The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

The Silver Chair
First Edition Dustjacket
source Wikipedia

“It was a dully autumn day and Jill Pole was crying behind the gym.”

Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole seek shelter from bullies in their Experiment House school and, after stumbling through a door, find themselves in Aslan’s country, not realizing that Aslan has called them there for a very special purpose.

Ten years ago after the death of his mother, Prince Caspian’s son, Rillian, disappeared into the North without a trace.  With Puddlegum, the pessimistic Marshwiggle as their guide and companion, Eustace and Jill set out to discover his fate.  However, Jill missed some of the four signs that Aslan had given her and the adventurers wonder if their quest has not been made more difficult because of her oversights.  Will they be able to save the heir of Narnia from the evil Emerald Witch, and even more importantly, what will they have learned by the end of their adventure?

Lewis makes me laugh with some of the symbolism he inserts into these tales for children.  In one scene, the Witch attempts to enchant the children, striving to convince them that their world is only a dream and that her world is, in fact, the real thing.  Bravely, Puddleglum, in desperation, stamps on the fire, hoping the resulting pain will break the spell.  He declares even if they have imagined all the wonderful things of their world, he prefers them to the cold, dark, menacing world of the Witch, and he pledges to live as a Narnian even if Narnia does not exist.  Puddleglum’s curious statement echoes Blaise Pascal’s famous wager that argues that even if God does not exist, to live by His precepts will ensure a better earthly life; what one would gain would be infinitely more valuable than what one would lose.


Puddleglum the Marshwiggle

This book is my least favourite of the Chronicles so far, but Lewis still manages to tell an engaging tale that keeps the reader interested and invested in the characters.  Next up is The Horse and His Boy!

C.S. Lewis Project 2014

Other Narnia Books


4 thoughts on “The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

  1. Why is this book your least favorite of the series? Just wondering.
    And oh, that Pascal wager is excellent. It is going into my little notebook!

  2. It's my least favourite only because the others have been soooo good! Perhaps there were also fewer characters that captured my imagination although I did like Golg of the dark caverns. It was still vintage Lewis though and very good! I still have The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew and the Last Battle to go!

  3. This isn't one of my favorites either, although I liked it far better when I reread it as an adult than I did as a child. I like how you always seem to provided added context for the Narnia posts; I'd no idea Pascal had made such a statement.

  4. You can certainly have different reactions when you are a child compared to when you are an adult. I'm reading The Magician's Nephew at the moment; it used to be my least favourite but now I'd say it's in the top 2 or 3 (but I haven't read The Last Battle yet).

    Since everyone knows the Narnia books so well, I'm trying to add a little trivia. 🙂 If you've read Lewis' theological books, it's easy to pick up some of his "pet" topics in the Narnia chronicles. I find it fascinating how he can imbed high-level intellectual ideas into a children's fantasy.

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear from you and have you join in the discussion!