Long before I noticed the links with Christianity, this book was my Bible. My teacher first read it to our class when I was eight and I was overcome by it. I read my own copy a few times and read it again when I became a parent. The feelings I had when I was eight have not abandoned me: they have evolved.
The mystery of the Victorian wardrobe, dense with dark and scary fur coats is something I related to. The summer holidays that seemed to last for years and the adventures of kings and queens made it a great youthful tale.
But the epic mysticism and morality is what really stayed with me. The eternal good versus evil and the temptation of the sweet Turkish Delight towards the forbidden are timeless concepts.
Then there was Aslan. I loved animals and Aslan was the perfect representation: brave, wise, compassionate and good. He gave his life to save others. The Deeper Magic led to his resurrection and the idea that he could not die filled me with joy.
The writing now seems dated but this type of morality tale will feature for ever. It can be read as a great swashbuckling story or a spiritual one. The best book by far in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Love, love, love it!
Originally published by Geoffrey Bles on 16 October 1950.