Lean's father was Francis William le Blount Lean and his mother was Helena Annie (née Tangye) Lean, who were married in 1904, separated by 1927, and were both Quakers. He was the younger brother of David Lean, the film director.
After leaving Leighton Park School, Tangye Lean was an undergraduate at University College, Oxford. While at Oxford, he founded the original Inklings club around 1931, for the reading of unfinished compositions. The club consisted of students and dons, including J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. When Lean left Oxford in 1933, the club faltered. However, its name was transferred by Tolkien and Lewis to their literary group at Magdalen College. Lean also contributed to the Isis magazine at Oxford.
- Of Unsound Mind (Cobden-Sanderson, 1932)
- Storm in Oxford (Cobden-Sanderson, 1932)
- Voices in the Darkness (Secker and Warburg, 1943)
- The Napoleonists: A study in political disaffection, 1760–1960 (Oxford University Press, 1970)
- Edward Tangye Lean books, BBC broadcasting director, Open Library.
- David Lean: Biography, Photos, Movies, TV, Credits, Hollywood.com.
- Jason Fisher, The Inklings (1933–1954), The Literary Encyclopedia, 11 November 2008.
- Michael Harrison (editor), Under Thirty: An Anthology, London: Rich & Cowan.
- (Edward) Tangye Lean (1911–1974), Director of External Broadcasting BBC, National Portrait Gallery (London), England.
Sir Beresford Clark
| Director of External Broadcasting, BBC