I just found something really exciting (well, to me, anyway): Lewis’ timeline of Narnia. It’s in a book called The Man Who Created Narnia: The Story of C. S. Lewis by Michael Coren (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1996). Unfortunately Coren doesn’t give a source, i.e. whether this comes from particular notes and where those are kept, he just prints it as “C. S. Lewis’s Outline of Narnian History so far as it is known”. However, it’s still really cool. I like getting obscure background info like that.
So according to this timeline, the events of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe take place in 1940, or Narnian Year 1000. The Pevensie kids are 8, 10, 12 and 13, Professor Digory Kirke is 52 – he was 12 in the story of The Magician’s Nephew, Polly was 11. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy stay in Narnia for 15 years, so by the time they fall back out of the wardrobe into 1940 and their pre-teens they had turned 23, 25, 27 and 28 (it must suck just a bit to have to go through puberty twice…). When they go back to Narnia in 1941 to help out Prince Caspian it’s the year 2303 there; Caspian is 13. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader he is 17 (by now it’s 1942 on earth). He marries Ramandu’s daughter at 20; Prince Rilian is born in 2325 and disappears in 2345. Eustance and Jill in The Silver Chair arrive from 1942 England in the Narnian Year 2356, so Caspian is 66 when he dies. Finally, the events of The Last Battle take place in 1949 or Narnian Year 2555.
I think it’s interesting how young the kids all are – other than in The Last Battle, we’re talking pre-teens in almost every case. It puts a bit of a different complexion on some of the events. And it’s one aspect of the books that was changed quite drastically in the new Disney movies – but that’s another topic for another day.