Thematic elements

In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.
William Blake

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T. S. Eliot

You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.
Acts of the Apostles, 2:28

Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave.

Be the change that you want to see in the world.
Mohandas Gandhi

However many holy words you read, However many you speak, What good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?
Gautama Siddharta, the Buddha

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.
Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the Continent.
Winston Churchill

The sexual embrace can only be compared with music and with prayer.
Marcus Aurelius

Love's mysteries in souls do grow,
But yet the body is his book.

John Donne

Poor loves. Trained to Empire, trained to rule the waves. All gone. All taken away.
John Le Carré

The history lesson

October 23, 1942, the second battle of El Alamein begins.
November 8, 1942, Operation Torch begins with the planned Allied retaking of North Africa.
July 9, 1943, Operation Husky begins, with landings Allied Forces beginning to retake Italy.
August 9, 1943, General Eisenhower announces the Italian unconditional surrender.
June 6, 1944, D-Day, Operation Overlord, invasion of Normandy.
September 17–25, 1944, Operation Market Garden, airborne offensive.
December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945, the Ardennes Offensive, Battle of the Bulge.
April 30, 1945, the Red Army liberates the Ravensbrück concentration camp.
May 8, 1945, V-E, Victory in Europe Day.
July 26, 1945, UK general election, Winston Churchill resigns as prime minister after the Labour Party defeats his Conservative Party; Clement Attlee becomes the new prime minister.
December 31, 1945, Britain receives its first shipment of bananas since the beginning of the war.
November 21, 1945 to October 1, 1946, the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals.
Subsequent Nuremberg Trials, December 9, 1946 to April 13, 1949.
February 1946, American dance craze, the Jitterbug, sweeps Britain.
March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivers his "Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, United States.
June 7, 1946, BBC resumes broadcasting.
May 31, 1946, Heathrow airport opens to civilians.
January 1947, severe winter grips Europe.
January 1, 1947, the UK government nationalizes the coal industry in the UK (nationalization will eventually include banks, railways, and other industries).
January 22, 1947, Lunar New Year.
January 1947, to conserve cloth, British women are asked to wear shorter skirts.
March 1947, severe flooding in England due to winter thaw.
August 14-15, 1947, Pakistan and India gain independence from the UK.
September, 1947, Cambridge University votes to allow women to become full students.
November 20, 1947, The Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King George VI marries the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey, London.
November, 29, 1947, the United Nations approves the Partition Plan for Palestine, ending the British Mandate of Palestine.
January 30, 1948, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi assassinated.
February 10, 1948, Lunar New Year.
June 22, 1948, the ship Empire Windrush arrives in Britain with 500 Jamaican immigrants.
June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union begins the blockade of Berlin which will lead ultimately to the Berlin Airlift and to the partitioning of Germany.
July 25, 1948, bread rationing ends in the UK.
July 29-August 14, 1948, the Austerity Olympics are held in London; athletes are asked to bring their own food.
September 1948, the first comprehensive schools open in the UK
January 1949, a national survey is carried out into the sexual behaviour of 4,000 Britons documenting extensive homosexuality and pre- and extra-marital activity in post-War England.
January 29, 1949, Lunar New Year.
March 15, 1949, Post-War rationing of clothes ends.
April 24, 1949, Wartime rationing of sweets and chocolate ends.
June 7-25, 1949, Dock strike.
September 19, 1949, the pound devalued by 30% against the United States dollar.
September 30, 1949, the Berlin Airlift ends.

Reunions or "What I did over summer holiday"

"Peter has been galloping about Oxfordshire …"

"Not studying enough."

"Disarming a knife wielding veteran of the Arab Revolts, tromping about fields and museums with a world famous polygamist evolutionist, and ignoring a paleontologist who quotes Alice In Wonderland and looks like a dryad."

"And that knife wielding veteran of the Arab Revolts?"


"He is also a spy in the Army."

"And he is having mystical visions of The Dawn Treader."

"He also delivered the news that Susan has been busy in America securing tanks for the Eighth Army in North Africa, forging documents to further the British agenda in the Americas, stealing the briefcase of the Vice President Wallace, planting fake stories in American newspapers, uncovering a conspiracy of silence regarding the murder of European Jews, and thwarting a spy."

"And Lucy?"

"Climbing trees, wrecking other people's trousers, sailing to the end of a flat world, talking to the Dead, and plotting her Crusade."

"Crusade upon what?"

"This is still to be decided as there are so many possibilities."

