Lewis himself said he first got the idea for writing the books when the young evacuees were staying at his house. But it wasn't until some years later that Lewis actually got around to writing "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," which he said began with a "picture in my head ... of a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood." The picture, Lewis added, had been in his mind since he was 16; he was nearly 50 when he transformed it into the beginning of the book.
Another inspiration was the wardrobe in which Lewis and his older brother Warren also used to play. The wardrobe now can be viewed at the Marion Wade Center at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill.
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Marion E. Wade Center houses a collection on Owen Barfield, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams.
In addition, the Wade Center has a museum where such pieces as C.S. Lewis's family wardrobe and writing desk, Charles Williams's bookcases, J.R.R. Tolkien's desk, Pauline Baynes's original map of Narnia, and a tapestry from Dorothy L. Sayers's home can be viewed.