Picture of author.

Humphrey Carpenter (1946–2005)

Autor(a) de Tolkien: A Biography

56+ Works 6,294 Membros 61 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Humphrey Carpenter is the award-winning author of biographies of Dennis Potter, J.R.R. Tolkien, W.H. Auden, and Ezra Pound. He broadcasts regularly on BBC radio. Carpenter is married with two children and lives in Oxford, England
Image credit: Humphrey Carpenter, 1994


Obras de Humphrey Carpenter

Tolkien: A Biography (1977) 2,782 cópias
Mr Majeika (1985) 174 cópias
W. H. Auden: A Biography (1981) 161 cópias
Benjamin Britten: A Biography (1992) 154 cópias
Spike Milligan (2003) 130 cópias
Mr Majeika on the Internet (2001) 81 cópias
Jesus (Past Masters) (1980) 59 cópias
Mr Majeika Vanishes (1997) 51 cópias
Dennis Potter: A Biography (1988) 45 cópias
That was satire that was (2000) 38 cópias
Founders of Faith (1986) — Contribuinte — 37 cópias
Mr Majeika Joins the Circus (2006) 27 cópias
Mr Majeika's Postbag (1990) 17 cópias
The Captain Hook Affair (1979) 6 cópias
J.R.R. Tolkien (2022) 4 cópias
J.R.R. Tolkien. Biografia (2023) 2 cópias
Ghostclusters 1 exemplar(es)
Mr Majeika Collection 14 Books Set (2010) 1 exemplar(es)
Keble college (1987) 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

Três homens num barco (já para não falar do cão) (1889) — Introdução, algumas edições; Introdução, algumas edições7,713 cópias
The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981) — Editor — 2,741 cópias
The Wizard's Den: Spellbinding Stories of Magic & Magicians (2001) — Contribuinte — 23 cópias
J.R.R. Tolkien: An Audio Portrait (CD) (2001) — Contribuinte — 18 cópias
Apollo: Origins and Influence (1994) — Contribuinte — 5 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



Some of the books about writers and artists in Paris in the 20s and 30s are written by those who were there and who give their first hand accounts. Others are researched and written by those who weren't there. The first person accounts have their obvious strengths, while the researched accounts have theirs, mainly a more likely (but not assured) lack of personal bias or ax to grind, and a broader perspective and access to the writings, memoirs, and letters of all those who were there.

Whereas Noel Riley Fitch's book about Sylvia Beach was probably thoroughly researched, the result was a badly written, encyclopedic volume that had some fine tidbits but was overall boring. Carpenter's book is a pleasure to read. This is not a encyclopedia. It is stories and anecdotes and quotes and pieces of information that tie it all together so that you get a coherent picture of the people and what they were doing and who they were doing it to. Or with.

A fair amount of space is devoted to Hemingway and the writing of The Sun Also Rises. I started to become impatient with how much time and detail Carpenter was spending on that one book. For the most part, he doesn't spend time talking about individual books. Why this one? Because the story behind it and how it came to be written and the effect of it after it was published are a critical element to that time and place in Paris.

Carpenter's book is more about the people than the literature they created. It is a social history composed of small individual portraits. At its core, it's about people and friendship. As Carpenter writes at the end, "The geniuses had mostly turned out not to be geniuses after all. Yet they had been geniuses at being together, drinking together, sleeping together, and quarreling together..."

Maybe that is why he stole McAlmon's title? If so, I almost forgive him.
… (mais)
dvoratreis | May 22, 2024 |
Humphrey Carpenter's authorized biography of Tolkien is a surprisingly balanced picture of the man. Carpenter clearly admires Tolkien's talent without being blind to his faults. Carpenter simply adores the man for who he was, faults and all, and does not try to paint some mythic portrait of Tolkien. Although Tolkien possessed an extraordinary mind, he was quite - in many aspects - an ordinary man, duty bound to professional obligations and family life. Tolkien preferred the 'quiet life' you see and was in many ways, a Hobbit from the Baggin's side of the tracks in temperament and lifestyle. Yet his mind (I suspect) possessed the longings of a Took...

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography is immensely readable, and paints a wonderful portrait of a man who in my opinion, is the most important literary figure of the 20th century.
… (mais)
ryantlaferney87 | outras 21 resenhas | Dec 8, 2023 |
The biography is fine, but what a dully disgusting life.
judeprufrock | 1 outra resenha | Jul 4, 2023 |
I fell in love with The Lord of the Rings when I was in high school. Nevertheless, this biography has remained unread on my shelves for over fifteen years. Why? Some authors are an absolute disappointment to read about. I guess I didn’t want to know if the Professor was one of them.

He’s not.

If you had to write a fictional biography for Tolkien it would look much like this.

Orphaned at an early age, he fell In love with a girl, also orphaned and living in the same boarding house.

His fascination with languages, learning ancient languages and even developing his own secret languages based on strict linguistical rules, showed themselves at an early age.

The only disappointment to me was that his fascinating circle of friends didn’t include women. He was a complete product of his time, attending boys’ prep schools and colleges. Only in the very later years is a female graduate student mentioned. This is often reflected in his books, where usually (but not always) women have secondary roles, leaving the adventuring and hero-ing to men.

Highly recommended.
… (mais)
streamsong | outras 21 resenhas | May 30, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Tabelas & Gráficos