I will not burden you with talk about the impact which the Chronicles of Narnia have had on the world at large. Instead, I will merely tell you about the impact which they, and the first volume in particular, have had on me.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was my first literary experience. I do not mean that it was the first book I ever read, and it certainly wasn’t the first story read to me, but it was the first book I encountered which made me aware of literature as something more than a collection of bedtime stories, and opened the world of reading for enrichment to me for the very first time. It also marked the beginning of my life long love for fantasy as a genre and mythology as a subject.
And it was through The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that I first entered Narnia, a world which still seems as vibrant and wonderful to me today as it did when I was six years old. Here I first learned of the Deep Magic, and first heard of the Emperor over the sea. But most of all, here I first met Aslan, without whom Narnia is just a whimsical land with a funny name.
From The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I went on to the other Chronicles of Narnia. And though later editions of the books often seek to rearrange them into some sequence other than the order in which they were written, I feel very strongly that it is through this book that Narnia should first be entered.
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