While being trained for the army Lewis shared a room with another cadet, Edward Courtnay Francis"Paddy" Moore (1898–1918). Maureen Moore, Paddy's sister, claimed that the two made a mutual pact
that if either died during the war, the survivor would take care of both their families. Paddy waskilled inactionin 1918 and Lewis kept his promise. Paddy had earlier introduced Lewis to his mother, Jane KingMoore, and a friendship very quickly sprang up between Lewis, who was eighteen when they met, andJane, who was forty-five. The friendship with Mrs. Moore was particularly important to Lewis while hewas recovering from his wounds in hospital, as his father, who had an almost pathological reluctance to break free from the routine of his Belfast practice, could not bring himself to visit Lewis.Lewis lived with and cared for Mrs. Moore until she was hospitalized in the late 1940s. He routinelyintroduced her as his "mother", and referred to her as such in letters. Lewis, whose own mother had diedwhen he was a child and whose father was distant, demanding and eccentric, developed a deeplyaffectionate friendship with Mrs. Moore. In his biography of Lewis, A.N.Wilson makes a case for supposing that Lewis and Mrs Moore were, for a time, lovers.
Surprised by Joy
, Lewis's autobiography, issilent about his relationship with Moore and yet Wilson puts forth evidence to show that Lewis wassupporting both Moore and her daughter in rented accommodation near to his digs in Oxford. Furthermore,in
Surprised by Joy
, Lewis writes of this period of his life, "I was returned to Oxford — 'demobbed — inJanuary 1919. But before I say anything of my life there I must warn the reader that one huge and complexepisode will be omitted. I have no choice in this reticence. All I can or need to say is that my earlier hostility to the emotions was very fully and variously avenged".In writing this, Lewis of course invites speculation. Wilson presents evidence which shows that, whatever the full extent of the relations between Moore and himself, their relationship during his undergraduate yearscould indeed be described as both 'huge' and 'complex'. Lewis himself spoke well of Mrs Moore throughouthis life saying to his friend George Sayer: "She was generous and taught me to be generous, too."In December 1917 Lewis wrote in a letter to his childhood friend Arthur Greeves that Jane and Greeveswere "the two people who matter most to me in the world."In 1930, Lewis and his brother Warnie moved, with Moore and her daughter Maureen, into "The Kilns", ahouse in the district of Headington Quarryon the outskirts of Oxford (now part of the suburb of Risinghurst). They all contributed financially to the purchase of the house, which passed to Maureen, thenDame Maureen Dunbar, Btss., when Warren died in 1973.Moore suffered from dementia in her later years and was eventually moved into a nursing home, where shedied in 1951. Lewis visited her every day in this home until her death.
"My Irish life"
Lewis experienced a certain cultural shock on first arriving in England: "NoEnglishman will be able to understand my first impressions of England,"Lewis wrote in
,continuing, "The strangeEnglish accents
with which I was surrounded seemed like the voices of demons. But whatwas worst was the English landscape … I have made up the quarrel since; butat that moment I conceived a hatred for England which took many years to heal."
From boyhood Lewis immersed himself firstly in NorseandGreek and then inIrish mythologyand
literatureand expressed an interest in theIrish language, though he seems to have made little attempt to
learn it. He developed a particular fondness for W.B.Yeats, in part because of Yeats’s use of Ireland’s
Celticheritage in poetry. In a letter to a friend Lewis wrote, "I have here discovered an author exactly after my own heart, whom I am sure you would delight in, W. B. Yeats. He writes plays and poems of rare spiritand beauty about our old Irish mythology."In 1921, Lewis had the opportunity to meet Yeats on two occasions, since Yeats had moved to Oxford.