For fans of CS Lewis the patch of unspoilt woodland on the edge of Oxford is sacred ground.
It did, after all, inspired the author’s vision of Narnia, the setting of his popular children’s books, starting with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
But there are now fears that development plans could threaten the idyllic nature reserve next to Lewis’s former home at Wychwood Lane, Risinghurst.
The road that is planned will no doubt spoil this amazing place of magic and beauty.
Cara Langford, petition organiser
Admirers of Lewis have joined forces with local residents to save the nature reserve after plans were submitted to build nine apartments for vulnerable adults in a 2.5-storey block, including 22 car parking spaces, next to the site.
The Chronicles of Narnia franchise has lain dormant since third movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was released in 2010 but is being rebooted to bring the fourth novel in the classic children’s book series to the silver screen.
Finding Neverland and The Life of Pi screenwriter David McGee is writing the script for The Silver Chair, which takes place years later as Eustace Scrubb (Will Poulter in the last film) and his classmate Jill battle to find King Caspian’s son Prince Rilian after he goes missing.
[Katherine Langrish’s own photo of her childhood copy]
Very highly recommended blog post by Katherine Langrish about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Agree absolutely with what she has to say about Lucy:
Philip Pullman has accused the Narnia books of being – among other bad things – sexist, of delivering the message ‘Boys are better than girls’. People who agree with this tend, I suspect, to be thinking of ‘the problem of Susan.’ But I was a little girl reading the Narnia books, and I was never in any doubt that the main character, the clear heroine of the three titles in which she takes a prominent part, is Lucy. Any child, boys included, reading TLTW&TW will identify with Lucy for the simple reason that it’s so unfair when her siblings don’t believe her about Narnia – and even more unfair when Edmund actually lies about it. It’s as easy to identify with Lucy as it is to identify with Jane Eyre, and for the same reason: children hate injustice.
Lucy’s main-character status has always been so obvious to me, I’m puzzled why Philip Pullman has failed to spot it. Is she too gentle for him? She may not be Lyra, or even Dido Twite, but the Narnia books were written for and about children, not teenagers – and quite young children at that.