1 The Magician's Nephew

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The Magician's Nephew, 1st edn 1955 (C S Lewis - Narnia)The penultimate title in the Narnia series, The Magician's Nephew, takes us back to its creation; hence when HarperCollins took over from Collins as publisher of the series they renamed the series The Chronicles of Narnia and resequenced them so that this title became the first. It is the favourite of many admirers of the series because it answers many questions that arise from the other books, as well as raising others.

This title and its final successor had a new UK publisher, John Lane at the Bodley Head. This move from Geoffrey Bles coincided with the retirement of Bles himself, who had dealt personally with Lewis. Bles' secretary Mollie Waters left the company at this time and got a job with the large literary agency Curtis Brown; she may have persuaded Lewis to favour her new employer with the last pair of Narnia books. But Lewis continued to allow Bles, now owned by Collins, to publish the majority of his other books right up to his death.

Here we have the 1st issue jacket from 1955; later issues lost the yellow tint from the centre of the front illustration and changed the background colour, first from green to blue and then, somewhat unnecessarily, to olive and mauve. The Dawn Trader misspelling on the back panel was quickly corrected, however.

The publisher's logo at the foot of the spine and on the back flap shows Ernest H Shepard's illustration for a new edition of Kenneth Grahame's The Golden Age in 1928.

Jacket illustrations by Pauline Baynes.

ReproJacket #23-A-1, size 203.1x480mm.
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The Magician's Nephew, 1st edn 1960 (3rd printing) (C S Lewis - Narnia)Here we have the 3rd issue jacket from 1960.

Jacket illustrations by Pauline Baynes.

ReproJacket #23-C-1, size 202.9x480mm.