My children grew up with the Narnia books of C.S. Lewis. I was reading an anthology of his writings today (‘The Business of Heaven’, edited by Walter Hooper, Fount Paperbacks, 1984) which gives day-by-day extracts from his works. I found the entry for December 31.
It comes from ‘The Last Battle’, the final book in the Narnia series and ends: ‘… for us this is the end of all our stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.’
It is from Chapter 16 of the book. We have a hardback copy of ‘The Last Battle’, still with its bookjacket. On its flyleaf Mrs Llew has written her (maiden) name – when she was 21 -and the Oxford term and year of purchase: Hilary 59
The book has the marks of age, but not so old as its message. Or as new.