I’m not sure if I first read or heard ‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’ on Children’s Hour on the radio. The book was published in 1950 and was adapted as a serial for the radio in 1959 but I really can’t remember how I first came across the story, but once I’d found the first story I must have gone straight to the library to borrow it and then quickly read the other six novels in the series. I was captivated by the first stories although my interest began to wane with the latter ones as certain themes became evident which detracted from the stories. However, when I first read them, I almost believed in Narnia; when I went to stay with my god-mother, Daphne, who lived in a wonderful old country house there was a wardrobe which I felt sure would take me to Narnia. My god-mother found me in it and gently me told me I mustn’t climb into it in case it accidentally locked and I was trapped… if only I had stayed there a few moments more would I have found Narnia?

Daph and me
Daph and me

The novels were written by C.S.Lewis, between 1949-1955. I read all the seven novels in the series, but as with many people lion, witch, wardrobe was my favourite. It was the idea of brave children fighting to free a downtrodden and subjugated land, of noble yet humble creatures like Mr Tumnus and Mr and Mrs Beaver which attracted me, I think as well as it being a great and gripping adventure! The White Witch although duplicitous, cruel and terrifying was somehow familiar to me, reminding me of the story of the Snow Queen in Hans Christian Anderson’s tale.

When I was teaching sometimes we would read ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and in those days we used to read round the class, the young people taking it in turns to read. Whenever we came to the dramatic part where Aslan was shorn and sacrificed, I always had to get one of the class to read it as I couldn’t manage without my lip trembling and my voice shaking. I’m such a softy!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  
Prince Caspian  
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader  
The Silver Chair  
The Horse and His Boy  
The Magician’s Nephew  
The Last Battle

An interesting site called ‘Into the Wardrobe’:

Dare I go further?

Lewis was born in Northern Ireland, did he know Dark Hedges, did they feature in his work?


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