A Beginner’s Bibliography of the InklingsUpdated October 2021
Compiled for the Mythopoeic Society by David Bratman
- Essays, Letters, and Diaries
- Art and Designs
- Selected Books About the Inklings
Fictional Works of the Inklings
all novels unless otherwise stated
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)
Assistant Editor, Oxford English Dictionary (1918-1920); Reader (later Professor) of English Language at Leeds University (1920-1926); Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University (1925-1945); Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University (1945-1959)The Hobbit, or There and Back Again (1937, rev. 1951 & 1966) (Houghton Mifflin; Ballantine pb);
Authoritative edition is The Annotated Hobbit, ed. Douglas A. Anderson (1988, rev. 2002) (Houghton Mifflin);
Drafts published as The History of The Hobbit, by John D. Rateliff (2007) (Houghton Mifflin)
“Leaf by Niggle” (story) (1945), reprinted in Tree and Leaf (1964, rev. 1988 & 2001) (with
Farmer Giles of Ham (story) (1949) (Houghton Mifflin; Ballantine pb*);
Authoritative edition is 50th anniversary edition, ed. Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull (1999) (Houghton Mifflin)
- Vol. 1 (Prologue, Books 1-2), The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)
- Vol. 2 (Books 3-4), The Two Towers (1954)
- Vol. 3 (Books 5-6, Appendices), The Return of the King (1955)
- Authoritative edition is 50th anniversary edition (2004, rev. 2005) (Houghton Mifflin)
- Early drafts published as (all Houghton Mifflin):
- Part 1, The Return of the Shadow (1988) (approx. Book 1)
- Part 2, The Treason of Isengard (1989) (approx. Books 2-3)
- Part 3, The War of the Ring (1990) (Books 3-5)
- Part 4, “The End of the Third Age” in Sauron Defeated (1992) (also published separately) (Book 6)
- “The Prologue and Appendices to The Lord of the Rings” in The Peoples of Middle-earth (1996)
Authoritative edition is ed. Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond (2014) (HarperCollins)
Smith of Wootton Major (story) (1967) (Houghton Mifflin; Ballantine pb*);
Authoritative edition is Extended edition, ed. Verlyn Flieger (2005) (HarperCollins)
The Father Christmas Letters, rev. as Letters from Father Christmas (letters) (1976, rev. 1999, 2012) (Houghton Mifflin) (see also under “Essays, Letters, & Diaries”)
The Silmarillion (posthumous collection) (1977) (Houghton Mifflin; Ballantine pb)
“The Great Tales” (extended drafts for the major stories within The Silmarillion):
- The Children of Húrin (2007) (Houghton Mifflin)
- Beren and Lúthien (2017) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
- The Fall of Gondolin (2018) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Mr. Bliss (children’s story) (1982) (Houghton Mifflin)
The History of Middle-earth (posthumous collections) (Houghton Mifflin; some also Del Rey pb):
- Vol. 1-2, The Book of Lost Tales, 2 vols. (1983-4)
- Vol. 3, The Lays of Beleriand (
- Vol. 4, The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986)
- Vol. 5, The Lost Road (1987)
- Vol. 6, The Return of the Shadow (1988) (see under The Lord of the Rings above)
- Vol. 7, The Treason of Isengard (1989) (see under The Lord of the Rings above)
- Vol. 8, The War of the Ring (1990) (see under The Lord of the Rings above)
- Vol. 9, Sauron Defeated (1992) (see also under The Lord of the Rings above)
- Vol. 10, Morgoth’s Ring (1993)
- Vol. 11, The War of the Jewels (1994)
- Vol. 12, The Peoples of Middle-earth (1996) (see also under The Lord of the Rings above)
The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrún (poetry) (2009) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Fall of Arthur (poetry) (2013) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Story of Kullervo (early retelling of tale from the Finnish Kalevala (2015) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun (poetry, first published 1945) (2016) (HarperCollins)
The Nature of Middle-earth (fictional essays) (2021) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
* Except for Smith of Wootton Major, the Ballantine pbs are published as one volume titled The Tolkien Reader.
Tolkien’s shorter works are also found in several hardcover collections, including Poems and Stories and Tales from the Perilous Realm.
