The Inklings (book)

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Inklings refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Inklings (disambiguation).
The Inklings:
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Their Friends
Inklings 1978.gif
AuthorHumphrey Carpenter
PublisherGeorge Allen and Unwin (UK)
Houghton Mifflin (US)
ReleasedOctober 1978 (UK)
1979 (US)
FormatHardcover; paperback

The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Their Friends is a biography book by Humphrey Carpenter, originally published in 1978. This book is an account of the Inklings, a literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, of which J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams were some of its prominent members.

It includes a large number of previously unpublished extracts from letters and other writings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Also includes a reproduction of a note to Dr. Warfield M. Firor from the Inklings, to which Tolkien added his name and a potted four line biography.


  • Part One
    • "Oh for the people who speak one's own language"
    • "What? You too?"
    • Mythopoeia
    • "The sort of thing a man might say"
  • Part Two
    • C.W.
    • "A tremendous flow of words"
  • Part Three
    • "They are good for my mind"
    • "We had nothing to say to one another"
    • Thursday evenings
    • "A fox that isn't there"
    • "Hwart! we Inclinga"
  • Part Four
    • "No one turned up"
    • Till We Have Faces
  • Appendices
    • A. Biographical notes
    • B. Bibliography
    • C. Sources of quotations
    • D. Acknowledgements

From the publisher[edit]

Critically acclaimed, award-winning biography of CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and the brilliant group of writers to come out of Oxford during the Second World War.

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. Tolkien first introduced The Screwtape Letters and The Lord of the Rings to an audience in this company and Charles Williams, poet and writer of supernatural thrillers, was another prominent member of the group.

Humphrey Carpenter, who wrote the acclaimed biography of J.R.R. Tolkien, draws upon unpublished letters and diaries, to which he was given special access, in this engrossing story.

Publication history and gallery[edit]

UK Editions
1978 hardcover  
1981 paperback  
1997 paperback  
2006 paperback  

See also[edit]

A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by Tolkien or based on his writings
Of Arda Authorized by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil · The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand ·
iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow ·
vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring ·
xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not of Arda Short stories
and poems
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major ·
Letters from Father Christmas · Mr. Bliss · Roverandom ·
Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fiction works The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · Finn and Hengest ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays ·
Tolkien On Fairy-stories · A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages · The Battle of Maldon
Other The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Books by other authors
Reference books The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
Scholarly books with Tolkien's writings J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · The Road to Middle-earth ·
A Question of Time · Tolkien and the Great War ·
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
Scholarly journals with Tolkien's writings Tolkien Studies various issues
Other published works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar issue 1-50 · Parma Eldalamberon issue 11-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list only includes the major published works, for the full bibliography of Tolkien, see here or here