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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Narnia's inspiration is revealed
CS Lewis
CS Lewis wrote to Anne when she was just 10-years-old
A letter in which CS Lewis explains the meaning of the Chronicles of Narnia has been donated to a university.

Anne Jenkins, from Hertfordshire, was 10 years old when she wrote to the Belfast-born author about a paragraph in his novel, The Silver Chair.

Lewis failed to answer her question, but his reply, in 1961, revealed the series of books to be based on the story of the Christian faith.

It is to be displayed in Queen's University's new CS Lewis Reading Room.

Mrs Jenkins said about the paragraph which prompted the letter: "It was a little bit at the end of The Silver Chair, that I just didn't understand what he was saying.

Christian theme

"It was where the dead king Caspian is brought back to life by Aslan the lion's blood and Eustace says 'hasn't he died' and the lion says 'yes he has died, most people have you know, even I have, there are very few people who haven't'.

"I asked my parents what does he mean by saying that most people have died?

"They didn't know, so they said that I should write and ask him."

There is a widely held view that CS Lewis' Narnian chronicles carry a predominantly Christian theme.

As far as Anne is aware, her letter is the only known document from the author which supports the argument that Alsan represented Jesus Christ.

In the letter Lewis simply states that the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tells the story of the "Crucifixion of Christ and the resurrection".

He also explains that the story of Prince Caspian "tells the restoration of the true religion after the corruption".

Mrs Jenkins believes the letter is an important piece of historical literature and should be shared with the world.

She said: "The letter is so valuable and really needs to go into the public domain now rather than where I've kept it in a wardrobe, which is quite appropriate."

It will be displayed in Queen's University's new 44m library, which is due to open in 2009.




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