The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis is the first—although sequentially the second—of seven books Lewis wrote about the imaginary world of Narnia. It is set during World War II, at the time when London was being bombed by Nazi Germany, and was inspired by Lewis's life with refugee children who came from London to stay at his country home during the bombings. One of the children, fascinated by the black oak wardrobe standing in the Lewis's hall, wanted to know if there was a way out of the back of the wardrobe, and if so, what was on the other side. Lewis's response was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the story of a world under siege by the powers of darkness, only it is not Hitler who leads the attack but the White Witch. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe marked a return to a familiar Lewis theme: the battle between good and evil. As a Christian author living in a grim age, Lewis felt he could not avoid this theme.
When Lewis decided to write children's fiction, his publisher, as well as some of his friends, were less than enthusiastic. They thought producing such stories would hurt his reputation as a serious writer. Nonetheless, Lewis went ahead, helping to begin a renaissance in children's literature. Since their initial publication, the Chronicles of Narnia have sold more than 100 million copies and are beloved by readers all over the world.
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