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Modern Narnia: A History

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[...] The multicultural background of modern Narnia is reflected in its rich tradition of oral history and legends. In certain rural areas, this tradition is particularly developed and claims to have continued unchanged for over one thousand years. The historian Prianor Melisan made the largest collection of Narnian folk tales, travelling the country between 344 AC and 357 AC to interview rural and isolated populations. His writings are on display in the National Museum of Beaversdam today, and his collection Melisan’s Tales of the Golden Age remains a popular children’s book throughout Narnia. Melisan was born in Beruna in 312 AC, the son of a local history teacher and a [...]

Narnia mythology is divided into three cycles: Winter, Summer, and Historical. There are few surviving stories from the Winter Cycle, though the most popular is King Frank and his Horse, a creation myth. Other stories from the Winter Cycle include How Gale Slew the Dragon, The White Witch’s Long Winter, and Swanwhite. The Summer Cycle is notable for reusing the same four characters: High King Peter, King Edmund, Queen Lucy and Queen Susan. Historically, the stories from the Summer Cycle were created at a later period than the Winter Cycle tales: for example, The Children of Lantern Waste references The White Witch’s Long Winter, which suggests that the second story was widely known by the time the first was invented. The Summer Cycle is also called the Golden Age cycle. The Historical Cycle is so called because its characters are people from history, such as King Caspian the Conqueror, though sometimes the stories can also feature fictional characters: the popular kings and queens of the Summer Cycle appear in some folk versions of The Coronation of Prince Caspian, a story based on King Caspian X's victory over his uncle and regent, Miraz, in 305 AC.

[...] There is very little historical record in Narnia before the arrival of King Caspian I. Widespread illiteracy meant that myths and legends were the most common forms of education in pre-Telmarine Narnia. The lack of schools and teachers was one of the first things that King Caspian I addressed in his Loys di Pays, or Laws of the Country, passed in 3 AC. Loys di Pays also established an official judicial system, a constabulary force, and a system of taxation that are all still in place today. Under the new laws, the clan chiefs of old Narnian tribes were required to swear an oath of fealty to the King in return for [...]

Questions

  1. Name one collection of Narnian myths and legends.                             (2 marks)
  2. What is another name for the Summer Cycle of Narnian legends?          (2 marks)
  3. In what year were the Loys di Pays passed?                                           (2 marks)
  4. Write an account of the life of a named collector of Narnian folk tales. (20 marks)