The Silver Chair is the sixth novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, penned in the early 1950s by acclaimed British author and literary scholar C.S. Lewis. Despite the fact that these chronicles are some of the most popular and enduring stories for children ever written, they are in fact the only children's books that Lewis ever wrote, penning four noves for adults, and focusing then on literary criticism and works about Christianity, the most successful and well-known of which is The Screwtape Letters.
Like the other Chronicles, this novel is also seen to be an allegory of Christianity, and pits good against evil in a fight to save everything that is on the side of what is right. The two main characters in this book, Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole, escape their horrible English boarding school, where bullies rule the roost and seem to have the faculty wrapped around their collective little fingers, and find Narnia through an innocent looking ordinary door, just as the other child adventurers in this other world have done in the previous five novels in the series. THe other novels and the lessons they taught are referenced throughout this book, giving the reader the impression that although the individual tales are exciting and frightening and dangerous, there is a greater story also being told by piecing all of the Chronicles together.
Eustace has been to Narnia before and actually travelled with King Caspian when he was just a Prince; Caspian is now searching for his son, Prince Rillian, who has somehow ben abductef by the evil Queen, and it is finding Rilian that is the task given to Jill and Eustace by Aslan the Lion, creator of Narnia. He instructs the children to find Rillian and bring him home, or die trying. They do this and like the children who have gone to Narnia before them, Jill and Eustace are brave, daring and above all guided by a strong moral compass and sense of decency. Throughout the book, good and evil are pitted against each other, and the ease with which good people can be overpowered by evil is also demonstrated throughout. Like the other novels, this one shows that by following the guide of Aslan, and by having faith in his instructions and teaching, good will always triumph over evil.
Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but relocated early in his life to England, and became a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford, making a controversial move to rival University Cambridge later in his career where he became Professor of Medieval and Reneaissance Literature, a tenure he held until his death in 1963.