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
Fellow and Tutor in English at Magdalen College, Oxford University (1925-1954); Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University (1954-1963)
The “Ransom” or “Space” trilogy (Scribner hardcover & pb):
- Out of the Silent Planet (1938)
- Perelandra (1943; also published as Voyage to Venus)
- That Hideous Strength (1945)
The Chronicles of Narnia (HarperCollins hardcover & pb):
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
Prince Caspian (1951)
The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader” (1952)
The Silver Chair (1953)
The Horse and His Boy (1954)
The Magician’s Nephew (1955)
The Last Battle (1956)
Order of internal chronology
The Magician’s Nephew
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Horse and His Boy
The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader”
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle
Note: the publisher has recently numbered the books in order of internal chronology, but most Lewis scholars recommend reading them in order of first publication.Till We Have Faces (1956) (Harcourt)
The Dark Tower and other stories (short stories) (1977) (Harcourt)
Boxen (juvenalia) (1985, rev. 2008) (Harcourt)
Lewis also wrote several books of theological fiction: The Pilgrim’s Regress (1933) (Eerdmans); The Screwtape Letters (1942) (Harper); The Great Divorce (1946) (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone; Harper).
Charles Williams (1886-1945)
Staff editor, Oxford University Press (1908-1945)Seven novels (all Eerdmans):
- War in Heaven (1930) (the one with the Holy Grail)
- Many Dimensions (1931) (the one with King Solomon’s Stone)
- The Place of the Lion (1931) (the one with the Platonic archetypes)
- The Greater Trumps (1932) (the one with the Tarot deck and the Great Dance)
- Shadows of Ecstasy (1933) (the African one)
- Descent into Hell (1937) (the one with the doppelgänger)
- All Hallows Eve (1945) (the dead women in London one)
An omnibus, The Charles Williams Reader (Eerdmans) contains War in Heaven, Many Dimensions, and Descent into Hell.“Et in Sempiternum Pereant” (short story) (1935), reprinted in Tales Before Narnia, ed. Douglas A. Anderson (Del Rey Books), The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories, ed. Michael Cox and R.A. Gilbert (Oxford University Press), Black Water, ed. Alberto Manguel (Clarkson Potter), and Visions of Wonder, ed. Robert H. Boyer and Kenneth J. Zahorski (Avon)
“The Noises That Weren’t There” (unfinished story) (1970-2), serialized in Mythlore nos. 6-8
PoetryTolkien: Tolkien’s poetry is scattered throughout his fictional works; separate editions of poems from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have been published.
Several books listed above are completely poetry, and are noted as such.
“Mythopoeia” is included in recent editions of Tree and Leaf.
The Road Goes Ever On (1967) (Ballantine) contains several Tolkien poems with musical settings by Donald Swann.
Bilbo’s Last Song (1974) (Houghton Mifflin) is a short poem separately published. Some later editions of The Road Goes Ever On also contain a setting of this poem.
Tolkien also translated three Middle English poems, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo (1975) (Houghton Mifflin; Ballantine pb).
He also made a prose translation of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf in Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary (2014) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
Lewis: The Collected Poems of C.S. Lewis: A Critical Edition (2015) (Kent State University Press) includes Poems (1964) (Harcourt) and Spirits in Bondage (1919) (Harcourt).
Narrative Poems (1969) (Harcourt) includes “Dymer,” “Launcelot,” “The Nameless Isle,” and “The Queen of Drum.”
Lewis also translated part of the Aeneid, published as C.S. Lewis’s Lost Aeneid (2011) (Yale University Press).
Williams: Taliessin Through Logres (1938) and The Region of the Summer Stars (1944), in one volume, either with other Arthurian poems as Charles Williams in the Arthurian Poets series (Boydell) or with Arthurian Torso (1948) (an essay on “The Figure of Arthur” by Williams and a commentary on the poetry by C.S. Lewis) (Eerdmans).
Williams also published five earlier volumes of poetry, now out of print: The Silver Stair (1912), Poems of Conformity (1917), Divorce (1920), Windows of Night (1924), and Heroes and Kings (1930).
DramaTolkien: “The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son” (verse play and essay) (1953) (in Poems and Stories, Houghton Mifflin; The Tolkien Reader, Ballantine pb; and Tree and Leaf (2001 ed.), HarperCollins).
Williams: Collected Plays (1963) (Oxford University Press); The Masques of Amen House (2000) (Mythopoeic Press); The Chapel of the Thorn (2014) (Apocryphile Press).
Essays, Letters, and Diaries
The Inklings’ essays and letters contain their own thoughts on their fictional creations, and on authors and ideas that influenced them.
