Tribute to Humphrey Carpenter by Andrew Townsend
His meticulously researched biography of Tolkien gives remarkable insight into the life of a very remarkable author. It was through his book that I first heard of the connection between Tolkien and the Three Cups Hotel. According to the obituary I read, Humphrey Carpenter was an affable man with many talents as a broadcaster, writer and musician. I'm sure that he will be greatly missed by his family, friends and acquaintances.
Carpenter expressed astonishment in his book about how a shy unassuming man like JRR Tolkien who travelled so little could have created such a vast imaginary world as his Middle Earth. But Tolkien did like to get about to walk in the English countryside and to experience the seashore. He did this in Dorset as much as anywhere and anyone who wants to understand more about Tolkien would do well to visit Lyme Regis. Apparently, Tolkien found the atmosphere in the Three Cups conducive to his writing and drawing. What a pity that this place cannot be open to artists, writers and others today!