In the Cambridge Review obituary of C. S. Lewis, the anonymous author wrote: "It is Chaucer's Knight … who comes most often to mind when one remembers C. S. Lewis. … He was a chivalric figure, and his imagination ran most richly in the forms of chivalry and adventure." As a medievalist, Lewis was intimately acquainted with the tradition of chivalry and knightly courage, and, indeed, in some ways he embodied that tradition himself. The knight, in Lewis's view, was not a dead ideal, but a real possibility even in the modern world. Lewis thought and wrote a great deal about martial and military matters, both in his imaginative works and in his nonfiction. This is not surprising when one remembers that he lived through two World Wars and served as a soldier in the first. He volunteered for active service in the Great War (as an Irishman, he could not be conscripted), joining the army in June 1917. He arrived in the trenches of France later that year on November 29 (his 19th birthday) and served for six months before being wounded by friendly fire during the Battle of Arras in spring 1918. He was invalided back to Eng lan and spent six months convalescing. In sum, one–and–a hal years of his life were spent as a soldier: first training for war, then fighting in war, then recovering from war. Lewis abandoned his childhood faith several years before becoming a soldier. He did not return to Christianity for more than a decade after the end of the Great War. However, his willingness to fight in the armed forces did not stem from his atheism. Both during his period of unbelief and during his years as a practicing Christian, Lewis thought military service was justifiable. It was not pleasant—in fact, ...

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