- The Monsters and the Critics and other essays (1983) (Houghton Mifflin), includes “On Fairy-Stories,” “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics,” “A Secret Vice,” and other philological and literary essays.
- “On Fairy-Stories” is also in Tree and Leaf (Houghton Mifflin) and The Tolkien Reader (Ballantine pb); authoritative edition is Tolkien on Fairy-stories, ed. Verlyn Flieger & Douglas A. Anderson (2008) (HarperCollins).
- Two fuller texts of “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” are in Beowulf and the Critics (2002, rev. 2011) (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies).
- “A Secret Vice” was reprinted with commentary and supplementary material as A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages (2016) (HarperCollins).
- The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981, index rev. 2000) (Houghton Mifflin).
- Letters from Father Christmas (1976, rev. 1999, 2012), letters to his children in the guise of Father Christmas, telling stories about the North Pole (Houghton Mifflin).
- Numerous collections and repackagings. On Stories and Other Essays on Literature (1982) (Harcourt) is the most relevant for understanding his fiction.
- Lewis also wrote many full-length studies, including An Experiment in Criticism (1961) (Cambridge University Press) and The Four Loves (1960) (Harcourt).
- His many theological books include Mere Christianity (1952) (Simon & Schuster; Harper).
- Letters of C.S. Lewis (1966, rev. 1988) (Harcourt).
- Collected Letters, 3 vols. (2000-2007) (Harper).
- Several shorter collections include They Stand Together: The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur
Greeves (1979) (Macmillan)
and Letters to Children (1985) (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone).
- All My Road Before Me (diaries of 1922-7) (1991) (Harcourt)
- Essential Writings in Spirituality and Theology (1993) (Cowley Publishers).
- The Image of the City and other essays (1958) (Oxford University Press).
- The Detective Fiction Reviews of Charles Williams, 1930-1935 (2003) (McFarland).
- The Celian Moment and Other Essays (2017) (Greystone Press).
- His numerous critical and theological works include The Figure of Beatrice: A Study in Dante (1943) (Boydell).
- To Michal from Serge (letters to his wife, 1939-1945) (2002) (Kent State University Press).
- Lois Lang-Sims, Letters to Lalage (1989) (Kent State University Press).
Art and DesignsTolkien:
- Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin) (1979, rev. 1992).
- Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator (1995) (Houghton Mifflin).
- Hammond and Scull, The Art of The Hobbit (2011) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
- Hammond and Scull, The Art of The Lord of the Rings (2015) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
- Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (2018) (Bodleian Library).
Selected Books About the Inklings
These are a few introductory and important books selected from the many works about the Inklings. They are useful companions to the fiction, and help to reveal the mythopoeic or myth-making aspects of the authors. Listing does not imply endorsement by the Mythopoeic Society.
Humphrey Carpenter, The Inklings: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and their friends (1978) (Houghton Mifflin; Ballantine pb)
Philip and Carol Zaleski, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams (2015) (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien: A Biography (1977) (Houghton Mifflin; Ballantine pb)
John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth (2003) (Houghton Mifflin)
Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide: Chronology (2006, rev. 2017) (Houghton Mifflin)
John and Priscilla Tolkien, The Tolkien Family Album (1992) (Houghton Mifflin)
Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper, C.S. Lewis: A Biography (1974, revised) (Harcourt)
Alan Jacobs, The Narnian (2005) (Harper)
C.S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (1955) (Harcourt)
George Sayer, Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times (1988, revised) (Crossway)
Alice Mary Hadfield, Charles Williams: An Exploration of His Life and Works (1983) (Oxford University Press)
Grevel Lindop, Charles Williams: The Third Inkling (2015) (Oxford University Press)
a very selective listing from among numerous booksGeneral:
Diana Pavlac Glyer, The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community (2007) (Kent State University Press)
Dimitra Fimi, Tolkien, Race, and Cultural History (2009) (Palgrave Macmillan)
Verlyn Flieger, Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World (1983, rev. 2002) (Kent State University Press)
Verlyn Flieger, A Question of Time: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Road to Faërie (1997) (Kent State University Press)
Paul H. Kocher, Master of Middle-earth (1972) (Houghton Mifflin; Ballantine pb)
Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide: Reader’s Guide (2006) (Houghton Mifflin)
T.A. Shippey, J.R.R. Tolkien, Author of the Century (2000) (Houghton Mifflin)
T.A. Shippey, The Road to Middle-earth (1982, revised) (Houghton Mifflin; HarperCollins UK)
Joe R. Christopher, C.S. Lewis (1987) (Twayne)
James T. Como, Branches to Heaven: The Geniuses of C.S. Lewis (1998) (Spence)
Walter Hooper, C.S. Lewis, A Companion & Guide (1996) (HarperCollins) (also biographical);
Doris T. Myers, C.S. Lewis in Context (1994) (Kent State University Press)
Chad Walsh, The Literary Legacy of C.S. Lewis (1979) (Harcourt)
Gavin Ashenden, Charles Williams: Alchemy and Integration (2008) (Kent State University Press)
Glen Cavaliero, Charles Williams, Poet of Theology (1983) (Eerdmans)
Thomas Howard, The Novels of Charles Williams (1983) (Ignatius Press)
Agnes Sibley, Charles Williams (1982) (Twayne)
The Secondary World
Books about the fictional worlds created by the InklingsTolkien:
Jim Allan, ed., An Introduction to Elvish (1978) (Thornton’s)
Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth (1981, rev. 1991) (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner)
Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth (1971, rev. 1978) (Ballantine pb)
John Garth, The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien (2020) (Princeton University Press)
Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion (2005) (Houghton Mifflin)
Paul F. Ford, Companion to Narnia (1980, revised) (Harper; Macmillan)
Martha C. Sammons, A Far-Off Country: A Guide to C.S. Lewis’s Fantasy Fiction (2000) (University Press of America)
Peter J. Schakel, The Way Into Narnia: A Reader’s Guide (2005) (Eerdmans)
Lists of works by and about the Inklings may be found in many of the biographies and literary studies above; the following bibliographies are intended to be comprehensive up to their dates of publication.Tolkien:
Wayne G. Hammond and Douglas A. Anderson, J.R.R. Tolkien, A Descriptive Bibliography (1993) (Oak Knoll Books)
Richard C. West, Tolkien Criticism: An Annotated Checklist (1970, rev. 1981) (Kent State University Press)
Michael D.C. Drout et al, “Bibliography (in English),” in Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review (2004- )
Oronzo Cilli, Tolkien’s Library: An Annotated Checklist (2019) (Luna Press)
Walter Hooper, “A Bibliography of the Writings of C.S. Lewis”, in his C.S. Lewis, A Companion & Guide (1996) (HarperCollins)
Joe R. Christopher and Joan K. Ostling, C.S. Lewis: An Annotated Checklist of Items About Him and His Works (1974) (Kent State University Press)
Susan Lowenberg, C.S. Lewis: A Reference Guide, 1972-1988 (1993) (G.K. Hall)
Lois Glenn, Charles W.S. Williams: A Checklist (1975) (Kent State University Press)
The Other InklingsHumphrey Carpenter in The Inklings (a group biography listed above) lists 19 men who are known to have attended Thursday evening Inklings meetings (active mid-1930s to 1949). The list excludes guests such as E.R. Eddison and Roy Campbell. Most of these did not write fiction, but their memoirs, scholarship, and other nonfiction can be of interest to those exploring the Inklings’ thought. A complete list of books by the other Inklings may be found in A Handlist of Books by the Inklings by David Bratman. Important and pertinent books by the other Inklings include:
Owen Barfield (1898-1997) (philosopher and attorney)
The Silver Trumpet (children’s story) (1925) (Bookmakers Guild)
Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning (1928) (Wesleyan University Press)
Saving the Appearances (1957) (Wesleyan University Press)
Owen Barfield on C.S. Lewis (1989) (Wesleyan University Press)
A Barfield Sampler: Poetry and Fiction (1993) (SUNY Press)
A Barfield Reader: Selections from the Writings of Owen Barfield (1999) (University Press of New England)
Eager Spring (short novel) (2008) (Barfield Press)
The Tower: Major Poems and Plays (2021) (Parlor Press)
Nevill Coghill (1899-1980) (professor of English Literature at Oxford University; producer of plays)
Translation of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1952) (Penguin)
The Collected Papers of Nevill Coghill, Shakespearian & Medievalist (1988) (St. Martin’s)
W.H. Lewis (1895-1973) (brother of C.S. Lewis; professional soldier and amateur historian)
The Splendid Century: Life in the France of Louis XIV (1953) (Waveland Press)
Brothers and Friends, diaries, an important source on the Inklings (1982) (HarperCollins)
Gervase Mathew (1905-1976) (lecturer in Byzantine studies at Oxford University)
Byzantine Aesthetics (1963) (HarperCollins)
The Court of Richard II (1968) (Norton)
John Wain (1925-1994) (novelist, poet, dramatist, and critic; Professor of Poetry at Oxford University 1973-1978)
Sprightly Running: Part of an Autobiography, includes accounts of C.S. Lewis and the Inklings (1962) (St. Martins)
Much poetry, fiction, and criticism, all non-fantasy.
