AN author remains hopeful that his new novel, inspired by CS Lewis’s Narnia series, will one day be published.

The Oxford academic won fame for his fantasy fiction featuring The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and lived at The Kilns in Risinghurst until his death in 1963.

Now Francis Spufford has taken a break from writing adult fiction to create a new story featuring characters from the Narnia series.

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But as the tale, entitled The Stone Table, has been written without the permission of the Lewis estate, it could be some time before it hits the bookstores.


After revealing he was ‘Narnia-loving child, Mr Spufford, whose first novel Golden Hill won a Costa Book Award, said he tried to fill in a gap in the history of Narnia and admitted it was ‘impertinent fiddling’.

The Stone Table follows Polly Plummer and Digory Kirke, who watch Aslan sing Narnia into being in The Magician’s Nephew, as they return to Narnia.

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But the world of Narnia is under copyright until 2034.

After finishing the novel Mr Spufford made a ‘tentative’ approach to ask the Lewis estate if they would agree to publication but did not receive a reply.

Eventually he printed up 75 copies and started giving them to friends.

According to the writer Adam Roberts, the novel is ‘superb’.


CS Lewis’s stepson Douglas Gresham has not ruled out the publication of Mr Spufford’s novel. He told the Oxford Mail: “I don’t remember receiving any material from Mr Spufford for a long time but when something like this comes up, it is up to our publishers to sort it out, and I daresay they will.”

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UK laws of copyright give authors the exclusive rights to their work for 70 years after their death.


Last year Mr Gresham opposed plans for an extension at Grade II-listed Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry, where his stepfather is buried.


In October he said he was delighted that streaming service Netflix has signed a deal with The CS Lewis Company, which will see films and a TV series based on CS Lewis’s iconic book series being released.

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He added: “Everything is still in the negotiation stage with Netflix.”

A BBC Narnia adaptation was screened between 1988 and 1990.