Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Chronicles of Narnia Book 5
by C. S. Lewis
Publisher: HarperCollins
Hardcover, 256 pages
Current Retail Price: $17.99
Used Price: $10.00 (2 in stock) Condition Policy

This is the third book that Lewis wrote in his acclaimed Chronicles of Narnia series, but chronologically, it is the fifth.

The Dawn Treader is the first ship Narnia has seen in centuries. King Caspian has built it for his voyage to find the seven lords, good men whom his Uncle Miraz banished when he usurped the throne. The journey takes Edmund, Lucy, and their cousin Eustace to the Eastern Islands, beyond the Silver Sea, toward Aslan's country at the End of the World.

Differences between British and American editions:

Several weeks or months after reading the proofs for the British edition of The Chronicles, Lewis read through the proofs for the American edition. While doing so, he made several changes to the text. HarperCollins took over publication of the series in 1994 and made the unusual decision to ignore the changes that Lewis had made and use the earlier text as the standard for their editions.

In Dawn Treader, Lewis made two changes, one minor and one more substantial. The minor change appears in the first chapter where Lewis changes the description of Eustace from "far too stupid to make anything up himself" to "quite incapable of making anything up himself". Paul Ford, author of Companion to Narnia, suggests that Lewis might have felt the need to soften the passage for his American readers or perhaps he was starting to like Eustace better. Peter Schakel, author of Imagination and the arts in C.S. Lewis, notes that the passage should have been changed in both cases as "calling a character 'stupid' in a children's book is insensitive and unwise". Both Schakel and Ford agree that it is not an accurate depiction of Eustace as Lewis describes him, and this too may be the reason for the change.

The more substantive change appears in Chapter 12, "The Dark Island", where Lewis rewrote the ending in a way that, Schakel maintains, improves the imaginative experience considerably.

The reader cannot [in this version] dismiss the island as unreal or as no longer existing: it is still there, and anyone who can get to Narnia still could get caught in it. More important, the inserted analogy, with its second-person pronouns, draws readers into the episode and evokes in them the same emotions the characters experience. This is no laughing matter, as the earlier version risks making it.

A side by side comparison of the ending of chapter 12 follows:

British Edition Pre-1994 American Edition
In a few moments [...] warm, blue world again. And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been. They blinked their eyes and looked about them. The brightness of [...] grime or scum. And then first one, and then another, began laughing.

“I reckon we've made pretty good fools of ourselves," said Rynelf.

In a few moments [...] warm, blue world again. And just as there are moments when simply to lie in bed and see the daylight pouring through your window and to hear the cheerful voice of an early postman or milkman down below and to realise that it was only a dream: it wasn't real, is so heavenly that it was very nearly worth having the nightmare in order to have the joy of waking, so they all felt when they came out of the dark. The brightness of [...] grime or scum.
Lucy lost no time [...] Grant me a boon.”

“What is it?" asked Caspian.

Lucy lost no time [...] Grant me a boon.”

“What is it?" asked Caspian.

"Never to bring me back there," he said. He pointed astern. They all looked. But they saw only bright blue sea and bright blue sky. The Dark Island and the darkness had vanished for ever.

“Why!" cried Lord Rhoop. "You have destroyed it!”

“I don't think it was us," said Lucy.

"Never to ask me, nor to let any other ask me, what I have seen during my years on the Dark Island.”

“An easy boon, my Lord," answered Caspian, and added with a shudder. "Ask you: I should think not. I would give all my treasure not to hear it.”

"Sire," said Drinian, [...] the clock round myself.” "Sire," said Drinian, [...] the clock round myself”
So all afternoon with great joy they sailed south-east with a fair wind. But nobody noticed when the albatross had disappeared. So all afternoon with great joy they sailed south-east with a fair wind, and the hump of darkness grew smaller and smaller astern. But nobody noticed when the albatross had disappeared.
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Summary: Edmund, Lucy and their cousin Eustace are pulled into Narnia and meet King Caspian who is voyaging in the Dawn Treader on a quest to find the seven lords.

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