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Boxen: Childhood Chronicles Before Narnia

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  165 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
A collection of maps, histories, sketches, and stories created by C.S. Lewis as a child to describe his private fantasy world, known as Animal-Land or Boxen. A scholarly introduction explains the stories in the context of Lewis's life.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published October 1985)
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The Book Queen
May 30, 2016 The Book Queen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This, my friends, is my favourite childhood book. If one day I somehow become famous and end up on Desert Island Discs, this is the book I'd take with me to a desert island. It holds such a special place in my heart I can't possibly review it objectively, so I'm not even going to try, but just take my word for it - it's fantastic.
Meghan Krogh
Jan 21, 2016 Meghan Krogh marked it as abandoned
Oh, I can't.
May 02, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-lit
These are stories written by C.S. Lewis and his brother Warnie in their youth. They made up an entire world of characters (mostly animals) and a whole history to go with it. You can see where the ideas for Narnia came from. It is hysterical to read the dialogue of the characters especially, since it couldn't be more British. You can practically hear them mumbling away. Much of Lewis' style of speaking a writing can be seen emerging in these stories. Although some are quite convoluded as far as f ...more
RE de Leon
Jan 04, 2011 RE de Leon rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to see the development of CS Lewis' writing style, all the way back to age 8.
This book was written by an eight year old. Literally. Put that into consideration, and the book is remarkable! After all, the eight year old in question is CS Lewis. Still, pretty much the only reason you should get this book is if you're a big Lewis fan and want to explore the evolution of his writing. In which case, this book should take you all the way to the start, to Little Lea and The little end room. Happy reading! :D

RE de Leon
Agoo La Union
10:07 PM
January 4, 2011
May 16, 2009 Ronnie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
To see the writtings and drawings of C.S Lewis and his brother and to learn their childhood history is amazing.
Dec 26, 2014 NebraskaIcebergs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Whenever I like an author, I tend to want all their books. If they’ve written an autobiography, I desire that too. I’m also going to find of interest collections of their speeches or essays. Then there are the anthologies which contain short works by them. Suffice to say, I want every piece of writing by them, including their childhood stuff. And that’s how I came to be interested in Boxen by C.S. Lewis and W.H. Lewis.

According to the back cover, half a century before the publication of his belo
Jul 02, 2015 Brent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cs-lewis
My wife is a school teacher and, when I visit her, there is usually some sort of work done by the students hanging in the hallway outside her and, the other teachers classrooms. I enjoy reading and looking at this fount of insight into the minds of our children. So, you can imagine my delight at having found an entire book full of stories and art whose child author is C.S. Lewis and his brother Warren.
Lori Anderson
Jun 29, 2009 Lori Anderson rated it liked it
I didn't really READ the book, per se, but perused it to see what the minds of the very young Lewis boys were like. I was impressed with the depth of their imaginations and their art at the ages of 8 to about 11.

The stories themselves didn't do much for me, but I very much appreciated what they were. Kind of like looking at certain art in the museum -- loved the work that went into it and the history behind it, but wouldn't hang it on my wall.

It IS worth looking at, though, if you are a CS Lewi
Aug 21, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit I didn't read every word of this book. I skimmed over some stories and read some completely. It is so interesting to see the writing of CS Lewis as a child. He was obviously very bright!
A.E. Shaw
Mar 18, 2013 A.E. Shaw rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

A beautiful edition, with scans of a great deal of pictures and maps, many of which I enjoyed as much as, if not more than, the actual content. The stories themselves feel very much like a private conversation, well-told as they are (especially considering the age of the authors), they are very much about the procedure and pleasure of describing and storytelling, as much as they are about the land itself - you can feel the time passing by, almost, as you read. Some of the characters are delightf
Madeline Stone
I've been wanting to read Boxen for a long time, to get inside Lewis's head and see what he was like as a kid, which is why I read (or at least read part of) Boxen. It is written in the style of a history book excepting a few stories which he wrote as plays. Lewis was amazingly meticulous in the writing of Boxen, filling in all the details of his little animal kingdom. He seems like a younger version of his friend, J. R. R. Tolkien.

While the stories are amusing, they are not terribly interestin
Hannah Givens
Jan 03, 2015 Hannah Givens rated it really liked it
This is mostly of interest for Lewis fans and scholars, especially the first few stories. However, the more you read, the more fun and engaging the actual stories can be, since they tend to follow the same set of characters.

Part of my project to read all of C.S. Lewis's books in chronological order:

First read: 3/9/09
Jul 29, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I loved this book. It was a glimpse into the life of C.S. Lewis when he was a little boy. Lewis and his brother wrote the Boxen stories together when they were children. They're filled with funny, animal characters that were partially inspired by Beatrix Potter's books. The spelling errors, animal battles, histories, and politics are all delightful.
Aug 05, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical
Not as good as The Chronicles of Narnia which is what I expected. Since this was his earlier work I guess the later series was an improvement! This was hard to follow. But since it was written by kids I liked that aspect - I wrote a series about my cat when I was younger.
The prologue was interesting as a biographical piece, but the rest is the writings of Lewis as a child. I only enjoy reading the writings of children who are related to me, so I didn't even finish this.
Marley Butler
This was very interesting as an insight into Lewis' development of his mind and craft. Fascinating from that perspective, though from a pure reader's point of view...not so much.

Jun 09, 2012 Elise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really adorable read and my first Lewis book outside of Narnia! Brilliant work from one of my favourite authors.
Joel Roberts
really cool to see into the young mind of Mister Lewis and read what is clearly an influential precursor to Narnia.
Sep 22, 2009 Becky rated it liked it
Interesting to see into the mind of a yound C.S. Lewis, age 9! Very sophisticated writing for such a young author.
Mar 02, 2011 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, not that enjoyable, but Jack and Warren wrote it as children, so pretty darn impressive.
Laura Kupets
Jul 23, 2012 Laura Kupets rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So great. It's really neat to read the stories that Lewis made up when he was young.
May 18, 2011 Terri rated it it was ok
a nice read for children or anyone interested in C.S. Lewis.
John Lowery
Oct 17, 2010 John Lowery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely. This is the early imaginary journeys of Lewis
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th ...more
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