the remaining animals wander into the forest. The Lion breathes on his chosen and commands them to awake and be speaking beasts.

From the trees and waters, various living creatures emerge and hail the Lion, Aslan, declaring their awareness of His command. Among the chosen is Strawberry, the cab horse. Aslan gives the creatures Narnia as their own, commanding them to be gentle to the dumb beasts or they themselves would cease to be talking beasts. After a bit of merriment at the expense of a jackdaw, Aslan takes several creatures aside to speak with them privately about an evil that has entered the land. Digory is intent upon asking Aslan to help his mother and steps boldly into the circle of animals. He, Polly, and the cabby are mulled over by the animals, mistaken for several different things before it is settled that they must be a strange sort of animal. Andrew remains behind, too afraid to approach the animals. The cabby takes time to speak with Strawberry, who vaguely remembers London and being forced to pull a cab. The cabby defends his actions as necessary and points out the many good things he did for the horse. Strawberry recalls those treats and seems forgiving. Digory asks if they could get on with talking to Aslan. Strawberry agrees to take Digory to Aslan, so Digory is lifted onto Strawberry's back for the short ride. The other Creatures, meanwhile, spot Uncle Andrew and go to investigate.

From Andrew's point of view, it appears that there are just a bunch of wild animals milling about. For the life of him, Andrew can not figure out why all of the creatures do not run from the Lion. When he had first heard the Lion song, he did his best to convince himself that the Lion was not singing and in so trying to make himself more foolish, he succeeded. All of the animals to him were not speaking but producing regular animal noises. Thus, when he sees the large group of animals coming toward him, Andrew decides to flee. The animals have little trouble catching and corralling him. They ask him who he is, but Andrew only hears growling. The animals were not aware that Andrew was a human like Digory and the others. Uncle Andrew passes out from fear and the animals discuss what should be done with him. The elephant tries to stand him up again by taking Andrew by the ankles and pulling him up. Gold and silver coins fall from his pockets and, when the elephant releases him, he falls in a heap. They decide that he must be a tree and decide to plant him, thankfully feet first, and water him thoroughly, making a complete muddy mess of him. He awakes from his faint and is left to contemplate his behavior.

Meanwhile, Strawberry carries Digory and Polly to Aslan. The Lion is still in conference with his chosen Beasts and Digory realizes that he cannot interrupt. At Aslan's command, the animals pull aside and Digory approaches, asking if Aslan would help his mother. Aslan looks away and asks the animals if this is the boy who did it. Aslan then turns to Digory and commands him to explain how the witch came to Narnia. The whole story comes out and Digory is told that he must undo what has been done. Aslan turns to the cabby and Polly. The Lion asks the cabby if he would like to live in Narnia. The cabby is reluctant because he is married and does not want to leave his wife. Through magic, Aslan calls the cabby's wife from the other world and the two are together again. Aslan tells them that they are to be the first King and Queen of Narnia. After a brief outline of the responsibilities of the King, Aslan declares that the coronation will be held soon. Aslan asks Polly if she has forgiven Digory for the harm he had done in Charn, and she says that she has. Satisfied, Aslan turns to deal with Digory himself.

Aslan asks Digory if he is ready to undo the harm he has done. Digory blurts out that he needs help for his mother, but realizes, after seeing tears in Aslan's eyes, that the Lion shares his pain. Digory is ready. He is commanded to travel to the west of Narnia and pluck an apple from a tree that grows in a Garden there and return it to Aslan. Realizing the distance, Digory tells Aslan that it will take a while to return, but Aslan provides transportation for him The Lion calls Strawberry, asks him if he would like to be a flying horse, gives the animal wings, and renames him Fledge. Both Polly and Digory are loaded onto the horse's back and they set off toward the garden. As they travel they realize that they will not make it to the garden before nightfall so they stop to camp. Having no food for themselves, the children make due with a bag of toffees which Digory had with him. They both eat four of the treats and plant the ninth one in the hopes that more food would be produced from it. The children settle under Fledge's wing to sleep. Their respite is disturbed briefly but the sound of someone walking nearby. A shadow is spotted but nothing comes of the mystery so all settle into sleep again. When they wake the next morning, a fruit tree has grown from the toffee, and the children eat candy-like fruit for breakfast. After a bath and breakfast, the three continue their journey to the garden.

