The Telegraph interviews Jill Freud, who as a young girl was C.S. Lewis’s inspiration for the character Lucy in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
What, I ask, were her first impressions of him? “Oh, I loved him. Loved him, of course I did. I was in the kitchen helping Mrs Moore with the hen food when I first met him. I turned round and knew this was something momentous. Jack was naturally very gregarious, he liked exchanging ideas. He enjoyed the pub, and walking.
“I had read the Screwtape Letters and, being a good little Catholic at that time, his famous book Christian Behaviour, but I didn’t know then that Jack Lewis was CS Lewis. I had no idea. Two weeks later I saw his books on the shelf, then I made the connection. I realised that this man I was staying with was my literary hero.
“I didn’t know where to put myself. I couldn’t look at him or speak to him for about a week because I knew from reading his books that he understood human nature horribly well and I just thought, ‘He will know all my faults, all my nasty little foibles’. I felt completely exposed. I got over it, of course.”
Curiously, C.S. Lewis wasn’t Freud’s only connection with the famous. Through C.S. Lewis she met J.R.R. Tolkien and Alexander Fleming, “about the time he was developing penicillin.” Her son married Rupert Murdoch’s daughter, and her husband is the grandson of Sigmund Freud.