School, war, and disaffection

C S Lewis, scholar and author of the Narnian children’s stories, served in the Royal Artillery 1917–18, and was seriously wounded. He joined the Home Guard in 1940 as a middle-aged man.

It’s natural for us to assume that the Great War was not just a formative experience, but the formative experience for anyone who fought in it. We also tend to assume that the experience was disillusioning at best, and psychologically ruinous at worst. The truth is, unsurprisingly, more subtle and varied. Continue reading

King Arthur and the cavern of jewelled fishes

Eve Stockton Woodland Landscape II

Image reproduced with permission from Woodland Landscape II (36″ x 72″, woodcut, ed. 5), © Eve Stockton 2005.

This began with a wager—write a children’s novel in six weeks. I didn’t win, but then there’s this adult short story instead. It’s something of a curiosity, a period piece and a Great War not-coming-of-age tale. Continue reading