King Frank

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Bio Info

Titles: Frank the Cabby, King Frank

Age: A middle-aged man

Species: Son of Adam

Home: London, England; Narnia

Physical Description: Prior to becoming king of Narnia, Frank is described as a red-faced man in a bowler hat, but after his coronation, he looks courageous and kind with rich flowing robes and a gold crown set with rubies.

Tools: His horn

First Appearance: The Magician's Nephew, Ch. 7 (1955)


Appearances

~ The Magician's Nephew ~ (1955)

Frank is just an ordinary cab driver in London, working hard to make a living, when he and his horse Strawberry are drawn into an extraordinary adventure. One afternoon the witch Jadis, accidentally brought to London from the world of Charn, attempts to steal Strawberry for her royal mount. When Frank moves to recover Strawberry, he is unwittingly pulled along to Narnia with the others when Digory tries to return Jadis to Charn. Once in Narnia, Frank witnesses the creation of that world by the Great Lion Aslan. He is fascinated by this and keeps trying to quiet everyone so he can hear the "moosic" Aslan is singing to create the world. When Aslan chooses different creatures to become the Talking Animals of Narnia, Frank is surprised but very pleased when his horse Strawberry is chosen. But the real surprise for Frank is when Aslan asks him if he would like to stay in Narnia. At first, Frank is hesitant because his wife Nellie is not there with him, but then Aslan summons her to Narnia as well. Once they are both there, Aslan offers the kingship to Frank and Frank humbly refuses on the grounds of his limited education. But as Aslan quizzes Frank about how he would reign, the former cabby realizes that he might be able to do the job after all. King Frank and his wife Queen Helen are crowned the first King and Queen of Narnia by Aslan himself.

~ The Last Battle ~ (1956)

When all the friends of Narnia arrive in Aslan's country and are standing in wonder at their beautiful surroundings and greeting old friends, King Frank blows his horn to summon them all to face Aslan.




About Frank

Frank is a simple man who works hard to make a living as a cab driver in the streets of London. He is honest, fair, and kind to his horse Strawberry, though he has picked up some rough mannerisms from living in the city. He and his wife Nellie used to live in the country, and underneath their shrewd city ways they are good, wholesome people. Frank has a calm, even temper, which he displays when he speaks soothingly to the enraged Jadis about how she just needs a cup of tea to calm down. Though he is uneducated and speaks rough country English, Frank is sensitive to beauty and how it can affect a man's behavior. Frank's low station in society and limited education have made him humble, and this simple humility equips him well for the Narnian throne.


Inspiration

Though Lewis never discussed the specific inspiration for the character of Frank, parallels can be drawn between his London cabby and Adam, the first man of the Genesis account. Both Frank and Adam are charged by their respective deities to care for the animals on a very personal level, and to rule creation wisely. There is also a great deal of Lewis' gardener Fred Paxford in Frank — the same man who inspired the character Puddleglum.


Quotes

  • "Now, Missie, let me get at 'is 'ead, and just you get off. You're a Lidy, and you don't want all these roughs going for you, do you? You want to go 'ome and 'ave a nice cup of tea and a lay down quiet like; then you'll feel ever so much better." (MN, Ch. 7)
  • "And if we're dead—which I don't deny it might be—well, you got to—remember that worse things 'appen at sea and a chap's got to die sometime. And there ain't nothing to be afraid of if a chap's led a decent life. And if you ask me, I think the best thing we could do to pass the time would be sing a 'ymn." (MN, Ch. 8)
  • "Glory be! I'd ha' been a better man all my life if I'd known there were things like this." (MN, Ch. 8)
  • "Oh stow it, Guv'nor, do stow it," said the Cabby. "Watchin' and listenin's the thing at present; not talking." (MN, Ch. 9)
  • "That horse 'as more sense than some 'umans as I could mention." (MN, Ch. 9)
  • "Begging your pardon, sir, and thanking you very much I'm sure (which my Missus does the same) but I ain't no sort of a chap for a job like that. I never 'ad much eddycation, you see." (MN, Ch. 11)


Portrayals

  • Peter Goodwright: Focus on the Family Radio Theater, 1999 – 2002
  • John Hollis: BBC Radio Tales of Narnia
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