The Inklings

Humphrey Carpenter

C.S. Lewis had a group of friends who met twice a week to discuss books, poems and other matters.  On Tuesday mornings they would meet at a local tavern, which they referred to as “The Bird and the Baby.”    And then on Thursday evenings they would meet in C.S. Lewis’ rooms at Magdalen College in Oxford.

The group consisted of Jack Lewis, as he was commonly known by his friends, his brother Warnie Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and various other people.  Most of these other folks were professors at Oxford, or at least literary figures.  People might come intermittently.  They referred to themselves as “The Inklings.”  They would often read to the group whatever it was they were working on.  For example, Tolkien first read The Hobbit and much of The Lord of the Rings to this group.

This book is the story of their friendship.  In some ways it is a brief biography of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams especially.  Charles Williams was another writer who was particularly close to Lewis.

For fans of C.S. Lewis, the book is fascinating, but I might warn you that some of the guys, especially Charles Williams and Tolkien, were quite eccentric.  Fascinating insights into these men and their friendships.