illustration of an open wardrobe door with a castle and lion visible in through the door and an outline of a young girl standing on the opposite side of the door

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by C. S. Lewis

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What is a description of Mr. Tumnus's house?

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A description of Mr. Tumnus's house can be found in chapter 2. When Mr. Tumnus invites Lucy to his house for tea, he says that it "is only just round the corner" from the lamp-post. He tells her that "there'll be a roaring fire" as well as various food to eat.

Not far from the lamp-post, Mr. Tumnus's house is located in a place where the ground is "rough" and full of rocks and where there are "little hills up and little hills down." Specifically, Mr. Tumnus's house is located at "the bottom of one small valley"—between the hills—and the entrance is "the entrance of a cave."

Inside the house, Lucy describes a cosy, snug room. There is "a wood fire" and "a carpet on the floor and two little chairs": one of the chairs is for Mr. Tumnus and the other is for a guest. All of the walls (being the walls of a cave) are "of reddish stone," and on one of the walls there is "a shelf full of books"—many of these seem to be about myths and legends, with titles such as "Nymphs and Their Ways" and "Is Man a Myth?" In one corner of the room there is a door which Lucy assumes "must lead to Mr. Tumnus' bedroom," but we never see beyond this door for any further description.

There is also "a table and a dresser and a mantlepiece over the fire" in the room, and above the mantlepiece hangs a picture of "an old Faun with a grey beard," which he later tells Lucy is a picture of his father. This picture of his father is really important because it is what later prompts Mr. Tumnus to decide not to hold Lucy for the White Witch after all. He sees the picture and imagines how ashamed his father would be.

Later in the story, in chapter 6, Lucy returns to Mr. Tumnus's house, only to find that someone has broken in and caused lots of malicious damage. The door has been "wrenched off its hinges and broken to bits," suggesting a violent entry. Inside, the room she saw earlier is no longer warm and cosy but "dark and cold," with "a damp feel and smell"—suggesting that it has been empty "for several days." Snow has found its way into the house, through the broken door, and has settled in a heap on the floor. Mixed in with the snow there are the "charred sticks and ashes from the fire." The crockery that Mr. Tumnus had used to serve tea to Lucy the last time now lies "smashed on the floor," and the picture of Mr. Tumnus's father has been "slashed into shreds with a knife."

Also on the floor of the house—"nailed through the carpet"—there is an arrest warrant which explains that Mr. Tumnus has been arrested "on a charge of High Treason against her Imperial Majesty Jadis, Queen of Narnia." Written at the end of the warrant is: "LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!"

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