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C.S Lewis, Narnia and me

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I am sure anyone reading this will be aware of the great C.S. Lewis whether it be through his monumental works such as The Chronicles of Narnia or The Screwtape Letters. I share a few connections with him!

Like me, he was born in Northern Ireland and spend his early childhood here before moving to England on the death of his mother. One very moving story in his early life concerns the family dog. When his dog Jacksie was killed by a car, the four-year old Lewis adopted the name Jacksie. At first, he would answer to no other name, but later accepted Jack, the name by which he was known to friends and family for the rest of his life. Isn’t that touching? I always think “dog” people are amongst the best of us!

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Anyway, when he was a child, C.S. Lewis and his family were known to have holidayed in a place on the north coast of Northern Ireland during Castlerock for a few summers. This is the same place I spend time most months of the year. There is some uncertainty as to the precise location as to where the Lewis family stayed and it may have been in an old property that is now gone. In fact, where I live may have replaced it! Now that is not certain but it’s likely that the view that I enjoy is what C.S. Lewis enjoyed more than a hundred years ago. And here it is.

I find a tranquility and comfort at this place that I find nowhere else and wonder what the young CS Lewis made of it? It’s the place where I wrote my first book and I find myself more inspired here than anywhere else. The North Atlantic water is cold (I can personally testify to that as I swim in it!) but the people are warm, unpretentious and easy going. There is also a spirituality to this place that goes back a long way in time.

Just a little along the way is the wonder of Mussendun Temple, a 17th century folly built by the remarkable eccentric the Earl of Bristol. These days it is on the cliff edge but when CS Lewis was here it might have been a little further back.

When you look through the open temple door, who knows, perhaps Narnia awaits

David Vance Substack is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.


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