C S Lewis’s classic Narnia story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, has topped a new survey of the most-read fiction books in Britain.
Beating novels by Dan Brown and J K Rowling into second and third place, Lewis’ story of four children who discover a mysterious land was chosen by 33 per cent of respondents.
Lewis wrote that the “whole Narnian story is about Christ”, with the Aslan character’s death and resurrection mirroring what happened to Jesus.
In the survey, carried out for eBay UK, 2,000 Britons were asked about their reading habits.
Over half said they found reading was the best way to relax, with the average adult saying they read eleven books a year.
Behind The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were The Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, J R R Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Wind in the Willows all made the top 50.
Christian academic Leland Ryken said the Narnian stories “embody a theological vision”.
“At the heart of that vision is the figure of Aslan, who represents Christ.
“Thus the qualities attributed to Aslan, the acts that he performs, the ways in which he relates to characters in the stories and the characters to him, the devotion that he elicits from those who believe in him and follow him — all these are an implied picture of the Christian life.”
In 2013, a memorial stone for C S Lewis was unveiled in Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner, to mark 50 years since he died.
The stone is inscribed with his own quotation: “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen. Not only because I see it but because by it I can see everything else.”