Essays by C.S. Lewis, W.H. Lewis, Tolkien, Barfield, Gervase Mathew, and Dorothy L. Sayers, together with an appreciation of Williams by C.S. Lewis, are included in Essays Presented to Charles Williams (1947) (Eerdmans).
Most of the remaining Inklings listed in Carpenter’s book wrote little, and of them only Dyson and Havard were central to the group. They are:
- J.A.W. Bennett (1911-1981) C.S. Lewis’s successor as Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge (1964-1978)
- Lord David Cecil (1902-1986) Professor of English Literature at Oxford; author of biographies of Max Beerbohm and Lord Melbourne
- Jim Dundas-Grant (1896-1985) Commander of the Oxford University Naval Division
- H.V.D. “Hugo” Dyson (1896-1975) Lecturer and tutor in English at Reading and Oxford Universities
- Adam Fox (1883-1977) Profesor of Poetry at Oxford (1938-1943); Dean of Divinity at Magdalen College, Oxford; Canon of Westminster Abbey
- Colin Hardie (1906-1998) Lecturer and tutor in Classics at Oxford
- Robert E. Havard (1901-1985) Physician; author of the clinical appendix to C.S. Lewis’s The Problem of Pain
- R.B. McCallum (1898-1973) Lecturer and tutor in Modern History and Politics at Oxford
- C.E. Stevens (1905-1976) Lecturer and tutor in Ancient History at Oxford
- Christopher Tolkien (1924-2020) Lecturer and tutor in English Language at Oxford (to 1975); son of J.R.R. Tolkien and editor of his father’s posthumous works
- C.L. Wrenn (1895-1969) Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford (1946-1963)
David Lindsay and T.H. White, also sometimes cited as Inklings, had no known connection with them.
Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957)
Not an Inkling, but a friend of Lewis and Williams and often read in the Mythopoeic Society.
Novels(All Harper pb except as noted )
Whose Body? (1923)
Clouds of Witness (1926)
Unnatural Death (1927; also published as The Dawson Pedigree)
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928)
The Documents in the Case, with Robert Eustace (1930)
Strong Poison (1930)
Five Red Herrings (1931)
Have His Carcase (1932)
Murder Must Advertise (1933)
The Nine Tailors (1934) (Harcourt/Harvest pb)
Gaudy Night (1935)
Busman’s Honeymoon (1937)
Thrones, Dominations, completed by Jill Paton Walsh (1998) (St. Martin’s pb)
A Presumption of Death, by Jill Paton Walsh (2002) (St. Martin’s), based on Sayers’ articles “The Wimsey Papers”
Short fictionLord Peter (1971) (Harper Perennial), the complete Wimsey short stories
The Wimsey Family (1977) (Harper; Avon pb), a fictional history by C.W. Scott-Giles compiled from correspondence with Sayers
The Travelling Rug, previously unpublished short story (2005) (Mythopoeic Press)
PoetryTranslation of The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, 3 vols. (1949-62) (Penguin pb)
Translation of The Song of Roland (1957) (Penguin pb)
Poetry of Dorothy L. Sayers (1996) (Dorothy L. Sayers Society/Marion E. Wade Center)
DramaThe Man Born to Be King (1943) (Ignatius Press)
Love All, together with Busman’s Honeymoon, with Muriel St. Clare Byrne (1984) (Kent State University Press)
Essays, letters, etc.The Mind of the Maker (1941) (Harper San Francisco)
Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers, 4 vols. (1996-2000) (v. 1-2: St. Martin’s; v. 3-4: Dorothy L. Sayers Society)
Sayers on Holmes (2001) (Mythopoeic Press)
Child and Woman of Her Time (2002) (Carole Green Publishing), a supplement to the Letters including fragmentary works “My Edwardian Childhood” (memoir) and “Cat O’Mary” (novel)