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Humphrey Carpenter

From Academic Kids

Humphrey William Bouverie Carpenter (April 29 1946January 4 2005) was an English biographer, author and radio broadcaster. He was born, died, and lived practically all of his life in the city of Oxford.

His large output of books includes biographies of J R R Tolkien (1977) (also editor of The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien), W.H. Auden (1981), Ezra Pound (1988), Benjamin Britten (1992), Robert Runcie (1997), and Spike Milligan (2004).

He also wrote histories of BBC Radio 3, on which he was a regular broadcaster, the British satire boom of the 1960s, Angry Young Men: A Literary Comedy of the 1950s (2002) and a centennial history of the Oxford University Drama Society in 1985. His "Mr Majeika" series of children's books enjoyed considerable popularity and were successfully adapted for television. His encyclopedic work "The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature" (1984), written jointly with his wife Mari Prichard, has become a standard reference source.

He was also a talented amateur jazz musician and an accomplished player of the piano, the saxophone and the double-bass, playing the last instrument profesionally in a dance band in the 1970s.

His early death was the result of heart failure, compounded by the Parkinson's disease from which he had suffered for several years.

External links

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