C.S.Lewis was a British author, literary critic and Christian scholar, whose children’s fables The Chronicles of Narnia set the boundary for contemporary Young Adult and Children’s fantasy. His fiction is uniquely placed in literary history as still harking back to earlier moments of fabulation and daring adventures, whilst setting a more adult tone and moral questioning which grows in strength towards the end of the Chronicles. He is still widely regarded as one of the most successful Children’s authors of his time, an accolade which is only recently being challenged by none other than JK Rowling.
However, with a career that was very similar (in retrospect) to JRR Tolkien’s, Lewis can be said to have two parts to his publishing catalog. One is his wildly successful Narnia stories; the other are the more academic and personal works on the nature of Christianity, belief and the problems of faith. Unlike Tolkien however, the prestige of his fictional career has not lent itself to his other, more academic career, and as such many of his limited edition academic works can be brought without considerable expense on the part of the collector.
If you are looking to value your Lewis works, or are looking to start a Lewis collection, it is important to ascertain your editions. The first editions of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Voyage of the Dawn-Treader and The Last Battle are all highly sought after by collectors, and can fetch for anything from $2-4 000 at auction.
These editions were first published in their original hardback printing with largely white dust jackets, illustrated by Pauline Baynes. They were all published by London house GeoffryBles in 1950. On the whole, the first editions are valuable in themselves of Lewis’s fiction works, but having a first edition with an intact as possible dust-jacket makes these volumes even more so.