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The Company They KeepThe Company They Keep

C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community

Diana Pavlac Glyer

Imperishable Flame Award for Tolkien Studies; Mythopoetic Society Scholarship Award

Narrated by Bev Kassis

Available from Audible

Book published by The Kent State University Press

C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, the creators of Narnia and Middle-earth, were close friends, colleagues, and members of the Inklings, a writers group that met in Oxford in the 1930s and 1940s, sharing and discussing their works-in-progress.

This important study challenges the standard interpretation that Lewis, Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and the other Inklings had little influence on one another’s work, drawing on the latest research in composition studies and the sociology of the creative process. Diana Glyer invites readers into the heart of the group, examining diary entries and personal letters and carefully comparing the rough drafts of their manuscripts with their final, published work.

Her analysis not only demonstrates the high level of mutual influence that characterized this writers group but also provides a lively and compelling picture of how writers and other creative artists challenge, correct, and encourage one another as they work together in community.

Diana Pavlac Glyer is professor of English at Azusa Pacific University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and now lives in California. Her scholarship, teaching, and work as an artist all circle back to one common theme: creativity thrives in community.


The Company They Keep is an astonishingly thorough work, lucidly and boldly illuminating the collaborative writing processes of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien and their colleagues during the most fruitful period of their careers. Diana Glyer’s impressive achievement immediately supersedes in scope and authority all previous treatments of the Inklings in extant biographies and encyclopedia.”

—Bruce L Edwards, author of Not-a-Tame Lion, Further Up and Further In, and A Rhetoric of Reading

“I found myself captured by Glyer’s engaging writing style, the breadth of her research, and the cogency of her argument. It’s good, very good indeed.”

—Verlyn Flieger, author of Splintered Light, A Question of Time, and Interrupted Music

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University Press Audiobooks