Were the Inklings, that group of Oxford-based writers that most famously contained both C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien, simply friends? Or did the influence they had on each other go far beyond friendship, enabling the individual members to achieve heights in their writings that they would not have been able to reach otherwise? Was there a crusading common purpose that made one young member, the poet and novelist John Wain, describe them as a 'circle of instigators' pitched against a sneering world obsessed by all things modern? Were they, as he claimed, bent on 'the task of redirecting the whole current of contemporary art and life'? In this fascinating book, Tolkien and Lewis expert, Colin Duriez unpacks the Inklings, exploring the lives of the individuals and the group, and showing how they influenced, encouraged, moulded and changed each other. He also covers the less celebrated Inklings who have been neglected for too long Warren Lewis, Nevill Coghill, Lord David Cecil, Adam Fox, Hugo Dyson et al, while paying full attention to the more acknowledged names including Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield. What brought them together? And what, eventually, drove them apart from their initial focus upon each other's writings?