By Alister McGrath
What’s the best children’s book of all time? A 2008 survey found most people believed it was C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This opening novel of the Chronicles of Narnia series is widely regarded as its highlight.
Lewis himself would have been surprised at his immense popularity today. Although he had been hugely popular in his lifetime, he was gloomy about his future prospects.
Towards the end of his life, he told friends he expected to be forgotten within a few years of his death. Yet Lewis’s books – including the Chronicles of Narnia – sell more strongly today than at any point during his lifetime.
So how did a bachelor Oxford don without any children of his own come to write this classic work? What do people find so intriguing about the Chronicles of Narnia? And why does it retain such an appeal, 50 years after its author’s death in November 1963?
As a child, Lewis loved stories, but had little interest in Christianity. He later came to wonder how stories might have helped him to embrace a faith that he neither understood nor appreciated. What if stories could have opened up the wonder and joy of a faith that he had to wait two decades to discover?
Read more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/24865379