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William Cater

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William "Bill" Cater is a British journalist who interviewed J.R.R. Tolkien on 2 August 1966.[1] Cater later became a friend of Tolkien[2] and they exchanged several letters (see Letters 322, 330, and 331). In 1977, Cater made an interview with Christopher Tolkien, concerning the publication of The Silmarillion.

In a 1972 article celebrating Tolkien's upcoming 80th birthday, Cater coined an expression which was to be used on the dustwrappers of an edition of The Lord of the Rings:

"The English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and those who are going to read them."
― William Cater, The Sunday Times (UK)

At the J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference in 1992, Helen Armstrong presented the paper "How Dare You Call Me That! William Cater Interviewing Tolkien" (not submitted for publication).[3]



  • 1966: Daily Express, 22 November
    • "Lord of the Hobbits" (p.10)
  • 1972: Sunday Times Magazine, January 1 [or 2? (in the letters)]
    • "The Lord of the Legends"
  • 1977: Sunday Times Magazine, 25 September
    • "The filial duty of Christopher Tolkien" (pp. 61, 63. Photo of Christopher Tolkien on p. 61.)
  • 2001: Telegraph, December 4


  1. Hammond, Wayne G. and Scull, Christina, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Chronology, p. 671
  2. Tolkien - the most unmanageable man (January 11, 2008) at, as of July 28, 2010”
  3. Tolkien Centenary Conference at, as of July 28, 2010