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Was C.S. Lewis a secret government agent during World War II?


Sort of, it seems. New recordings obtained by Lewis enthusiast Harry Lee Poe appear to feature Lewis delivering a previously unknown lecture entitled “The Norse Spirit in English Literature,” which Poe argues was delivered at the behest of the British Secret Intelligence Service during the Second World War. In the lecture, Lewis observes certain commonalities between Norse and English sensibilities that are suggestively anti-Nazi. Poe believes the lecture, which aired over Icelandic radio, was meant to persuade the people of Iceland to tolerate a tactical British occupation that British forces were not strong enough to establish by force. 

Evidently it worked, or something did; British and American forces remained stationed in Iceland until the conclusion of the war. The episode doesn’t do much to change Lewis’s biography (that he saw trench warfare during the First World War and offered his service in the second was already known), but it will likely please fans to know that the much-beloved author of The Chronicles of Narnia put his literary talents to work in the service of the greater good.