An earlier version of this charming children’s story appeared in Jeffrey’s first collection of short stories, A Quiver Full of Arrows, published in 1980. However, the book was re-published in 1994 and featured captivating illustrations by the internationally acclaimed Royal Academician Craigie Aitchison.
In the forty-third year of the reign of the Emperor Augustus Caesar, ruler of half the known world, a mischievous thirteen-year-old Roman boy is sent on an errand by his mother. On the way he encounters all the usual sights and sounds of village life in Judaea. But that evening Bethlehem is even more crowded than usual, since his father, the governor of the province, has ordered a census so he can tax all the emperor’s subjects.
Then the boy comes across a sight he will never forget – a man and his pregnant wife are being turned away from an inn, and are preparing to spend the night in a stable….
With a marvelous final double twist that could have come only from the pen of Jeffrey Archer, The First Miracle is destined to take its place beside Dicken’s A Christmas Carol and Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales as a classic of the season.