“A Plea to Narnia Fans” by Jeremy Lott, November 18, 2013.
… Susan is one of the four children, including brothers Peter and Edmund and sister Lucy, who find their way through a dimensional portal in the back of a wardrobe into the world of Narnia. Their discovery kicks off the seven-book bestselling children’s series.
She becomes Queen Susan the Gentle, one of four kings and queens of that land on the other side of the wardrobe, ruling it for a very long time. Yet when it comes time to defend Narnia in The Last Battle, Lewis’s take on the apocalypse, Queen Susan is unexpectedly AWOL.
Peter explains “shortly and gravely” that “my sister Susan is no longer a friend of Narnia.” Other Narnia kids pillory Susan in her absence for a number of things, including denying the reality of Narnia itself and embracing a permanent adolescence which excludes everything “except nylons and lipstick and invitations.”
…You see, children in the 1950s and 1960s read The Last Battle and were concerned about Queen Susan’s absence. They wrote directly to professor Lewis and he wrote them back.
What Lewis said to his favorite readers was that he hadn’t meant to suggest Susan was damned, just that her story diverged from the one he was trying to tell.
Lewis wrote to one young reader that Susan was written out of the story not because “I have no hope of Susan’s ever getting into Aslan’s country” — that is, Heaven — “but because I have a feeling that the story of her journey would be longer and more like a grown-up novel than I wanted to write.”
Lewis admitted fallibility and issued a startling invitation: “But I may be mistaken. Why not try it yourself?”
Ford calls Susan’s story “one of the most important unfinished tales of the Chronicles.”