First of the Friends of Narnia, witness to the birth and death of a world; a character in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.
When Digory Kirke was a child in London, "in those days Mr. Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street." His father was abroad in India, and his mother deathly ill. The two lived with Digory's uncle Andrew Ketterley, who fancied himself a magician and possessed magic rings that would transport the wearer to another place. Uncle Andrew tricked Digory and his friend Polly Plummer into testing the rings.
The rings took them to the Wood between the Worlds, which contained portals to many other worlds. After verifying that they could get back home, Digory and Polly explored another portal. They found the ruined, dying world of Charn and it's last cruel queen Jadis in suspended animation. Next to Jadis was a bell and hammer, and an inscription:
Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.
Against Polly's wishes, Digory struck the bell and freed Jadis, who instantly forced them back to London. She captured Uncle Andrew and ran amok in London until the children were able to transport them -- and several others -- back to the Wood and, they thought, to Charn.
They took a wrong turn. Instead they found Narnia, just as the great Lion Aslan was creating it. Jadis fled, and Aslan tasked Digory to find in the new world's Western Wilds an apple that, when planted, would grow into a tree that would shield Narnia from Jadis as long as it lived.
Digory found the tree and Jadis herself, who had eaten of the tree and gained eternal life. She told him that the apple would grant him and his mother the same gift. Stricken, Digory nevertheless refused the temptation and returned the apple to Aslan. The tree planted, Aslan returned Digory and Polly to London with a fruit of the new tree that healed his mother. Digory buried the rings, intending never to touch them again.(The Magician's Nephew)
Digory lived many years, became a professor, and inherited his father's grand old house in the country. From the wood of the tree grown from the apple that saved his mother's life, he built a wardrobe and put it in a back room. This wardrobe became the portal that allowed four children named Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie to visit Narnia themselves in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Professor Digory Kirke remained a Friend of Narnia for the rest of his days. At a dinner party with the six other Friends, they were visited by the apparition of King Tirian, last of the Narnian Kings. Digory sent Peter and Edmund after the rings, and awaited their return with the others at a London rail station. After a terrible accident, the seven Friends found themselves transported to a newer, truer Narnia, a Paradise itself. From there Digory witnessed the end of the Narnia he had known, and spent eternity with his friends and the Lion who had watched over him and his beloved Narnia. (The Last Battle)