They arrive shortly and Digory goes to the gate. There is a rhyme there which indicates that he should take only fruit for others, not for himself. Digory enters, spots the tree and plucks a silver apple from its branches. He is about to leave when he spots the witch. She tempts him into taking an apple for his ailing mother, claiming that Aslan does not even care about her, only wanting an apple for Himself. She tells him of the life giving properties of the apple and suggests that he and she could be king and queen forever if he would only relent. Digory flees to the gate and jumps on Fledge's back, leaving the witch behind. They soon arrive in Narnia and Digory presents the apple to Aslan. The Lion commands that the apple be thrown toward the river, which Digory does. All attention is turned then toward the coronation of King Frank and Queen Helen, the cabby and his wife. Fledge notices the change in his old master immediately. He has begun to lose his cockney accent and his appearance even seems more stately.

Aslan asks that some animals pull back the branches of four nearby trees and discover what could be found there. The animals do so and find, in addition to a wet and muddy Uncle Andrew, a gold and silver tree, grown from the coins which fell from Andrew's pockets. Andrew had been placed in this living prison by the animals who, after deciding that he was not a tree, uprooted him and figured that Aslan would need to deal with him. To add to Andrew's torment, the animals threw thistles and nuts at him in an attempt to feed him. Worst perhaps was the bear who blessed Andrew with a honey- (and bee-) filled hive which hit him directly in the face. The animals dubbed the old fool "Brandy" because he made the sound repeatedly. Aslan commands the animals to bring Andrew out. Polly asks if Aslan would ease Andrew's fears and cause him never to return (fearing that he would try to follow through with the thought of creating trains and boats). Aslan declares that he can do little for an old fool who has created such misery for himself. He breathes on Andrew and causes him to sleep. He turns his attention then to the dwarfs, who take the silver and gold trees and fashion two crowns from them. The moles bring up jewels from the ground and these adorn the crowns. Frank and Helen are crowned King and Queen of Narnia.

Near the river, a tree has grown from the apple which Digory planted. Aslan tells Digory that the tree will keep the witch out of Narnia, but she will remain in the north growing stronger in her evil magic. The tree is horror to her, but Digory explains that she has eaten from the tree. Aslan explains that it is because of that fact that the tree is a horror to her. It will give her unending life, but it will be a life of evil. Aslan tells Digory that had he taken one such apple for his mother that she too would have unending life, but not the kind of life he wanted for her. As it is, he could take one of the apples from this tree for his mother. Digory goes forward and plucks the apple and asks to go home. Instantly, Digory, Polly, the sleeping Uncle Andrew and Aslan are in the Wood between the Worlds. Aslan shows the pool which led to Charn to them. It has dried up. It is a warning to the race of Adam and Eve. Though we are not so bad as Charn, it is possible that someone would discover a secret as terrible as the Deplorable Word the witch spoke and thus cause the same pain and sorrow in our own world. The children are also to bury the rings. The children stand adoring Aslan when the world swirls around them and they arrive in the heat and noise of London.

The same scene was there - the smashed hansom, the policemen, the spectators - and Digory is amazed that no time has passed since they left. Uncle Andrew, now awake, dashes into the house and up to his room, locking himself in. Polly goes to Andrew's study and collects the remainder of the rings, as Aslan commanded. Digory takes the apple to his mother. Digory peels and cuts the apple for her and she eats it. The following day, Digory takes the core and buries it in the back yard. Digory's mother began to improve and continued to do so daily until life at last seemed normal again.

The day after Digory buried the apple core, he and Polly met to dispose of the rings. They buried them in a ring around the small tree which was already sprouting from the apple core Digory had planted.

As time passed, things continued to improve for Digory. After the death of a wealthy family member, his father returned from India and the family moved to a large house in the country. Digory and Polly always remained friends. In Narnia, all lived in peace. King Frank and Queen Helen reigned in glory. Their oldest son became King after them and their second oldest son settled in Archenland and became King of that land. The lamppost which the witch had accidentally planted burned brightly through the generations until it was happened upon years later by a young girl in another story. The area was called Lantern Waste. The apple Digory planted grew into a large tree and provided good fruit, though not magical fruit, for many years until the tree was blown over in a storm. Digory, now a grown man and a learned professor and owner of the Ketterleys' old house, could not bear to see the tree cut into firewood so he had the tree cut into timbers which he had fashioned into a wardrobe to be put in his old house in the country. Though he never discovered the magical properties of that wardrobe, someone else did and thus began the travels between Narnia and our world. Uncle Andrew stopped practicing magic, but from time to time he could be found talking about the foreign queen whom he had once entertained in London.


  • 1955 - first edition, published by The Bodley Head
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Behind the scenes[]

  • C. S. Lewis borrowed several elements for this book, and some of his other Narnia series, from another book, Story of the Amulet written by E. Nesbit in 1906. Jadis's arrival in London closely resembles the Queen of Babylon's accidental journey to London, and the havoc she causes there.
  • Lewis' original title for the book was "Polly and Digory".