Lord of the Rings, the most popular book of the last century according to various polls, was written by J.R.R. Tolkien , Jack Lewis' close friend. Two years after his conversion, Jack formed "The Inklings," a group of writers, including Tolkien, who met every week at the Eagle and Child (an Oxford pub) or at The Trout Inn .
Sharing a pint and their writing, Jack and his friends looked forward to their time at the " Bird and Baby", as their favorite pub was affectionately known. (Today, a plaque at the pub commemorates their famous meetings.)
Tolkien was making progress on Lord of the Rings, his masterpiece. Jack continued to encourage Tolkien in his ambitious project. Having read George MacDonald’s Phantastes (which "baptized my imagination ") when he was eighteen, Jack loved the imaginary world of the allegorical writer.
As Tolkien’s fantastic work (here, again, illustrated by Alan Lee) took shape, Jack listened to the ideas of his close friend. Later, Tolkien credited Jack with helping him maintain enthusiasm for his monumental project .
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