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One of the things I love in reading is the sudden expansion of consciousness that you get when an allusion comes alive in your mind. My most vivid reading memories from teenage years involve experiences of that kind.

In one, I was fourteen, in a Spartan holiday camp in the lovely Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa, reading C S Lewis’s That Hideous Strength. We children were in one chilly, bare-floored, stone-walled ‘rondavel’ hut, our parents in another. Suddenly I came on the statement that Merlin’s magic ultimately derived from … Numenor! I loved The Lord of the Rings and had already … Continue Reading