Good Company

There’s been a small flurry of new reviews by people who love Diana’s book about the Inklings, The Company They Keep.

John Adcox drew comparisons with Humphrey Carpenter’s group biography:

Glyer’s book makes a wonderful companion to Carpenter’s more well known volume, and stands very well on its own. Carpenter’s book is a biography; Glyer’s is an examination of the very significant ways in which, as a community, the Inkings challenged, inspired, influenced, and supported one another. The Company The Keep is a terrific and insightful read.

Jason Fisher said kind things about the book, beginning with this observation about the paperback edition:

This says a lot, actually; most books on Tolkien, Lewis, and the Inklings never get a second printing, or never go from hardcover to soft.

He also praised David Bratman’s contributions:

The appendix and index by David Bratman are, collectively, a work of art, ne plus ultra. Would be bibliographers and indexers should take them as a model.

Steve Hayes came away from The Company They Keep impressed with the value of artistic communities and convinced can be even more readily organized in the age of the internet:

In many ways we have it much easier than the original Inklings. When they read their writings to each other seventy years ago, they did not have the benefit of word processors or even photocopiers. They read from hand-written manuscripts which they brought to meetings stuffed in jacket pockets. But they also lived close to one another, and could meet face to face.

Now we have the Internet, and even if there are no likeminded friends within visiting distance, it should be possible to find people with similar literary interests with almost the whole world open to us. Distance is no longer a barrier.