Thursday, January 18, 2024

TIL there's a well-reviewed unauthorized novel in the Narnia series

(Mentioned in Robin Sloan's newsletter.) From 2019

Francis Spufford has taken a break from writing award-winning adult literature to fill in the details of what exactly went on in Narnia before The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. But he isn’t expecting his novel, set in CS Lewis’s magical world, to be published any time soon.

Spufford, who has been writing for the past three and a half years without the permission of the Lewis estate, began Narnia story The Stone Table on a family holiday to entertain his daughter Theodora.


The much-loved world of Aslan is under copyright until 2034. After finishing the novel, Spufford made a “tentative” approach to ask the Lewis estate if they might agree to publication, but did not receive a reply. Eventually he printed up 75 copies and started giving them to friends.

Last March:

For legal reasons, all I can say is: watch this space. Possibly for the next 11 years.

Joe Hill:

I read a great one last week: The Stone Table by Francis Spufford. 


This is, in short, the perfect time to devour one more Chronicle of Narnia, a book that so uncannily captures the tone and flavor of the original seven that it’s only fitting Spufford has printed it up with the same interior design and even bound it in a fabric very similar to the binding of the hardcover copies I bought with my saved-up allowance and birthday money. 

From what I could tell, some excerpts were briefly posted, but even those are unavailable online.