C.S. Lewis: Floor Wax or Dessert Topping?

The debate over C.S. Lewis and his children’s books is nothing new, of course, and some of the combatants in the seemingly endless debate go well beyond mere literary argument. Is the Narnia series “a timeless fantasy about talking beavers, friendly fauns and a mystical lion named Aslan? Or insidious militaristic propaganda cunningly used to inoculate innocents with rigid Christian dogma penned by a pervy pipe-puffing Oxford prig who actually didn’t very much like little children and might have slept with a woman old enough to be his mother? When he wasn’t drinking. In pubs. With J.R.R. Tolkien.” And in an age in which children’s fantasy is a major literary sub-genre, scholars are just warming up their Lewis screeds.