"Edmund assisted Susan in a complex cipher regarding illegal British intelligence activities in the Americas, trafficked in twenty-two banned and censored books, met peculiar people in Cambridge establishments, sailed to the end of a flat world, and talked to the Dead."

"And learned German."

"So what shall we drink to?"



"Who the hell are you?"
"Eustace, sir. Eustace Scrubb."
"Peter's odious cousin?"
"Yes, sir. I'm not so odious anymore, though. Or, at least, I am trying not to be, but some days are better than others."
"So you are a work in progress?"
"I suppose. I used to be a dragon, you see, and then Aslan turned me into a boy."
"Yes, sir."
"Do you know of animals as Peter does?"
"Not really, Sir. A little bit. Dragons. I know about dragons, though."
"I should introduce you to our cook, as she is most knowledgeable on dragons. Do not expect her to worship you, however. And who is Aslan? Wait, I will guess. He's a member of the family felidae, Felis catus."
"Cat you mean?"
"Of course, cat. Are you thick, boy?"

"Lucy, would you mind climbing a little lower so that I may see you as we speak?"
"You have been arguing with the Vicar again, haven't you?"

"Christ is not the problem. It is Christians I cannot abide."

"But they are in there together? Behind a closed door? Just the two of them?"
"Well you try and tell them 'no' and see how far it gets you."

"How do you manage it? How do you co-exist and not hate one another? Should you not be trying to murder one another?"
"Love is stronger than hate."
"Is it? I am not so sure anymore."

"What are they doing here?"
"Those Negroes."
"They were invited."

"Do you know what this is?"
"Of course."
"Say it! Say what it is!"
"It is the tattoo the SS branded on prisoners in the camps."

"Who did you hear?"
"What do you mean?"
"Who did you hear at the end of the world, beyond the wall of lilies?"
"It doesn't matter. It's not relevant, at all."

"I wish to volunteer."
"Get in line. Everyone wants a piece of them and to see them hung."
"No, it's not what you think."

"And so, my friends, the moral of this tale is, never be the ass."

"Experiment House? Ghastly place. The Head is a complete nutter."

"Pole and I don't want to go there."
"Why not?"
"There's a No Jitterbugging sign in the window."

"Do you desire the truth, or the lie?"
"Lie to me."

"Except the butcher. I don't love him."
"I should think not. Dreadful man, always bellowing and bloody, waving that cleaver about."

"You see the problem?"
"Yes, very clearly."
"Can you help? Because if you don't…"
"I wish I could say you are overreacting, but I do not believe you are."
"Can you do anything to prevent the disaster it so plainly is?"
"It rather depends on if he trusts me enough to accept my assistance."

"Get in."
"What, now?"
"Yes, of course now."
"You cannot always be this stupid. Do you have anything better you might be doing?"
"I could study?"
"Study? That's absurd. I'll teach you what you need to know."
"That is not what I meant."
"I know what you meant. Forget it. Now get in. I have things to do, I am tired of waiting, and I expect you to come along."

"I am coming to see that he was right, all along."
"It is irritating how he is able to always do that."
"What do you think? Is it time to concede defeat and beat swords into ploughshares?"

"It is the first selfish, self-interested act he has ever committed."
"I hope it leads to others."

"You named me well. For that, I do thank you."
"A disappointment?"
"To you, I suppose, yes."
"And that is it? That's all you have to say?"
"I know what I am doing. I have done this before, you know."

"This is unexpected."
"And worrisome."
"What do you think? Should we say anything?"
"Let us see what the morning brings."
"True. He will have noted this. It is not what is supposed to happen at all."


"He is glowing!"
"Who is?"
"He is! He wasn't glowing before!"
"He wasn't? Wait, what do you mean, not glowing before?"

"I serve two masters in a way. Usually they co-exist peaceably and without conflict."
"So you did feel some conflict?"
"But not enough to change what you did?"

"When did they all learn to use chopsticks?"
"And here I was wondering if you knew of the Junior Darts Championship of Oxfordshire."
"I believe those things on their plate are chicken feet."
"They are speaking Chinese."
"When did this happen?"

"I know what they look like! I've seen them for real, in the bush. I'm telling you, I saw a lion on my front lawn."

"Do you think trees could move? Get angry? Go to war?"

