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The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and Their Friends
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The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and Their Friends

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,494 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and their friends were a regular feature of the Oxford scenery in the years during and after the Second World War. They drank beer on Tuesdays at the 'Bird and Baby', and on Thursday nights they met in Lewis' Magdalen College rooms to read aloud from the books they were writing; jokingly they called themselves 'The Inklings'.

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R.
Paperback, 287 pages
Published January 2nd 2006 by HarperCollinsPublishers (first published 1978)
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Ines Valencia I have it en spanish, I dont know how to find it available in english, sorry.…moreI have it en spanish, I don´t know how to find it available in english, sorry.(less)

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Humphrey Carpenter seems to have a penchant for group biographies. I recently read his excellent book on Evelyn Waugh and his friends, The Brideshead Generation, and now I've finally managed to track down a copy of The Inklings. As with The Brideshead Generation, Carpenter does focus more on one member of the group, C.S. Lewis, than on the others, for, as he argues, "the Inklings owed their existence as a group almost entirely to him." He gives some details about the life of Tolkien (of whom he ...more
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was really interesting, though I feel it focused a lot more on C.S. Lewis than on the others and I would have liked a little more balance. But it still made for a great read.
Katie Marquette
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely superb. Carpenter has written a fascinating biography of a very misunderstood literary group. C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and many others (including Lewis's brother, Warnie, and Tolkien's son, Christopher in later years) met regularly in Lewis's Magdalen rooms in Oxford to discuss philosophy and theology, as well as to read aloud their most recent literary endeavors. In one chapter, Carpenter draws from diaries and letters in order to recreate what might have been a ...more
Nicholas Kotar
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slightly rambling account of the Inklings, focusing mainly on C. S. Lewis, with Tolkien and Charles Williams as supporting actors. It's always pleasant to spend time with these people (even if Charles Williams was certifiably insane). The only issue I have with this book is the strangely detached and critical attitude Humphrey Carpenter takes with respect to C. S. Lewis's writing. This happens in the last quarter of the book, completely unexpectedly, and it cost this book its five star rating. ...more
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe more of my friends haven't read this book. The friendship and encouragement in art between the Inklings is inspiring.
I've never had an interest in reading The Lord of the Rings, but now I must.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
The Inklings were a "circle of friends who gathered about C.S. Lewis and met in his rooms at Magdalen". This interesting biography tries to tell the stories of several of them at once and it does a pretty good job. I was mostly interested in Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein, but enjoyed reading about Charles Williams and the others as well. It does focus more heavily on Lewis and that's fine with me. I tend to romanticize Lewis's life because being a professor at Oxford and meeting regularly with other ...more
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-r-r-tolkien
A fascinating insight into a group of extraordinary individuals whose sheer creative vision inspired many

‘The Inklings’ were just a group of friends who let their imaginations ‘run wild’ and spent many a happy hour discussing all things remarkable, inexplicable and simply wonderful. As stated on the older edition of this book, the Inklings were…

“A group of writers whose literary fantasies shall fire the imagination of all those who seek a truth beyond reality”

C.S Lewis, JRR Tolkien and their fr
Chris J
First with the positive: Carpenter is a gifted biographer. I feel like I have read my fair share of biographies of subjects from diverse walks of life - popular music, artists, athletes, political figures, etc. The lion's share of those biographies have been absolutely horrendous. In fact, some of the worst books I have ever read were biographies. It obviously is a skill to portray the life and times of someone in a fair yet captivating way. Carpenter has that gift. His Tolkien biography, for in ...more
Dec 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never heard of Charles Williams but he's nearing the top of the if-i-could-meet-anyone-in-the-world-list...
the most fascinating biography(ies) i've read, ever! but i haven't read too many. made me laugh to the point where i had to put the book down! i think the thing i'm learning from the book and it wasn't meant to teach this: one must not be afraid to be wholly passionate. perhaps one will find himself feeling quite alone, but that shouldn't determine one's love for something because whateve
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Na swój sposób lubię takie książki, które poświęcone są grupie pisarzy. W ten sposób mogę się bliżej przyjrzeć sytuacji, w jakiej się znaleźli, temu, jakie więzi łączyły poszczególne osoby i poczuć, że to nie była tylko "grupa osób", ale przyjaciele, których łączyły naprawdę bliskie relacje, którzy czerpali od siebie, wpływali na siebie i tworzyli wspólnie jakąś części historii literatury. I właśnie taką książką jest zbiorowa biografia Inklingów. Bo chociaż nie była to formalna grupa, a znani są ...more
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Clean Sy-fy/fantasy 1 1 Nov 28, 2017 04:34PM  
Tolkien's T.C.B.S: The Inklings 13 24 Aug 22, 2013 06:02PM  
  • Christian Mythmakers: C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Williams, Dante Alighieri, John Bunyan, Walter Wangerin, Robert Siegel, and Hannah Hurnard
  • Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of a Friendship
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
  • Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World
  • Jack: A Life of C. S. Lewis
  • The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community
  • The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature
  • The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis
  • Mere Humanity: G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien on the Human Condition
  • C.S. Lewis: A Biography
  • Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth
  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End
  • The Inklings of Oxford: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their Friends
  • Through the Shadowlands: The Love Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman
  • The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary
  • Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis
  • Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis
Humphrey William Bouverie Carpenter was an English biographer, writer, and radio broadcaster.
More about Humphrey Carpenter...
“The poet was, of course, always present to assist the debater. Though the logic of Lewis's Christian apologetics may be fallible, the imagination of the writing with its brilliantly-conceived analogies is itself enough to win a reader to his side. As Austin Farrer expressed it, "We think we are listening to an argument; in fact we are presented with a vision; and it is the vision that carries conviction.” 5 likes
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