Illustrating Narnia

As an author, C.S. Lewis had always drawn pictures for the stories he wrote. So when The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was to be published, he did consider illustrating it himself, but eventually decided to use a professional artist. Pauline Baynes, a young illustrator, had recently illustrated J.R.R. Tolkien's latest book and Clive thought she might be just the person to cope with the variety of creatures and people in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Although Clive had not given much thought to the way the illustrations would look, he had envisaged something rather grand. It turned out that Pauline was to draw hundreds of wonderfully detailed black-and-white line drawings for the seven Chronicles of Narnia. In 1998 she added colour to every one of the approximately 350 original drawings, and these are the illustrations you see here today.

The relationship between Clive's stories and Pauline's illustrations was so successful that, right from the beginning, the words and pictures seemed to belong together. C.S. Lewis did send Pauline a sketch of what a Dufflepud should look like, but his descriptions of creatures and places were so detailed that she rarely had to refer to him for advice. When Pauline asked him how to draw a Marsh-wiggle, he replied, "Draw him however you like." She did, following Jack's description in the story, and that's how he's looked ever since !

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