"The Hell Bitch is in the barn, there's a Gryphon in the ballroom, giant rabbits on the grounds, and beavers in the pond."
"Crows, don't forget the crows."
"Right, and crows on the drive."
"And the wolf!"
"Wolf hound."
"And the birch grove."
"But no dryads."
"Great Scott, I hope not."
"Well I should not mind at all, so long as they aren't pollinating."

"These are brilliant."
"Broadsword, short sword, double claymore, longsword, rapier, cutlass…"
"Those dirks are beautiful."
"You would notice those."
"Are you all savages?"

"When you go to bed tonight, pray. Really pray. Ask to see as God does. Say you are sorry first, and then ask that your eyes be opened."
"For what must I apologize?"
"For being harsh and judgmental? For being blind? I don't know. I'm sure you will think of something. But do apologize first. Humility. Gratitude. He likes that."

"Did you see what I just saw?"
"You mean that girl dip to a curtsy?"

"Once a King or Queen, always a King or Queen."
"As Eustace would say, that's not terribly democratic."
"But is there not some middle ground between monarchist and communist?"

Rat and Crow

"Mrs. Caspian?"
"I was instructed by Sallowpad to tell you that the Gryphons and War Horses arrived safely in the Lone Islands. Sallowpad, on behalf of the Tisroc and the High King, thanks you for your assistance."

"I have an appointment to see Colonel Buckmaster."

"How do you feel about jumping out of an airplane?"

"We need an English foxhound to run a mole to ground."

"I have wanted to meet you."
"And I was about to say the same thing."
"So which of us shall speak first into this billowing silence?"
"Someone who worked for me once used to say that given a silence, most people have the desire to fill it."
"And that lesson concludes, 'And the trick is knowing the impulse exists and training yourself to patience in its place?'"
"It seems we have had access to the same personnel."
"And they have had access to the same mentors."

"You are studying Russian and German. Are you a Communist?"
"Goodness, no."
"So, you are a pessimist?"
"If I were a pessimist, I would be learning Chinese."

"Have you killed before?"
"I do not mean hunting game birds and deer. I mean, have you killed a person before?"
"A person? As in human person?"
"Of course a human person. Answer the question. It's simple enough."
"Well, not really, no."
"'No' you have not killed a person before?"
"'No,' it is actually not a simple question at all."

"You have been expecting this?"
"Oh yes. For several years now. Let us begin, shall we?"

"This was definitely not one of my better ideas."

"There is no question of your readiness, qualifications, and acceptance. This interview is merely a formality."
"I sense a however coming."
"Indeed. I see something that concerns me. It should concern you as well."

"Time to threaten Lord Peridan!"

"You once said that a time might come where, if you could not tell me the truth, you would say nothing rather than tell me the lie. Has that time come?"

"Please join us, would you? And bring those maps of London I am certain you have."

"You've suspected something haven't you? All along?"
"Yes, from the very beginning. I did warn her. I warned them all."

By an adult for adults about consenting adults

"It's just not terribly French."
"Provocative. Sensual. French."
"But we are English. In England. It's winter. "
"As I have said before, I have my doubts that you are English."

"What are you intending to do for preventatives? It is not as if you can ask a Hound."

"Bacchanals are much more enjoyable when the men are not about."

"I assume though that you have given some thought to the fact that this is not Narnia and people can be a bit odd about this sort of thing here?"
"Then England would do well to have a Narnian approach, don't you think?"
"Smashing idea! Though why did I never fully appreciate how much easier it is to find partners when one is a ruling Monarch?"

"Sways as the Dryads do, perhaps?"
"I couldn't possibly speculate."
"Except that you have and have now shared your speculation with me."

"You are not going to discourse with Eustace on the agreeable and necessary comfort of a woman."
"What about a girl?"
"What about a…"
"Stop right there and do not say another word."

"The only bites I want are yours on the inside of my thigh!"

"Why would they go to the Caribbean?"
"For the rum and sex on the beach, I should think."
"It is not polite to discuss sex at the dinner table."
"It isn't?"
"No dear."

1949 and after

"You do not hear it, do you?"
"Hear what?"

"They are dead aren't they? All of them?"
"Yes, it would appear so."

"And now, isn't it time that you tell us the story of Narnia?"

"Are you pleased?"
"I am, my daughter."
"Is it finished?"
"It is. Come, further up, come further in."

So, I have not provided a scene as before, but little glimpses to what the future holds. The only scene I might have actually done would have been the siblings' reunion or possibly Eustace and Richard meeting. But the first was too large and the second too small.

Thank you for your continued support.

Rthstewart, June 2010