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By Bailey Fernandez, Graduate Writer

Photo Credit: The Well

Retiring ECL Professor Christopher Armitage has many stories to tell about his undergraduate years. In a recent article published by The Well, Armitage discusses his examinations at Oxford, conducted by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis along with Helen Gardner and Lord David Cecil. 

While Tolkien was most well known for his Middle-earth books, such as The Lord of the Rings series and The Hobbit, and C. S. Lewis for his Christian apologetics and Chronicles of Narnia series, both were also renowned scholars of medieval English literature. In the article, Armitage recounts that their lectures were always filled with students as the two discussed “deep subjects, human beings and what brings meaning to life.”

Armitage also recounts how the experience served as a model for him. While not planning to become an academic when he was an undergraduate, he says that the two thinkers “showed [him] what it was like to be a serious scholar.” He went on to teach at Chapel Hill for fifty-three years.

Read the full article here, and a longer piece celebrating Armitage’s life and work here.

Photograph of Christopher Armitage flanked by illustrations of J. R. R. Tolkien's Bilbo and C. S. Lewis's Aslan
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