Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was born in Belfast, Ireland, the son of a solicitor and a clergyman’s daughter. He taught medieval literature at Oxford University and at Cambridge University and was a prolific writer. C. S. Lewis’ better known works include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and Out of the Silent Planet, the first book in his space trilogy.
The following is an excerpt from Voyage of the Dawn Treader
It was a large room with three big windows and it was lined from floor to ceiling with books; more books than Lucy had ever seen before, tiny little books, fat and dumpy books, and books bigger than any church Bible you have ever seen, all bound in leather and smelling old and learned and magical. But she knew from her instructions that she need not bother about any of these. For the Book, the Magic Book, was lying on a reading-desk in the very middle of the room.
She came to a spell “for the refreshment of the spirit.” The pictures were fewer here but very beautiful. And what Lucy found herself reading was more like a story than a spell. It went on for three pages and before she had read to the bottom of the page she had forgotten that she was reading at all.
She was living in the story as if it were real, and all the pictures were real too. When she had got to the third page and come to the end, she said, “That is the loveliest story I’ve every read or ever shall read in my whole life. Oh, I wish I could have gone on reading it for ten year. At least I’ll read it over again.
But here part of the magic of the Book came into play. You couldn’t turn back. The right-had pages, the ones ahead, could be turned; the left hand pages could not.
“Oh, what a shame!” said Lucy. “I did so want to read it again. Well, at least, I must remember it. Let’s see…it was about…about…oh dear, it’s all fading away again. And even this last page is going blank. This is a very queer book. How can I have forgotten? It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill, I know that much. But I can’t remember and what shall I do?”
And she never could remember; and ever since that day what Lucy means by a good story is the story which reminds her of the forgotten story in the Magician’s Book.
The Book of Rhino is one of Lucy’s stories for the refreshment of the spirit.